1. This is an appeal by the plaintiff against a judgment of the learned District Judge of the 24 Pergannas, dated the 5th August 1915, modifying the decision of the Assistant Settlement Officer of the same District. The suit was brought by the plaintiff for enhancement of rent on the ground that there had been a rise in the average local prices of staple food crops during the currency of the present rent. The tenancy, as found by the learned Judge, was created in the year 1848, and the view that the learned Judge has taken is this, that in order to enable a landlord to claim an increased rent under the provisions of Section 30, Sub-section (6) of the Bengal Tenancy Act, the landlord must prove by positive evidence what was the value of staple food crops at the date of the inception of the tenancy so that the Court could, compare those prices when so proved with the current list that is kept by the Government under the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act and decide whether the landlord should or should not have an increase of rent. That seems to me to be an impossible view to take. First of all, it is not workable. Secondly, all these tenancies came into existence earlier than 1848 and it is quite impossible for a landlord to undertake to prove what were the local prices of staple food crops at the inception of the tenancy. The learned Judge ought not to have confined himself to this one section. If he had referred to the Act he would have seen what the Courts do in a case that came under Section 30(b) of the Bengal Tenancy Act. Section 32 coupled with Section 37 show quite clearly what the Judge has to do and the limit of the time within which rent can be enhanced. There is no difficulty in a case like this. It was never intended that the landlord should be bound to prove what the local prices in the year 1848 were and the Court should compare those prices with the local prices in the year 1915. Evidence as to the local prices in the year 1848 may not be available now. It is highly possible that such records do not exist. That is a matter not provided for in Section 32 of the Bengal Tenancy Act. The case must, therefore, go back to the lower Appellate Court for the learned Judge there to re-hear the appeal having regard to the observations that have already been made. The learned Judge will deal with the costs of the parties when he re-hears the appeal.
2. I agree.