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G. Ramiah Baghavathar Vs. Chinna Karuppannan Servai and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1937Mad478; (1937)1MLJ566
AppellantG. Ramiah Baghavathar
RespondentChinna Karuppannan Servai and anr.
Cases Referred and Valia Muhammad v. Savakutti Koyi
Excerpt:
- - i which is dated 27th april, 1933. it is also clear from the evidence that the plaintiff was sued by the devasthanam for recovery of arrears of rent and possession on the ground that he ought to have surrendered possession on the expiry of the term and that he failed to do so......the new lease he sub-leased the property to the defendants for a period of three years. the lease expired on 7th october, 1932, but the plaintiff did not surrender possession of the property on the expiry of the term; neither the defendants who were holding a portion of the property under the said sub-lease delivered possession to the plaintiff. it transpires from the evidence that the plaintiff was attempting negotiations with the devasthanam for the renewal of the lease and the defendants were also making similar attempts for getting the lease to themselves and ultimately the defendants succeeded in getting the lease from the devasthanam under ex. i which is dated 27th april, 1933. it is also clear from the evidence that the plaintiff was sued by the devasthanam for recovery of.....
Judgment:

Venkataramana Rao, J.

1. I he question involved in this revision petition is the right to recover arrears of rent by the plaintiff from the defendants from March, 1932. The plaintiff obtained a lease from the Koodal Alagar Devasthanam on 7th October, 1929, for a period of three years. Even prior to the said lease he was holding the lands on another lease which was to expire on the date of the new lease. In anticipation of getting the new lease he sub-leased the property to the defendants for a period of three years. The lease expired on 7th October, 1932, but the plaintiff did not surrender possession of the property on the expiry of the term; neither the defendants who were holding a portion of the property under the said sub-lease delivered possession to the plaintiff. It transpires from the evidence that the plaintiff was attempting negotiations with the Devasthanam for the renewal of the lease and the defendants were also making similar attempts for getting the lease to themselves and ultimately the defendants succeeded in getting the lease from the Devasthanam under Ex. I which is dated 27th April, 1933. It is also clear from the evidence that the plaintiff was sued by the Devasthanam for recovery of arrears of rent and possession on the ground that he ought to have surrendered possession on the expiry of the term and that he failed to do so. In that suit a decree for rent was passed against the plaintiff. The plaintiff has now filed the present suit for recovery of arrears of rent and also for certain damages in respect of the contract for milling paddy which the defendants entered into with the plaintiff and also for certain items due on account. The learned Subordinate Judge found as a fact that the plaintiff was not entitled to the moneys alleged to be due to him in respect of the dealings, and in regard to arrears of rent he was of the opinion that the lease in favour of the plaintiff had expired and he was not entitled to sue and claim relief in respect thereof. It seems to me that this view is unsound. One of the obligations of the lessee is to deliver possession of the premises demised to the lessor from whom he derived possession and until that obligation is fulfilled, he was bound to pay him either rent or damages for the use and occupation. Of course, it is open to him to show that his title having expired he has surrendered possession to the original landlord from whom the lessor derived possession or to a person claiming by title paramount and in such cases it has been held that no question of estoppel arises, but when he is not able to plead a valid defence to his obligation to surrender possession, it will not be open to him to resist the demand made by his lessor for damages for the use and occupation during the period he was in possession until he surrendered possession to the lessor. Mr. Ramaswami Ayyar relied on two decisions reported in Lodai Mollah v. Kally Das Roy I.L.R. (1881) 8 Cal. 238 and Valia Muhammad v. Savakutti Koyi (1933) 66 M.L.J. 355 to the effect that it is open to a lessee after the expiration of the term to plead that the lessor's title has expired in a suit for rent. In my opinion, the proposition is very widely stated in those cases because it will be seen from the statement of the law in Everest and Strode's Law of Estoppel that a lessor by merely showing that the title has expired cannot escape the obligations he was under his lease. The rule is thus stated in the 3rd edition of the said book (p. 202):

A tenant is not estopped from showing that his landlord's title expired at a period subsequent to the date when the tenant was let into possession; but the tenant must however in order to be allowed to show the expiration of his landlord's title, solemnly renounce such title and commence a fresh holding under some other person.

2. Therefore, even though the plaintiff's title might have expired by the expiration of the term of the lease, still until he has shown that he has renounced the obligation of surrendering possession to him by commencing to hold the property under some other person either the landlord of the plaintiff or a person claiming by title paramount or by delivering possession to them, the mere fact that the plaintiff's title has expired is no defence to a suit for arrears of rent or for damages. I therefore reverse the decree of the lower Court so far as this matter is concerned, and direct that a decree be given to the plaintiff for arrears of rent as and by way of damages for use and occupation from 1st March, 1932 up to the date Ex. I came into effect. For this purpose, the case is remanded to the lower Court for disposal and for the necessary decree being passed in favour of the plaintiff, but in the circumstances I direct each party to bear his own costs of this revision petition.


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