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Kizhakkapet Krishnamadar Vs. Marambatte Unnimammu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in90Ind.Cas.999
AppellantKizhakkapet Krishnamadar
RespondentMarambatte Unnimammu and ors.
Cases ReferredKunnath Madampil Kunjunni v. Mannarghat Ramanunni
Excerpt:
malabar compensation for tenants improvements act (i of 1900), section 4 - improvements--conversion of one crop into two crop land--burden of proof. - .....in second appeal was an improvement alleged to consist of the conversion of one crop into two crop lands described in the suit as item (1). the case for the tenants was' that this land having been at one time one crop land, had at the time of the ejectment become two crop land and having regard to the provisions of section 4 of the act, that was enough for them, because the effect of that section clearly is to throw upon the landlord, when once it is shown that one crop land has been converted into two crop land, the burden of proving that this was not due to anything done or spent by the tenant. in this case the story set up by the landlord in the courts below was that this land had been two crop land throughout its history or at any rate, throughout its history under the tenancy.....
Judgment:

1. In this case the plaintiff sued for recovery of lands let to the defendants who were his tenants. Under the Malabar Compensation for Tenants Improvements Act of 1899 it is well-known that the landlord, is bound to compensate the tenant on ejectment for the improvements ejected by the tenant. In this case the improvement that is in dispute in second appeal was an improvement alleged to consist of the conversion of one crop into two crop lands described in the suit as item (1). The case for the tenants was' that this land having been at one time one crop land, had at the time of the ejectment become two crop land and having regard to the provisions of Section 4 of the Act, that was enough for them, because the effect of that section clearly is to throw upon the landlord, when once it is shown that one crop land has been converted into two crop land, the burden of proving that this was not due to anything done or spent by the tenant. In this case the story set up by the landlord in the Courts below was that this land had been two crop land throughout its history or at any rate, throughout its history under the tenancy of the defendants or their predecessors-in-title. That is dealt with by both the Courts below, by the learned Subordinate Judge in para. 9 of his judgment and by the District Munsif in para. 15 of his judgment, and it is clear therefrom that these learned Judges rejected the story, and the only story at that time put up by the plaintiff to rebut the presumption created by Section 4 of the Act, Now it is sought to be said that, because the word 'improvements' in the section is paraphrased by the words 'works or the products of such works,' therefore we must demand proof that the improvement, the conversion of one crop land into two crop land, was definitely due to the exertions of the tenant or otherwise it cannot be described as 'work.' It appears to us that to accede to such an argument would in effect be to throw the burden of proof in the opposite direction, to where the Statutes has deliberately indicated that it should lie. In support of this contention, reference is made to the case of Kunnath Madampil Kunjunni v. Mannarghat Ramanunni 48 Ind. Cas 925 : 35 M.L.J. 219 : (1918) M.W.N. 666. I do not think it is necessary for me to say very much about that case. I observe that so far as appears from the report no reference is made to the all important section of the Statute, Section 4, and I will content myself at this stage with saying that I am by no means clear that that case was rightly decided and that I reserve for myself the right to re- consider the correctness of that decision if on any future occasion, it should be directly challenged.

2. The result is that Second Appeal No. 176 is dismissed with costs. Second Appeal No. 549 follows Second Appeal No. 176 and it is also dismissed with costs. Time for redemption is extended by three months.


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