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S. Ramaswamy Iyer Vs. Sendhil Tiruppani Kattalai Attached to Sri Subramaniaswami Koil, Represented by Its Hereditary Trustee Sri La Sri Subramania Ambalavana Pandara Sannadhi Avargal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1972)2MLJ15
AppellantS. Ramaswamy Iyer
RespondentSendhil Tiruppani Kattalai Attached to Sri Subramaniaswami Koil, Represented by Its Hereditary Trust
Excerpt:
- .....of five years commencing from fasli 1371 ending with fasli, 1375 ,that the defendant enjoyed the suit lands for the said period but failed to pay the rent except the advance which was paid at the time of execution of the lease, that the plaintiff issued a notice dated 9th november,. 1965, demanding the arrears of rent, that the defendant sent a reply dated 20th november, 1965 containing false and frivolous allegations, and that the plaintiff has filed the present suit for recovery of the aforesaid amount after adjusting the advance paid by the defendant.2. the defendant filed a written statement admitting execution of the lease deed agreeing to pay an annual rent of rs. 273.73. but the main defence is that the plaintiff's agent promised to identify, measure and deliver the suit lands.....
Judgment:

V.V. Raghavan, J.

1. (1) The defendant is the-petitioner. The plaintiff sued for recovery of Rs. 671.19 due as per the lease deed dated 1st July, 1961, executed by the defendant in favour of the plaintiff with subsequent interest and costs. The plaintiff's case is that the suit properties, namely, survey fields 92 and 94 measuring 8 acres 80 cents and 8 acres 41 cents respectively and situate at Veerapandiapattinam, belong to the plaintiff, that the defendant took them, on lease from the plaintiff agreeing to pay an annual rent of Rs. 223.73. and executed a lease deed dated 1st July, 1961, for a period of five years commencing from fasli 1371 ending with fasli, 1375 ,that the defendant enjoyed the suit lands for the said period but failed to pay the rent except the advance which was paid at the time of execution of the lease, that the plaintiff issued a notice dated 9th November,. 1965, demanding the arrears of rent, that the defendant sent a reply dated 20th November, 1965 containing false and frivolous allegations, and that the plaintiff has filed the present suit for recovery of the aforesaid amount after adjusting the advance paid by the defendant.

2. The defendant filed a written statement admitting execution of the lease deed agreeing to pay an annual rent of Rs. 273.73. But the main defence is that the plaintiff's agent promised to identify, measure and deliver the suit lands to him, but that he failed to do so and that, therefore, the plaintiff is not entitled to claim the rent since the lease has not been acted upon. 'The further contention raised is that; as the lease deed is for a period five years and as it has not been registered, it is not valid and is inadmissible in evidence. The defendant contends that the plaintiff is bound to refund the advance paid and that he will file a separate suit for recovery of the same.

3. The trial Court held that the plaintiff's employee delivered possession of the suit lands to the defendant, that the defendant was in possession and enjoyment of the same, and that the plaintiff is entitled to the rent due for faslis 1373 to 1375. In the result, the suit was decreed as prayed for. The defendant filed A.S. No. 27 of 1968 in the Sub-Court, Tuticorin. The learned Subordinate Judge confirmed the findings of the trial Court and dismissed the appeal. The present revision petition is filed by the defendant.

4. The main contention raised in this revision petition is that the lease deed Exhibit A-1 for a period of 5 years not having been registered, is inadmissible in evidence and no suit can be based upon the same. The lands in question belong to Sendhil Tiruppani Kattalai attached to Sri Subramaniasami Koil, Tiruchendur, and the Madras Public Trusts (Regulation of Administration of Agricultural lands) Act, 1961, is applicable to the lands in question. The Act came into force on 2nd October, 1962. Under Section 4 of the Act, on and after the date of the commencement of the Act, no public trust shall personally cultivate or lease out land held by such trust except in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Section 5(1) states that except as otherwise provided in the Act no public trust shall personally cultivate land in excess of twenty standard acres. Under Section 2(7) 'date of the commencement of the Act' means the date appointed by the Government under Sub-section (3) of the section , namely, 2nd October, 1962. Section 2(5) defines cultivating tenant as meaning a person who contributes his own physical labour or that of any member of his family in the cultivation of any land belonging to another, under a tenancy agreement and the provisions of the Section have to be complied with in respect of tenancy agreements entered into after the commencement of the Act. Therefore, the question that arises in this case is whether the lease deed dated 1st July, 1961, and executed prior to the coming into force of the Act, has to be registered under the Registration Act, 1908. Under Section 117 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882, agricultural leases are exempted from the provisions of Chapter V of the Act. But when they are in writing Section 17(1) {d) of the Registration Act, 1908 will be attracted.

5. The overriding provision of the Madras Public Trusts Act, namely, Section 3, runs as follows:

The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other Law for the time being in force, or any custom, usage or contract or decree or order of a Court or other authority.

Non-registration of a lease deed entered into after the Act came into force will be of no consequence in view of the overriding provision. But the contention is that the lease deed having been executed on 7th January, 1961, prior to the coming into force of the Act, Section 3 will be inapplicable. Prior to the coming into force of the Madras Trusts Act, the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955 was in operation. Similar provisions are found in the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955. Section 2(5) of the Madras Public Trusts Act which defines 'cultivating tenant', corresponds to Section 2(a) of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act. Similarly Section 21(2) of the Madras Public Trusts Act, which provides that no stamp need be affixed to the lease deed, corresponds to Section 4(b) of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act. Taking into consideration the objects of the two enactments, enacted for the protection from eviction of cultivating tenants, and the Madras Public Trusts Act, for regulating the administration of the Agricultural lands held by public trusts and also Section 4(b) of the Act corresponding to Section 21(a) of the Madras Public Trusts Act, under which no stamp need be affixed to the lease deed, I am of opinion that lease deeds executed under the two enactments need riot be registered as the two enactments are self contained codes dealing with the relationship between landlord and tenant enacted with a view to protect the cultivating tenants from eviction. Further the overriding provision, namely, Section 3 of the Madras Public Trusts Act will no doubt apply in respect of leases executed after the commencement of the Act and in respect of such leases no question of registration will arise. In respect of leases executed prior to the commencement of the Madras Public Trusts Act, the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act will govern them and there also no question of registration of such lease deeds will arise for the reason that the said enactment is a self-contained code. Therefore, there is no substance in the contention raised by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that such leases should be registered.

6. The next contention raised on behalf of the petitioner is that the lands in question are exclusively, used for growing fuel trees and fall within the ambit of Section 51(v) of the Madras Public Trusts Act. The lease deed Exhibit A-1 does not prescribe that only fuel trees should be grown on the lands in question. Under the lease deed other crops may also be cultivated on the lands. Therefore, Section 51(v) is inapplicable to the facts of this case. This contention also fails.

7. The civil revision petition fails and is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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