1. These civil revision petitions all arise out of applications under S, 15 (4) of Madras Act IV of 1938, made by the receiver appointed in a suit for the partition of a Malabar tarwad. The partition suit was filed in 1934 and it resulted in a preliminary decree, dated 30th March, 1935. The Court appointed a receiver to hold the properties during the process of partition and when the Act came into force the position was that the properties had not yet been divided by metes and bounds and that the 84 sharers were, with reference to the leasehold interest with which we are concerned, tenants in common together liable to pay rent to the landholder. The receiver's petition asserts that all the sharers are agriculturists and there is no denial of this assertion in the counter-affidavit, nor is there any plea that any one of the sharers is disqualified under one or other of the provisos to Section 3 of the Act. We may take it that the receiver was in charge of the leasehold interests held on behalf of 84 sharers some of whom were grouped in tavazhis comprising not more than 9 sharers, that all the sharers had a saleable interest in agricultural land and that no individual sharer or group of sharers has been shown to be disqualified under any of the provisos. The receiver was directed by the Court under the orders of which he worked to raise funds and make a deposit of the rent due for the Malabar year corresponding to fasli 1347, in order to claim relief from arrears under Section 15. The present revision petitions relate to different applications presented by the receiver with reference to different jenmis to whom rent was payable.
2. It is contended in revision that these applications should have been dismissed. The contention appears to be that the original tenant being a tarwad paying sufficient land revenue to disqualify it from having an agriculturist status with reference to proviso D to Section 3, the receiver, representing the leasehold interest formerly held by the tarwad, is similarly disqualified. This contention will not bear examination, for by the preliminary decree in the partition suit the tarwad has ceased to exist and the leasehold interest is vested in individual sharers none of whom appears to pay land revenue sufficient to disqualify him under proviso D, so far as our information goes.
3. It is next contended that an application under Section 15 (4) of the Act can only be preferred by an individual and that this application made on behalf of a group of individuals is therefore incompetent. Here again it seems to us that the argument will not bear examination. The position, when the tarwad is disrupted and the leasehold interest becomes vested in individual sharers, is surely very similar to the position when a tenant dies and his . heirs become liable as tenants in common to pay the rent. Unless and until the individual heir has attorned to the landlord and a new tenancy has been created for a portion of the rent, surely the heirs would be collectively liable to pay a single rent under a single tenancy which has devolved upon them by the death of the original tenant and in such a case it would seem that the only way in which the relief under Section 15 of the Act could ordinarily be obtained would be by the submission of a joint application. The position seems to be that when a tarwad has been disrupted and before the partition has been completed and fresh individual tenancies have been created, the old tenancy continues though the liability for rent is a liability incidental to the tenancy in common which results from the disruption of the tarwad. Surely the result is that all the tenants in common are collectively liable to pay rent and should proceed collectively to get any relief to which they may be entitled; at any rate though it would not be necessary for them all to join if any individual applies separately for relief in respect of the rent due from them all, he would only be able to get that relief on a deposit of the whole of the rent due for fasli 1347 in respect of the tenancy. It seems to us that there is no basis for refusing to agriculturists the benefit to which they are entitled under Section 15, merely because by the process of devolution the tenancy is held by more than one individual. If so much is conceded, there seems to be no reason why the receiver should not make the application on behalf of all the tenants in common whom he represents provided at any rate that he is duly authorised by the Court to do so. It is the receiver who would have to pay the rent so long as he holds the property and it is fitting that the deposit to be made on behalf of the tenants in common should be made by him. No doubt the question whether the application should succeed or not will depend on the individual qualification of the various sharers when it is made on their behalf by the receiver. But we cannot see why the application should be rejected merely because it is presented under the orders of Court by the receiver on behalf of all the sharers.
4. In the result therefore these petitions are dismissed with costs in C.R.Ps. Nos. 149, 230 and 231, one set in each petition.