1. The plaintiff, who is the ticcadar of Mouza Malpore, brought this suit for arrears of rent for the year 1283. He alleged that the defendants held in that year 7 bigas 8 cottas 5 dhurs of land at a nukdi rent of Rs. 16-10 5/8; 7 cottas 10 dhurs of land on which there were bamboo clumps, and the value of the landlord's share of the bamboos cut in the year was Rs. 51; and 18 bigas 5 cottas of bhowli lands, the value of the landlord's share of the putnee was Rs. 210 and odd. The plaintiff gave a deduction of Rs. 24 and odd annas as the amount paid by the defendants in that year.
2. The defendants denied holding any bhowli land, and alleged that they held a maurasi tenure in the village, the rent of which was Rs. 22-1-3, and that in this tenure the bamboo clumps mentioned in the plaint were included.
3. The Munsif gave a decree in accordance with the allegations of the plaintiff, although ho made some modification in the amount claimed. This decree has been confirmed by the District Judge. The defendants have preferred this appeal.
4. The defendants, in order to prove that their annual rent was Rs. 22-1-3, produced receipts for the previous years. The District Judge disposes of these receipts with the remark that they do not contain the quantity of land and the annual jumma of the defendants.
5. It has been contended before us that the District Judge is mistaken in thinking that the receipts do not show the annual jumma. We find that the contention is valid, because if they are genuine, they do show the annual jumma. But there was a question about their genuineness in the lower Courts, and the lower Appellate Court has expressed no opinion upon this point. But in the view which we take of the next objection urged before us, it becomes immaterial to inquire into the question of the genuineness of the receipts.
6. The next objection is, that the lower Courts are in error in awarding a decree for the rent of the bhowli lands, because, in the return which was made by the plaintiff to the Collector under the Road Cess Act (Beng. Act X of 1871), these lands were not included. It has been contended before us that the plaintiff is, upon this ground, precluded by Section 7 of the Road Cess Act of 1871 from recovering any rent on account of the alleged bhowli lands. The District Judge upon this point says, that it is generally understood that it is not necessary to enter the bhowli lands in the return, because there is no column in the form prescribed under Act X of 1871, in which such lands are to be entered.
7. We are of opinion that the opinion of the District Judge upon this point is contrary to the provisions of Bong. Act X of 1871. The form referred to by him is proscribed by Section 5 of the Act, which requires that the return should be made 'of all lands comprised in an estate or tenure.' The plaintiff was bound to enter in the column headed 'annual rent' the rent of all bhowli lands. The District Judge says that it was generally understood that the 'rents' of the bhowli lands were not required to be entered in the returns under. Act X of 1871. But we find a clear direction for this insertion in the following extract from the rules framed by the Board of Revenue for the preparation of returns under Bong. Act X of 1871, Part II, Schedule A, part ii: 'With reference to the in which uttbandee bhowli, spunja, and bhag holdings, where rents are paid partly in money and partly in kind or wholly in kind, should be entered in the return, it will be better for the zamindar to enter the cash value on an average of the receipts of the past two years, or if there have been no such receipts during that period, then at an approximate estimate of what he expects his portion of the crop to be worth to him at market rates, together with cash paid, if any, as rent.'
8. We are of opinion that the plaintiff is precluded by Section 7 of Beng. Act X of 1871 from recovering any rent for the alleged bhowli lands. That being so, it is unnecessary to enquire whether the receipts filed by the defendants are genuine, because the plaintiff is only entitled to recover the nukdi rent claimed by him, which is less than what is admitted by the defendants. The plaintiff admits the receipt of Rs. 24 and odd annas in the year 1283, and as this is more than the nukdi rent claimed or admitted, the suit must be dismissed. We reverse the decrees of the lower Courts, and dismiss the plaintiff's suit with costs.