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Raman Nayar and ors. Vs. Kesavan Embrandiri and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subjecttenancy
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Mad816
AppellantRaman Nayar and ors.
RespondentKesavan Embrandiri and ors.
Cases ReferredRekhabchand Doogar v. J.R.
Excerpt:
- - it is stated by the learned district munsif that he has got a better land which he could have cultivated instead of this......second appeal is that the finding of the learned district judge that the plaintiff requires the land bona fide for his cultivation is wrong because it is based on a wrong interpretation of clause (5) of section 14, malabar tenancy act. after listening to the learned counsel on both sides i am of opinion that the contention of mr. govinda menon should prevail and that the case should be sent back for a revised finding. section 14 so far as it is material for the decision in the appeal runs thus:section 14. - 'no suit for eviction of a cultivating verumpattamdar from his holding shall lie at the instance of his landlord except on the following grounds : clause (5) that at the end of an agricultural year the landlord requires the holding bona fide for his own cultivation or for that of.....
Judgment:

Venkataramana Rao, J.

1. The only question argued by Mr. Govinda Menon in this second appeal is that the finding of the learned District Judge that the plaintiff requires the land bona fide for his cultivation is wrong because it is based on a wrong interpretation of Clause (5) of Section 14, Malabar Tenancy Act. After listening to the learned Counsel on both sides I am of opinion that the contention of Mr. Govinda Menon should prevail and that the case should be sent back for a revised finding. Section 14 so far as it is material for the decision in the appeal runs thus:

Section 14. - 'No suit for eviction of a cultivating verumpattamdar from his holding shall lie at the instance of his landlord except on the following grounds : Clause (5) that at the end of an agricultural year the landlord requires the holding bona fide for his own cultivation or for that of any member of his family or tarwad or tavazhi who has a proprietary and beneficial interest therein.

2. In construing this section it must be borne in mind that the object of the Malabar Tenancy Act is to confer a right of permanent occupancy on the tenant. It is with this object that the rule has been enunciated that no suit for eviction shall lie except on certain specified grounds. Therefore these exceptions must be strictly construed and the landlord who relies on a particular ground must satisfy the Court beyond reasonable doubt that that ground exists. Clause (5) has been enacted in the interests of the landlord to preserve to him the right to have the land for his own cultivation in cases where there is a real need or necessity for the landlord. The language used is 'requires the holding bona fide.' A mere desire on the part of the landlord, even if bona fide, to have the land for his own cultivation is not enough and in coming to 'a conclusion on the question of the land-lord's need being bona fide, the Court should in each case consider whether the circumstances are such that the land must be restored to the landlord for his own cultivation or cultivation by any member of the family or tarwad. The real test is the need of the landlord. In this connexion I may refer to the observations of Buckland J. in : AIR1923Cal223 Rekhabchand Doogar v. J.R. D' Cruz. 1941 M 103 a decision on Section 11, Calcutta Rent Act. The said section so far as it is relevant for the present discussion runs thus:

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, 1882, or the Contract Act, 1872, no order or decree for the recovery of possession shall be made so long as the tenant pays the rent to the full extent allowable by the Act and performs the conditions of the tenancy.

Provided nothing in this section shall apply ... where the premises are bona fide required by the landlord either for purposes of building or re-building or for his own occupation or the occupation of any person for whose benefit the premises are held.

3. The learned Judge observed thus:

I do not think it is enough that a plaintiff in order to defeat a plea under the Calcutta Rent Act should merely say that he desires the premises bona fide for his occupation. The word in the Act is not 'desires' but 'requires.' This in my opinion involves something more than a mere wish and it involves an element of need to some extent at least.

4. I would place the same interpretation on the words 'requires the holding bona fide' in Clause (5) of Section 14, Malabar Tenancy Act. The learned District Judge seems to have fallen into an error in interpreting 'requires' as meaning 'desires.' This is how he observes:

It is stated by the learned District Munsif that he has got a better land which he could have cultivated instead of this. But he has to begin cultivation of one of the two lands and if he chose to begin with this how could it be considered that it was not a bona fide desire. That the plaintiff has a bona fide desire to cultivate is apparent from the fact that even as early as 1934 in Ex. A, the notice sent by him, he had stated that he required the lands for his cultivation.

5. Therefore the view of the learned District Judge that a bona fide desire is enough to entitle the landlord to evict the tenant is not sound. I accordingly set aside the finding of the learned Judge and call upon the Subordinate Judge of Calicut to submit a revised finding on issue 1 in the suit in the light of the observations contained in this judgment. The finding will be submitted within four weeks of the receipt of this order by the lower Court. Time for objections is one week. [On receipt of the finding the Court delivered the following]

Judgment

6. I accept the finding and dismiss the suit. In the circumstances of this case I direct each party to bear his own costs. Leave to appeal is refused.


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