1. The question that arises in this appeal is whether in the circumstances of this case the Zamindar is entitled to charge enhanced rates for crops grown with the aid of well water. The District Judge has considered the matter solely with reference to Section 13, Clause 3 of the Madras Act I of 1908 and has assumed that that section applies to the improvements made prior to the Act. It has been decided in Rajah Kumara Venkata Perumal v. Ramudu (1914) 28 M.L.J. 81 and that the clause has no retrospective operation. The further point decided in that case was that a valid contract to pay enhanced rates could be presumed where the rate had been paid for a period of 60 years or so. The reasoning of the District Judge cannot therefore be accepted and it has only to be considered whether there was a valid contract in this case, that is to say, whether, although the ryots did in fact dig the wells utilised for irrigating the crop, the landlord did or did not contribute something towards the construction of the wells which would in law amount to a consideration for a contract to pay enhanced rate. It is admitted that the sites occupied by the wells have never been charged with rent and that they are entered in the Estate accounts as Poramboke. The District Judge takes the view that as there is a term in the pattah under which the Zamindar is entitled to charge rent for that land he cannot set up that the abstention to charge rent was the consideration. We cannot accept this view. Undoubtedly a considerable area though made up of small plots, has been rendered uncultivable by the construction of a number of wells within it and admittedly if that area had not been set apart for wells the Zamindar would not have been entitled to receive rent from any cultivating tenant in respect of it. By handing over that area to the ryots for the construction of wells he has in our opinion contributed to the cost of the wells and such contribution is good consideration for the contract set up by him. It is admitted by the ryots that they have been paying these increased rates, for about forty years; and on the principle enunciated in the case above quoted and based on the Judgment of Subramania Aiyar J. in Arumugam Chetty v. Raja Jagaveera Rama Venkateswara Etappa I.L.R. (1905) M. 444 5 M.L.J. 292 it would be open to us to presume consideration for the contract. This case is, however, a stronger one, for there is definite evidence for that consideration. We therefore hold that the proposed pattah is not invalid on that ground. In this view it is not necessary to decide the other point, raised namely, that there is in fact no enhancement, though we may observe that the decision in Arumugam Chetti v. Rajah Jagaveera Rama Venkateswara Ettappa I.L.R. (1910) M. 134 relied on does not seem to us to be applicable to the present case. We therefore reverse the decision of the District Judge and hold that the pattah tendered is a proper pattah. The plaintiff will pay the costs throughout.
2. The decision in this case governs S.A. Nos. 1064 of 1912 and the other cases posted with it.
3. The memo of objections is dismissed with costs.
Sadasiva Aiyar, J.
4. I concur.