1. These three appeals arise out of three suits brought by the plaintiffs to recover rents for the years 1305 to 1308 from the defendants. In the Courts below the question was raised whether the plaintiffs were entitled to rents at the rates claimed because they had in 1299 enhanced the original rentals beyond the limits fixed by the provisions of Section 29 of the Bengal Tenancy Act.
2. The Court of first instance after a remand came to the conclusion that the plaintiffs had enhanced the rents in 1299 beyond the limit provided by Section 29 of the Bengal Tenancy Act. The plaintiffs then appear to have set up in opposition to this ground of defence two contentions-one was that at the time of the commencement of the tenancy there had been an agreement by which the tenants had consented to the enhancement in 1299 of the rentals up to the rate claimed in the suit: the other was that under proviso I to Section 29 of the Act the plaintiffs were entitled to recover the rents at the rate claimed because they had been realising rents at that rate for a continuous period of not less than 3 years immediately preceding the period for which the rent is claimed in the present suit.
3. The lower Courts have found that the plaintiffs have failed to prove that there was any such agreement as that alleged at the time of the creation of the tenancy; also that the plaintiffs have failed by their evidence to substantiate the contention that they had been recovering rent at the rates claimed for a continuous period of not less than 3 years immediately preceding the period for which the rent was claimed.
4. Both the lower Courts have, accordingly, given the plaintiffs a decree for recovery of rents for the years in suit at the rates admitted by the raiyats.
5. The plaintiffs have appealed and in support of the appeal a novel contention has been advanced by the learned Vakil who appears on their behalf. It is this. He argues that as his clients are co-sharer landlords, therefore, on the authority of the rulings of this Court in the cases of Beni Madhub Boy v. Jaod Ali Sircar 17 C. 390; Jogendra Natk Ghose v. Paban Chandra Ghose 8 C.W.N. 472 and Bhabatarini Dasi v. Ekabbar Malita 5 C.L.J. 235 : 2 M.L.T. 155 they are not bound by the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act as regards their relations with their tenants. I am unable to accept this as a sound contention. All that the cases to which the learned Pleader has referred have gone so far as to lay down that the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act do not apply to a suit for rent brought by the co-sharer landlord. The correctness of the decision in the case of Jogendra Nath Ghose v. Paban Chandra Ghose 8 C.W.N. 472 was doubted by the Judges who referred to the Fall Bench the case of Bhabatarini Dasi v. Ekabbar Malita 5 C.L.J. 235 : 2 M.L.T. 155. But the latter case was disposed of on another ground and that question was not decided. For the purposes of the present appeals, however, this question is of little importance as the contention of the learned Pleader goes far beyond what was held in any of the cases to which he had referred. I am unable to accept as correct his contention that the relations between co-sharer landlords and their tenants are not governed by the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act. The Act was framed for the purpose of determining the law regulating the relations between landlords and their tenants, and there can be, in my opinion, no doubt that the provisions of the Act, of which Section 29 is one, govern the relations between co-sharer landlords and their tenants just as much as they govern the relations between sole landlords and their tenants.
6. As this is the only point urged in support of the appeals, the appeals fail, the appeals are dismissed with costs.
7. Against this decision the plaintiffs appealed under Section 15 of the Letters Patent.
8. We dismiss these appeals with costs.