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Sreemedhanidhi Swamigal by Agent H. Venkatramanachar Vs. Valai Ibrahim Sahib and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1924Mad897; 83Ind.Cas.130
AppellantSreemedhanidhi Swamigal by Agent H. Venkatramanachar
RespondentValai Ibrahim Sahib and ors.
Cases ReferredChokalingam Chettiar v. Palani Ambalan
Excerpt:
madras estates land act (i of 1908), sections 24, 187 - enhanced rent, when can be claimed. - .....arises whether by reason of the, agreement between the landlord and the tenant, the landlord can claim enhanced rent. looking at the frame of the act and the object thereof, i think the appellant will have to make out a very strong case before he can ask the court to say that by an agreement entered into between the landlord and the tenant, the landlord could claim enhanced rent notwithstanding the clear provisions of section 24. mr. seetharama rao relied upon battina appanna v. yarlagadda venkatarama-linganna bahadur 42 ind. cas. 464 : 33 m.l.j. 355 : 6 l.w. 443 in which the landlord was allowed to claim a sum in addition to what he had been claiming before. but the facts of the case show that the liability on the part of the tenant was not in any way enhanced by this additional.....
Judgment:

Devadoss, J.

1. The first point raised in this batch of second appeals is that the land-holder is entitled to claim enhanced rent by virtue of an agreement entered into with the tenants. Mr. Seetharama Rao on behalf of the appellant contends that there is nothing in the Estates Land Act which precludes the land-holder from claiming enhanced rent under a contract with the tenants. His argument is that Section 187 of the Act does not cover a case like the present, and Sections 31 to 37 contain the rules under which enhancement of rent could be granted when claimed under Section 30, and he urges that Section 24 of the Act is not a bar to such a claim. Before considering the cases relied upon by him, it is necessary to consider what the provisions of the Act are as to enhancement of rent. Section 24 is explicit in its terms. It says, 'the rent of a raiyat shall not be enhanced except as provided by this Act;' and then provision is made for enhancing the rent in certain cases, and safeguards are provided against unreasonable or improper enhancement, and the enhancement is always to be made through the Revenue Authorities. That being so, the question arises whether by reason of the, agreement between the landlord and the tenant, the landlord can claim enhanced rent. Looking at the frame of the Act and the object thereof, I think the appellant will have to make out a very strong case before he can ask the Court to say that by an agreement entered into between the landlord and the tenant, the landlord could claim enhanced rent notwithstanding the clear provisions of Section 24. Mr. Seetharama Rao relied upon Battina Appanna v. Yarlagadda Venkatarama-linganna Bahadur 42 Ind. Cas. 464 : 33 M.L.J. 355 : 6 L.W. 443 in which the landlord was allowed to claim a sum in addition to what he had been Claiming before. But the facts of the case show that the liability on the part of the tenant was not in any way enhanced by this additional claim. It was by reason of the Government entering into an arrangement with the zamindar that the amount payable to the Government was made payable to the zamindar, and that case has no application to the facts of the present case.

2. The next case relied upon by him is that reported in Sivanganga Zemindari v. Chidambaram Chetty 21 Ind. Cas. 556 : 38 M.P 524 : 14 M.L.T. 386 : (1913) M.W.N. 926. In that case,,; there was no enhancement of rent in the strict sense of the term.... There was' a demand for ah additional sum on account of the 'increased extent of the holding. Enhancement of rent means enhancement in the rate of rent or additional rent and not merely the increase in the amount claimed. If by reason of a new survey or for any other reason, the extent of the holding is found to be more than that for which the tenant was paying rent, the landlord is entitled to claim additional rent in respect of such additional extent found in the tenant's holding, and, therefore, this case does not help the appellant. Under the old Act VIII of 1865, the Courts enforced the agreements entered into between the landlord and the tenant; and Section 11 made it obligatory on the tenant to abide by the terms entered into with the landlord, but the present Act is against allowing the land-' lords to enforce the contracts entered into by them with the tenants unless such contracts came within the purview of the Act. The present Act expressly excludes the right of the landlord to enforce an agreement entered into with the tenants when the enforcement of such contracts would be to the detriment of the tenants. That being the scope and the object of the Act, I do not think it would be right in a case like this, where the landlord enters into an arrangement with the tenant for the purpose of claiming enhanced rent, to allow the appellant to succeed.

3. The learned Vakil for the respondent relies upon the following observations of the learned Chief Justice reported in Chokalingam Chettiar v. Palani Ambalan 73 Ind. Cas. 926 : 46 M.P 712 : 32 M.L.T. 377 : (1923) M.W.N. 411 : 45 M.L.J. 124 : A.I.R. (1932) (M.) 685 : 18 L.W. 646 'This indicates clearly that the intention of the Legislature was to refuse to contracts made before equally with contracts made after, the passing of the Act any effect on the relation between the raiyat and the land-holder' with which I respectfully agree. In the result I disallow the appellant's contention on this point.

4. In Second Appeal No. 521, the plaintiff claims additional rent on the ground that there was an excess holding in the tenant's possession. Mr. Seetharama Rao's contention is that the lower Courts did not give weight to the burden of proof inasmuch as the burden lay' upon the defendant to show that he was not liable to pay this additional sum notwithstanding the muchilika entered into by him. No doubt a muchilityq was taken from the tenant. But both the Courts have considered the evidence and the circumstances of the case; and I do not think that the question of the burden of proof arises a this stage. They had before them all the facts, and the Courts came to the conclusion that there was no reason to hold that there was any excess, found in the holding of the tenant. These remarks apply to the second appeal arising out of Suit No. 290. In the result the second appeal fails and is, therefore, dismissed with costs. This judgment covers all the other cases and they are also dismissed. I fix the Vakil's fee at Rs. 150 for this batch of second appeals.


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