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The Maharaja of Vizianagaram by His Guardian and Next Friend, F.W. Gillman Vs. Sri Rajah Setrucherla Somasekhararaz Bahadur and Ramabhadraraz Bahadur - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Limitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1903)13MLJ83
AppellantThe Maharaja of Vizianagaram by His Guardian and Next Friend, F.W. Gillman
RespondentSri Rajah Setrucherla Somasekhararaz Bahadur and Ramabhadraraz Bahadur
Cases ReferredSeshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - a suit was brought for its partition by three of his co-parceners, including the present defendant, which was unsuccessfully resisted by jagannatha raz on the ground that it was an impartible estate. 5. the district judge dismissed the plaintiff's suit on the ground that the defendant's plea of limitation was well founded as, in his opinion, it was established by exhibit c that the whole of the arrears for which chinna merangi had been attached, was realized before november 1896. he did not specially consider the question as to whether the plaintiff has a charge upon the share of the defendant, evidently because in his opinion article 99 would be applicable, not only to the enforcement of the personal obligation, but also to the enforcement of the charge, if any. during this.....orderbhashyam aiyangar, j.1. the permanently settled estate of merangi in the district of vizagapatam was registered in the collector's office in the name of one jagannatha raz as its sole proprietor. a suit was brought for its partition by three of his co-parceners, including the present defendant, which was unsuccessfully resisted by jagannatha raz on the ground that it was an impartible estate. both the indian courts and finally the judicial committee of the privy council by its decree in 1891, sri raja satmcharla jagannadha razu v. sri raja satrucharla ramabhadra razu i.l.r.r. 14 m. 237 held that the estate was partible and directed its partition into four equal shares.2. on the 23rd october 1893, the late maharajah of viziana-garam, the testator under whom the plaintiff claims,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bhashyam Aiyangar, J.

1. The Permanently Settled estate of Merangi in the district of Vizagapatam was registered in the Collector's office in the name of one Jagannatha Raz as its sole proprietor. A suit was brought for its partition by three of his co-parceners, including the present defendant, which was unsuccessfully resisted by Jagannatha Raz on the ground that it was an impartible estate. Both the Indian Courts and finally the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council by its decree in 1891, Sri Raja Satmcharla Jagannadha Razu v. Sri Raja Satrucharla Ramabhadra Razu I.L.R.R. 14 M. 237 held that the estate was partible and directed its partition into four equal shares.

2. On the 23rd October 1893, the late Maharajah of Viziana-garam, the testator under whom the plaintiff claims, purchased from Jagannatha Raz his undivided one-fourth share in the estate which purchase became absolute in the events that followed. There was no delivery of possession to the purchaser and on the 5th May 1894, the Collector in execution of the decree of the Privy Council effected a partition of Merangi, dividing it into four estates each separately assessed and registered, and the estate of Chinna Merangi was allotted to Jagannatha Raz's share which as aforesaid, had been sold to the late Maharajah of Vizianagaram. Out of the purchase money the vendee paid revenue due to Government up to the end of October 18,93 in respect of the entire estate which prior to the partition was in the sole possession of Jagannatha Raz. For subsequent arrears of revenue upon the entire estate until the date of partition, viz., the 5th May 1894, the Collector on 5th September 1894 attached the estate of Chinna Merangi only, which at that time was in the possession of jagannatha Raz, the other three shares having been on the 5th May 1894 delivered respectively to the plaintiffs in the partition suit. The arrears amounting to Rs. 13 273-2-5 for which the attachment was made having accrued upon the whole estate before it was divided and separately registered, it was competent to the Collector to realize such arrears by attachment of the whole or any portion of the estate and he selected Chinna Merangi which had fallen to the share of Jagannatha Raz Probably because he thought it was equitable to do so as Jagannatha Raz continued in possession of the whole estate until the date of partition. Instead of bringing Chinna Merangi to sale, the Collector under the provisions of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act (II of 1864) realized the arrears from the current income by continuing in the management of the etstate until the 19th January 1898, when the same was delivered to the plaintiff in execution of the decree in O.S. No. 34 of 1894 which had been brought by the late Maharajah of Vizianagaram against Jagannatha Raz and his sons to enforce the sale deed of 1893 by recovering possession of Chinna Merangi, which in the partition of May 1894 had fallen to the share of Jagannatha Raz, the vendor.

3. The present suit was brought on the 19th December 1899 to recover from the defendant by way of contribution the sum of Rs. 4,284-6-10, being his one-fourth share of the arrears which had been realized from the income of Chinna Merangi alone and the plaintiff seeks to recover the said amount beth personally from the defendant and by enforcing ft as a charge upon the defendant's share in the estate.

4. The defendant pleaded inter alia that the suit was barred by limitation under Article 99 of the second schedule to Act XV of 1877 and also by Section 43 of the Code of Civil Procedure and that the plaintiff acquired no charge upon defendant's share in the estate.

5. The District Judge dismissed the plaintiff's suit on the ground that the defendant's plea of limitation was well founded as, in his opinion, it was established by Exhibit C that the whole of the arrears for which Chinna Merangi had been attached, was realized before November 1896. He did not specially consider the question as to whether the plaintiff has a charge upon the share of the defendant, evidently because in his opinion Article 99 would be applicable, not only to the enforcement of the personal obligation, but also to the enforcement of the charge, if any.

The question of limitation alone has been argued before us and the points chiefly relied upon in support of the appeal are:

(i) that the plaintiff has by law a charge ;

(ii) that, if so, in so far as the plaintiff seeks to recover the amount claimed by enforcing the charge, the suit is governed by Article 132 and not by Article 99 or any other article ;

(iii) that even if it should be held that the plaintiff has no charge in so far as the plaintiff seeks to recover the amount personally from the defendant, the suit is governed by Article 120 and not by Article 99;

(iv) that even if Article 99 were applicable, the suit is not barred either in whole or in part, inasmuch as it is clear from Exhibits D and E that a portion of the arrears in question consisting of two items on account of interest, viz., Rs. 364-1-3 and Rs. 781-10-3 were credited to Government from the income of Chinna Merangi on the 11th January 1895, which is within three years of the date of the suit.

6. It is impossible to decide the preliminary question of limitation without determining the plaintiff's right to claim contribution from the defendant, which forms the subject of the 5th issue, on which the Judge has recorded no finding. If there had been no sale by Jagannatha Raz of his share and the present suit had been brought by Jagannatha Raz himself, it is clear that he could not have maintained it. A co-sharer who is in possession of the entire estate and pays the Revenue due to Government upon the estate cannot claim contribution from his co-sharers unless the income derived by him from the estate falls short of the amount of revenue paid to Goverment Dakhina Mohan Roy v. Sarada Mohan Roy I.L.R. 21 C. 142 and in any event he can maintain no such suit if he holds and enjoys the entire estate as sole owner of the property to the wrongful exclusion of his co-sharers Achut Ramachandra Pat v. Hari Kamti I.L.R. 11 B. 313 Though the plaintiff claims a fourth of the estate under Jagannatha Raz he cannot be regarded as bringing this suit as the representative in interest of Jagannatha Raz. He became the owner of the one-fourth share on the 23rd October 1893, and the arrears of revenue on the entire estate which was realised by Government from the plaintiff's share only accrued due between the 30th October and the 5th May 1894, when the four shares were divided and separately assessed. During this intervening period the plaintiff, the defendant and two other co-sharers were co-owners or tenants in common of the estate ; the estate, however, was not in the possession of any of them ; but continued in the exclusive possession of Jagannatha Raz who, in spite of the terms of the sale deed, did not put the late Maharajah of Vizianagaram into possession of certain specified villages, which, until partition of the estates should be effected by the Collector, was to be enjoyed by the vendee in lieu of the undivided one-fourth share conveyed to him by Jagannatha Raz. Jagannatha Raz having thus been in possession of the whole estate until the 5th May, he ought to have paid the arrears of revenue in question from the income of the estate or have otherwise accounted for the income to the four co-sharers.

7. The arrear of revenue was a charge upon the entire estate and as between the plaintiff, the defendant and the two other shares the charge as a burden upon the estate had to be borne equally without prejudice, however, to the right of each co-sharer to hold Jagannatha Raz accountable to him for the mesne profits of his share during the said period. If the Collector had realized the whole amount of the arrears of revenue from the share of the defendant instead of from that of the plaintiff, it is clear that the latter could not successfully resist the defendant's claim for contribution and, if so, it follows that the plaintiff from whose share alone the arrear was realized by the Collector, is equally entitled to claim contribution from the defendant since the plaintiff is not responsible for the wrongful act of Jagannatha Raz in excluding his co-sharers from possession and making default in the payment of revenue due to Government and also because, as already stated, the plaintiff cannot be regarded as bringing this suit as the representative in interest of Jagannatha Raz.

8. Whether the plaintiff is equitably estopped from claiming contribution for all or any of the reasons mentioned in paragraphs 5 and 7 of the written statement, forms the subject-matter of the sixth issue, and the Judge has recorded not finding on this issue.

9. The plea that the suit is barred by Section 43 of the Civil Procedure Code by reason of the plaintiff not having joined this defendant as a party defendant in O.S. No. 34 of 1894 and included this claim also therein, is manifestly untenable See Judgment in Gangi v. Ramasami 12 M.L.J.R. 103 : S.A. No. 961 of 1900.

10. The claim for contribution generally arises in cases where the party seeking contribution has himself paid the amount in respect of which contribution is sought. In the present case, however, the arrear of revenue was not paid to Government by the plaintiff with his own hand but was realized by the Collector under the Revenue Recovery Act from the income of plaintiff's share after it was registered as a separate estate. In my opinion this makes no difference, either in regard to the plaintiff's right to claim contribution or even as to the application of Article 99 or 61 of the second schedule to Act XV of 1877, in both of which the person bringing the suit is referred to as having 'paid' the amount sought to be recovered. Bearing in mind that in cases in which the right to contribution exists under law the principle on which it rests is that 'both in law and equity contribution is bottomed and fixed on general principles of justice and does not spring from contract and the reason given in the books is in equaliture (the law requires equality). One shall not bear the burden in case of the rest' per Lord C.B. Eyre in Swain v. Wall 1 Ch. Rep. 149 See also Derring v. Earl of Winchelsea I.L.R. 41 also per Lord Redesdale in Sterling v. Forester 3 Bligh 590 and that the claim has its foundation in the clearest principles of natural justice, for as all are equally bound and are equally relieved, it seems but just that in such a case all should contribute in proportion towards a benefit obtained by all, upon the maxim Quisentil commodum sentire debit et onus Story's Equity Jurisprudence, Section 493. It is perfectly immaterial whether the party seeking contribution made the payment voluntarily or involuntarily, i.e., whether he made the payment and thus averted any coercive process against his property or without making such payment suffered his property to be seized under process of law for the purpose of the amount being realised from its income or by its sale. In either case, he has been damnified to the extent to which the payment made by him as the amount realised from his property exceeds his share of the liability, as between him and the party or parties from whom he seeks contribution and the latter have been to that extent benefited. I am glad to be fortified in this opinion by the judgment of Pollock, C.B. in Radgers v. Maw 15 M. & W. 444. In that case the plaintiff and the defendant were partners and they dissolved the partnership, the plaintiff agreeing to take all the debts of the firm upon himself and to release the defendant from liability and the defendant giving him a bond for a certain sum payable by instalments. The plaintiff failed to pay a debt due from the firm, whereupon the creditors sued the defendant and obtained judgment and issued a ft. fa. under which the sheriff seized and sold the defendant's goods, and out of the proceeds paid the debt. In an action by the plaintiff upon the defendant's bond, it was held that the defendant was entitled to set off as money paid the sum so paid by the sheriff. Pollock, C.B. in distinguishing the case from Moore v. Pyrke 11 East 53 observed as follows: ''The present case is not precisely the same. Here the defendant's goods were taken not under a distress but under a writ of ft. fa, which directs the sheriff to make of the defendant's goods in that action 'so much money' and the sheriff has so done; he has made money of the defendant's goods and therewith has paid the claim in the action. We cannot see upon what principle a man may not set off money paid by the produce of his goods as well as money paid indirectly without any sale of his goods.' In my opinion the word' 'paid' occurring in Articles 61 and 99 of Act XV of 1877 will, without any undue stretching, include payments made or derived either out of the sale proceeds or income of the property of the person seeking contribution, just as under Section 20 of the Limitation Act, the receipt by a mortgagee of the produce of land mortgaged to him is a payment made to him by the debtor for the purpose of that section. The learned pleader for the appellant relied on the case of Fuckaruddeen v. Mohima Chunder I.L.R. 4 C. 529 and Pattabhiramayya v. Ramayya I.L.R. M. 23 in support of his argument that neither Article 61 nor Article 99 was applicable to this case, and that therefore the suit is governed by Article 120 in so far as the personal remedy sought is concerned. In the former case, in execution of a joint decree for money against the plaintiff and defendant, the decree-holder attached the plaintiff's property alone and realised the decree amount by sale of the property. The plaintiff's suit for contribution was resisted on the ground that it was barred by Article 100 of Act IX of 1871, corresponding to Article 99 of Act XV of 1877. Mitter, J., dealt with this plea as follows: 'The date from which limitation begins to run is three years from the date of the plaintiff's advance in excess of his own share. In the present case nothing was paid by the plaintiff. Therefore, it is a question whether that article or Article 118(corresponding to 120 of Act XV of 1877) applies to this case****. However, without expressing any decided opinion on this point, and assuming that Article 100 applies, we think that the plaintiff was not bound absolutely by the statement made in his plaint that this cause of action arose on the date of the auction sale. Upon the facts stated in the plaint it is clear that the cause of action in the present suit arose when the sale proceeds were taken out of court by the decree-holder. We think, therefore, that the lower Courts are not right in holding that the plaintiff's claim is barred, without ascertaining the date when the sale proceeds were paid to (he decree-holder* * * *. The decree of the lower Courts must be set aside and the case remanded to the Court of first instance for trial.' Notwithstanding the expression of a doubt in this judgment as to the applicability of Article 99 of Act XV of 1877, to a case in which the amount in respect of which contribution is sought was realized by attachment and sale of the property of the person seeking contribution, the case was decided and remanded on the footing that that article governed the case. In the latter case 2 there was a decree for rent amounting to Rs. 4,000 and odd against a number of the tenants jointly, hut the decree was executed against one of them alone by attaching his property and realising Rs. 2,650 by sale thereof. The share payable by the plaintiff was only Rs. 183, he sued the co-tenants for contribution and they pleaded limitation. It was held on second appeal that Article 99 was inapplicable because the whole of the amount due under the joint decree was not realized from the plaintiff but only a portion thereof, though such portion was far in excess of his share of the liability. The learned judges who decided that case, expressed their concurrence in the view taken by the Calcutta High Court that the three years' period of limitation under Article 61 should be reckoned not from the date of the sale, but from the date when the sale proceeds were drawn by the decree-holder from court. As to the applicability of Article 61 they expressed their doubt in the following terms: 'it may be doubted whether Article 61 is applicable to the present case where there was no payment by plaintiffs, but where their property was seized and sold by the court and the proceeds paid by the court to the decree-holder.' However, as the sale proceeds had been drawn within three years from the date of the suit, and if Article 61 were inapplicable to the case, Article 120 which prescribes a period of six years would govern the case, the suit would be in time under either article, and it, therefore, became unnecessary to decide whether or not Article 61 could be applied. I am unable to share in the doubt expressed in the above two cases as to the applicability of Article 99 or 61 as the case may be to a case in which the amount was realized by sequestration or sale of the property of the person seeking contribution, and I cannot accede to the contention that assuming that the plaintiff has no charge upon the defendant's share of the estate, the article applicable to the case is Article 120 and not 61 or 99.

11. I shall now proceed to consider whether the plaintiff has such a charge and, if so, whether in so far as he seeks to enforce the charge the article applicable is Article 132, or whether, as contended on behalf of the respondent, the enforcement of the claim both personally against the defendant and against the property charged with the claim is governed by the three years' rule of limitation prescribed by Article 61 or 99 as the case may be.

12. The question of charge was mainly argued on both sides with reference to the decisions of the Indian High Courts reported in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. 452 Achut Ramchandra Pai v. Hari Kamti I.L.R. 11 B. 318 Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffer Hoosain Shaha I.L.R. 14 C. 809 and Seth Chitor Mal v. Shib Lal I.L.R. 14 A. 273 and the English cases of Leslie v. French L.R. 23 Ch. Div. 564. Falke v. Scot. Imp. Insurance Co. 34 Ch.D. 234 and Strutt v. Tippett 62 L.T.Rep.N.S.475 and Section 35 of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act II of 1864 as amended by Madras Act I of 1897.

13. The statutory charge recognized or created by Section 35 of Act II of 1864 is inapplicable to the case, at any rate for the reasons that it gives a charge only over the land ' which has been or is about to be attached ' and which is released or saved therefrom by payment made by the party seeking to be reimbursed either in whole or by way of contribution, while in the present case, it was not the defendant's land, over which the charge is now claimed, that was or was about to be attached, but the land of the plaintiff himself, and that after it had been separated.

14. The question, therefore, which was chiefly argued was, whether apart from the provisions of Section 35 of the Revenue Recovery Act, the plaintiff has under the general principles of law, charge over the defendant's share by reason that it was equally liable with the plaintiff's share to pay the arrear of revenue which accrued due to Government between 31st October 1893 and 5th May 1894.

15. The principle of law applicable to the case was fully discussed by a Full Bench of the Calcutta High Court in Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffar Husain Shaha I.L.R. 14 C. 809 and it was held by a majority of three judges against two that a co-sharer who has paid the whole revenue and thus saved the estate, does not by reason of such payment acquire a charge on the share of his defaulting co-sharer. In that case the decision of the same Court in Syed Enayet Hossein v. Muddeen Mooner Shahoon 14 B.L.R. 155 which recognised such charge on the authority of a dictum of the Privy Council in Nugendrachunder v. Kaminee Dossee 11 M.I.A. 258 was overruled and the dictum of the Privy Council was explained and distinguished.

16. The same question had already come under the consideration of the Bombay High Court in Achuta Bamachendra v. Hari I.L.R. 11 B. 318 and following the decision in 14 B.L.R. 155 the dictum of a Privy Council in Nugendrachunder v. Kaminee Dossee 11 M.I.A. 258 and some other Calcutta cases, Ram Dutt Singh v. Horakh Narain Singh I.L.R. 6 C. 549 Nobin Chunder Roy v. Rup Lall Doss I.L.R. 1 C. 377 in spite of the doubt expressed in Kristo Mohinee Dossee v. Kali-prosonno Ghose I.L.R. 8 C. 402 it was there held that payment of assessment by a part owner is a payment made by a person entitled to pay it who does so under circumstances which make it necessary in order to save the estate for himself and co-owners, and ' in either view of such payment, he becomes equitably entitled to a charge on the whole estate as against the other co-sharers, and if this be so, the mere circumstance that he has no existing charge on their shares at the time of such payment would appear to be no sufficient reason in equity, justice and good conscience for not allowing him to realize the payment from the shares of his co-owners for their respective quotas.' The suit, however, was dismissed as upon the facts it was held that the plaintiff was not entitled to contribution.

17. In Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. 452 the revenue due on certain lands comprised in a ryotwari patta fell into arrears, and subsequently thereto the plaintiff and defendant No. 4 each bought a portion of the lands. After this the portion in the plaintff's possession was alone attached for the arrears and he paid the whole amount to prevent a sale and sued to recover the proportionate share of revenue in respect of the portion purchased by the 4th defendant claiming payment of the same as a charge upon such portion. It was held, following the decision of the minority in Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffar Hussain I.L.R. 14 C. 809, and dissenting from the view of the majority that the plaintiffs was entitled to a decree for contribution against defendant No. 4 and to a charge on the lands in his possession.

18. The question was also subsequently considered by a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Seth Chitor Mal v. Shib Lal I.L.R., 14 A. 273, in which the majority (Mohmood, J. dissenting) concurred in the Full Bench decision of the Calcutta High Court. Both in the Calcutta and Allahabad decisions the provisions of the various enactments in force in those provinces relating to the recovery of arrears of revenue which are much more complicated than the corresponding enactments in force in this Presidency, were critically examined and the English law also fully discussed.

19. So far at any rate as this Presidency is concerned, in determining the question now under consideration, I attach no Value to the circumstance that Section 35 of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act creates a charge only in favour of a bona fide mortgagee or other incumbrancer or any person not being in possession of the estate, but bona fide claiming an interest therein adverse to the defaulter, but that no similar provision is made in favour of a co-sharer. Nor am I convinced by the reasoning of Wilson, J., in Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffar Hussain or of Edge, C. J,, in Seih Chitor Mal. v. Shib Lal, that it would be contrary to the policy of legislative enactments in those provinces to recognise an equitable charge in favour of a co-sharer, even if such charge should exist under general principles of law. The maxi m ' expressio unius est exclusio alterius' is wholly inapplicable in dealing with questions of this kind with reference to special or local enactments not professing to be a codification of any particular branch of law. On this point I cannot do better than quote the following passage from Maxwell's Interpretation of Statutes (3rd edition at pp. 437--39), which is fully supported by common sense and the authorities therein referred to: 'Provisions sometimes found in statutes enacting imperfectly or for particular cases only that which was already and more widely the law, have occasionally furnished ground for the contention that an intention to alter the general law was to be inferred from the partial or limited enactment ; resting on the maxim, expressio unius est exclusio alterius. But the maxim is inapplicable in such cases. The only inference which a court can draw from such superfluous provisions (which generally find a place in Acts to meet unfounded objections and idle doubts) is that the Legislature was either ignorant or unmindful of the real state of the law, or that it acted under the influence of excessive caution ; and if the law be different from what the Legislature supposed it to be, the implication arising from the statute, it has been said, cannot operate as a negation of its existence, and any legislation founded on such a mistake has not the effect of making that law which the Legislature erroneously assumed to be so. Thus, when in contending that debts due by corporate bodies were subject to foreign attachment in the Mayor's Court, the express statutory exemptions of the East India Company and of the Bank of England were relied upon has supplying the inference that corporate bodies, were deemed by the Legislature to be subject to that process, the judicial answer was that it was more reasonable to hold that the two great corporations prevailed on Parliament to prevent all question as to themselves by direct enactment, than to hold that Parliament by such special enactment meant to determine the question in all other cases adversely to corporations. A Local Act which, in imposing wharfage dues for the maintenance of a harbour on certain articles, expressly exempted the Crown from liability in respect of coals imported for the use of royal packets ; and the provisions in turnpike Acts which exempted from toll carriages and horses attending the queen, as going or returning from such attendance were not suffered to affect the more extensive exemptions which the Crown enjoys by virtue of its prerogative. The will of the Legislature as expressed in a statute is of course supreme and to the extent to which rights have been created as declared by a statute they must take effect whether the same be consistent or inconsistent with the common law of the land or with notions of justice, equity and good conscience and in either case, whether the Legislature was aware or was ignorant of the common or equity law. An instance is afforded by Section 35 of Madras Act II of 1864, which gives a charge in favour of the mortgagee of the land for payment of revenue made by him which charge, however, is to take priority over other charges, only according to the date at which such payment was made, though under general law such payment will take priority according to the date of his mortgage. The Legislature has thus though probably unconsciously and apparently in ignorance of his rights under the general law deprived him of the priority which he would otherwise have had.

20. As far as there is any indication by the Legislature of its policy, if any, in the matter, I may refer to Section 31, Clause (4) of Madras Act IV of 1897 which runs as follows: 'A co-owner or a person who in good faith deems himself to be owner or co-owner making such payment shall acquire a charge on such estate Government land for the amount so paid by him with interest thereon at the rate of 9 per cent. per annum ; provided that in the case of a co-owner such charge shall extend only to so much of the amount paid as is due in respect of the shares of the other co-owners in such estate or Government land.' The payment here referred to is payment of public revenue on account of expenses of survey and demarcation. And if in determining whether or not it is just and equitable that a co-owner should have such a charge in the metter of the payment of public revenue, it is legitimate to import the element of public policy, I may add that the existence of such a charge in favour of a co-owner will, by giving him greater security for the realization of the contribution due to him from the defaulting co-owner, indirectly strengthen the security which the Crown possesses under the law for collection of land revenue.

21. The question having been fully discussed pro and con in the leading Indian cases above referred to, I am relieved from the necessity of travelling over more or less the same ground and shall content myself with stating my own reasons for adopt- ing the conclusion arrived at in the Madras and Bombay cases and by the dissenting Judges in the Calcutta and Allahabad Full Bench cases in so far as such conclusion involves the proposition which is all that arises in the present case that where one of two or more co-sharers in a revenue-paying estate pays the whole revenue in order to save and so does save the estate, he is entitled to a charge upon the share of each of his co-sharers to the extent of the latter's share of the revenue.

22. The true principle applicable to the case has been well pointed out by Kernon, J. in the following terms in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. 452 The lands of defendant No. 4 and of the plaintiff are both liable to a common burden, neither of them can get his land free from the claim for the revenue without paying the amount due on the whole lands. It would be against equity and good conscience that the common burden should be thrown exclusively on either lot of land or on either of the parties. 1 wish to add that Harbert's case is an authority that in case of persons liable to payment of a common burden affecting their lands the lands of one alone shall not be liable. In that case it is said 'when two or more are bound on a recognisance or statute, each is bound in the whole, yet the land of one only shall not be extended.' Further it is said 'so it appears by those cases that when land shall be charged by any lien the charge ought to be equal and one alone should not bear all the burden, and the law on this point is grounded in great equity.' Under Section 2 of Madras Act II of 1864, it is expressly declared that 'the land, the buildings upon it and its products shall be regarded as the security for the public revenue' due on the land and taking that along with Section 42, it is clear that public revenue forms the first charge upon the land, i, e., upon the whole and every portion of the estate.'

23. From the Full Bench decisions of the Calcutta and Allahabad High Courts I gather that there are sections corresponding to Section 42 in the Revenue Law in force in those provinces, but whether there is an express section corresponding to Section 2 of the Madras Act, I am not aware. It appears to me that sufficient attention was not paid in those cases to the fact that the amount in respect of which contribution was sought by one co-owner against another, formed by law a charge upon the lands belonging to the co-owners. This element, in my opinion, materially simplifies he determination of the question and distinguishes the case from the decision of a single Judge reported in Thanikachella v. Shudachella I.L.R. 15 M. 298. In this latter case one of two joint farmers of a mittah paid the whole of the rent due to the mittahdar and brought a suit for contribution against the co-farmer, and it was held that by reason of such payment he acquired no charge upon the share of the co-farmer in the leasehold and the suit was therefore barred by limitation having been brought more than three years after the date of payment Mr. Justice Parker distinguished it from Seshagiri v. Pichu 1 L.R. 11 M. 452 really on the ground that the amount in respect of which con tribution was sought was not public revenue under the Revenue Recovery Act but only rent under Madras Act VIII of 1865 Under the law in force in this Presidency rent due to a proprietor unlike revenue due to Government forms no charge upon the holding, According to the view taken in the Calcutta and Allahabad Full Bench cases by the dissentient fudges even in such a case the party seeking contribution would have a charge on the principle of salvage. It is, however, unnecessary to consider in this case whether such view is sound or not. The learned Chief Justice in the Allahabad case concludes his judgment as follows;-(pp. 299 and 300) '' Justice, equity and good conscience are captivating terms ; but before a Judge applies what may appear to him at first sight to be in accordance with justice, equity and good conscience, he must be careful to see that his views are based on sound general principles, and or not in conflict with the intentions of the Legislature or with sound principles recognised by authority. In my opinion justice, equity and good conscience do not require us in India to go so far afield as the Irish Courts, in order there to seek for, and thence to import into India, novel principles of equity based on unsound analogy, and rejected as unsound by Judges of such authority as Bown and Fry, L. JJ., and not followed by such an authority as the late Lord Justice Cotton in Falcke v. Scotish Imperial Insurance Co. 34 Ch. D. 234 and which further are at variance with the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, of the Indian Legislature, and with the policy of the Government as disclosed in its legislative enactments.'

24. No doubt as held by the House of Lords in the recent case of Ruabon Steamship Co. v. The London Assurance 1900 A.C. 6 there is no general principle of law that where one person gets some advantage from the act of another, a right of contribution towards the expense for that act arises on behalf of the person who has done it. In that very case in which the right of contribution was negatived, the Lord Chancellor put it on the ground that in that case there was no debt for which both the parties were bound to some third person on a common obligation binding both parties to equality of payment or sacrifice in respect of such obligation, But when once the right of contribution is established, as in the present case, it certainly cannot be an inequitable or violent stretch of such right to make it a charge against the co-owner's share at any rate in certain classes of cases and as against him. In the Allahabad Full Bench case the contention was that the charge should prevail as against a prior mortgagee and in fact against a . purchaser in execution of a decree founded on such prior mortgage; and 1 suspect that the judgment of the Chief Justice is principally directed to negativing the claim of priority of charge.

25. As between competitors for priority of charge I am inclined to think that unless the parties who are immediately concerned do not make the necessary payment though an appeal is made to them for the purpose, a later incumbrancer who makes the payment can acquire no priority of charge in respect of such payment, but that a person occupying the position of a part owner is under no obligation to communicate with mortgagees and that if the payment be made by him honestly and bona fide and not by the mortgagee, to save the estate from being sold for arrears of revenue he will acquire a priority of charge over such mortgagee as held in the dissenting judgment of Mahmood, J. I refrain, however, from expressing any decided opinion on this point, as no such question of priority arises in the present suit and all that has to be decided in this appeal is whether the plaintiff has, as against the defendant and any one claiming under him since the date of payment, a charge against his share in the estate.

26. If 'justice, equity and good conscience do require us in India to go so farafield ' as the English courts ' in order there to seek for and thence to import into India principles of equity' we can certainly be pardoned ' to go so far afield as the Irish Courts ' for the same purpose. We in India are not absolutely bound by the decisions of either set of courts, as we are by the decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ; but without resorting to the decisions of the Irish courts, I say with all deference, that the lien contended for in the present case is not importing into India any novel principle of equity based on unsound analogy and rejected as unsound by judges of such eminence as Bowen and Fry, L.JJ. and not followed by an equally eminent judge as the late Lord Justice Cotton in Falcke v. Scot Imp. Insurance Co. ; nor is it at all at variance with the Transfer of Property Act of the Indian Legislature and with the policy of the Government as disclosed in its legislative enactments, at any rate, such of them as are in force in this Presidency.

27. The English cases relating to liens for expenditure upon the property of another are collected by Fisher in his work on Mortgages (5th edition) in paragraphs 520, 530, and there is an admirable summary and critical review of the English and Indian Law on the subject by Dr. Hash Behari Ghose in his valuable treatise on mortgages (3rd edition, pp. 150-175). A reference to these will show that there is nothing novel in the lien contended for in the present case. As regards the two English cases principally relied upon in the Calcutta and Allahabad Full Bench cases, as negativing the lien, 1 venture to state, with all deference, that neither of those cases is an authority for the position that a part owner acquires no lien upon the property of his co-owner, when the common debt which the former discharge was itself a charge and burden equally upon the share of both. In In re Lesli 23 Ch.D. 582 Fry, L.J., in dealing with the payment of premiums on a policy of life insurance by a stranger or part owner, formulated that a lien may be created upon the moneys secured by a policy, by payment of premiums in the following cases (P. 560):

First--By contract with a beneficial owner of the policy ; Secondly- By reason of the right of trustees to an indemnity out of their trust property for money expended by them in its preservation ;

Thirdly--By subrogation to this right of trustees of some person who may at their request have advanced money for the preservation of the property.

Fourthly.--By reason of the right vested in mortgagees, or other persons having a charge upon the policy, to add to their charge any moneys which have been paid by them to preserve the property.

28. Later on (at p. 561) he added that except in the above four cases no lien is created by the payment of premiums by a mere stranger or part owner. It will be observed that Fry, L.J., made such positive statement only with reference to the payment of premiums on a policy of insurance. But I very much doubt whether even in regard to that class of cases Fry, L.J., was sufficiently guarded in making Such a sweeping and positive statement. In Strutt v. Tippett 62 L.T. 475 Lindley, L.J., in dealing with payments by a stranger, of premiums on a life policy, referred as follows to such statement of the law by Fry, L.J., (at p. 477) : 'I have come to the conclusion that, upon the documents, any right to a lien was excluded by the terms. Apart from that I have some doubt if there would not be a lien. I am too cautious to indulge in general propositions, and I am doubtful if the propositions in In re Leslie, Leslie v. French (ubi sup) are exhaustive. Fry, L.J., there, after enumerating cases in which a lien is created, says: 'I am further of opinion that, except under the circumstances to which I have referred, no lien is created by the payment of the premiums by a mere stranger or by a part owner.' In this case the plaintiffs are mere strangers. I do not, however, regard the plaintiff's claim to a lien as necessarily excluded by the proposition in In re Leslie, Leslie v. French. If an owner of onerous property agrees with me to indemnify me or my property from the burdens on the onerous property which may fall on me or my property, and the owner makes default, and I or my property have to bear those burdens, I am inclined to think that I should have, as against the owner of the onerous property, a lien on it for the money expended by me in being that burden which as between him and me he ought to bear, I should, in the case supposed, have preserved the onerous property for him under circumstances which entitled me to it at his expense, and I do not think that in such a case my sole remedy is by an action for damages against him the existence of such personal remedy would not, I think, exclude such lien. I am not aware of any decision inconsistent with this view, and the principles on which many cases of equitable lien depend seem to me to support a lien in such a case.'

29. The above remarks of Lindley, L.J., which were made with reference to payments made by a stranger, will apply with greater force to payments made by a part owner. In In re Leslie, Fry, L.J., admits that it is well established that if a tenant for life renews leaseholds and dies before the expiration of the renewed term, his estate is entitled to a lien on the interests in remainder proportionate to the unexpired portion of the renewed term. But he distinguishes the same from the case before him on the ground that the equities governing the relation of tenant for life and remainderman are peculiar, conceding that the case before him was not anologous to the relation of tenant for life and remainderman ; certainly the equities governing the relation of co-owners of an estate subject to an indivisible assessment payable to Government under the stringent rules of the revenue law in force in India and in the interests of the public, realisable summarily under the drastic measures of such law, are even more peculiar than those between a tenant for life and remainderman.

30. In Falcke v. Scot. Imp. Insurance Co. 34 Ch.D. 234 the Court of Appeal held that payment of premiums on a policy of Life Insurance by the assured in his character of owner of the equity of redemption could not give him a lien in priority to the mortgage debt, and that the fact that the policy has been preserved by such payment did not give him a right to have the premiums repaid nor give him lien on the policy for it, and an opinion was expressed that the maritime doctrine of salvage had no application to the payment of premiums on a policy. Cotton, L.J., in the course of his judgment stated that if there had been circumstances leading to the conclusion that there was a request by the mortgagee of the policy that the premium should be paid by the mortgagor, then there would be a claim against the mortgagee or his representative for the money and that he would not say that there might not be a lien on the policy Bowen, L.J., lays down as follows the principles of law applicable to the case before him, pointing out the distinction between the maritime law of salvage and the right claimed in that case: 34 Ch D. 248'The general principle is beyond all question, that work and labour done or money expended by one man to preserve or benefit the property of another do not according to English law create any lien upon the property saved or benefited, nor, even if standing alone, create any obligation to repay the expenditure. Liabilities are not to be forced upon people behind their backs any more than you can confer a benefit upon a man against his will. 'There is an exception to this proposition in the maritime law. I mention it because the word ' salvage' has been used from time to time throughout the argument, and some analogy is sought to be established between salvage and the right claimed by the respondents. With regard to salvage and contribution, the maritime law differs from the common law. It has been so from the time of the Roman law documents, The maritime law, for the purposes of public policy and for the advantage of trade, imposes in these cases a liability upon the thing saved, a liability which is a special consequence arising out of the character of mercantile enterprises, the nature of sea perils and the fact that the thing saved was saved under great distress and exceptional circumstances. No similar doctrine applies to things lost upon land, nor to anything except ships or goods in peril at see.' Fry, L.J., expressed himself as follows as to the application of the doctrine of salvage to cases not connected with the perils of the sea (p. 254): 'I would make only one other observation. We have heard a great deal on both sides of what has been called the doctrine of salvage. I, like Vice-Chanceller Kindersley, exceedingly doubt whether that word can with any propriety be applied to cases of this description. With regard to salvage in the case of ships and maritime perils we know its meaning. It appears that the expression '' salvage moneys' as we are informed by one of the learned Counsel for the appellant, and I daresay he is quite right, first occurs in the report of the case of In re Tharp which was before Lord St. Lenards in 1852, where he seems to have used the expression as one familar to the Irish Courts in certain cases. I certainly wish that the expression had remained on the other side of the channel where it seems to have arisen. I doubt whether any doctrine which is expressed by the word 'salvage' applies to cases of this description.' The learned Chief Justice in the Allahabad High Court evidently refers to the above observations of Bowen and Fry, L. JJ., when he says that ' the doctrine, which apparently had its origin in the courts in Ireland that a charge upon land may arise on the principle of maritime civil salvage has been satisfactorily exploded as a principle of equity' (p. 298.)

31. Notwithstanding the supposed 'recent protest' by two eminent English Judges as to the use of the expression 'salvage lien' to cases other than 'Maritime Civil Salvage', Lord Macnaghten in delivering the Judgment of their Lordships of the Privy Council in a latter case. Dakshina Mohun v. Saroda Mohun I.L.R. 21 C 142 , referred to the claim of a person, to be repaid, by the proprietor whose title was established under the final decree in the case, the amount spent by him in paying the Government revenue of the land while he was in possession under the decree of the original court subsequently reversed on appeal, as being 'in the nature of salvage.'

32. As regards the objection that the upholding of the lien in question is at variance with the policy of the Government as disclosed in its Legislative enactments, I have already stated that even assuming it to be so, so far as the Upper and Lower Provinces of Bengal are concerned--though I am by no means convinced that it is so, it certainly is not at variance with the corresponding enactments in force in this Presidency. The learned Chief Justice (in the Allahabad case) further states that such lien is also at variance with the Transfer of Property Act. If this were really so, there would certainly be an end of the matter, and no one could seriously support the lien. With all respect I must say that the very reverse is the conclusion to be drawn from the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act. The appeal has not been argued, as it ought to have been with reference to Sections 82 and 100 of the Transfer of Property Act. These two sections throw a flood of light on the question under consideration if they are not decisive of the same in favour of the appellant's position. So far as it bears on the present question, Section 82 provides that where several properties of several owners are mortgaged to secure one debt, such properties are in the absence of a contract to the contrary liable to contribute rateably to the debt secured by the mortgage. This is simply a reproduction of the English Law as laid down in Fisher's Law of Mortgages (5th Edition, paragraph 1347, at p. 644.) Section 100 after defining what a 'charge on immoveable property' is, extends the provisions contained in the preceding sections as to a mortgagor, to the owner of the property subject to the charge. The right of contribution secured by Section 82 is only a real right by way of charge on the several properties which where subject to the mortgage and not a claim ' in personam' Baldeo v. Baij Nath I.L.R. 13 A. 371 and the charge thus created is made subject to any in-cumbrance to which the property was already subject at the date of the mortgage. And this right of contribution is extended by Section 100 to properties subject to a 'charge' whether such charge be created by act of parties or by operation of law. By virtue of Section 2 of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act the land is made security for the payment of revenue due thereon to Government, and thus by operation of law the Crown has a charge on the entire land for the revenue due thereon. The direct application of Sections 82 and 100 of the Transfer of Property Act, to the question arising in this case depends upon the right interpretation of the phrase 'several properties of several owners' occurring in Section 82. Does it denote only separate plots respectively owned by separate owners in severalty or also distinct shares severally owned by two or more co-owners as tenants in common with unity of possession? On principle it is difficult to suggest any distinction between the two in this respect. If the wider interpretation of the expression be the correct one, the present question will be directly governed by the terms of Sections 82 and 100. The question of interpretation not having, as far as I am aware, been judicially considered in any case, and not having been argued before us in the present case, I refrain from expressing any decided opinion on the point either way. In Danappa v. Yamnappa I.L.R. 26 B. 379 recently decided by the Bombay High Court, in which on a mortgage executed by several members of an undivided family, a suit was brought against them after they had become divided and a decree for sale obtained; it was assumed that one of the brothers who discharged the decree debt acquired under Section 82 a charge upon the share of his divided brother in the mortgaged property and that such charge passed to a vendee under the brother who so discharged the debt along with his own share in the mortgaged property.

33. Even if the expression in question cannot grammatically apply to properties not owned separately or in severalty but as co-owners with unity of possession, the principle of the section which is borrowed from the English Law is equally applicable to the present case in which the property belonged in undivided several shares to four co-owners as tenants in common, subject to a common burden or charge for revenue due to Government, the whole of which was realized from the plaintiff's share.

34. I may also advert to Section 95 (of the Transfer of Property Act) also based upon the English Law which provides for an analogous charge in favour of one of several mortgagors redeeming the mortgage, on the share of each of the other co-mortgagoRs. But such charge being restricted to cases in which the redeeming mortgagor obtains possession of the mortgaged property, that section does not bear so directly upon the present questions as do Sections 82 and 100. I do not, howeyer, rest my decision on the doctrine of subrogation on which apparently Muthusamy Aiyar, J. based his decision in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R., 11 M. 452 on the authority of Gokul Doss Gopal Doss v. Ramulu Seochand L.R. 111. A. 133, which in my opinion is inapplicable to the case and proceeds altogether upon a different principle. Whether the prerogative first charge in favour of the Crown as security for the public revenue is one that rests upon the common law of the land, which is simply reproduced in Section 2 of the Madras Revenue Recovety Act or it is one created by statute, is immaterial. In either case, it is a charge by operation of law in favour of the Crown only and ceases when the revenue upon the land ceases to be public revenue and is converted by assignment in favour of a subject, into rent or private property. The charge upon the land therefore cannot run with the revenue and accompany its assignment in favour of the subject. The lien in question rests upon an equitable doctrine which also underlies Section 82 and 100 of the Transfer of Property Act, if not in terms covered by it, and does not rest upon the doctrine of subrogation,,

35. This equitable doctrine was fully recognized in the follow-ing dictum of their Lordships of Judicial Committee in Nagendrachunder Ghose v. Kaminee Dossee 11. M.I.A. 241 considering that the payment of the revenue by the mortgagee will prevent the Taluk from being sold, their Lordships would, if that were the sole question for their consideration, find it difficult to come to any other conclusion than that the person who had such an interest in the Taluq as entitled him to pay the revenue due to the Government, and did actually pay it, was thereby entitled to a charge on the Taluq as against all persons interested therein for the amount of the money so paid. But their Lordships are of opinion that this is not the form in which the question comes before them, and that what they have to decide is not whether such a charge originally existed, or whether it does now subsist, but whether the appellants can enforce such a charge in the present suit.' I fully concur in the view taken by the dissenting Judges in the Calcutta and Allahabad Full Bench cases and also by Sargent, C.J., in the 11. Bombay case that this dictum was not intended by their Lordships to be applied only to a mortgagee who prior to the payment of revenue by him had a charge upon the land as mortgagee, but that the principle indicated by the dictum is that any person who had such an interest in the land as entitled him to pay the revenue due to Government, and did actually pay it, was thereby entitled to a charge on the land, as against all persons interested therein, for the amount of the money so paid, certainly a co-sharer has at least such an interest in the land liable to be sold for realization of the public revenue, as a mortgagee of the land has, and is as much entitled as a mortgagee to pay the revenue due to the Government and thus save the land from being sold.

36. If, as in India, there be in England landed property held by two or more co-sharers, subject to the payment of an indivisible revenue to the Crown, which revenue, by operation of law, forms first charge upon the land, and one of them alone pays such revenue and saves the estate from liability to be sold by the Crown, I have little doubt that without calling, in aid of the principle of maritime civil salvage or the decision of the Irish Courts, such person will be able to establish his lien or charge on the shares of his co-sharers on the authority of several cases in the Chancery courts and of the English equitable doctrine adopted in Section 82 of the Transfer of Property Act, and I see nothing in the Judgments of Fry, Bowen and Cotton. L. JJ., in Leslie v. French and Falcke v. Scot Imp. Insurance, Co., to lead one to the conclusion that those eminent Judges would take a contrary view and question his right to such lien or charge.

37. If the contention of a co-sharer Were that the right of contribution against him could be enforced only against his share in the property which was saved from sale or destruction and not personally against him, there would be more equity in such position and more authority to support it. Freeman in his work on ' Co-tenancy and partition' states the law, at any rate, as it obtains in America, as follows (paragraph 176): 'One of the acts that either part-owner may do, without special authority from the others, is to redeem the whole property from a prior sale made in solido for the gross amount of taxes due thereon. While the other co-tenants may participate in the benefit of the redemption, the act of their companion is not binding on them so far as to impose upon them a personal obligation to reimburse him for their proportion of the amount necessarily expended in effecting the redemption. The amount thus expended may, no doubt, be asserted as a lien, against the joint property. But beyond this, the co-tenant has no means of enforcing contribution; because the other co-tenants had the right to abandon their interest in the lands, and to forfeit all claims to it, by non-payment of the tax liens against it.' And again (paragraph 263): 'The purchase of an outstanding title, the removal of a tax or other lien or incumbrance, and the payment of a sum of money for the preservation of the common property, or for the protection or assertion of some common right or the redress of some common injury are all spoken of, in general terms, as affording a ground for contribution in favour of one co-tenant and against another. In no instance, however, have we found that either of these matters has been successfully employed as an affirmative cause of action on which to base a personal Judgment against a non-contributing co-tenant, in the absence of a previous authorization or a subsequent ratification of the transaction out of which the claim for reimbursement arose * * * *. If instead of purchasing some title, he has discharged a valid lien or other claim against the property, he may assert such claim or lien to the extent of compelling an equitable contribution * * *. But we think all claims by one co-tenant against another arising out of the common property, and disconnected alike from any agreement between the parties, and from any circumstances which clearly establish that one must necessarily have been authorized to act for the other, must, in their assertion, be limited to the declaration and enforcement of a lien against the property. If a different rule prevailed every part-owner would constantly incur the hazard of being required to pay, for the removal of incumbrances, sums in excess of the value of the estate.' It is, however, not contended on behalf of the respondent in the present case, that, if the plaintiff is entitled to claim contribution, the defendant is not personally liable therefor and that he is entitled only to enforce the charge upon the property. So far as revenue due to Government is concerned, in addition to its forming the first charge on the land, the several co-sharers of the estate are also jointly and severally under a personal obligation to Government to pay the revenue and having regard to the various decisions of the courts in the very class of cases and analogous cases, all of which fall under Sections 69 and 70 of the Indian Contract Act, no such contention can now successfully raised. It may also be mentioned that, under Section 35 of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act, the mortgagee or other incutnbrancer upon the estate who pays the Government revenue, not only acquires a charge upon the land which was saved by such payment but can also recover the same as a debt from the defaulter.

38. The point next to be considered is whether the plaintiff is entitled to the benefit of the twelve years' period of limitation provided by Article 132 of Act XV of 1877 to enforce his charge, It is contended on behalf of the respondent that as Article 99, which prescribes only a period of three years, specially provides for a suit for contribution by a sharer in a joint estate who has paid the revenue due from himself and his co-sharers, that alone should be applied, even to the enforcement of the plaintiff's charge upon the defendants' share in the estate, if he has such charge, and not the general Article 132 relating to enforcement of payment of money charged upon immoveable property. The decision of this Court in Natesan Chetti v. Sundararaja Aiyangar I.L.R. 21 M. 141 has no analogy to the present case. That turned upon the construction of Article 1ll which provides a period of three years for a suit by a vendor of immoveable property to enforce his lien for unpaid purchase money. It will be observed that the suit for which a three years' period is prescribed by Article 1ll is specifically a suit to enforce the vendor's charge for unpaid purchase money, and it was held, dissenting from a decision of the Bombay High Court, that Article 132 cannot be applied to such a suit. That decision would have been in point of Article 99 like Article 1ll had described the contribution suit as one by a sharer to enforce his lien or charge upon the shares of his co-share. Whatever doubts might have existed at one time as to the scope and right construction of Article 132 of Act XV of 1877 and upon the wording of the corresponding article in Act IX of 1871, see Lallubhai v. Naram I.L.R. 6 B. 719 Davani Ammal v. Ratnachetti I.L.R. 6 M. 417 Raghubardayal v. Lachminshankar I.L.R. 5 A. 461 Shib Lal v. Ganga Prasad I.L.R. 6 A. 556 Muhammad Zaki v. Chatku I.L.R. 7 A. 120 it has now been definitely settled by the decision of the Privy Council in Ramdin v. Kalka Prasad I.I.R. 7 A. 502, which no doubt is in apparent conflict with the decision of the Court of Appeal in Sutton v. Sutton 22 Ch. 511 upon the corresponding section of the English statute of limitations (37 and 38 Vic. C. 57, Section 8), that the personal liability upon an instrument charging a debt upon immoveable property must be enforced within three or six years according as the instrument is unregistered or registered, and that the claim to realize the money by sale of the property upon which it is charged is governed by the 12 years' period of limitation under Article 132. Miller v. Runga Nath Mullick I.L.R. 12 C. 389, Khemji Bhagvandas Gujar v. Rama I.L.R. 10 B. 516. Seshayya v. Annamma I.L.R. 10 M. 100 and Rathnasami v. Subramanya I.L.R. 11 M. 56. The principle of the said decision of the Privy Council is that, according to the general scheme of the second schedule to the Indian Limitation Act which in this matter differs from the scheme of the English statutes of Limitation in respect of one and the same suit, the period of limitation varies according as the remedy is ' real ' or ' personal, ' and this can be illustrated by referring to several articles Thus Article 81 prescribes a period of three years for a suit by a surety against the principal debtor. It cannot be contended that if the surety seeks to enforce in such a suit a security by way of charge on immoveable property which the creditor had against the principal debtor, and which under Section 141 of the Indian Contract Act enures to the benefit of the surety, the period of limitation will only be three years for that remedy, and not the twelve years prescribed by Article 132. The same remark will apply to a suit apparently falling under Article 83 or 110 when the contract of indemnity sued upon or the arrear of rent sued for is secured by a charge on immoveable property. Similarly in the case of Articles 115, 116 and others which may be pointed out. Likewise in the case of a suit for contribution by a sharer who is intitled to enforce the same personally against a co-sharer and also as a charge by operation of law against the share of the co-sharer, the former remedy will be governed by Article 61 or 99 as the case may be, and the latter remedy by Article 132. It has been expressly decided or assumed in more cases than one that a suit to enforce a charge for share of Government revenue against the estate of a co-sharer is governed by Article 132 and not by Article99 or 120,, Ram Dutt Singh v. Horakh Narain Singh I.L.R. 6 Cal. 549, and Ibn Husahi v. Ramdai I.L.R. 12 All.110, and Thanikachella v. Shudachella I.L.R. 15 M. 258.

39. The only remaining point for consideration in connection with the question of limitation is whether the personal remedy against the defendant is either in whole or in part barred by the law of limitation. If neither Article 99 nor 61 were applicable to the suit, it will no doubt follow that the plaintiff will have the benefit of the general Article 120 prescribing a period of 6 years, and in that case it is clear that the claim is not barred at all. The only ground urged against the applicability of Article 61 or 99 is that the word 'paid' occurring therein cannot include an involuntary payment by sequestration of the plaintiff's property and receipt by the Crown of the income therefrom in liquidation of arrears of revenue. For the reasons already given I am unable to accede to this contention. The question, however, as to whether the case is governed by Article 61 or by Article 99 presents no small difficulty and t confess that it is perplexing. If the Judge's finding that the whole amount of arrears was or must have been realised before November 1896 can be sustained, the personal remedy will be wholly barred whether Article 61 or 99 is applied. But it is pointed out on the strenght of certain entries in Exhibits D and E that a portion of the arrear being interest on the principal amount of arrears of revenue was received and credited only within three years before date of suit and that therefore the personal remedy is not barred at all or at any rate, as to such portion of the amount. If the entry in the first column of Article 99 is strictly and literally construed as relating to a suit for contribution which can only be brought after the whole revenue had been paid, as was assumed in Pattabhiramayya v. Ramayya I.L.R. 20 M. 23, the starting point, for computing the limitation for the suit would be the time when the plaintiff made payment in excess of his share, which admittedly was long before 3 years, and in this view the suit would be wholly barred under Article 99 though a portion of such payment may have been made within three yeaRs. Such strictly grammatical and literal interpretation of Article 99 however leads to anomalous if not absurd consequences. In that view there being only one starting point of limitation the claim would be either wholly barred or not at all. If the bulk of his payment in excess of his share had taken place, either once for all or on different occasions, long before three years, and the remaining fragment of the entire amount is paid within three years, is it to be held that the suit is not barred at all under Article 99? On the contrary if only a trivial amount in excess of his share had been paid more than three years before date of suit, but the remaining amount which forms the bulk of the payment is paid either once for all or on different occasions, all within three years before date of suit, is it to be held that the whole claim is barred by limitation? Under the general law the party seeking contribution has a cause of action to enforce contribution at any rate as a personal obligation, as soon as he has made any payment in excess of his share and he need not wait till he makes the whole payment, if he means or is able to do so Davies v. Humphreys 6 M. & W. 153. In fact he may be unable to pay the whole amount of revenue, and only a portion thereof inexcess of his share may have been paid by or collected from him. It certainly cannot be contended that he will have no right |to claim contribution in respect of such excess whether it falls short of making up the entire sum by an insignificant amount or by a considerable amount, Under the general law, therefore, each time that an amount is paid by or levied from him in excess of his share, he has a right of suit for contribution in respect of such payment and when he brings the suit after making several such payments, he really unites several causes of action in one and the same suit under Section 45, C.P.C., and the Law of Limitation under Article 99 will apply separately to each of such causes of action from the date of the respective payments and the claim for contribution in respect of such payments as were made more than 3 years before date of suit would be barred by limitation. The suit for contribution could be brought either before or after the whole amount of revenue had been paid (Davies v. Humphreys), but under Section 43, C.P.C., the plaintiff will have to include in the suit the whole of his claim for contribution in respect of all the payments made by him prior to the date of the suit. If the suit contemplated by Article 99 were one in which the cause of action or right of suit arises only if and when the whole amount has been paid, the legislature surely would have provided in the third column that the starting point for limitation was the completion of such payment and not the time when payment was made in excess of his share which may have been long before such completion. There is, however, no authority under general law for the position that a suit for contribution by a sharer against his co-sharer can only be brought if and when he has paid the whole of the revenue due to Government upon the estate and it is extremely unlikely that the legislature would provide limitation for a suit unknown to the law. For these reasons I am strongly inclined to depart from the strictly literal and grammatical interpretation of Article 99 and read it as if between the words 'has paid' and 'the whole amount' in the two places in which they occur, the words 'on account of' were inserted and thus avoid the repugnance and absurdity that would otherwise result (Hardcastle on Interpretation of Statutory and Constitutional Law, 2nd Edition, pp. 99,109, also per White, C.J., in Sankara Narayana Vadhyar v. Sankara Narayana Iyer I.L.R. 25 M. 343. Reading it in this manner the whole article becomes perfectly intelligible, and whether the suit is brought before or after the whole amount has been paid it will be barred in respect of such payments, if any, as were made more than three years before date of suit and not barred in respect of those made within three years.

40. It is not clear to my mind that the present case is strictly governed by Article 99 and not by Article 61. The latter is the general article applicable to suits for money payable to the plaintiff for money paid for the defendant and Article 79, 81, 82, 99, 100 and 107 are articles applicable to certain special kinds of suits comprised in the general class described in Article 61. Having regard to the first portion of Article 99 which relates to a suit for contribution by a joint judgment-debtor, the latter portion relating to co-shares of a joint estate probably refers to that definite class of joint estates which are registered in the Collector's office in the names of two or more co-shares. If that be the right construction of Article 99, the present case will fall under Article 61, for during the period in respect of which the arrears in question accrued, the estate was registered solely in the name of Jagannatha Raz, and not in the names of the plaintiff, the defendant, and the two other co-sharers or any of them. And under this article also the plaintiff's claim will be barred in'respect of payments made more than three years prior to date of suit. The result, therefore, will be the same whether in respect of the personal remedy the suit is governed by Article 61 or by Article 9) as interpreted above. 43. Before finally disposing of the appeal, the District Judge should be called upon to return within two months, his findings on the 4th, 6th and 7th issues in the case and also to try and return his finding on the following issue. (Whether any and what sums were credited by the Collector within three years before the date of this suit towards the arrear of revenue in question from the income of the plaintiff's estate during the time that it was under the management of the Collector under the provisions of Madras Act. II of 1864 and whether any and what amounts were so credited more than three years before date of this suit but subsequent to the death of the late Maharajah of Viziangaram). The date of the death of the late Maharajah of Viziangaram does not appear from the pleadings in the case. In respect of payments, if any, made subsequent to his death, the plaintiff will have the benefit of Section 7 of the Indian Limitation Act, though such payments were made more than three years before date of suit. Parties will be at liberty to adduce fresh evidence on the new issue, and such additional evidence as the judge may think fit to permit on the three other issues above referred to.

41. Since writing the above I have had the advantage of reading the recent decision of the Bombay High Court in Shivarao v. Pundlik I.L.R. 26 B. 437 which appeared in the June Part of the I.L.R. Bombay Series.The Division Bench (Jenkins, C.J. and Crowe, J.) which heard that case dissents from the dictum of Sir. Charles Sargent in Achuta Ramachendra v. Hari Kamti I.L.R., 11 B 318 quoted by me with approval, and adopts the conclusion arrived at by the majority in the Calcutta and Allahabad Full Bench cases already referred to. But the learned Judges add nothing new to the reasoning on which the above Calcutta and Allahabad Full Bench cases proceed, and I see no reason to depart from the decision of this Court in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. 452 and to change the conclusion I have come to on a review of the English and Indian decisions bearing on the question.

42. My learned colleague, hower, is not prepared to follow the decision of this Court in Seshagari v. Pichu L.R. 11 M. 252, and to concur with me in the view I take that the plaintiff has, by operation of law, a charge upon the defendant's share in the estate in respect of the amount he claims from him by way of contribution. He accordingly proposes that the question may be referred to a Full Bench for decision.

43. Before, therefore, actually deciding this question in this appeal and remitting the proposed issue to the District Judge, I agree with my learned colleague that the question be referred for the opinion of a Full Bench.

In Appeal No. 188 of 1900.

44. This appeal is governed by the judgment in Appeal No. 187 of 1900, and the issues therein will also have to be remitted for trial to the District Judge in this suit, and for the reasons therein given I concur with my learned colleague that this question of law which has been referred to the Full Bench in that appeal be referred to the Full Bench in this appeal also before the issues are remitted for trial.

Moore, J.

45. The facts of this case are fully given in the judgment of my learned colleague, and I need not repeat them. At the hearing of this appeal an important question has been raised which it is necessary to adjudicate on in order to determine whether the plaintiff's claim is barred by limitation. That question is whether when one of several co-sharers in an estate pays the land revenue due on the estate and saves it from sale, he by reason of such payment acquires a charge on the share of his defaulting co-sharer. It is admitted that the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act do not give a co-sharer a charge on the estate in the case now under consideration--vide Section 35, Act II of 1864 (Madras) as amended by Section 1, Act I of 1897 (Madras). No doubt as pointed out by Wilson, J. in the Judgment Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffar Hossain I.L.R. 14 C 809, no strong inference can be drawn from an enactment such as a Revenue Recovery Act either for or against the principle now contended for on behalf of the plaintiff, but, on the other hand, it cannot be looked upon as a matter of no importance that the local legislature when very recently engaged in amending this Act should have refrained from giving a co-sharer by legislative enactment the right now contended for. I shall later on refer to this matter again. It appears to be clear that under English Law a co-sharer in a case similar to the present one would not by his payment acquire a charge on the share of his co-sharer. As to this reference may be made to the judgment in Leslie v. French L.R. 23 Ch.D. 553 and Falcke v. Scottish Imperial Insurance Company L.R. 34 Ch.D 234 . All the High Courts with the exception of Madras are against the principle now contended for. In Calcutta no doubt the course of decisions was for some years in favour of the right of a co-sharer to a charge. These decisions are commented on by Wilson, J. in the judgment in 14 Cal. 809 to which I have already referred (vide pp. 827-829). As is there pointed out most of these decisions were based on certain observations of their Lordships of the Privy Council in Nugendar Chunder Ghose v. Kaminee Dossee 11 M.I.A. 241, but these observations did not amount to more than a dictum and could not be held to be applicable to any case but the one then actually before their Lordships, i.e., the case of a mortgage. In 1887 by a Full Bench Judgment the Calcutta High Court finally decided against the right of a co-sharer to a charge Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffer Hossain Shaha I.L.R. 14 C. 809 . A Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court has arrived at a similar decision in Seth Chitor Mal v. Shib Lal I.L.R. 14 A. 273 Sir Charles Sargent, the Chief Justice of Bombay expressed an opinion on this subject which is in accordance with the view taken by the Calcutta High Court up to the Full Bench decision of 1887 vide Achut Ram Chandra Pai v. Hari Kamti I.L.R. 11 B. 313 but his remarks cannot be held to be more than obiter dicta and the Bombay High Court has now in a decision which has been reported since this case was argued before us followed the Judgments of the Calcutta and Allahabad High Courts in Shiv Rao Narayan v. Pundlik Bhaire I.L.R. 26 B. 437. A different view has no doubt been taken by our own Court Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. 452. The state of the decisions being as 1 have thus briefly shown, I regret that I am unable to concur with my learned colleague in the view that he has taken of this question. To quote the words of Edge, C.J., in the decision to which I have already referred ' Justice, equity and good conscience are captivating terms, but before a Judge applies what may appear to him at first sight to be in accordance with Justice, equity and good conscience he must be careful to see that his views are based on sound general principles and not in conflict with the intentions of the legislature or with sound principles recognized by authority in Seth Chitor Mal v. Shib Lal I.L.R. 14 A. 273. If in this present case, I sitting as a member of a Bench of two Judges were to acquiesce in the adoption of the principle now contended for on behalf of the plaintiff, I should have to refuse to be guided by the decisions of the English Courts of law, of the High Courts of Calcutta, Allahabad and Bombay and also by what I believe to be the intention of the Legislature. This I am not prepared to do. As to the intention of the Legislature in this matter I entirely concur in the observations of Wilson, J., to be found at page 832 of the judgment of the Calcutta Full Bench in Kinu Ram Das v. Mozaffer Hossain Shaha I.L.R. 14 C. 809. As the view taken by my learned colleague with which I am unable to concur is in accordance with the decision of this Court reported in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. 452 , I am of opinion that the question should be referred to a Full Bench for decision.

46. I agree with Mr. Justice Bhashyam Iyengar on the other questions raised in these appeals (187 and 188) as set out in his judgment and also as regards the issues that he proposes to send down to the District Judge for trial.

47. For the reasons stated severally in the foregoing judgments we refer the following question for the opinion of the Full Bench :

Whether in case in which one of two or more co-sharers owning an estate subject to the payment of revenue to Government pays the whole revenue in order to save and so does save the estate from liability to be sold by Government for realizing the arrears of revenue he is by operation of law entitled to a charge upon the share of each of his co-sharers, for the realization of the latter's share of the revenue, as between the co- sharers?

Subrahmania Aiyar, J.

48. In the argument before us it was contended that Section 100 of the Transfer of Property Act, read with Section 82, gave the appellant the charge claimed.

49. The point is to my mind not quite free from doubt. I think it unnecessary to decide it as I am decidedly of opinion that the appellant is entitled to the charge claimed, as a matter of justice, equity and good conscience.

50. Almost everything that could be urged in support of this view will be found referred to and discussed ably, either by Mitter, J., in the Calcutta Full Bench Case, or by Mahmood, J, in the Allahbad Full Bench Case, or by my learned colleague Bhashyam Aiyangar, J., in his very exhaustive judgment in the present case.

51. Whilst refraining from stating in my own words their arguments on the point, as I by doing so, would be taking up time unprofitably, I think I ought not to omit to observe that this case convinces me that there is far less likelihood of any unsound rule being laid down in this country in consequence of the supposed deceptive character of the phrase 'justice, equity and good conscience,' than there is of judges refusing to accept a sound rule from, 1 say with all deference, what is little short of a prejudice to that time-honoured phrase, introduced of old by wise legislators and universally accepted as words compendiously denoting those ultimate principles of what is right and proper, fair and reasonable, and good and expedient,-principles which Judges here as elsewhere cannot help resorting to in dealing with the difficult questions, not directly governed by existing precedents, which often arise in the course of the administration of justice.

52. It is quite true that for the enunciation of such principles, we mainly and generally look to English decisions and text books of repute. But 1 fail to see why we are precluded from when necessary, considering and following rules laid down in the sister island of Ireland, where the same system of common law and equity is administered by a judiciary neither less able nor less learned than that in England, if such rules appear to us to be the best suited to the conditions and requirements of this country. In order to show that the view adopted in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. p. 452, and since than more than once followed in this Court, is not a pseudo-equitable doctrine peculiar to Ireland, but true equity accepted and enforced as such without any reference to any analogy that may or may not be furnished by the principle of, maritime salvage lien, in jurisdictions remote from Ireland, but administering the same common law and equity, I may also draw attention to what is alluded to in the passage cited by Bhashyam Aiyanyar, J., from Freeman on Co-tenancy, and quote a fuller statement by another writer of the law on this point in those parts of the United States where it has arisen. In page 265 of Sheldon on Subrogation (2nd Edition, it is pointed out that 'one tenant in common upon redeeming the estate from a tax sale, though he will not acquire an absolute title, yet, if his payment were necessary for the protection of his own estate, may hold the estate under his tax title until they pay or tender to him their proportion of the taxes.' Though there are several decisions supporting this statement of the law, for the present purpose it is sufficient to quote the observations of Shipley, C.J., in the early case of Walker v. Eaton 50 Am. Decision p. 937 decided in 1849, as showing that the doctrine has all along been rested in America only on broad grounds of justice and equity. The learned Judge says: 'If one who may be obliged to redeem the share of a co-tenant to relieve his own share from incumbrance, could have no right to retain the share of such co-tenant as security and to obtain a re-imbursement of the amount equitably chargeable to it, he might utterly fail to obtain compensation. And yet his co-tenant, without making any payment, might be entitled to the full possession and benefit of his share of the land, discharged from the incumbrance. The law cannot justly be charged with such results as is produced by conformity to its provisions The principle is well established and is of frequent application in the redemption of mortgages, that one having a legal interest in an estate under incumbrance, may redeem the whole estate when necessary to redeem his own share or to relieve his own title from incumbrance even against the pleasure of a co-tenant or other owner, and may be regarded as the assignee of the incumbrance upon the other shares or interests, and may obtain possession of them to secure a reimbursement of the amount equitably chargeable to them.

A sale made for the payment of taxes is but an incum-brance upon the estate so long as the right to redeem exists The purchaser receives and holds the title as security for money paid ; and such a title is in principle a mortgage although it does not exist in a form to be included in our statute provisions respecting mortgages. By the application of this principle to cases of this kind complete justice may be done to all interested in the land and without it such a result would fail to be accomplished. (See at page 640).

53. The force of this reasoning in so far as it bears upon the fairness and propriety of our upholding the existence of a lien in the circumstances of the case is not weakened by the fact that there is no personal right of contribution in such cases in America. From what I have said, it will be apparent that I would follow the decision in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. p. 452 even if I were satisfied that that decision was unwarranted by the trend of English authorities cited for the respondent, which I think, however, is open to doubt. Assuming those authorities are really opposed to the view I am here following, that we are not to be governed by them, is manifest from the decision of the Judicial Committee in Bhagavati Prasad v. Radha Kishen I.L.R. 15 A. p. 304 referred to and followed by Benson and Bhashyam Aiyangar, JJ, in Second Appeal No. 788 of 1901 in this Court. There, to put the facts quite briefly, S advanced money to N, agent of B, for purchasing certain immoveable property for B and N executed in favour of S a hypothecation for the money, on the property purchased. Treating, for special reasons, the hypothecation as invalid, the Judicial Committee held that S was in equity entitled to a charge upon the property for the money lent. After stating the facts which, it will be seen, raised a case much weaker than the present, and in fact an extreme case, their Lordships' decision is expressed in one single sentence, implying that the matter admitted of no question or controversy. They said, ' The facts admitted by Bir Bahader and also found by the court in the former suit between these parties are sufficient to show that the appellant, as the representative of Sarju Prasad, is entitled in equity to have it declared that the sums claimed with interest are a charge upon the property.' Having before me this decision which no ingenuity can explain away. I feel no hesitation in declining to accept the view now adopted by the other High Courts on this question as sound.

54. It is thus clear to me that the decision in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M. p. 452, did not create any new law, but was simply an application, to the class of cases of which the present is a type, of a general principle, which is firmly established in equity jurisprudence and of which Sections 82 and 95 of the Transfer of Property Act, Section 32 of Act II of 1864, and Section 501 of the Code of Civil Procedure, are but instances of statutory application to particular descriptions of cases with such qualifications as in each case were deemed necessary.

55. My answer to the question referred is therefore in the affirmative.

Davies, J.

56. Were the matter 'res Integra,' I should be inclined to adopt the view taken by the other High Courts in India, though there is much to be said on both sides of this really difficult question. But as the decisions of this Court have been uniform that a charge is created upon the land by payments such as this, I am not prepared to differ from my learned colleagues in again upholding the same opinion.

Benson, J.

56. I have no hesitation in answering the question referred to us in 'the affirmative. Under Section 2 of Madras Act II of 1864 it is expressly declared that 'the land, the buildings upon it and its products shall be regarded as the security for the public revenue,' due on the land, and Section 42 shows that it is a first charge on every portion of the estate. Bearing this in mind, it seems to me clear that the principles of equity on which Sections 82 and 100 of the Transfer of Property Act are based, if not the very words of those sections, are applicable to the case before us, and that this is so, is placed beyond all doubt, by the language of the Privy Council in Nugendar Chunder Ghose v. Kaminee Dasee 11 M.I.A. 211 and Bhagavati Prasad v. Radha Kishen I.L.R. 15 A 304 quoted a few days ago by Sir Bhashyam Aiyangar and myself in deciding Second Appeal No. 788 of 1901. If it were necessary I should have no difficulty in holding that the words 'by operation of law' in Section 100 of the Transfer of Property Act, are more extensive than the words 'by law,' and that a Charge created ''by operation of law' includes a charge created directly by the provisions of an Act, as in the case before us, as well as other charges created indirectly as a legal consequence of certain conditions. Apart, however, from the Transfer of Property Act, I think that the principle laid down in this Court by Kernan, J., in Seshagiri v. Pichu I.L.R. 11 M.454 fourteen years ago, and ever since followed, so far as I am aware, by the courts in this Presidency, is amply supported by the decisions of the Privy Council to which I have referred. I can see no danger, but a great deal of justice and equity in following that principle in determining the question referred for our decision.

57. I would answer it in the affirmative.


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