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Ajit Kumar Pal Vs. Sadhan Chandra Pal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetters Patent Appeal No. 2 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1956Cal654,60CWN567
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908; ;Tenancy Law; ;Calcutta Thika Tenancy Act, 1949 - Sections 3 and 4; ;Calcutta Thika Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1953 - Section 1(2); ;Calcutta Thika Tenancy (Amendment) Ordinance, 1952; ;West Bengal Thika Tenancy Act, 1953
AppellantAjit Kumar Pal
RespondentSadhan Chandra Pal
Appellant AdvocatePrafulla Kumar Roy and ;Subodh Kumar Bhattacharjee, Advs.
Respondent Advocate Apurbadhan Mukherjee and ;Tarak Nath Roy, Advs.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
- .....letters patent appeal is a thika tenant within the meaning of the words defined in the calcutta thika tenancy, 1953, and it was on that basis that guha ray, j., gave the directions.2. the suit for ejectment was brought by the respondent landlord on 8-8-1946, on averment that the defendant was a monthly tenant and that tenancy had been determined by a 15 days notice to quit. one of the defences taken was that the notice was insufficient. the learned trial court took the view that notice was sufficient and decreed the suit. the judgment was delivered by him on 4-9-1948. against that decision the tenant took an appeal to the district judge's court. the appeal was presented on 4-11-1948. the court of appeal took the view that notice was insufficient and by its order dated 17-4-1950,.....
Judgment:

K. C. Das Gupta, J.

1. This is an appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent from the judgment and decree of Guha-Ray, J., by which he remanded a suit for ejectment which had been instituted by the present respondent, to the trial Court, for disposal with certain directions. It may be mentioned at once that it is no longer disputed that the appellant in this Letters Patent Appeal is a thika tenant within the meaning of the words defined in the Calcutta Thika Tenancy, 1953, and it was on that basis that Guha Ray, J., gave the directions.

2. The suit for ejectment was brought by the respondent landlord on 8-8-1946, on averment that The defendant was a monthly tenant and that tenancy had been determined by a 15 days notice to quit. One of the defences taken was that the notice was insufficient. The learned trial Court took the view that notice was sufficient and decreed the suit. The judgment was delivered by him on 4-9-1948. Against that decision the tenant took an appeal to the District Judge's Court. The appeal was presented on 4-11-1948. The Court of appeal took the view that notice was insufficient and by its order dated 17-4-1950, allowed the appeal, reversed the decree of the learned Munsif and dismissed the suit. It may be mentioned that a decree for Rs. 72/- that was passed by the trial Court was not challenged in appeal and we are no longer concerned with that question. Against the decree of the First Appellate Court the landlord preferred a second appeal to this Court on 29-6-1950. This second appeal was pending in this Court on 21-10-1952, when the Calcutta Thika Tenancy (Amendment) Ordinance, 1952, came into force. It became therefore necessary to consider how far the provisions in sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Amending Act was of assistance to the tenant. On behalf of the tenant it was contended that as the Amending Act by its proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 1 thereof made the provisions of the Calcutta Thika Tenancy Act, 1949, as amended by the Amending Act applicable, subject to the provisions of Section 9 and it was further provided that these provisions shall be deemed to have always applied to all suits, appeals and proceedings on the date of the commencement of the Ordinance of 1952, the High Court hearing the second appeal was bound in law to apply the provisions of the Calcutta Thika Tenancy Act including the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 thereof, and on such application should have dismissed the suit.

3. Guha Ray, J., was, however, of opinion that it would not be right to read the proviso of Sub-section (2) of Section 1 literally and that what the Legislature must be taken to have meant by the proviso was that only such provisions of the Act which had not the result of destroying a cause of action that had already accrued to a landlord should be given effect to. I have no hesitation in agreeing respectfully with Guha Ray, J. that after the notice to quit was served the landlord had a vested right and a statute must not be interpreted to have affected the vested right unless it clearly appears to have done so. In deciding however, whether the statute has taken away a vested right it is not proper for the Court to try to gauge the intention, of the Legislature by anything except the words used in the statute. When the words are clear the Court is not justified in considering the fairness or otherwise of the provisions. The Legislature is the best judge of what is fair or not when it em-barks on a policy of taking away rights and it will be dangerous for the Court to try to estimate the. Legislature's intention by a consideration of the hardships that might be caused to parties. This principle has been laid down in a large number of cases which it is unnecessary to mention.

4. The question, therefore, is whether theLegislature has, in the present case, clearly intended that the vested right would be taken away. Inmy judgment this is the necessary and inescapableconclusion if the natural meaning is given to thewords used. Indeed I can see no sense in saying,that the provisions of the Act shall apply to allpending appeals unless thereby the Legislaturewanted to say that rights which are inconsistentwith these provisions disappear. It is only fairto take Legislature to have meant what it says.And when it does say that the provisions of theCalcutta Thika Tenancy Act, 1949, as amended byCalcutta Thika Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1953,.shall, subject to the provisions of Section 9 also applyand be deemed to have always applied to all suitssappeals and proceedings pending before any Courton a certain date, it must have meant that theCourt before whom the suit or appeal or proceedings are pending will give effect to such provisions.If it was the intention of the Legislature that cer-'tain provisions, namely, provisions which affecta right that had already accrued could not apply,it was to be expected that the Legislature shouldsay so. As the Courts have no right to take awayfrom any party the benefit of a provision of lawwhich the Legislature has extended to him, I con-,sicier myself bound to hold that even though atprovision of the Act may have the result of des-troyirig a vested right in any party, the provisionsmust be enforced. l

5. If the provisions are enforced it is obvious that in the present suit the plaintiff cannot possibly succeed. For even if he may establish grounds of ejectment enumerated in Section 3 it is not I possible for him to satisfy the requirements of Section 4 of the Act.

6. I have, therefore, come to the conclusion that this appeal must be allowed, the judgment and decree of Guha Ray J. set aside and the judgment and decree of the learned Subordinate Judge restored. In the peculiar circumstances of this case parties will bear their own costs throughout. In view of the above order, the cross-objection is dismissed.

Guha, J.

7. I agree.


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