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The State of Madras Represented by the Collector of East Godawari Vs. Chitturi Ramanna and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. Nos. 907 and 908 of 1949
Judge
Reported inAIR1951Mad710; (1951)IMLJ164
ActsProvincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887 - Sections 15 - Schedule - Articles 7 and 31
AppellantThe State of Madras Represented by the Collector of East Godawari
RespondentChitturi Ramanna and ors.
Appellant AdvocateGovernment Pleader
Respondent AdvocateP.M. Srinivasa Iyengar, Adv.
DispositionRevision petitions allowed
Cases ReferredSavarimuthu v. Aithurasu Rowther
Excerpt:
- - they failed to pay the amount & so two suits were filed against them to recover these amounts on the small cause side in the subordinate judge's ct......on lease certain lands subject to certain conditions. he has violated one of those conditions. i claim damages for the same. i have the right to determine the question of damages & i have fixed that at a certain figure.in other words the suit is for damages for breach of contract pure & simple.4. now in fixing the quantum of damages the collector had regard to the income or profits which the defts. might be expected to have received from the property. but the learned judge in the ct. below was wrong in supposing! that this circumstance made the claim a claim for rent or that the suit was for enhancement or ascertainment of rent. that was not asked for at all. the subject of rent was mentioned in the plaint only to show that the amount claimed as damages was reasonable.5. an attempt was.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Balakrishna Ayyar, J.

1. The point for determination in both the civ. Revn. Petns. is the same & I, therefore, deal with them together.

2. Government sold in auction the right to pasture cattle on certain lanka lands & the resps. became the successful auction purchasers. The terms of engagement prohibited the lessee from cultivating the land. Apparently the prohibition was imposed as a measure of River conservancy. The terms of the engagement also authorised the Collector of East Godavari to impose a penalty for violation of the condition. After having got possession of the lanka landa for purposes of pasture the resps. cultivated tobacco therein & the Collector imposed a penalty on them. They failed to pay the amount & so two suits were filed against them to recover these amounts on the small cause side in the Subordinate Judge's Ct., Amalapuram. The resps. then took the objection that the Small Cause Ct. had no jurisdiction byreason of Article 7 of Sch. II to the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act. This objection was upheld & the plaints returned for presentation to the proper Ct. Government have now comeup in revision.

3. It appears to me that in making the order he did the learned trial Judge overlookedthe substance of the pltf's claim. That claim was this:

The deft. took on lease certain lands subject to certain conditions. He has violated one of those conditions. I claim damages for the same. I have the right to determine the question of damages & I have fixed that at a certain figure.

In other words the suit is for damages for breach of contract pure & simple.

4. Now in fixing the quantum of damages the Collector had regard to the income or profits which the defts. might be expected to have received from the property. But the learned Judge in the Ct. below was wrong in supposing! that this circumstance made the claim a claim for rent or that the suit was for enhancement or ascertainment of rent. That was not asked for at all. The subject of rent was mentioned in the plaint only to show that the amount claimed as damages was reasonable.

5. An attempt was made to argue that the case fell under Article 31 of Sch. II to the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act & the decision in Savarimuthu v. Aithurasu Rowther, 25 Mad. 103 : 11 M. L. J. 428 was read in support of that argument. This decision does not apply because all that was decided there was that where the deft. was in possession under a decree which was subsequently reversed on appeal the pltf. could not sue him in a Small Cause Ct. for the profits the deft. had received from the land. That decision had nothing to do with a claim for damages.

6. An argument was based on the use in the plaint of the words 'unauthorised use & cultivation of the lands & enjoyment of the crops raised by him therein' to the effect that this showed that the claim was for the profits from the land. I do not think so. In substance the suits were for damages & they were cognizable by the Small Cause Ct.

7. The Revn. Petns. are, therefore, allowed with costs. The Ct. below will receive the plaints & proceed to dispose of them according to law.


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