1. The only question that arises in this appeal is whether, in a case where the tenure-bolder bought the subordinate raiyati interest before the amendment of Section 22 of the Bengal Tenancy Act in 1907, the subordinate right lost its separate existence and got merged in the superior right after the amending Act of 1907 same into force; or, in other words, whether the amending Act of 1907 has any retrospective effect.
2. The plaintiff was a co sharer of a howla under which there was a raiyati right which was purchased by the plaintiff on the 18th Magh 1312 B.S. and subsequently be let out to the defendant's predecessor on the 18th Pous 1315 in under-raiyati right for 9 years which term expired in the end of 1323 B.S. He has consequently brought this suit under Section 49 of the Bengal Tenancy Act to secure ejectment of the defendants from the lands in suit.
3. The defence is that the subordinate right having got merged in the superior right alter 1907 the defendants occupy the status of a raiyat and are not liable to be ejected under Section 49A of the Bengal Tenancy Act. Both the Courts below have given effect to this plea and held that the defendants are raiyats occupying the status of a settled raiyat of the village and are not liable to be ejected. They have taken the view that Section 22 of the Bengal Tenancy Act, as amended in 1907, extinguished the raiyati interest purchased by the plaintiff which got merged in his howla right.
4. We are satisfied that this view of the law is erroneous. Whatever right the plaintiff acquired by his purchase in 1312 did not, in our opinion, cease to exist by the alteration in the law subsequently made by the amending Act of 1907, We do not think that that Act has any retrospective effect. In support of our view we may refer to the Appeal from Appellate Decree No. 2394 of 1909, decided on July 16, 1912 [Nabin Chandra Pal v. Banga Chandra Chowdhury 15 Ind. Cas. 705] and Appeal from Appellate Decree No. 1272 of 1915, decided on January 25, 1917 [Alimuddin v. Ainaddin Majumdar 38 Ind. Cas. 534]. The same view has been very recently taken by Chatterjea and Panton, JJ., in the case of Profulla Nath Tagore v. Secretary of State for India in Council 63 Ind. Cas. 802 : 26 C.W.N. 100.
5. We, therefore, set aside the decrees of the lower Courts and decree the plaintiff's suit with costs in all the Courts.