1. This was a suit for rent due under a muchilika of the 3rd November 1908, executed to the late Raja of Kallikota by the defendant; and in addition to the arrears of rent claimed, as to which there is no dispute, a claim was also made in respect of interest, which was made payable under the instrument, at the rate of 12 per cent, per annum on the arrears.
2. The defendant's case with regard to interest was that he had had a meeting with the Tahsildar and the Manager in November 1911, that he had pointed out that he was quite unable to realise any rent due to him from the ryots, that it would be a great hardship to him to pay interest and that the Manager agreed to remit interest up to date; and in conformity with it, he (defendant) produced Exhibit III in which an account is drawn up giving him credit for a sum of Rs. 10 which he then paid. In that account, the ten rupees is divided up and credited bit by bit against the various instalments due; and the balance is brought down to, Rs. 3,789-4-5. It is clear that that account does not include any interest at all. In view of that document, and of the evidence of the defendants and the admissions of the Tahsildar in his evidence, I think that a remission of interest was made; and I do not accept the Tahsildar's statement to the contrary. Unfortunately, the defendant had to do more than this. Besides showing that the Manager had remitted interest, he had also to show that he had authority to do so. The case is put in this way for the appellant. This was not a mere remission, this was an agreement; and the consideration moving from the defendant was that he agreed to assign the decrees he had got or might get in the future against the ryots. And if I thought that that agreement had been proved, I would have hesitated long before holding that that was not a matter within the authority of the Manager of an estate like this. However, I am satisfied by the evidence that there was nothing to connect the agreement to remit interest with the promise, if there was any, to transfer the judgments against the ryots. And that being so, the thing stands as a mere remission without any consideration. Of the rules relating to the Court of Wards, Rule 58 specifically limits the instances where Collectors are empowered to remit debts due to the estates. They include matters erroneously included in rent accounts, and also irrecoverable rents and debts due either in cash or in grain, for the recovery of which all possible processes have been exhausted; and in any case, the limit is to sums under Rs. 100. I cannot suppose that the Manager had greater authority in those matters than the Collector and on the materials before me, I think it is impossible to hold that the Manager in this case had the authority to do what he has done. this Court like the lower Court has suffered very much from the meagre materials put before it and from the entire absence of any sort of guidance as to what principles are to help us in determining how this question of authority is to be decided. There must be plenty of materials to assist the Court as to what the actual rights and duties of a Manager are. We are left without any such instructions and on such materials as are available to me, I think the appeal fails. But in view of the fait that no suggestion is made, as far as I can see; that this is no other than a perfectly honest claim, and in view of the fact that I believe that the Manager in fact agreed to the remission of interest, I think it just to allow no costs in either Court.
3. By some error, the decree has awarded to the plaintiff compound interest on the amounts of rent due. There was no provision whatever for that in the instrument and the decree must be amended by awarding simple interest on the total rent due, amounting to Rs. 3,800, at 12 per cent, up to the date of judgment and then the amount will be consolidated and interest calculated at 6 per cent, on that.
Srinivasa Aiyangar, J.
4. I agree. The defendant who pleaded that the plaintiff remitted the interest was bound to show that that remission was authorised by the Court of Wards. The defendant was dealing with the Manager appointed by the Court of Wards, who were guardians of the minor's estates; and I think it was his duty to show that the Manager was authorised to give that remission. In the absence of any such proof, although I agree that the Manager did remit the interest, he is not proved to have any such authority; and the rule referred to by my learned brother seems to suggest that the Manager could not have any such authority.