1. It is found by the lower Courts, that the plaintiffs held the disputed land in jote, and were ousted by the defendants in April 1285 (1878) without any notice. It is also found, that they had not, before ouster, acquired a right of occupancy. The defendants are owners of a fractional share of the estate in which the lands lie, but they claim an exclusive right to them as their zerat. The suit was dismissed by the first Court, while the lower Appellate Court, reversing that judgment, has awarded a decree, on the ground that the plaintiffs could not be legally evicted without a reasonable notice.
2. It has been contended before us, that a ryot not having a right of occupancy may be evicted at the end of the year without a notice. No doubt, a ryot holding under a patta having a fixed term may be evicted without notice at the end of the fixed term. But that is not the case here. The plaintiffs allege that their father obtained a patta for one year, viz., 1179 (1871-72), and they were allowed to hold over till Assin 1285 (October 1877), when they were dispossessed. This patta was rejected as not established, by the Munsif, but the Appellate Court has expressed no final opinion regarding it, although it is inclined to believe its genuineness.
3. But, in the opinion of the Appellate Court, this point was immaterial. The lower Appellate Court is right in that view; because, so far as the point raised in the case is concerned, there is no difference in the law between the position of a ryot holding without a patta, or that of one holding over after the expiry of the term of a patta.
4. The lower Appellate Court mainly relies upon the Pull Bench decision in Rajendronath, Mookeerjee v. Raseedur Ruhoman Khundkar (25 W. R., 329). But what is decided in it is, that a suit for possession cannot be treated as a notice in the case of a ryot entitled to a notice to quit. But however, in Ram Khelawun Singh v. Mussamut Soondra (7 W. R., 152), the point was decided in accordance with the view taken by the lower Appellate Court.  We also think that the view of the law taken by the lower Appellate Court is deducible from the provisions of Section 20 of Beng. Act VIII of 1869, which lays down that ryots like the plaintiffs cannot relinquish without a notice to the landlord. In our opinion it follows from this, that a landlord cannot evict such a tenant without a notice; because, in order to justify an eviction without a notice, it must be held that the tenancy, unless renewed, comes to an end at the end of the year. But if that were so the ryot could throw up the land without a notice.
5. The relation of landlord and tenant cannot be said to have ceased so far as the landlord's right to evict is concerned, but not with reference to the ryots' right to relinquish. But it seems to us, that the relationship does not come to an erjcl at the expiration of each year, without some act on the part of the landlord and tenant jointly, or of either.
6. If the law were otherwise, the ryots would have been placed in a very disadvantageous position. It is generally the case that ryots of this class derive their livelihood from cultivation only.
7. If they were liable to be evicted without notice at the end of the year, they would find in many cases, great difficulty in obtaining a suitable quantity of land for cultivation from other zamindars.
8. On the whole we think that the lower Appellate Court has laid down the law correctly. The appeal is dismissed with costs.