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K.J. Ramamoorthi and anr. Vs. O.T. Ramamurthy Alias Ramakrishnan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1979)2MLJ18
AppellantK.J. Ramamoorthi and anr.
RespondentO.T. Ramamurthy Alias Ramakrishnan and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....of the definition, which deals with rent, there is the requirement that the rent should be in respect of lawful use and occupation of agricultural land. there is no such requirement in respect of the former limb of the definition according to which the debt is a sum of money which a person is liable to pay under a contract, express or implied, for consideration received. the present is not a case where the suit was filed by the petitioner-plaintiff for recovery of rent and therefore it is the former limb of section 2(c) that applies. if so, there is no requirement that the debt should have been incurred in respect, of the lawful use and occupation of agricultural land. the decision of this court relied on by the learned counsel dealt actually with a case of decree obtained for.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. This is a petition to revise the order of the learned III Additional Subordinate Judge, Madurai dated 26th September, 1975 staying the trial of O.S. No. 81 of 1974 under Act X of 1975.

In paragraph 5 of the order, the learned Judge says :

According to the petitioners they are agriculturists entitled to the benefit of Act X of 1975. The petitioners have produced kist receipts to show payment of kist in the name of the second respondents for fasli 1382. In I.A. No. 338 of 1975 the petitioners have produced copies of No. 2 account and No. 10 (i) account to show that the petitioners own lands and they are agriculturists. The respondents have not proved that the petitioners are paying income-tax or agricultural income-tax or sales-tax. As the petitioners own agricultural lands they are agriculturists and so they are entitled to the benefit of Act X of 1975.' Learned Counsel for the petitioners challenges this conclusion of the learned Subordinate Judge and contends that the provisions of Act X of. 1975 will apply only to debts incurred for agricultural purposes, and that is how it was decided by this Court in E.M. Chacko In re (1954) 67 L.W. 1027 while considering the Madras Indebted Agriculturists' Temporary Relief Act V of 1954, where also the definitions were the same. I am unable to accept this argument. In Act X of 1975, the expression 'agriculturist' has been defined in Section 2(b) as meaning 'a person who owns an interest in agricultural land, and who, by reason of interest, is in possession of such land or is in receipt of the rents or profits thereof and shall include a lessee; but shall not include.... The expression debt' has been defined in Section 2(o) of the Act as follows :'.... 'debt' means any sum of money which a person is liable to pay under a contract (express or implied) for consideration received and includes rent in cash or kind which a person is liable to pay or deliver in respect of the lawful use and occupation of agricultural land.

2. Thus, it is clear that the definition of the term 'debt' consists of two limbs and the latter limb is an inclusive one. It is only with regard to the inclusive portion of the definition, which deals with rent, there is the requirement that the rent should be in respect of lawful use and occupation of agricultural land. There is no such requirement in respect of the former limb of the definition according to which the debt is a sum of money which a person is liable to pay under a contract, express or implied, for consideration received. The present is not a case where the suit was filed by the petitioner-plaintiff for recovery of rent and therefore it is the former limb of Section 2(c) that applies. If so, there is no requirement that the debt should have been incurred in respect, of the lawful use and occupation of agricultural land. The decision of this Court relied on by the learned Counsel dealt actually with a case of decree obtained for recovery of a debt. It is only in that context the decision of this Court has to be understood as meaning that the debt must relate to a contract relating to lawful use and occupation of land used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. In view of this, no ground has been made out for interference with the order of the learned Subordinate Judge.

3. The civil revision petition, therefore, fails and is dismissed. No costs.


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