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N.S.S. Sivanu Mudaliar (Died) and ors. Vs. Sivapakia Nadar by G. Srinivasagam, Advocate and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1984)2MLJ243
AppellantN.S.S. Sivanu Mudaliar (Died) and ors.
RespondentSivapakia Nadar by G. Srinivasagam, Advocate and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....section 5(2) of act xxiv of 1956. taking advantage of the enactment of tamil nadu cultivating tenants (arrears of rent (relief) act xv of 1980, hereinafter referred to as act xv of 1980, the cultivating tenants filed applications pleading discharge of the arrears of rent as per the provisions of act xv of 1980 in the course of the enquiry into the applications under section 5(2) of act xxiv of 1956. these applications under act xv of 1980 have been enquired into and the revenue court, tirunelveli, has passed orders declaring that the arrears of rent upto 30-6-1976 have been discharged as per section 4 of act xv of 1980. these two revisions are directed against the orders passed by the revenue court.2. the primary contention which i am inclined to sustain, and that has been put forth.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Nainar Sundaram, J.

1. The landlord within the meaning of Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants (Payment of Fair Rent) Act XXIV of 1956, hereinafter referred to as Act XXIV of 1956, is the petitioner in these revisions. The respondent in C.R.P. No. 533 of 1982 and the two respondents in C.R.P. No. 534 of 1982 are the cultivating tenants within the meaning of Act XXIV of 1956. The first respondent is common to both the revisions. The cultivating tenants have filed substantive applications under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956, the relevant part of which reads as follows:

(2) Whenever adverse seasonal conditions result in the reduction of the gross produce from any particular crop to the extent of more than 25 per cent, the landowner shall be bound to remit a proportionate part of the fair rent due to him from his cultivating tenant in respect of that land for that period:

Provided that before admitting or inquiring into an application made by a cultivating tenant for remission of fair rent under this section, the Rent Court may impose such conditions as it considers reasonable in the circumstances of the case including conditions as to deposit of admitted rent which has become due.

The said applications were preferred before the Special Deputy Collector (Revenue Court), Tirunelveli, for remission in rents contemplated under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956. Taking advantage of the enactment of Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants (Arrears of Rent (Relief) Act XV of 1980, hereinafter referred to as Act XV of 1980, the cultivating tenants filed applications pleading discharge of the arrears of rent as per the provisions of Act XV of 1980 in the course of the enquiry into the applications under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956. These applications under Act XV of 1980 have been enquired into and the Revenue Court, Tirunelveli, has passed orders declaring that the arrears of rent upto 30-6-1976 have been discharged as per Section 4 of Act XV of 1980. These two revisions are directed against the orders passed by the Revenue Court.

2. The primary contention which I am inclined to sustain, and that has been put forth by the landlord is that the scope of the enquiry under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956 is restricted and compact, and permits consideration of remission in the rent on the ground of adverse seasonal conditions which result in the reduction of the gross produce from any particular crop to the extent of more than 25 per cent, and the scope of the consideration of the claim for discharge of the arrears of rent under Act XV of 1980 is completely different from the scope of the consideration of an application under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956. This is a unable submission. A reading of Section (sic) of Act XXIV of 1956 brings out the contingencies on which remission could be claimed. On the other hand, Section 4 of Act XV of 1980 provides for discharge of the arrears of rent on fulfilment of certain contingencies and they are different from these contemplated under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956. It will be most inappropriate to mix up the two. May be, on obtaining relief under Section 4 of Act XV of 1980, the cultivating tenant may not have any necessity to prosecute the application under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956. Under Sections 4(2) and (3) of Act XV of 1980, the Court or the competent authority before which the deposit of the previous arrears and the reduced rent is made can make a summary enquiry and determine whether the amount deposited represents the correct amount of the previous arrears and the instalment of the reduced rent due from the cultivating tenant and prosecute the further process. In the instant case, admittedly no such deposit has been made to warrant an enquiry. If the case of the cultivating tenant is that by virtue of payments directly to the landlord of the amounts contemplated under Section 4 of Act XV of 1980 and that appears to be the case of the cultivating tenants in the present cases-it would be a question of urging for a stand of discharge of arrears of rent when they face any action adverse to them at the instance of the landlord, as the matter stands and on the facts of the present cases, there is no scope for the Revenue Court to enquire into the matter under Act XV of 1980 while it considers the applications of the cultivating tenants under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956. It is neither just nor equitable to mix up these two reliefs, each of which has got to be granted on independent consideration and on different contingencies and I must hold that the Revenue Court committed an error in proceeding to consider the relief of discharge of arrears of rent under Act XV of 1980 when there is no deposit before it and when no contingency arose to consider the question of discharge of arrears of rent in an action by the landlord against the cultivating tenants. This obliges me to interfere in revision and accordingly these two revisions are allowed and the orders passed by the Revenue Court, considering them and countenancing the plea of the cultivating tenants with regard to discharge of the arrears of rent under Act XV of 1980 are set aside. However, there will be no order as to costs.

3. I make it clear that it will always be open to the cultivating tenants, whenever the contingency arises in appropriate proceedings to put forth the plea of discharge of arrears of rent under Act XV of 1980 to counteract any adverse proceedings against them. Mr. T.R. Rajagopalan, learned Counsel for cultivating tenants, submits that the applications under Section 5(2) of Act XXIV of 1956 are still pending. If this is so, it is for the cultivating tenants to prosecute them independently and obtain adjudication thereon, if they so choose.


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