Norris and Macpherson, JJ.
1. The question that we are called upon to decide in this case is whether a person who has been appointed the manager of an estate under the provisions of Section 95 of the Bengal Tenancy Act must have his name registered under the provisions of Section 78 of the Land Registration Act before he can recover rant due from tenants of the estate of which he has been appointed manager.
2. Section 78 of the Land Registration Act says: 'No person shall be bound to pay rent to any person claiming such rent as proprietor or manager of an estate or revenue-free property in respect of which he is required by this Act to cause his name to be registered, or as mortgagee, unless the name of such claimant shall have been registered under this Act.'... In order to see who is required by this Act to cause his name to be registered within the meaning of Section 78, we must go back to Sections 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42, and the material section we have to consider is Section 42, which deals with managers who are appointed after the Land Registration Act came into force. Paragraph 3 of that section says: 'Every person assuming charge after such commencement (that is, the commencement of the Act) of any estate or revenue-free property, or of any interest therein, respectively, as manager, shall, within six months from the date of such assumption of charge, make application in the manner hereinafter provided to the Collector of the district on the general register of which such estate or property is borne, or to any other officer who may have been empowered by such Collector to receive such applications, for registration of his name and of the character and extent of his interest as such proprietor or manager.' This refers to every manager. Now 'manager' is defined by Clause 6, Section 3 of the Act. That clause says: ''Manager' means every person who is appointed by the Collector, the Court of Wards, or by any Civil or Criminal Court to manage any estate or revenue-free property, or any part thereof, and every person who is in charge of an estate or revenue-free property, or any part thereof on behalf of a minor, idiot or lunatic, or on behalf of a religious or charitable foundation.' The Officiating District Judge was of opinion that the word 'manager' in this section meant only persons appointed to manage any estate, &c;, on behalf of a minor, idiot or lunatic, or on behalf of a religious or charitable foundation; in other words, he considered the word 'and' after the verb to be conjunctive and not disjunctive. That seems to us to be an erroneous interpretation of the section. The section seems to us to point to two classes of people: first of all to 'persons who are appointed by the Collector, the Court of Wards, or by any Civil or Criminal Court to manage any estate or revenue-free property, or any part thereof' and, secondly, to 'persons who are in charge of estates or revenue-free property or any part thereof on behalf of a minor, idiot or lunatic, or on behalf of a religious or charitable foundation.'; And that that is so appears from the fact that when the Land Registration Act was passed, Regulation V of 1812 was in force, and Section 26 of that Regulation provided for the appointment by Zillah or City Judges of a person to manage an estate where there were disputes between the proprietors; and the person so appointed, amongst others, is the person included in the first half of the definition of manager in Clause 6 of Section 3 of the Land Registration Act.
3. The question is whether the 'manager' spoken of in Section 95 of the Bengal Tenancy Act who has to be appointed by the District Judge is in any different position from other managers. Now the manager spoken of in the Land Registration Act is one to be appointed by the Civil Court amongst others. The District Judge appears to us to be entirely on the same footing as the Civil Court in the Land Registration Act. We would further point out that Clause 3, Section 98 of the Bengal Tenancy Act, provides that a manager shall, subject to the control of the District Judge, have, for the purposes of management, the same powers as the co-owners jointly might, but for his appointment, have exorcised, and the co-owners shall not exercise any such power. It is clear that the collection of rent is part and parcel of the management of an estate, and it is so recognised in Regulation V of 1812. Section 26 of that Regulation, speaking of the things which comprise the management of an estate, says that one of them is to collect the rents. The collection of the rents is a material part of the management of an estate. When a manager is appointed, co-owners, even though their names are registered, cannot collect the rents, and unless a manager is registered, there is no person to whom the tenants are liable to pay their rents.
4. In this view of the law, it appears to us that the decisions of both the lower Courts are erroneous, and must be set aside, and this suit dismissed with costs in all the Courts.