1. In this case, the plaintiff obtained a decree against the defendant for recovery of certain land. The defendant was entitled to compensation for improvements made by him according to the provisions of the Malabar Tenancy Improvements Act, I of 1900. Section 15 of the Act empowers the Local Government to prepare tables to regulate the manner in which the value of improvements should be computed. Clause 2 of the section provides that the tables prepared under the section shall, on publication, be receivable in evidence and that the rates and the amounts therein specified shall be presumed to be the proper rate and amounts until the contrary is proved.' The compensation due to the defendants was decided by the District Munsif by the appointment of a Commissioner for the purpose. The defendant appealed against the Munsif's judgment. After the judgment of the Munsif and before the presentation of the appeal, the Local Government prepared certain tables under Section 15 of the Act. The Appellate Court was of opinion, when the appeal came on for hearing, that the defendant was entitled to the benefit of the rates provided for in the schedule prepared by Government. The District Judge remanded the case to the Munsif for assessing the compensation payable according to the Government tables. The District Munsif did so. The plaintiff apparently adduced no evidence to rebut the presumption that the compensation according to the tables was the proper amount to be awarded to the defendant.
2. The plaintiff, who has preferred this second appeal to this Court, contends that the District Judge was wrong in holding that on the publication of the tables prepared by Government, the defendant became entitled to compensation at the rates provided in them. We are of opinion that this contention must be upheld. Now, it must be noted that the preparation of the tables by Government is not intended to create any fresh right in favour either of the tenant or of the landlord. The tables are admissible in evidence to prove the compensation to which the tenant is entitled and are presumptive evidence of the proper amount of compensation. The amount to which the tenant is entitled as compensation is itself determined by Section 6, namely, the market-value. It is open to both the landlord and the tenant to show that the actual market-value is not what is provided for in the tables. The District Munsif, therefore, had to decide at the original trial what was the actual market-value of the improvements. He had to do so on evidence legally admissible then. The new tables prepared by Government did no more than bring into existence fresh evidence of the market value. That evidence was not available when the District Munsif decided the suit. The duty of the Appellate Court was to examine the correctness of the Munsif's judgment and to pass such judgment as the Munsif should have passed. It cannot be said that the judgment of the Munsif was wrong because it was not in accordance with evidence which was not available when he tried the suit. Our attention is drawn by the learned Vakil for the respondent to some provisions in the Act which, he says, show that the intention of the Legislature is that the new tables prepared should be admitted as evidence. Reference is made to Clause 2 of Section 15, which provides that the tables when published shall be receivable in evidence, and the rates and amounts therein specified shall be presumed to be the proper rates and amounts until the contrary is proved. If the Appellate Court had to take evidence of the value of the improvements, then the tables prepared would be admissible for the purpose. But Clause 2 of Section 15 would be of no help to the respondent unless the Appellate Court had the right to receive evidence regarding the compensation payable. The District Judge here did not distrust the report submitted by the Commissioner onwhich the Munsif acted, nor did he come to the conclusion that it was necessary, in order to determine the rights of the parties as they should have been adjudicated by the Munsif, that fresh evidence should be received. The clause does not say that the tables should be received in evidence whenever tendered. The preamble to the Act, in our opinion, does not help the respondent at all. It only shows that the object of the statute was to secure to the tenants the full market-value of their improvements. Reliance was also placed on Section 6, Clause 3, which entitles a tenant or landlord to a re-valuation of the improvements in execution proceedings when there is a change in the condition of the improvements after their valuation.
3. It is pointed out that, if a valuation becomes necessary, the tables would then be admissible in evidence. This is, no doubt, so; but that is because, in consequence of a re valuation becoming necessary, the Court has the power then to admit evidence, and whatever is then admissible in evidence could be received. It may be that, if the tenant in this case becomes entitled to a re valuation in execution, he may be able to claim the benefit of the new tables. But no claim to re-valuation was urged in the Appellate Court on account of any change in the condition of the improvements. Section 12 merely says that the mode of valuation most favorable to the tenant out of the modes mentioned in Sections 9, 10 and 11, should be adopted by the Court. But that does not entitle the tenant to a value higher than he could claim according to the rules of evidence in force at the time when the value is determined. The District Judge must, therefore, be held to be wrong in directing re-assessment of the compensation according to the new tables. It is admitted that no evidence was adduced by the tenant to show that the valuation submitted by the Commissioner in the Muntif's Court was wrong. That valuation which was adopted by the Mansif must, therefore, be accepted.
4. We must reverse the decree of the lower Appellate Court and restore that of the District Munsif with costs both here and in the lower Appellate Court. Time for redemption is extended to two months from this date.