Rampini and Pratt, JJ.
1. The suit out of -which this appeal arises was brought by the plaintiff to obtain a declaration of title to and recover possession of a 6 gunda 2 kara 2 krant share in a certain revenue estate. The plaintiff alleged that he had purchased the share of one Jadav Chandra Ghose on the 22nd of August 1894 at a sale in execution of a decree obtained against the heirs of Jadav Chandra Ghose. The sale was confirmed by the Civil Court on the 24th September of the same year. Subsequently, on the 30th December 1894, the share of Jadav Chandra Ghose in the estate was purchased by one Rup Lall Nag at a sale for arrears of revenue; and Rup Lall Nag is the defendant in this case against whom the plaintiff seeks possession.
2. The Lower Courts have found that the share of Jadav Chandra Ghose was registered in the Collectorate Register, and that a separate account had been opened with regard to it. They have held that at the sale for arrears of revenue, on the 31st December 1894, at which Ram Lall Nag purchased, he purchased the share of the estate recorded in the name of Jadav Chandra Ghose, and that, that being so, the plaintiff lost the title to the share which he had acquired by his purchase on the 22nd August 1894.
3. The Lower Appellate Court has held that the alienation in favour of the plaintiff did not amount to an encumbrance within the meaning of Section 54 of Act XI of 1859, and that the last clause of that section, to the effect that 'the purchaser shall acquire the shave or shares subject to all incumbrances, and shall not acquire any rights which were not possessed by the previous owner or owners,' does not in any way protect the plaintiff or save his property from passing to Rup Lall Nag at the sale for arrears of revenue.
4. The plaintiff now appeals against this decision. We are unable to see that the decision of the Subordinate Judge is incorrect. It is perfectly clear that the plaintiff's purchase of the share does not amount to an incumbrance which is protected by Section 54, and it does not appear to us that the last clause of Section 54 in any way protects the plaintiff. The pleader for the appellant says that the words, 'the purchaser shall not acquire any rights which were not possessed by the previous owner or owners,' mean that the purchaser at a revenue sale shall only acquire the rights possessed by the previous owner or owners, or his or their heirs, at the date of the sale; and that, if that meaning be put upon these words, then the alienation in favour of the plaintiff stands good and the purchaser at the revenue sale of the 31st December 1894 purchased nothing. But we do not think that this meaning can fairly be put upon the above words. The words 'at the date of the sale' do not occur in the section. All that the words of the section would seem to us to mean is what they expressly say, that the purchaser shall not acquire any rights not possessed by the previous owner or owners at some time or another, and shall acquire no more than what was the property of the previous owner or owners. They do not mean that, if the previous owner has parted with all his rights before the property is put up for sale for arrears of revenue, the purchaser at such a sale shall acquire nothing. To put such an interpretation upon these words would be to entirely ignore the policy of the revenue law, which is to protect the revenue and make the share, on which the revenue is assessed, available for the arrears of revenue due upon it.
5. We are fortified in the view we take of this case by a reference to the case of Gungadeen Misser v. Kheeroo Mundal (1874) 14 B. L. R. 170., the facts of which case are very similar to those of the present one and in which the purchaser of a share of an estate at a private sale was held not entitled to exclusive possession as against a purchaser at a sale for arrears of revenue. In this case it was said: 'The sale of the Collector passes to the purchaser the share of the defaulting shareholder of the entire estate, as it was registered in the Collector's book,' and again: 'It was not the intention, we think, of the legislature to introduce uncertainty of this kind into auction sales held for the purpose of realising revenue. On the contrary, it is rather the general principle of the legislature to make these sales effective to pass the full share of the defaulting shareholder, free, so to speak, of all incumbrances.'
6. We therefore affirm the decision of the Lower Appellate Court and dismiss the appeal with costs.