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A.P. Paramasivan Vs. Sevasami Nadar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1960)1MLJ44
AppellantA.P. Paramasivan
RespondentSevasami Nadar
Excerpt:
- - 125, well below the limit of rs......is entitled to a half share in these lands, he is also liable to pay only a half share of the land revenue and the kist of the family lands payable by him would be only rs. 125, well below the limit of rs. 150 fixed in section 2(a)(i) of madras act i of 1955. section 2(a) speaks of a person having interest in agricultural lands. admittedly the family of the defendant is joint. on the date when the suit ought to have been filed, the defendant had an interest in every item of the joint family property which inter alia consists of agricultural lands. it cannot be said that his interest in the agricultural lands extended only to half of them and not to the entire lands.3. section 2(a)(i) is an exception to section 2(a). that clause takes out of section 2(a) the class of agriculturists.....
Judgment:

Ganapatia Pillai, J.

1. This is a petition to revise the decree of the District Munsif, Ambasamudram, dismissing the suit filed by the plaintiff. The suit was laid for recovery of Rs. 492-14-0 due on a promissory note executed by the defendant on the 18th of April, 1949 in favour of the plaintiff's assignor. There was a payment of Rs. 10 towards interest on the 29th March, 1952. Thereafter, there were no payment. It is alleged in the plaint that though the suit was filed on 1st July, 1955, it was not barred, as the defendant was an agriculturist entitled to the benefit of Madras Act I of 1955. This Act extended the period within which suits for money should be filed against agriculturists by a period of four months. See Section 3. The question, therefore, is whether the defendant is a person who falls within the definition of 'agriculturist' contained in Section 2 of the Act. The learned District Munsif held that he did not fall under the definition, and that, therefore, the suit was not saved from the bar of limitation. Mr. Rama Iyengar, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, contends that since the defendant is a member of the joint family which consists of another male member, the kist for the lands belonging to the joint family should be apportioned to find out how much would fall to the share of the defendant.

2. The admitted facts are that the lands belong to the joint family of the defendant which consists of himself and his son, and that the family have to pay kist of Rs. 250 per year. It is said that since the defendant is entitled to a half share in these lands, he is also liable to pay only a half share of the land revenue and the kist of the family lands payable by him would be only Rs. 125, well below the limit of Rs. 150 fixed in Section 2(a)(i) of Madras Act I of 1955. Section 2(a) speaks of a person having interest in agricultural lands. Admittedly the family of the defendant is joint. On the date when the suit ought to have been filed, the defendant had an interest in every item of the joint family property which inter alia consists of agricultural lands. It cannot be said that his interest in the agricultural lands extended only to half of them and not to the entire lands.

3. Section 2(a)(i) is an exception to Section 2(a). That clause takes out of Section 2(a) the class of agriculturists who would otherwise fall within Section 2(a). The test is payment of kist, land revenue, peskash or quit rent exceeding one hundred and fifty rupes per annum in any year after 1952-53. Mr. Rama Iyengar's argument is that since the defendant owns notionally only a half share in the family properties, he is liable to pay only a half share of the land revenue due on the lands. This runs counter to accepted notions of liability for payment of kist due to Government. A number of lands are entered in one patta and the land revenue payable for all those lands is totalled up. Yet it could not be said that the liability to pay such land revenue could be distributed on the various lands included in the holding under that patta. Similarly, even though the defendant may, if a partition were to be effected, be entitled to a half share of the family lands, he could not contend that he would pay a half share of the land revenue payable for the family lands. Certainly, so long as he remains joint, he is under a liability to pay the entire land revenue due upon the family lands to the Government. It follows that the defendant is a person who is liable to pay land revenue exceeding Rs. 150 per annum. He is, therefore, hit by Section 2(a)(i) of the Act. The learned District Munsif was right in holding that the plaintiff could not rely upon Section 2(a)(i) for escaping the bar of limitation. The dismissal of the suit is, therefore, proper and this petition is dismissed.


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