V. Ramaswami, J.
1. This is a petition by the tenant against the order of the Authorised Officer, Land Reforms, Madurai, rejecting his application for deposit under Section 3 (3) (a) of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act, 1955.
2. The petitioner is a tenant under the respondent in respect of an extent of 1 acre 50 cents in Thenkarai Village of Nilakottai Taluk. For the fasli year 1381, the petitioner deposited a sum of Rs. 610 and filed an application under Section 3 (3) (a) for recording the deposits.
3. The respondent contended that the lands leased to the petitioner were double crop wet lands, that the rent payable was 20 bags of paddy and 10 bundles of straw for the first crop and 10 bags of paddy and 5 bundles of straw for the second crop. The rent for the first crop is payable in the month of Karthikai and that for the second crop it is payable in Chithrai. So far, the parties are in agreement. But the petitioner contended that for fasli 1381, due to drought conditions, he was not able to raise any second crop and that therefore he was not liable to pay any rent for the second crop. Valuing the paddy at Rs. 30 per bag, the petitioner had deposited a sum of Rs. 610 towards the value of the rent payable for the first crop. There is also no dispute as to the amount payable in respect of the first crop. But the respondent contended that it was not correct to say that the petitioner did not raise any second crop in the lands leased to him and that, in fact, the petitioner raised the second crop and therefore the rent for the second crop was also payable.
4. The Authorised Officer accepted the contention of the respondent and held that the amount deposited by the petitioner did not represent the full or correct amount of rent due from him for fasli 1381, and therefore the deposit application was rejected.
5. The learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that if the Court finds that any further sum is due, the section requires that it shall allow the cultivating tenant such time as it may consider just and reasonable having regard to the relative circumstances of the landlord and cultivating tenant for depositing such further sum. But the Authorised Officer had failed to exercise that jurisdiction and had not granted the time for deposit. On the other hand, the learned Counsel for the respondent contended that there was no request by the tenant for deposit of any balance that was found due, and that therefore the rejection of the application was correct.
6. It may be pointed out that all along the petitioner was contending that he had not raised the second crop, and therefore there was no occasion for him to request for further time to deposit the balance that may be found due. The petitioner could find only from the order of the Authorised Officer that his contention that he had not raised the second crop, had not been accepted. In the circumstances, there was no occasion for him to request the Court to grant the time for depositing the balance. Further I am of the view that on the wording of Clause (b) of Section 3 (3), it is incumbent on the Authorised Officer to have granted he time even without a request from the tenant, when he finds that the amount deposited by him (the petitioner) did 101 represent the correct amount, because, the correctness or otherwise of he deposit would only follow the finding of the Authorised Officer that the amount payable by the tenant is more than the Amount that is deposited. It is for this reason that the section reads to the effect that,
(b) ...If the Court finds that any further sum is due, it shall allow the cultivating tenant such time as it may consider just and reasonable....
Admittedly, the Authorised Officer had not given the petitioner any time for depositing the balance amount due in respect of fasli 1381. The order of the Authorised Officer is, therefore, liable to be set aside and it is accordingly set aside. The Authorised Officer will now take-the application on file and grant the petitioner such time as he may consider just and reasonable to deposit the money and pass such further orders as per the law.
7. It is represented by the learned' Counsel for the petitioner that he had' subsequently deposited the balance amount also. If that is so, it is also a circumstance which the Authorised' Officer will take into account in passing the order in the application. There will be no order as to costs in this petition.