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Veluchami Naicker and ors. Vs. M. Mouna Gurusami Naicker (Deceased) and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1957)2MLJ628
AppellantVeluchami Naicker and ors.
RespondentM. Mouna Gurusami Naicker (Deceased) and ors.
Cases ReferredSinna Boyan v. Kutti Ettan Raja
Excerpt:
- .....which came into force on 24th september, 1955, that is, long after the suit was instituted. the learned judge held that the act did not apply because the suit had been filed on 22nd october, 1954, prior to the coming into force of madras act xxv of 1955 and there was no indication of the intention of the legislature that the act should have retrospective effect. the learned judge passed a decree as prayed for. defendants 2 to 8 are the appellants. before us again the objection based on madras act xxv of 1955 was pressed by mr. g. r. jagadisa ayyar, learned counsel for the appellants. section 3 of the act inter alia provides that no cultivating tenant shall be evicted from his holding or any part thereof, during the continuance of the act, by or at the instance of his landlord, whether.....
Judgment:

P.V. Rajamannar, C.J.

1. This is an appeal against the decree and judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge of Dindigul in O.S. No. 52 of 1954, a suit filed by the first respondent (who has died pending the appeal and whose legal representative has been brought on record as the third respondent) for recovery of possession of certain lands situated in the villages in Palni taluk, Madurai district, from defendants 1 to 7 who are the office-bearers of the 8th defendant which is a sangham. The substantial issue before the learned trial Judge was whether the defendants were not liable to be evicted because of the provisions of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, XXV of 1955, which came into force on 24th September, 1955, that is, long after the suit was instituted. The learned Judge held that the Act did not apply because the suit had been filed on 22nd October, 1954, prior to the coming into force of Madras Act XXV of 1955 and there was no indication of the intention of the Legislature that the Act should have retrospective effect. The learned Judge passed a decree as prayed for. Defendants 2 to 8 are the appellants. Before us again the objection based on Madras Act XXV of 1955 was pressed by Mr. G. R. Jagadisa Ayyar, learned Counsel for the appellants. Section 3 of the Act inter alia provides that no cultivating tenant shall be evicted from his holding or any part thereof, during the continuance of the Act, by or at the instance of his landlord, whether in execution of a decree or order of a Court or otherwise. Section 6 of the Act runs thus:

No civil Court shall, except to the extent specified in Section 3(3), have jurisdiction in respect of any matter which the Revenue Divisional Officer is empowered by or under this Act to determine and no injunction shall be granted by any Court in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.

2. Under Section 3, Sub-section (4) a landlord seeking to evict a cultivating tenant shall make an application to the Revenue Divisional Officer. It is clear, therefore, that the relief of eviction is a matter which the Revenue Divisional Officer is empowered to deal with and determine.

3. In our opinion the learned Judge erred in thinking that there was any question of restrospectivity in applying Section 3 of the Act. That section provides that during the continuance of the Act no cultivating tenant shall be evicted in any manner except as provided by the other provisions of the Act. Even if there is a decree for eviction against the cultivating tenant, he cannot be evicted in execution of that decree. Logically it may follow, as Mr. Thiagaraja Ayyar contended relying upon a decision of Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J., in Sinna Boyan v. Kutti Ettan Raja 1956 M.W.N. 863, that the effect of Section 3 would only be to prevent eviction in execution of a decree in the present suit, but the Court would not be deprived of jurisdiction to proceed with the suit and pass a mere decree for eviction. It is not necessary for us to decide whether this view is correct, especially having regard to Section 6 of the Act to which we have adverted above because there is a further Amending Act which came into force on 29th September, 1956, which indicates what has to be done to the suit which is now before us in appeal in case it is decided that the benefit of the Act would enure to the appellants in this case. The Amending Act has the following provision which is added to the principal Act as Section 6-A:

If in any suit before any Court for possession or, injunction relating to, any land, it is proved by affidavit or otherwise that the defendant is a cultivating tenant entitled to the benefits of this Act, the Court shall not proceed with the trial of the suit but shall transfer it to the Revenue Divisional Officer who shall thereupon deal with and dispose of it as though it were an application under this Act and all the provisions of this Act shall apply to such an application and the applicant.

4. We have no hesitation in holding that this provision will apply to the present suit. It is asserted on behalf of the appellants that they are cultivating tenants. On the other hand, the contesting respondent, the landlord, denies that they are cultivating tenants. This dispute has not been determined by the Court below. In the view that the learned Subordinate Judge took of the applicability of the Act, he did not consider it necessary to decide this question. In these circumstances we have no other course than to set aside the decree passed by the Court below and to remand the suit to its file for the purpose of deciding the question whether the defendants-appellants are or are not cultivating tenants entitled to the benefits of Madras Act XXV of 1955 as amended in 1956. If the Court decides that the defendants are cultivating tenants entitled to the benefits of the Act, then it shall not proceed with the further trial of the suit but shall transfer it to the Revenue Divisional Officer. If, however, the Court comes to the conclusion that the defendants are not cultivating tenants, then it can proceed with the trial and pass such decree as it may deem fit. The appeal is accordingly allowed and the suit shall stand remanded to the learned Subordinate1 Judge of Dindigul. The parties will be entitled to adduce such evidence as they choose to on the question to decide which this suit stands remanded.

5. On 18th February, 1957, an order was passed by this Court directing the appellants to furnish security for a sum of Rs. 7,000 to the satisfaction of the Court below within seven weeks from the date of the order. The time was further extended by two weeks. No security was, however, furnished within the time allowed and on 8th May, 1957, Rajagopala Ayyangar, J., passed an order in C.M.P. No. 3562 of 1957 appointing the landlord as the receiver of the suit properties. Against that order there is a Letters Patent Appeal which stands posted today along with the main appeal. We direct that the defendants shall furnish security in the said sum of Rs. 7,000 to the satisfaction of the learned Subordinate Judge of Dindigul within four weeks from today. If such security is furnished within the prescribed time, the Receiver shall be discharged. During the interval, however, the Receiver shall not take any steps to interfere with the possession of the defendants or any of them. If the defendants fail to furnish security the Receiver will continue to function as such pending further orders of the Courts below. There will be no order as to costs in this appeal. The appellants will be entitled to refund of the Court-fee paid on the memorandum of appeal.

6. On the Appeal being set down for being mentioned the order of the Court was made by

7. We have remanded the suit for trial of the issue whether the defendants are cultivating tenants entitled to the benefits of Madras Act XXV of 1955. We have also given permission to the parties to adduce such evidence as they choose to on the question. The parties will also be at liberty to file supplemental pleadings if they so desire.

8. We directed the defendants to furnish security in the sum of Rs. 7,000 within four weeks from the date of our judgment, that is 13th August, 1957 and also directed the plaintiff-receiver not to interfere with the possession of the defendants during this interval of four weeks. The defendants should not lease out the whole or any part of the suit property in this interval.


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