A. Alagiriswami, J.
1. The first four petitions are by the tenants and the next three are by the landlord. C.R.P. Nos. 413 and 416 of 1967 are by the same tenant. The landlord filed three applications before the Rent Court, Coimbatore, for fixation of fair rent against the three tenants, who were respondents in his petitions. The respondent in C.R.P. No. 1748 of 1967, who is the petitioner in C.R.Ps. 413 and 416 of 1967, was cultivating 7 acres 25 cents of land. Out of this, 24 cents was taken as not fit for cultivation and the fair rent was fixed for 7 acres 1 cent at the rate of Rs. 1,320 per acre. The value of straw was fixed at Rs. 280 and one-fifth was sought to be added to the fair rent. The Rent Court considered that only 6 acres 71 cents was fit for cultivation and at the rate of Rs. 1,320 per acre as the fair rent, fixed the fair rent payable at Rs. 2,952-40. On appeal by the tenant as well as by the landlord, the Rent Tribunal took 7 acres 1 cent as the cultivable land and also added Rs. 56 as the value of the straw and fixed the fair rent at Rs. 3,140. It is against the dismissal of his appeal and the allowance in part of the landlord's appeal by the Rent Tribunal that the tenant has filed C.R.Ps. Nos. 413 and 416 of 1967.
2. In C.R.P. No. 414 of 1967 the land involved was 7 acres 48 cents. An extent of 126 cents was deducted for a well and salai and the Rent Court fixed the fair rent at Rs. 3,176-80. Both the tenant and the landlord filed appeals. The Rent Tribunal deducted 2 acres 94 cents on which sugarcane had been raised from the total extent on the ground that under Section 15 of the Act, no fair rent could be fixed for land in which sugarcane had been raised. Here again, both the Courts took only Rs. 1,320 per acre as the fair rent. The Rent Tribunal added Rs. 36 towards the value of the straw. In C.R.P. No. 415 of 1967 the land involved is 7 acres 50 cents. An extent of 28 cents was excluded for the well, kalam, etc. The Rent Court fixed the fair rent at Rs. 3,176-80. There were appeals by both the landlord and the tenant. The Rent Tribunal excluded 3 acres because sugarcane had been raised on those 3 acres and fixed the fair rent at Rs. 1,890-80 after making allowance of Rs. 34 for the straw.
3. As far as the petitions filed by the tenants are concerned, the only dispute is about the value of the straw that has been included by the Tribunal. I think that is correct and does not call for any interference as it is in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
4. The real questions for decision in this batch of Civil Revision Petitions are the two questions raised by the landlord. One is that both the Rent Tribunal and the Rent Court were not justified in taking Rs. 150 per pothi as the value of cotton and Rs. 45 per salagai as the value of cholam. The Rent Court simply stated that the normal market price of Combodia cotton is Rs. 150 per pothi and that the normal market price of cholam per salagai is Rs. 45. There does not seem to be any evidence in support of this conclusion. Indeed, the Fort St. George Gazette, dated 17th February, 1965, which was before the Subordinate Tribunals, showed the value of one pothi of Cambodia cotton as Rs. 174-22 and one salagai of cholam as Rs. 56-25. There is no discussion at all by the Courts below as to how they arrived at the market value of cotton and cholam. Therefore, on this point, the landlord is entitled to succeed and the lower appellate Court will have to re-fix the fair rent, after taking into consideration all the evidence that were available before it, that is the evidence of the karnam, the evidence furnished by the Fort St. George Gazette and any other evidence that may be available regarding the value of cotton and cholam.
5. The next point urged on behalf of the landlord is about the exclusion of the area occupied by sugarcane. This question has been the subject-matter of at least two decisions of this Court. Ramachandra Iyer, J., as he then was, in C.R.P. No. 1668 of 1959 had to consider this question and he observed as follows ::
If sugarcane had been cultivated over the entire area of the land, the respondent would not be entitled to have any fixation of fair rent If on the other hand, sugarcane was cultivated in respect of a portion of the land alone, fair rent should be fixed only for the land on which sugarcane was not cultivated, the landlord being left to recover the contractual rent in regard to the area over which sugarcane or similar crops was cultivated.
6. Natesan, J., in Krishna Thevan v. Muthammal C.R.P. No. 1543 of 1962, after referring to the above observations of Ramachandra Iyer, J., as he then was, observed as follows:
I respectfully follow the principle enunciated by Ramachandra Iyer, J., as he then was, referred above and hold that the proper thing in a case of this kind where in fact crop of the type contemplated in Section 15 is being raised on a parceal of the lands leased is to leave out that parcel for the computation of the fair rent and fix the fair rent in respect of the remaining area. The rent for the parcel thus left out will be outside the Fair Rent Act and need not necessarily be the portion of the contractual rent proportionate to the area. The rent of the parcel will depend on the relative fertility, facility for irrigation and similar factors.
It would be noticed that on the question regarding the rent payable for lands on which sugarcane crops had been raised and in respect of which Section 15 of the Act would be applicable, Natesan, J., takes a view different from that of Ramachandra Iyer, J., as he then was. Strictly speaking, that question does not really arise here. But I am disposed to agree with Natesan, J. Of course where a contractual rate is applicable, it may be that only a proportionate rent in respect of the land to which Section 15 applies may be payable according to the contract but where the contract is only for a year and the tenant is statutorily protected and continues in possession even after the period of contract, the earlier rent contracted for may no longer be applicable and the landlord may be entitled to claim that the rent should be fixed after taking into consideration the various factors referred to by Natesan, J. But as far as the present case is concerned, it is enough to say that the fixation of the fair rent in respect of areas which are not covered by sugarcane crops is correct.
7. In the result, C.R.P. Nos. 413 10416 of 1967 are dismissed and C.R.Ps. Nos. 1748 to 1750 of 1967 are allowed and the lower appellate Court is directed to restore R.A. Nos. 9,10 and 11 of 1966 to its file and dispose of them in the light of the observations contained above. There will be no order as to costs.