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G. Ponniah thevar Vs. Nallayam Perumal Pillai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1976)2MLJ260
AppellantG. Ponniah thevar
RespondentNallayam Perumal Pillai and ors.
Cases ReferredGhandrasekaran v. Kunju Vanniar and Ors.
Excerpt:
.....whether the tenant under the mortgagee in possession was entitled to the protection of the tarril nadu cultivating tenants protection act after redemption of the mortgage. in the present case, as i have pointed but already, under exhibit a-5, the compromise decree, unnamalai ammal acquired only an interest to enjoy the property for her life and she alone had inducted the appellant into possession ;and admittedly,.unnamalai ammal died on 26th july, 1968. the question is whether the appellant can claim the protection of the act as against the ultimate owners of the property, viz. 499 and 645 of 1970 disposed of on 3rd august 1972. in that case also, under a settlement, deed, one alamelu ammal became entitled to enjoy the property for her life, and after her death, the property belonged..........march, 1961. he put forward several contentions, even denying the title of the plaintiffs to the suit property, but the effective contention, which was put forward, and which alone was urged repeatedly before me was that the appellant is a cultivating tenant entitled to the benefits of the tamil nadu cultivating tenants protection act, and consequently he could not be evicted frair the suit lands. both the courts below, following the judgment of this court in man-galathachi v. kalyanasundaram mudaliar (1966) 2 m.l.j. 66, negatived this claim of the appellant, and decreed the suit as prayed for. hence the present second appeal by the first defendant in the suit.3. mr. t.r. mani, the learned counsel for the appellant, does not dispute the title of the plaintiffs to the suit property, nor.....
Judgment:

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. The first defendant in O.S. No. 186 of 1969 on the file of the Court of the District Munsif, Periyakulam, who lost before the Courts below, is the appellant herein.

2. The controversy lies within a very narrow compass. Admittedly, the suit property of an extent of 1 acre 75 cents belonged to one Annamalai Pillai under a settlement deed, the original of Exhibit A-2, dated 16th December,. 1907 by his natural father Ramaswamy Pillai. After the death of Annamalai Pillai, leaving two widows, viz., Unnamalai Ammal and Veerayee. Veerayee instituted O.S. No. 482 of 1927 on the file of the District Munsif's Court, Periyakulam for partition of the properties of Annamalai Pillai, impleading Unnamalai Airmal and the son of the natural brother of Annamalai Pillai, viz., the second defendant in this suit. That suit ended in a compromise, as evidenced by Exhibit A-5, dated 6th July, 1935, being the certified copy of the final decree in I.A. No. 1009 of 1933 in O.S. No. 487 of 1927. Under the terms of the compromise, the extent of.1 acre 75 cents was to be enjoyed by Unnamalai Ammal during her life time, and the same was to belong also lutely to the sons of the second defendant herein. 'The plaintiffs in the suit are the sons of the second defendant. After the death of Unnamalai Ammal on 26th July, 1968, the plaintiffs in the present action instituted this suit for declaration and possession and for past and future mesne profits. The appellant herein, who was the first defendant in the suit, claimed to be the lessee of the suit lands under Unnamalai Ammal under the original of Exhibit A-7, dated 27th March, 1961. He put forward several contentions, even denying the title of the plaintiffs to the suit property, but the effective contention, which was put forward, and which alone was urged repeatedly before me was that the appellant is a cultivating tenant entitled to the benefits of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, and consequently he could not be evicted frair the suit lands. Both the Courts below, following the judgment of this Court in Man-galathachi v. Kalyanasundaram Mudaliar (1966) 2 M.L.J. 66, negatived this claim of the appellant, and decreed the suit as prayed for. Hence the present second appeal by the first defendant in the suit.

3. Mr. T.R. Mani, the learned Counsel for the appellant, does not dispute the title of the plaintiffs to the suit property, nor the status of the appellant as the tenant of the suit property, but only contends that the appellant is entitled to the protection of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, and, therefore, he is not liable to be evicted in the present suit. The question for consideration is whether that contention is correct or not.

4. Of course, the Courts below relied on a decision of this Court referred to already, though a subsequent Full Bench decision in Chandrasekaran v. Kunju Vanniar and Ors. : AIR1975Mad227 , has taken a different view. However, that decision as well as the judgment of the Full Bench dealt with a case where the mortgagee in possession had leased the properties, and the question for consideration was whether the tenant under the mortgagee in possession was entitled to the protection of the Tarril Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act after redemption of the mortgage. The Full Bench had no occasion to consider the question whether a tenant under a limited owner or a life estate-holder can claim the protection of the Act after the death of the lessor, viz., the life estate-holder. In the present case, as I have pointed but already, under Exhibit A-5, the compromise decree, Unnamalai Ammal acquired only an interest to enjoy the property for her life and she alone had inducted the appellant into possession ; and admittedly,. Unnamalai Ammal died on 26th July, 1968. The question is whether the appellant can claim the protection of the Act as against the ultimate owners of the property, viz., the plaintiffs in the suit.

5. There are two direct decisions on this, point by this Court. One is the Judgment of Ramanujam, J., in O.J.V. Ramanathan and O.N. Krishnamurthi v. Raman-Pullavarayar and Nagappdn Ambalagarar S.A. Nos. 499 and 645 of 1970 disposed of on 3rd August 1972. In that case also, under a settlement, deed, one Alamelu Ammal became entitled to enjoy the property for her life, and after her death, the property belonged absolutely to the appellant in the second appeal. Ramanujam, J., had to consider whether the tenant under Alamelu Ammal could claim the rights under the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, after the death of Alamelu Ammal as against the absolute owner. Ramanujam, J. negatived the claim of the tenant and held that he could not claim the protection of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act.

6. The second decision is that of Mohan,. J., in Rajappa Th'nkandar v. Ramanatha Sundaram Thenkandar and Muthukumarai Thenkandar S.A. No. 1691 of 1972, dated 14th July, 1975. Mohan, J., followed the judgment of Ramanujam, J., and held that a tenant from a life estate-holder will not be entitled to claim the benefit of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act. It must be pointed out that the judgment of Mohan, J., was rendered after the judgment of the Full Bench referred to already, viz., Ghandrasekaran v. Kunju Vanniar and Ors. : AIR1975Mad227 . These two judgments, though by single Judges, are binding on me, unless I an convinced thatthe said decisions require reconsideration, in which event I shall have to refer this matter to a Bench.

7. Mr. T.R. Mani, the learned Counsel for the appellant, attempted to convince me that the said two decisions are erroneous and require reconsideration. The argument of Mr. Mani is that on the analogy of Section 76(a) of the Transfer of Property Act, the acts done bona fide and prudently in the ordinary course of management by the life estate-holder will bind on the reversioners or the owners of the vested remainder. The question was actually considered by Ramanujam, J., who held that in the case of a tenant under the life estate-holder, Section 76 (a) of the Transfer of Property Act as such will not apply, and there is no scope for applying the provisions of that section by way of analogy, because Section 111(c) of the Transfer of Property Act actually provides that a lease of immovable property determines where the interest of the lessor in the property terminates on, or his power to dispose of the same extends only to, the happening of any event--'by the happening of such event. As a matter of fact, in such cases, there is no scope for applying any principle of law, by way of analogy, because the right that is claimed by the appellant herein is a specific right pursuant to a particular statutory provision, and, therefore, the question of applying the principles contained in Section 76 (a) of the Transfer of Property Act by way of analogy does not arise.

8. The second submission of Mr. Mani that admittedly Unnamalai ammal was entitled to collect the rents from the appellant, and was actually collecting the rents from him, and, therefore, she will be the landlord as defined -in the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, and the tenancy agreement under the original of Exhibit A-7 entered into between Unnamalai Ammal and the appellant would come within the scope of that Act, so as to make the appellant a cultivating tenant entitled to protection under that Act. I am unable to accept this argument either. In the first place, the two judgments referred to above dealt with the identical circurr stances with regard to the provisions contained in the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, and, therefore, unless I hold that the learned Judges had failed to take into account the provisions contained in the Act, I cannot say that their judgments require reconsideration. Apart froir that, the conclusion arrived at by them is not rested on any provision contained in the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, but on the normal and general rule that a grantor cannot confer on another a large interest then he himself had in the property. In view of this, I am of the opinion that there is no substance in this contention either.

9. Thirdly, Mr. Mani contends that several decisions with reference to Section 76(a) of the Transfer of Property Act has held that if a mortgagee in possession had leased out the mortgaged property in bona fide exercise of his fight to enjoy the property and the transaction happened to be a prudent transaction, the tenant would acquire the rights conferred by statutes subsequent to the tenancy. In my opinion, this argument is misconceived. In the first place, the said principle has been applied by the Courts only with reference to Section 76(a) of the Transfer of Property Act, and once it is held that Section 76(a) will not apply to the tenancy created by a litrited owner, the question involved is one of absence of power and not the manner of exercise of power. Under these circumstances, I am unable to hold that the decisions of Ramanujam, J., and Mohan, J., referred to already require reconsideration, and following those judgments it must be held that the appellant is not entitled to the protection of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act.

10. Accordingly, the second appeal fails and it is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. No leave.


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