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Jara Poojari Vs. Somakka (Died) and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in85Ind.Cas.339
AppellantJara Poojari
RespondentSomakka (Died) and anr.
Cases ReferredKrishna Shelty v. Gilbert Pinto
Excerpt:
landlord and tenant - agricultural lease--notice to quit--reasonable period--custom. - .....fact. the lower appellate court has recorded an unequivocal rending to the effect that vishusankaramana day is the 'customary day for terminating the agricultural leases in this country.' this finding is conclusive and binding on me and no exception has been taken to it. under these circumstances i hold that the notice in question is sufficient and good and is in accord with the usages of the country. the only point taken for the appellant thus fails. the second appeal is, therefore dismissed.5. mr. v. narayana iyer who argued the case at my request as amicus curice has helped the court considerably by his careful and. detailed argument.
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. The defendant-appellant admittedly held the plaint property as a tenant for a year ending with 31st March 1916 under a chalgeni chit dated 30th May; 1915 executed by him in favour of one Ugga Chetty the predecessor-in-interest of the first respondent. He held over and the 'first respondent sent him a registered notice dated 27th November 1917 (Ex. B) requiring him to quit by the following Vishusankaramana (12th April 1918). The lower Court found that the appellant wrongfully refused to receive it and it fixed him with, the knowledge of its contents. Argument was advanced on behalf of the appellant that the notice was invalid as it required surrender only on 12thApril 1918 instead of 31st March 1918. The learned District, Judge overruled it on the main ground that Vishusankramana is the customary day for termination of agricultural leases in South Kanara.

2. The only point taken before me in second appeal is that relating to the invalidity of the notice. The lease is an agricultural lease and hence the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act do not strictly apply; but the analogy of the said provisions and the principles of English Law are relied upon by the appellant. There is no doubt that under the English Law the notice must be to quit at the end of the year. As observed in Doe d. Spicer v. Lea (1809) 11 East. 312: 'If it (notice) might be given to quit 12 days afterwards, it might as well be at any time.' The question for decision is to what extent is this principle applicable to agricultural leases of the kind under consideration.

3. It seems to me that the question is amply covered by authority which is binding on me. In Gangadharan Pattar v. Patinhare Kovilahalh Thazhathe Thavazhi Manavikraman 42 Ind. Cas. 268, this Court held that in the case of verumpatam leases in Malabar all that was required was reasonable notice which was a question of fact to be decided in each case according to the particular circumstances and the local custom as to reaping crops and letting land. The Court expressly decided that the exact synchronising of the date fixed in the notice with the termination of the period of the lease was not necessary in every case. See also Jugut Chunder Roy v. Rup Chand Chango 9 C. 48 : 11 C.L.R. 143 and Maung Po O v. Muniandy Servai 42 Ind. Cas. 375. The decision in Krishna Shelty v. Gilbert Pinto 50 Ind. Cas. 898 on which reliance was placed by the learned Vakil for the appellant does not lay down anything to the contrary; all that it decided was that the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act and the rules of English Law are binding as rules of equity, justice and good conscience, when dealing with agricultural leases in the absence of any special reason for not applying them. The dictum at page 660 that the Legislature wisely refrained from making these sections applicable propria vigors to agricultural leases for fear of unnecessarily interfering with settled usages which it is undesirable to disturb shows that the existence of usages and custom would be a special reason for not applying the provisions of the Act and the rules of English Law to agricultural leases.

4. In the present case the notice is sought to be upheld on the ground that it is reasonable and is in accord with the custom of the country. As observed in the numerous decisions already adverted to this is a question, of fact. The lower Appellate Court has recorded an unequivocal rending to the effect that Vishusankaramana day is the 'customary day for terminating the agricultural leases in this country.' This finding is conclusive and binding on me and no exception has been taken to it. Under these circumstances I hold that the notice in question is sufficient and good and is in accord with the usages of the country. The only point taken for the appellant thus fails. The second appeal is, therefore dismissed.

5. Mr. V. Narayana Iyer who argued the case at my request as amicus curice has helped the Court considerably by his careful and. detailed argument.


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