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Abdul Rahiman Sahib Vs. Anna Pillai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1894)4MLJ26
AppellantAbdul Rahiman Sahib
RespondentAnna Pillai
Cases ReferredAyyappa v. Venkatakrishnamarazu I. L. R.
Excerpt:
- - whilst it is thus clear that the judge is bound to decide whether the relation of land-holder and tenant for the year for which the patta is tendered subsists, there is no provision in the act that a bona fide denial of that relation is a good defence or ousts the jurisdiction of revenue courts......lease was acted upon, whether it was not a benami transaction, or whether the actual relation of landlord and tenant existed as between appellant and respondent ; otherwise a tenant who was originally let into possession by it and paid him rent for a series of years may collude with an adverse claimant and render his landlord's right to tender a patta in fructuous.3. the decision in narayanachariar v. ranga ayyangar i. l. r. 15 m 223 proceeds on this principle. there the suit was brought by the tenant and the landlord denied the tenancy. the head assistant collector dismissed the suit observing, 'as a question regarding the existence or otherwise of the relationship of landlord and tenant has arisen in this case, the matter must be determined in the regular way.' the district judge.....
Judgment:

1. This was a suit to enforce the acceptance of a patta under Act VIII of 1865. The land in respect of which the patta was tendered admittedly belongs to a mosque called Kazi Abdulla Azari's mosque. Appellant claimed to be respondent's landlord under a permanent lease granted to him by one Abdul Rahiman and his three sisters whom he described to be entitled to the land. He further alleged that respondent was a tenant cultivating about 4 acres of land. It was conceded that appellant duly tendered a patta but respondent denied that the former was his landlord. He contended that Abdul Rahiman granted a lease for 35 years to one Raghavendra Row who sublet the land to him. The first issue in the case was whether appellant's lessors were competent to execute the permanent lease in his favor and the Deputy Collector decided the question in appellant's favor, observing that Abdul Rahiman who granted the lease to Raghavendra Row was only one of four Inamdars, whilst all the four Inamdars granted the permanent lease to appellant, that Raghavendra's lease was further a benami transaction, and that it was never acted upon. On appeal, the judge dismissed the suit and rested his decision on the ground that respondent's contention raised a bona fide question of title which ousted the jurisdiction of the Deputy Collector. It is argued on appellant's behalf that the judge is in error in dismissing the suit for the reason that there was a bona fide dispute as to title and that he should have proceeded, as was done by the Deputy Collector, to adjudicate upon it. It is provided by Section 10, Act. VIII of 1865, that the Collector shall first enquire whether the party was bound to accept a patta and give a muchilka and that unless this is proved, the suit that be dismissed with costs. Whilst it is thus clear that the judge is bound to decide whether the relation of land-holder and tenant for the year for which the patta is tendered subsists, there is no provision in the Act that a bona fide denial of that relation is a good defence or ousts the jurisdiction of Revenue Courts.

2. Whenever a court is invested with jurisdiction to determine the existence of a particular legal relation, the intention must be taken to be to authorize it to adjudicate on every matter of fact or of law incidental to such adjudication. The judge ought to have determined whether Raghavendra Row's lease was acted upon, whether it was not a benami transaction, or whether the actual relation of landlord and tenant existed as between appellant and respondent ; otherwise a tenant who was originally let into possession by it and paid him rent for a series of years may collude with an adverse claimant and render his landlord's right to tender a patta in fructuous.

3. The decision in Narayanachariar v. Ranga Ayyangar I. L. R. 15 M 223 proceeds on this principle. There the suit was brought by the tenant and the landlord denied the tenancy. The Head Assistant Collector dismissed the suit observing, 'as a question regarding the existence or otherwise of the relationship of landlord and tenant has arisen in this case, the matter must be determined in the regular way.' The District Judge concurred in that opinion but the High Court remanded the case for trial on the merits and the learned judges observed, 'The judge is to try the case. The plaintiff's case is that he is a tenant and entitled to a patta which defendant denies. To say that the Collector is to hold his hand and make no further inquiry merely because the landholder denies that plaintiff is tenant is to put it in the power of the landholder always to deprive the tenant of the remedy by summary suit given him by Section 8.'

4. Again, in Ayyappa v. Venkatakrishnamarazu I. L. R. 15 M 485 the tenant's defence was that though he was a tenant in the Zamindari, the plaintiff was a member of an undivided family together with three other persons, that the defendant had already accepted patta and executed a muchilka made out in the names of the plaintiff and his two coparceners. The District Judge held that the plaintiff being the registered Zamindar had a right to compel defendant to accept the patta and the High Court upheld the decision as correct. These are the latest decisions on the question and the principle on which they rest appears do be open to no objection.

5. We set aside the decree of the District Court and remand the case for trial on the merits. Costs of this appeal will abide and follow the result.


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