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Baikuntha Nath Ghose Vs. Sodananda Mohapatra and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1919Cal767,46Ind.Cas.287
AppellantBaikuntha Nath Ghose
RespondentSodananda Mohapatra and ors.
Excerpt:
bengal tenancy act (b.c. viii of 1885), sections 104 a to 104f and 104j - 'shall be deemed to have been correctly settled,' meaning of. - .....the holdings and the two holdings were not held as they were originally but they were different holdings, although the same amount of land was comprised in the two holdings. the first question is: 'can the defendants question the correctness of the rent sued for, the same having been settled in accordance with the provisions of section 104a to 104f of the bengal tenancy act?' it is said, first of all, that the words used in section 104 j 'shall be deemed to have been correctly settled' merely give rise to a presumption that can be rebutted. that obviously is not so. the words on any possible construction cannot mean anything but that the thing 'deemed to have been correctly settled' is conclusive. the words 'deemed to have been correctly settled' mean an irrebuttable presumption.....
Judgment:

Fletcher, J.

1. These are two appeals by the plaintiff in two rent suits. The appeals are preferred against the decision of the learned District Judge of Midnapur, dated the 29th June 1916, reversing the decision of the Munsif of Tamluk. The case is a perfectly short one. The rent was sued for in respect of two tenancies in accordance with the Record of Rights finally published under the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act. The defence was that the Settlement Officer had re-arranged the holdings and the two holdings were not held as they were originally but they were different holdings, although the same amount of land was comprised in the two holdings. The first question is: 'Can the defendants question the correctness of the rent sued for, the same having been settled in accordance with the provisions of Section 104A to 104F of the Bengal Tenancy Act?' It is said, first of all, that the words used in Section 104 J 'shall be deemed to have been correctly settled' merely give rise to a presumption that can be rebutted. That obviously is not so. The words on any possible construction cannot mean anything but that the thing 'deemed to have been correctly settled' is conclusive. The words 'deemed to have been correctly settled' mean an irrebuttable presumption and, being an irrebuttable presumption, it is not open to the defendants to show that this rent was not correctly settled.

2. Then, the next point is about what is meant by the rent being correctly settled. The argument is that, although the tenant may not be able to question the amount, he may show that the land is not correctly stated in the Record of Rights and that, therefore, he is not liable to pay the rent which has been deemed to have been correctly settled. That seems to me to be quite impossible on the wording of the section. Correctness of the rent means that the amount stated is correct with reference to the amount of rent entered in the record. It is shown quite clearly by Section 104H, Sub-section (3)(d), in giving one of the grounds on which a suit can be instituted by a person who is aggrieved by an entry of a rent settled in a settlement rent roll. It is quite impossible to say that when the rent is deemed to be correctly settled the tenant can go behind the record and show that the record is wrong. I think, therefore, that the decision of the learned District Judge is, wrong and that the appeals must be allowed. The decrees of the lower Appellate Court are accordingly set aside and the decrees passed by the Munsif restored with costs both in this Court and in the lower Court.

Shamsul Huda, J.

3. I agree.


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