(1) The defendants appeal against a reversing judgment arising form a suit for a declaration of the title of the respondents and for recovery of possession of a site measuring 92 ft by 36 ft as Adambakkam. On 29-4-1933, the first defendant took a lease of the A schedule property from the plaintiff and his brother on a certain rental. In 1935 at a partition between the brothers, the plaintiff became the owner of the northern half of the property owner of the northern half of the property covered by the original lease. Thereafter the first defendant surrendered the southern half but continued to occupy the northern half. Since the lease was terminable by a month's notice, the plaintiff terminated it by a notice dated 30-6-1958. The first defendant then denied the plaintiff's title on the ground that he had purchased the northern half of the site from the plaintiff. The plaintiff by another notice purported to terminate the tenancy on the ground that the first defendant denied his title and claimed title in himself. The plaintiff's suit followed which was resisted on two grounds, (1) title in himself by purchase from the plaintiff, and (2) he was entitled to protection under the provisions of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act, 1921. Both the courts below have found against the claim of title by the first defendant, but they have differed on the question whether he was entitled to the protection of the Act, the lower appellate court holding that he was not.
(2) The second appeal was originally before Kailasam J., who considered that if Madhava Rao Naidu v. Sri Gangadareswarar Temple, 1946-2 Mad LJ 285: (AIR 1947 Mad 125) had decided that a tenant continuing in possession after termination of tenancy had no right, it would not be in conformity with the third class of the definition of a tenant in Section 2(4) of the City Tenants Protection Act, 1921. On that view the learned Judge referred the second appeal for disposal by a Division Bench and that is how it comes before us.
(3) The Madras City Tenants Protection Act was enacted for the express purpose of giving protection to tenants, who in municipal gowns and adjoining areas in the State of Madras have construed building on others' lands in the hope that they would not be evicted so long as they paid a fair rent for the land. The first defendant would claim to have put up certain huts on the land and sought protection under the Act, Section 9 provides for statutory protection of tenants in possession, as defined by S. 2(4) of the Act. The definition is as follows:
"2(4) 'Tenant' mans tenant of land liable to pay rent on it every other person deriving title form him, and includes persons who continue in possession after the termination of the tenancy".
The statutory definition of a tenant includes, therefore, three classes of persons, of which the first envisages the existence of contractual tenancy under the terms of which there is a liability to pay rent. The second category is based on a derivative title form a tenant of the first class. The third contemplates a person, who continues in possession notwithstanding the fact that there has been a termination of the tenancy. The first defendant claims that he will come under the third category. On the other hand for the plaintiff the argument is that, where a person has suffered forfeiture by denial of the landlord's title under S. 111(g) of the Transfer of Property Act, he will not fall within the purview of the third class of statutory tenant as defined by the Act.
(4) It seems to us that the decision above referred to concludes the point against the defendants and in our view, with respect, it is correct. There a court auction purchaser of the right title and interest of one quondum tenant of the property in question claimed that, placed as he was a purchaser in the shoes of the vendor, who continued to be in possession even after denial of title by him and incurring forfeiture on that account he was entitled to the statutory protection. Sir Lionel Leach C. J. and Lakshmana Rao J. held in the circumstances that, if the vendor had in law any right in the land, it would have passed to the appellant who was the auction purchaser, but clearly he had none. Mr. Vaidyanatha Aiyar for the appellant argues that the ratio of this decision is merely that the right to statutory protection under the Act is not a transferable or transmissible right. According to him, that is all that the Court decided in that case. We have no hesitation in rejecting the contention, for the learned Judges unmistakably pointed out that account they held that he Court auction purchaser, who claimed his right title and interest, had acquired no right.
(5) Quite apart form this decision, we are of the view that the lower appellate court took the right view of the scope of S. 2(4), as it stood before the amendment in 1960. It is true that the third class in the definition comprehends persons continuing in possession, though the tenancy has come to an end. A tenancy may come to an end for a number of reasons as for instance denial of landlord's title. Such a denial under the ordinary law of transfer of property brings about forfeiture. The argument for the appellant before us is that even such a case will be within the actual words of the third category in the definition. But there is a fallacy in the argument. When a person, who continues to be in possession after termination of tenancy, claims that he does so, as he is entitled to the property as his own, it is obvious that there is hardly any room for such an owner to seek protection of his possession under the provisions of the Act. Clearly the Act is not intended to protect such owners, for there is not need for it. We are the third category of persons entitled to protection under the Act.
(6) On that view, the second appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
(7) Appeal dismissed.