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Assam Bengal Ry. Co., Ltd. Vs. Hari Mohun Pal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1933Cal440
AppellantAssam Bengal Ry. Co., Ltd.
RespondentHari Mohun Pal and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....well as rs. 10, for stamps for their new agreement. their proposal form made no reference to the lease of dinanath. on 1st april 1927, that is before the original term of dinanath had expired, they received from the plaintiffs a letter saying:the lease granted to your father dinanath pal which was subsequently cancelled has again been given to you at an annual rent of rs. 25 for ten years.2. it may be doubted whether this was in strictness an acceptance of the defendant's proposal, but i will assume that it was an acceptance and not a new offer. on 18th june 1927 the plaintiffs sent to defendants a bill for rent from 19th may 1927 to 31st march 1928 at the rate of rs. 125 per annum giving credit for rs. 25 as paid in december 1920. the defendants refused to pay rent at this rate and on.....
Judgment:

Rankin, C.J.

1. Dinanath, father of the defendants held the land in suit on what I will assume to be a lease. He held it under an instrument dated 11th September 1919 which was not registered though it purported to be for a period of ten years (subject to three-months' notice on either side) from 14th July 1917. Dinanath died in November 1918 and the defendants as his heirs continued his possession. On 7th December 1926 the defendants applied for a temporary lease and offered to pay in advance the annual rent to be fixed by the agent. They deposited Rs. 25, as advance rent with their proposal form as well as Rs. 10, for stamps for their new agreement. Their proposal form made no reference to the lease of Dinanath. On 1st April 1927, that is before the original term of Dinanath had expired, they received from the plaintiffs a letter saying:

the lease granted to your father Dinanath Pal which was subsequently cancelled has again been given to you at an annual rent of Rs. 25 for ten years.

2. It may be doubted whether this was in strictness an acceptance of the defendant's proposal, but I will assume that it was an acceptance and not a new offer. On 18th June 1927 the plaintiffs sent to defendants a bill for rent from 19th May 1927 to 31st March 1928 at the rate of Rs. 125 per annum giving credit for Rs. 25 as paid in December 1920. The defendants refused to pay rent at this rate and on 8th September 1927 the plaintiffs gave notice to quit at the end of three months' from the last day, September 1927. The notice recites that the defendants are in occupation as heirs of Dinanath and purports to terminate his ''license.'

3. The letter of 1st April 1927 was put in evidence by the defendants. If it can be received as evidence of a fresh tenancy, the question arises whether the terms of Dinanath's lease can be referred to show that the new arrangement was subject to three months' notice. I am of opinion that they can and that want of registration of the original lease does not prevent this. The terms are incorporated in the letter by reference to the earlier document and if the new lease was a fresh lease altogether as defendants contend, the old one can be referred to for a collateral purpose. The defendant's case before us is that they were not holding under the old lease at all, but under a new one. To find the terms of the new one, so runs the argument in this Court, we cannot look at the letter because it is not registered. The question is, can the defendants on this evidence, not as an abstract possibility, but on this evidence, prove a fresh tenancy without the letter? In my opinion they cannot. The proposal form by itself proves nothing. The repudiated bill of 18th June 1927 is against them. There is no proof that Rs. 25 was accepted as a year's rent under a new tenancy save the letter of 1st April 1927. That cannot be taken as proof of a new tenancy save upon terms which put the defendants out of Court. It is idle to say that as proof of acceptance of rent it is proof of a new tenancy contrary to its terms.

4. I agree with the Subordinate Judge that the notice to quit is not on any view rendered invalid by reason of the recital. If it be said that the plaintiffs cannot proceed on the terms of the original tenancy as to notice, because these are not proved for want of registration of the instrument of 11th September 1919, the answer is that this argument was disclaimed before us by the defendant's advocate, and for good reason. The pleadings were badly drawn, but the original terms were not denied on the pleadings, nor were they questioned by the issues and they need not be proved now. I would allow the appeal with costs before us and before the learned Judge and restore the decree of the Subordinate Judge.

Mukerji, J.

5. I agree.


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