1. I do not think we can differ from the finding that that the land is Kamatam land. In that view the question whether the District Munsif had jurisdiction, depends ultimately on the proper construction of Section 19 of the Estate Land Act. It is contended before us that the phrase 'the relations between a landholder and a tenant of his private land' cannot properly be held to include the right to sue for rent and the liability to be sued for it; and it was urged that these 'relations' are the conditions of the tenants' tenures as set out in Chapter III of the Act. I do not find that this narrow construction is necessary; the phrase can without impropriety be construed to include all the mutual rights and obligations of the landlord as such and his tenant as such; in the absence of anything to indicate a contrary intention, I should be disposed so to construe it. I find nothing to indicate a contrary intention and on the other hand, as my learned brother has shown in the judgment which he has prepared and which I have had an opportunity of reading the intention of the framers of the Act appears to have been by Section 19 to exclude the Collector's Court as the forum in which were to be instituted suits for rents by a landholder against a tenant of his private land.
2. Finding then no reason to exclude the provision of Section 19, I agree with my learned brother that there is no provision of this Act which 'specially provides' for the institution of the suits for rent by a landholder against a tenant of his private land; and it follows that the forum in which such sui ts are to be instituted is not regulated by the Act and a suit in a Civil Court is not prohibited.
3. The appeal therefore fails and we dismiss it with costs.
Sadasiva Aiyar, J
4. This is a Letters Patent Appeal and the only question seriously argued on the appellant's behalf was whether in respect of Kamatam or private lands (i.e.,) lands not coming under the head of 'ryoti' and as defined in Section 3, Clause (16) of the Madras Estates Land Act, a suit for the rent by the landlord against the tenant of such lands is excluded from the jurisdiction of the Civil Court when Section 3, Clause (II), 77 and 189 and the schedule part (A) No. 8 of the Estates Land Act, are read together. Section 3, Clause (II) defines 'rent 'as whatever is lawfully payable to a landholder for the use of land in his estate for the purpose of agriculture. Section 77, Clause (I) empowers the landholder to institute a suit before the Collector for the recovery of 'arrears of rent.' Section 189 says 'A Collector or other Revenue Officer etc' shall hear and determine all suits of the nature specified in parts A and B of the schedule and no Civil Court in its original jurisdiction shall take cognizance of such suit.' The schedule part (A) No. 8 refers to suit by landlords to arrears of rent. It seems to me clear that if these provisions alone are considered, the present suit is excluded from the jurisdiction of the District Munsif who has tried it on the Small Cause Side.
5. But the respondent relies on Section 19 of the Act which is is as follows:
Except as otherwise specially provided in this Act, the relations between a ryot and his tenants or between a landholder and a tenant of his private land and the rights of any other owners of land, are not regulated by the provisions of this Act.' Such special provisions expressly applying the provisions of the Act to the relations between a landholder and a tenant of his private land appear in Sections 134 and 158 of the Act. Can we say that it is 'specially provided' by Section 189 (read with Section 3 (11); 77 and A No. 8) that the relations between the landholder and the tenants of his private lands in the matter of the forum in which a suit for rent by the landholder against such a tenant should be brought are regulated by the provisions of that Section 189? I feel grave doubts on that point. Having regard to the express reference in Sections 134 and 158 to'a tenant of private land' and to the positive provisions in those sections regulating some of the relations between such a tenant and the landholder, I do not think that the mere omission to mention in Section 189 and to exclude expressly a suit for rent against such a tenant of private land from the operation of Section 189 could be treated as a special positive provision making that section regulate the relations between the landholder and a tenant of 'private 'land in the matter of the forum in which the landholder should bring his suit for rent against such a tenant.
6. I am glad to find myself supported in this view by proceedings before the Legislative Council when the Act was being fashioned in the legislative anvil. Sections 77 and 134 of the Act occur in the same Chapter VI of the Act and correspond to Clauses 67 and 124 (A) of the bill; Sub-clauses 1 and 2 of Clause 124 (a) of the bill (corresponding to Sub-clause (1) of Section 134 of the Act) refer to one of the relations between a landholder and the tenant of his private land and to the similar relation between landowners under the ryotwari tenure and their tenants. The Advocate-General in moving an amendment to Clause 124 (A) said 'It was not intended that these other landowners specified in Clause 1 and 2 should be debarred from instituting suits in the Civil Courts. The provisions of this chapter are a little too wide and Clause 67 is one of the provisions of this chapter. Under that clause, Sub-clause 1, the provision is' the landholder may institute a suit before the Collector for the recovery of arrears,' so that the result of the enactment under Clause 124 (A) as it stands will be to require landholders mentioned in Sub-clauses (1) arid (2) also to institute suit for arrears of rent before the Collector. That was not intended.' The Advocate-General then by his amendment introduced words which (he thought) made a contrary intention clear, evidently holding that the clause in the bill corresponding to Section 19 of the Act will prevent recourse by the landholder to the revenue courts for recovery of rent against the tenants of his private lands after Clause 124 (A) is amended as proposed by him, (the Advocate-General) by the addition of some words. Honble Mr. G.S. Forbes in seconding the amendment of the Advocate-General said '' that was clearly the intention of the original bill and the Council, that those other landholders should have a right for the recovery of rent by these processes. It was never intended to give them right to sue before the Collector.' The remedies of a land-holder against the tenant of his private land and of a ryotwari landlord against his tenant for the recovery of rent were intended to be placed on the same footing and the latter can of course, sue only in the ordinary Civil Court for rent, though he can in certain cases, use the processes mentioned in Section 134 for recovery of arrears of rent.
7. In the result the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.