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The Secretary of State for India in Council Vs. Kallingal Moosa Kutti - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1920)ILR43Mad65
AppellantThe Secretary of State for India in Council
RespondentKallingal Moosa Kutti
Cases ReferredDost Mahomed Khan v. The Bank of Upper India
Excerpt:
registration act, (indian) (xvi of 1908), section 90, clause (1)(d) - construction--rule of ejusdem generis--lease of lands by government--document executed by lessee, but not registered, whether admissible in evidence--prohibition in lease against erection of buildings--power of government to impose conditions--crown grants act (xv of 1895), sections 2 and 3--power whether affected by malabar compensation for tenants' improvements act (i of 1900), section 19. - - in this view there is no ground for imputing to the legislature a restrictive scope of the operation of clause (1)(d) of section 90. further, even applying the principle, we arc not satisfied that a lease of land is not of the same character as a sanad......also he is supported by munshi lal v. the notified area of baraut i.l.r. (1914) all. 176; that the words:grants or assignments by government of land or of any interest in land.would exclude a lease. we are unable to accept this contention either. turning to section 17 of the registration act we find in sub-clause (2)(vii) the use of the word grant; and that word is used with reference to transfers and receipts enumerated in clause (1)(b) and (1)(c) of section 17. in that connection the word has the meaning of transfer and does not denote a gift. we are therefore of opinion that the words 'grants or assignments of interest' in section 90(1)(d) are comprehensive enough to include a lease. the document therefore is admissible in evidence.3. the learned judges of the allahabad high court got.....
Judgment:

Seshagiri Ayyar, J.

1. Two questions of some importance have been argued before us in this case. By exhibit A the first defendant took a lease of certain lands near a railway station from the Government. The lease was for three years and provided for a rent of Rs. 1.50 per annum. It contained a clause that the defendant should not erect buildings on the land. Notwithstanding this undertaking he put up buildings on it. The suit is by the Secretary of State for ejectment. The defendant pleaded that as exhibit A was not registered it was not admissible in evidence; and secondly that the provision restraining the defendant from erecting buildings is obnoxious to Section 19 of Act I of 1900, the Malabar Compensation for Tenants Improvements Act; both these contentions were over ruled by the Courts below. We think they were right.

2. It was argued for the appellant that the first question, relating to registration, is covered by Munshi Lal v. The Notified Area of Baraut I.L.R. (1914) All. 176. With all respect to the learned Judges we are unable to follow that decision. The learned Judges say that the words:

other documents purporting to be or to evidence grants of assignment by Government of land or of any interest in land.

in Section 90, Clause (1)(d), of the Indian Registration Act, should be read ejusdem generis with the preceding words 'sanads and inam title-deeds.' We see no ground for applying this principle of construction to the section. As was pointed out in Angus v. Dalton (1878) L.R. 4 Q.B.D. 166, we have first to ascertain from the language of the auction the class of cases which were intended to be affected. If the intention is clear, the occasion for the introduction of the ejusdem generis rule of interpretation would not arise (see also the other cases collected at page 546 of Maxwell on the Interpretation of Statutes). In the present case the object of the legislature in enacting Section 90 of the Registration Act seams to be to enumerate the class of documents executed by or on behalf of the Government which should not be affected by the previous sections relating to registration. In this view there is no ground for imputing to the legislature a restrictive scope of the operation of Clause (1)(d) of Section 90. Further, even applying the principle, we arc not satisfied that a lease of land is not of the same character as a sanad. As the learned Government Pleader pointed out these are sanads by Government and zamindars which grant property on favourable terms. Therefore the idea implied in a sanad: is not invariably that of a gift without reservation. For these reasons, we are unable to agree with the Allahabad High Court that a lease is not within the sub-clause. A further argument of the learned Counsel for the appellant requires a little more consideration. He contended, and in this also he is supported by Munshi Lal v. The Notified Area of Baraut I.L.R. (1914) All. 176; that the words:

grants or assignments by Government of land or of any interest in land.

would exclude a lease. We are unable to accept this contention either. Turning to Section 17 of the Registration Act we find in Sub-clause (2)(vii) the use of the word grant; and that word is used with reference to transfers and receipts enumerated in Clause (1)(b) and (1)(c) of Section 17. In that connection the word has the meaning of transfer and does not denote a gift. We are therefore of opinion that the words 'grants or assignments of interest' in Section 90(1)(d) are comprehensive enough to include a lease. The document therefore is admissible in evidence.

3. The learned Judges of the Allahabad High Court got over the difficulty connected with the Crown Grants Act (XV of 1895) in a manner which we are unable to accept as sound. Section 2 of the Act refers to:

grant or other transfer of land or of any interest therein.

4. This language shows in the first place that the word grant can be employed to denote a transfer of land. In the second place it is clear that all transfers of land of every description are within the operation of the section. Mr. Menon's suggestion that the Act is confined to the transfer of prerogative rights possessed by the Crown and not to ordinary incidents of a mercantile transaction in which the Crown may be engaged is opposed to the plain language of the Statute. We find nothing in Dost Mahomed Khan v. The Bank of Upper India (1906) 3 A.L.J. 129 to support this view.

5. On the second point, we feel no doubt that the wide language of Section 3 of the Crown Grants Act is conclusive. The Government have specially armed themselves with powers which they have withheld from private parties, presumably on the ground that they are not likely to misuse them. It is clear to us that these contracts are not within the mischief of Section 19 of the Malabar Compensation for Tenants' Improvements Act.

6. We must for the above reasons confirm the decrees of the Courts below and dismiss the second appeal with costs. The appellant will have two months to remove the buildings erected by him.


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