S. Ramachandra Iyer, O.C.J.
1. This petition is directed against the dismissal of a landlord's application under Section 4-A(2) of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act. Kuppuswami Chetty, the petitioner, owned originally an extent of 4 acres, 20 cents of land. Since the time of his purchase and even earlier, the respondent was cultivating the lands as a tenant. In M.A. No. 172 of 1957 the petitioner applied under Section 4-A(2) of the Act resuming one half of the lands for personal cultivation. There was an order on the basis of a compromise on that application on 5th October, 1957. Both the parties agreed that the landlord was to take possession of an extent of 2 acres, 10 cents leaving the tenant with the other 2 acres, 10 cents. There was a proportionate abatement in the rent payable. The landlord, after cultivating the lands himself for some time sold the property to a third party. He then came forward with another application under Section 4-A(2) of the Act for resuming for personal cultivation one half of the land still left with the tenant, namely, half of 2 acres, 10 cents, which the respondent was then enjoying as a cultivating tenant. The tenant resisted the application. He also filed an application stating that he was willing to pay the rent payable on 27th September, 1955, claiming relief under Sub-section (3) of Section 4-A. The Revenue Divisional Officer did not pass any orders in the later application. But he dismissed the substantial application of the petitioner under Section 4-A(2) on the ground that the application was not bona fide. The landlord has filed this Revision Petition challenging the correctness of the order.
2. In my view, the application of the landlord can be disposed of on a short ground Under Section 4-A(1) and (2) a landlord (who satisfies the conditions laid down in the Section) would be entitled to resume possession from any cultivating tenant for the purposes of his own personal cultivation lands not exceeding one half of the extent of lands leased out to the cultivating tenant. In the present case, the landlord filed an application for resuming one half of the lands for purposes of personal cultivation in M.A. No. 172 of 1957. His request was granted. It should not thereafter be open to him to again repeat the application by trying to get another half out of the half left with him. The maximum limit, which a landolord is authorised to resume for personal cultivation is fixed at one half of the lands leased out to the cultivating tenant. It is admitted that the lands leased out to the cultivating tenant originally was 4 acres, 20 cents and the landlord did resume for personal cultivation 2 acres, 10 cents. It is not the case of the petitioner that subsequent to the order in M.A. No. 172 of 1957, there was any fresh tenancy between him and the tenant by which he specifically let out only 2 acres, 10 cents of land for purposes of cultivation. The lease which regulated the relationship between the parties was the original lease covering an extent of 4 acres, 20 cents in respect of which the landlord by the exercise of the statutory right given to him under Section 4-A(1), resumed a moiety. It will be seen from a reference to Sub-sections (5) and (6) that if the landlord fails to personally cultivate, he will have to hand back the possession of the land. That only emphasises that the lease was the orignal lease covering the extent originally granted to the petitioner. Therefore, when the landlord obtained one half of the extent originally demised, his rights declared under Section 4-A(1) had been completely worked out. He cannot again apply to the Court under Section 4-A(2) for resuming one half of what is left with the tenant.
3. Mr. Ramanathan appearing for the landlord contended that the right declared under Section 4-A(1) should be read in the light of the circumstances prevailing on the date when the application and, as in the present case, on the date when the application out of which the present revision petition arises was filed, the tenant was in possession of only 2 acres, 10 cents of land, it must be held that Section 4-A(1) entitles him to resume possession of one half of the lands in occupation of the cultivating tenant on the date of the application. Learned Counsel further invited my attention to the provisions of Sub-section (2), which according to him, imposed no conditions as to the number of applications which a landlord may file in regard to the matter. I am unable to agree. If the argument of the learned Counsel were to be accepted, it would undoubtedly lead to absurd results. The landlord may file an application and resume possession of one half of lands demised. Then he can follow it up with another application, resume another half of what is left with the tenant and he can repeat the process as many times as his resources permit and thus completely deprive the tenant of any property for the purpose of cultivation. That is clearly not the object of the Act. The Act is intended to give protection to the cultivating tenant. Section 4-A(1) is intended to remedy cases of hardship in which a poor landlord finds himself in a greater difficulty than the tenant. In all such cases it enables the landlord to resume half the portion of the land for personal cultivation. Once that half has been given to him, the statutory right stands worked out and he cannot have further claim to resume another half of what is left with the tenant. The petition therefore fails and is dismissed with costs.