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The Midnapore Zemindari Company, Limited Vs. Kristo Prosad Sukul and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in46Ind.Cas.544
AppellantThe Midnapore Zemindari Company, Limited;akshoy Kumar Sirkar;giri Liak and ors.
RespondentKristo Prosad Sukul and anr.;ijardar Mondal and ors.;chandra Nath Pal
Cases ReferredLakhi Narain v. Sri Ram Chandra
Excerpt:
bengal tenancy act (viii b.c. of 1885), sections 52(5) and 105 - proceeding under section 105--appellate court, power of to allow deduction on measurement--calculation of excess area, method of--costs--appeal--high court, interference by, with discretion of lower court. - .....the bengal tenancy act. three points have been taken in these appeals. the first point is that the learned judge of the lower appellate court should not have allowed a deduction of 10 per cent. on the measurement on the ground that the former measurement was not a scientific measurement. it is said that, as the rent was a rent per bigha, the learned judge was not entitled to do that, i think the learned judge was clearly entitled to do that. if the measurement was a local measurement, then the rent per bigha was also a rent per local bigha, and the judge was clearly entitled to make a deduction of 10 per cent. whether that is a proper and fair deduction, we need not consider. this is not a matter that comes before us in second appeal.2. the next point that is urged, is the question of.....
Judgment:

1. These appeals are preferred by the plaintiffs against the judgment of the learned Special Judge of Midnapur, dated the 30th June 1917, modifying the decision of the Revenue Officer of the same place. The appeals arise out of proceedings instituted under Section 105 of the Bengal Tenancy Act. Three points have been taken in these appeals. The first point is that the learned Judge of the lower Appellate Court should not have allowed a deduction of 10 per cent. on the measurement on the ground that the former measurement was not a scientific measurement. It is said that, as the rent was a rent per bigha, the learned Judge was not entitled to do that, I think the learned Judge was clearly entitled to do that. If the measurement was a local measurement, then the rent per bigha was also a rent per local bigha, and the Judge was clearly entitled to make a deduction of 10 per cent. Whether that is a proper and fair deduction, we need not consider. This is not a matter that comes before us in second appeal.

2. The next point that is urged, is the question of costs. It is quite clear that the learned Judge had absolute discretion in dealing with costs and, unless it is shown to us that there is some matter of principle on which the learned Judge has gone wrong, it is an established rule that this Court does not interfere in appeal in matters relating to costs. In this connection, the case of Lakhi Narain v. Sri Ram Chandra (1) was relied on. The head-note of that case states that a landlord is entitled to the costs incurred by him in making applications under Section 105 of the Bengal Tenancy Act and in serving them upon the tenants. The head-note is far too wide. It may be that, in the particular circumstances of that case, the Court thought that that landlord was entitled to these costs. But, under the terms of the law, an absolute discretion is vested in the Court to deal with costs and that discretion cannot be fettered by what was the view of a particular Bench as to the matter of costs in some other case. It is quite clear that, if the view put forward by the appellants be accepted, the discretion of the Judge would be fettered contrary to the clear provisions of the law.

3. The last point is the point that has been most strenuously urged by Mr. Das on behalf of the appellants and that is this; some of the lands were let out at six-annas a bigha and the Judge had to find out what was the rent for the excess land which he found to be patit or waste land. Mr. Das's view is that, under Section 52, Sub-section (5) of the Bengal Tenancy Act, the Court is bound to calculate the average rent on the whole amount of land found to be in the possession of the tenant. That, in my opinion, is clearly wrong. Section 52, Sub-section (5) is an enabling section authorizing the Court to deal with the matter in that way if it thinks that to be the most convenient way of arriving at what is the fair and equitable rent between the parties. There is nothing to preclude the Court from adopting other methods of calculation for the purpose of arriving at what is the proper excess rent. In this case, there is no reason to think that the method adopted by the learned Judge was not fair when he found out what was the actual rent paid for good lands and then proceeded to calculate the rent which the remaining land was paying. I think there is nothing in the points urged in these appeals. The appeals, therefore, fail and are dismissed. We make no order as to costs as the respondents have not appeared.


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