Trevelyan and Beverley, JJ.
1. The first question argued before us in his case is whether the plaintiff's claim for the two sums of Rs. 500 each, which became due, one on the 13th Cheyt 1291 Fusli, and the other on the 29th Joisto 1291, is barred by limitation. The time from which limitation would run under the provisions of the Rent Law was the last day of Joisto 1291 Fusli, that is, the 8th of June 1884. The suit was brought on the 2nd of April 1888, that is to say, more than three years and less than six years after the period of limitation began to run. The contention before us is that, in the first place, the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act do not apply to this case; and secondly that, if they do apply, the fact that the rent is payable under a registered lease makes the period of limitation six years. As regards the first question, it is quite clear that the defendants would come within the definition of the world 'tenure-holder' contained in Section 5 of the Bengal Tenancy Act, and three seems to be no reason why they should be excluded from the operation of that definition.
2. On the second question, which is the real question for decision in the case, the argument of the learned pleader is based upon a decision of this Court by O'Kinealy and Ghose, JJ., in the case of Umesh Chunder Mundul v. Adarmoni Dasi I.L.R. 15 Cal. 221 and on a decision of the Madras High Court in the case of Vythilinga Filial v. Thetchanamurti Pillai I.L.R. 3 Mad. 76. It seems to us quite clear that these decisions are inapplicable to the present case. The decision of this Court in Umesh Chunder Mundid v. Adarmoni Dasi I.L.R. 15 Cal. 221 is not a decision of any question under the Bengal Tenancy Act. Apparently the rent there claimed, if it be a rent at all, is not a rent to which the Tenancy Act is applicable; but whether that is so or not, there is no reference made in the judgment or in the case to the Bengal Tenancy Act, and the Judges treated the case as entirely governed by the Limitation Act XV of 1877. They held that, inasmuch as the lease under which rent was claimed was a registered lease, Article 116 of Schedule II applied, and not Article 110. The Madras decision does not carry the matter any further. There again this question could not have arisen, as the suit was a Small Cause Court suit, and the case was governed by Act XV of 1877, and no other Act. It seems to us quite clear that the Legislature in the Bengal Tenancy Act did not intend to make more than one period of limitation in suits for rent. Section 6 of the Limitation Act, which is by the Bengal Tenancy Act, Section 185, expressly applied to cases under that Act, provides that 'when by any special or local law now or hereafter in force in British India, a period of limitation is specially prescribed for any suit, appeal or application, nothing herein contained shall affect or alter the period so prescribed.' The Bengal Tenancy Act specially prescribes a period of limitation for rent suits brought in accordance with its provisions. It is clear that the 2nd Article of the 3rd Schedule of that Act is wide enough to include a suit of this description, viz., a suit to recover rent, and there is no distinction as to the form of the lease under which the rent is payable or as to whether it is registered or not. The learned pleader suggests that by parity of reasoning the cases to which we have referred apply; but we think it is clear that the Legislature never intended to make this distinction, and the form of the Schedule shows that they apparently intended to provide one period of limitation only with regard to all suits for rent, There is an additional argument to be found from the fact that the time from which the period of limitation begins to run is different in the Bengal Tenancy Act from that provided in the General Limitation Act; and, therefore, if the learned pleader's contention was right, we should not only have a different period, but also a different time from which that would run according as the contract was registered or not. This period is a result which, we think, the Legislature never intended. It provided in the Rent Act for one period of limitation in all classes of suits for rent, and it is not possible to add to that a period of limitation not at all contemplated by the Legislature, viz., a period of six years. We think, therefore, that with regard to these two sums of Rs. 500, the plaintiff's claim is barred by limitation.
2. The other question raised before us is as to a small sum in difference between the parties. The complaint is that the learned Judge in the Court below did not make an inquiry asked for by the plaintiff with regard to the matters in difference between the plaintiff and defendants as to this sum. It appears that when the issues were settled, the plaintiff' in this case said he had no witnesses to prove the area, and he applied for a measurement of the lands. His application was rejected, and the reason given by the Judge for rejecting it was that the expenses of the inquiry would be far more than the amount in dispute. The onus being on the plaintiff, if he had not his witnesses and evidence ready, he must run the risk of having an adjournment given him, or the inquiry asked for at the Judge's discretion. The Judge has refused the inquiry on the ground that the expenses of it would be greater than the amount in dispute, and this is a matter which the learned Judge might well take into consideration in determining whether he should or should not allow an adjournment. The plaintiff as a matter of right was not entitled to an inquiry. He should have had his witnesses ready. We think that the plaintiff's contention fails as to that also, and the result is that the appeal must he dismissed with costs.