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Venkatasami Chetti Vs. Suppa Pillai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1911)ILR34Mad90
AppellantVenkatasami Chetti
RespondentSuppa Pillai
Cases Referred and Ramaswamy Ayyar v. Tirupathi Naik I.L.R.
Excerpt:
registration act iii of 1877, section 17, clause (d) - reservation of annual rent not necessary to bring the document within proviso to clause (d) of section 17. - .....bring an instrument within the rule as to compulsory registration. one of these alternatives is a term exceeding one year. the proviso requires two conditions for exemption. one of them is that the term does not exceed five years. here it does not. the other is that the annual rent reserved does not exceed rs. 50. does this mean that there should be an annual rent reserved and that it should not also exceed rs. 50? mr. justice miller apparently thinks so. 'with great respect we are unable to agree. we think it only means that if an annual rent is reserved it should not exceed rs. 50. suppose no annual rent is at all reserved and the term is less than 5 years: why should it not fall within the exemption? a mere undertaking to cultivate or occupy is a lease within the definition contained.....
Judgment:

1. The lease in this case was for a three years' term and the rent fixed was a consolidated amount of Rs. 56-4-0 and tan bundles of betel leaves payable in one lump about the middle of the term. The question is whether the document requires registration, That depends upon the meaning of the proviso to clause id) of Section 17 of the Registration Act. But for the proviso the instrument would require registration. Clause (d) provides for three alternative conditions, any one of which would suffice to bring an instrument within the rule as to compulsory registration. One of these alternatives is a term exceeding one year. The proviso requires two conditions for exemption. One of them is that the term does not exceed five years. Here it does not. The other is that the annual rent reserved does not exceed Rs. 50. Does this mean that there should be an annual rent reserved and that it should not also exceed Rs. 50? Mr. Justice Miller apparently thinks so. 'With great respect we are unable to agree. We think it only means that if an annual rent is reserved it should not exceed Rs. 50. Suppose no annual rent is at all reserved and the term is less than 5 years: why should it not fall within the exemption? A mere undertaking to cultivate or occupy is a lease within the definition contained in Section 3 of the Registration Act. If there is such an undertaking for a term of three years, without more, are we to say that it is outside the exemption, while if a further term of a few rupees rent every year were added to the lease it would undoubtedly fall within it? We think not. If in the proviso the word 'or' were inserted in place of 'and', the effect of the change would be that a larger term than one year coupled with an annual rent would be outside the proviso. This was obviously not the intention of the legislature. That explains why we have 'and' and not 'or'. But this should not lead to the inference that the provision of an annual rent is a condition to satisfy the requirements of the exemption. It has been held in several cases that a lease for a year with liberty to renew or until renewal or from year to year is a lease for a term which does not exceed five years Virammal v. Rungayyangar I.L.R. (1882) Mad. 381, Murugesa Chetti v. Chinnathambi Goundan I.L.R. (1901) Mad. 421 and Ramaswamy Ayyar v. Tirupathi Naik I.L.R. (1904) Mad. 43. By analogy we should feel inclined to say that where the rent reserved is Rs. 56 in a lease for three years the annual rent reserved does not exceed Rs. 50. One difficulty may however be suggested. Suppose the term is any period less than 5 years and one consolidated rent is fixed at a thousand rupees; are we then at liberty to hold, because there is no anuual rent, that the annual rent reserved does not exceed Rs. 50. It is not necessary to answer the question. Whether in that case the amount of rent being divided by the period and exceeding Rs. 50 per annum upon such division we should say that there is an annual rent exceeding Rs. 50 or that there is no annual rent reserved at all to bring the case within the proviso it is not perhaps easy to decide. But assuming such a case to fall within the proviso the present is no touched. We must therefore reverse the judgment of the learned Judge and also of the District Munsif and remand the case to the latter for disposal according to law. The costs hitherto incurred will abide and follow the event.


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