1. The respondent sued for the eviction of the appellant, his tenant, on the ground that within the meaning of Section 14(5) of the Malabar Tenancy-Act he required the land bona fide for his own cultivation. Nine issues were raised and considered by the trial court, which conditionally dismissed the suit on the ground that the plaintiff had not proved that he required the suit property bona fide for his own cultivation. This question was carefully considered by the learned District Munsif. In appeal, the learned Subordinate Judge pointed out that the learned District Munsif had wrongly considered whether the landlord had any necessity for the land instead of considering whether he needed the land bona fide. The learned Subordinate Judge, without any further discussion of the matter, except to say that there was nothing in the case to rebut or displace the evidence of P.W. 1 as to his bona fides, decided this issue in favour of the plaintiff. Three lines of discussion for deciding the important issues is certainly insufficient for a reversing judgment. Section 14 provides exceptions to the general rule that a cultivating verumpattamdar cannot be evicted from his holding; and so a court cannot accept a mere statement of a plaintiff that he requires a land bona fide for his own interests, or the whole object of the Act would be frustrated by a bare assertion of that kind. The learned District Munsif referred to the judgment of Varadachariar, J., in Narayanan Moossad v. Mammadissa (1944) 2 M.L.J. 84, who said that: 'the words bona fide, if they have any significance at all, must mean that the court must be satisfied, that the assertion made by the landlord as regards his own requirement of, the land is a bona fide assertion.' The learned Subordinate Judge has not considered the question at all, and has made no reference to the above case. As I have not read the evidence of P.W. 1, I cannot express any opinion on this matter. As the question is one of fact it must be decided by the lower appellate Court. I therefore remand the appeal for fresh disposal, after reconsideration and discussion of this issue by the learned Subordinate Judge.
2. The learned advocate for the appellant points out that the notice of eviction calls upon the respondent to leave the land by the 11th of March, whereas Section 14(5) of the Malabar Tenancy Act permits the landlord to have the land only from the end of an agricultural year. That is, however, a small matter. Although the landlord cannot have the land on the 11th of March his demand can be complied with on the 30th of March.
3. A memorandum of cross-objections has been filed by the respondent with regard to the rate at which paddy rent should be converted. The learned Subordinate Judge has said that the rent payable will be the average rent for the past five years and not the market rate, as the first court held. It has been held by this Court in Parameswaram Nambudiripad alias Narayanan Thrathar Nambudiripad v. Subramania Iyer (1944) 2 M.L.J. 84, that it is the market rate on the date when the rent became due that determines what cash is to be paid.
4. The appeal is therefore allowed and A.S. No. 40 of 1942 remanded for fresh disposal in the light of the above remarks. If it is found that the plaintiff does not require the land bona fide for his own cultivation, then the appeal will have to be dismissed; but, if, on the other hand, the learned Subordinate Judge is of the same opinion after remand on the question of bona fides, then the suit will have to be remanded by him, because both parties agreed that it should be remanded on points 2, 3 and 4 in view of the court's finding on point 1.
5. The costs of the appeal and of the memorandum of cross-objections will be costs in the cause.