1. This is a Letters Patent appeal from the decision of Mr. Justice Brett.
2. The short point for decision is 'whether the suit is barred by limitation or not. The plaintiffs are some of the heirs of an occupancy raiyat named Ramizeddi who died some time ago. The landlord sued the sons of Ramizeddi for rent and obtaining a decree proceeded to sell the holding which was purchased by the contesting defendant. The present plaintiffs who are the wife and daughter of Ramizeddi were not parties to that suit. The purchaser at the sale in execution of the landlord's decree dispossessed the plaintiffs, as they allege, and they now sue him to recover possession. The learned Judge of the Court below has held that the suit is not barred by limitation, inasmuch as the plaintiffs were dispossessed by the contesting defendant, the new tenant inducted by the landlord after the sale in execution, and not by the landlord himself. The learned pleader who appears on behalf of the defendants-appellants, urges that this is not right, as although dispossession took place at the instance of the contesting defendant, he did so at the instigation of the landlord and by reason of his auction-purchase.
3. We think that this plea must prevail. There are many rulings of this Court to the effect that where the landlord in collusion with the actual dispossessor grants him a settlement and the dispossessor takes possession of the land, the article of limitation applicable is Article 3 of sell III of the Bengal Tenancy Act. We are aware of rulings to the effect that where the settlement is made by the landlord after the dispossession, then the period of limitation is not two years but twelve years. In this case dispossession was made by the landlord through the contesting defendant who acted in collusion in dispossesssing the plaintiffs. It is clear that when the landlord sold the holding, he impliedly undertook to recognise the purchaser as his tenant and to make settlement with him. In pursuance of that implied offer the contesting defendant purchased the land and took possession of the same and has now been recognised by the landlord as his tenant. If there had been no such implied offer and agreement to recognise him as a tenant he would never have purchased the land. In these circumstances, we think, that the landlord and the contesting defendant must be held to be acting in collusion in the act of dispossessing the plaintiffs and it is not the new tenant who alone has dispossessed them. For this reason we think that the rule of limitation is two years' limitation under article 3, schedule III of the Bengal Tenancy Act. We must, accordingly, decree the appeal, set aside the judgment of this Court and restore that of the Subordinate Judge which we, accordingly, do with costs. The appellant is entitled to costs of this hearing as well as of the hearing before Mr. Brett.