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Ramdhari Koer Vs. Ram Kanta Chowdhury and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1Ind.Cas.572
AppellantRamdhari Koer
RespondentRam Kanta Chowdhury and ors.
Cases ReferredPranal Anni v. Lakshmi Anni
Excerpt:
civil proved we code (vi at xiv of 1882), section 315 - contract ant (ix of 1872), 2 (d)--compromise,--scope of suit--consideration moving from a third person--decree based on compromise--admission--judgment in a suit for title, admissibility of in suit for rent--decree inter parties. - .....narain singh 22 c. 533, (p.c.); l.r., 22 i, a. 60, a decision which admitted previous judgments in rent suits in evidence in subsequent suits relating to title. but we do not base our decision on these considerations. the decree is, in our opinion, admissible as being the legal record of the agreement entered into between the parties, which is in itself a fact in issue and an admission of the appellants. that it is available to the parties as evidence seems clear from the decision in pranal anni v. lakshmi anni 22 m. 508 (p.c.); l.r. 26 i.a. 101.5. finally it is argued that the learned district judge was wrong in holding the decree to be binding on the appellants, or to be more than a mere piece of evidence. the district judge says 'i think that the respondents were any how bound by.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal by the tenants of certain land who have been sued for rent by their landlords on the basis of a compromise effected in a suit some years ago. That suit was brought by one Banku and others, who asserted that they were the tenants of the land, and sued for recovery of possession, making the present appellants and the landlords defendants to the suit. The suit was settled by an arrangement of a nature which is not uncommon, that the present appellants who seem to be the real tenants of the land, should retain possession and should pay certain rent, namely Rs. 61. As the appellants now plead that the rent is Rs. 7-14, it is a fairly safe inference that the rent agreed upon by the compromise was to some extent an enhanced rent.

2. The lower appellate Court has given effect to this compromise and the defendants appeal. The principal argument put forward in their favour is that the former suit related to the title of the land and was not concerned with the rent; and that, therefore, the compromise, inasmuch as it dealt with matters beyond the scope of the suit, is inoperative. We have been referred to a large number of decisions, which deal with the value to be attached to compromises of suits that go beyond the subject matter of those suits. But we think it unnecessary to refer to them at length, because in this case the compromise pleaded did not, in our opinion, go beyond the scope of the suit in which it was arrived at. If a plaintiff sues to establish a claim, and in the end agrees to abandon his claim on the defendant agreeing to pay him Rs. 1,000, it seems to us impossible to say that the agreement to pay Rs. 1,000 is beyond the scope of the suit, and is, therefore, inoperative. And it cannot make any difference whether the agreement is to pay Rs. 1,000, or as in this case to pay Rs. 61 a year. Nor can it make any difference whether the agreement is to pay the money to the plaintiff or to a third person. An agreement to pay money to a third person would be a perfectly valid consideration for a contract, and must be an equally valid consideration for a compromise. Of course it may be that, if landlords had not been parties to the compromise,' they could not have sued upon it, but that is not the case here. The appellants' first contention that the compromise is invalid, as being beyond the scope of the suit in which it was effected, must, in our opinion, fail.

3. Secondly, it is argued that the rent was not the consideration for the compromise. This is a question of fact, with which we have no concern in second appeal, but we think that there is nothing in the contention. All the probabilities of the case, and all ordinary experience are in favour of the supposition that the rent was the consideration. The only other consideration that the learned pleader for the appellants can suggest is that the then plaintiffs may have agreed to waive their costs. But in that case, it may be asked, why did they bring the suit at all. It is practically admitted in the pleadings of this suit that there were only two sides to the former suit, and that the landlords were on one side and the present defendants on the other. The landlords say that Banku and his companions were in collusion with the present appellants, while the latter say that Banku was in collusion with the landlords. If the pleadings of the appellants be accepted, there is no escape from the finding that the former suit and the compromise in which it ended were between the landlords and the appellants, and that Banku was a mere shade.

4. Thirdly, it is contended that the compromise decree is not admissible in evidence because the subject matter of the two cases is not the same, which it is said, is an essential condition to the admission in evidence of judgments, which are not inter partes. We are not prepared to admit that this decree, to which the landlords and the appellants were both parties, was not inter partes, and would refer in this connection to Magni Ram v. Mehdi Hossein Khan 31 C. 95. Nor is it clear that the subject matter was so different as to attract the consequences contended for by the learned pleader for the appellants. The former suit relates to title and the present suit is for rent of the same land. The case he cites Tepu Khan v. Rajani Mohun Das 25 C. 522 followed Ram Banyan Chakerbati v. Ram Narain Singh 22 C. 533, (P.C.); L.R., 22 I, A. 60, a decision which admitted previous judgments in rent suits in evidence in subsequent suits relating to title. But we do not base our decision on these considerations. The decree is, in our opinion, admissible as being the legal record of the agreement entered into between the parties, which is in itself a fact in issue and an admission of the appellants. That it is available to the parties as evidence seems clear from the decision in Pranal Anni v. Lakshmi Anni 22 M. 508 (P.C.); L.R. 26 I.A. 101.

5. Finally it is argued that the learned District Judge was wrong in holding the decree to be binding on the appellants, or to be more than a mere piece of evidence. The District Judge says 'I think that the respondents were any how bound by their statements recorded in their petition of compromise.' The word any how 'seems to mean even if the decree in which the compromise is embodied is not operative. Doubtless the learned District Judge knows perfectly well that an admission in a petition which is not a decree, need not be conclusive proof, though of course it is usual in such cases to say that persons who made the admission are bound by it. We see no reason for supposing that the District Judge placed an exaggerated value on this admission.

6. We think, therefore, that the decision of the District Judge was right and dismiss the appeal with costs.


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