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Sheikh Songsor Ali Vs. Jagannath Pal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1923Cal368,76Ind.Cas.252
AppellantSheikh Songsor Ali
RespondentJagannath Pal and ors.
Cases ReferredRam Kanai Dass v. Fakir Chand Das
Excerpt:
landlord and tenant - lease--prior 'and subsequent lessees, position of--subsequentiessee,'whether to collect rent from prior lessee. - .....to recover arrears of rent from the principal defendants nos. 1 to 5. these defendant hold the land in question as burgadars or cultivators paying half the produce by way of rent, it appears that the original landlord to whom the rent was due way the defendant no. 7 whose title has since been conveyed to the defendant no 6. the plaintiff claim to the rent payable by the defendants nos. 1 to 5 is based on a settlement which, as he alleges, he obtained from the defendant no. 7. this was an oral settlement not reduced to writing, and if at the trial it was tut disputed that there was some such settlement, the parties ware not agreed as to its terms. there being no document to construe, any question as to the nature of the settlement or its terms, in a question of fact.2. as i read the.....
Judgment:

Thomas Richardson, J.

1. The plaintiff-appellant before us seeks to recover arrears of rent from the principal defendants Nos. 1 to 5. These defendant hold the land in question as burgadars or cultivators paying half the produce by way of rent, it appears that the original landlord to whom the rent was due way the defendant No. 7 whose title has since been conveyed to the defendant No 6. The plaintiff claim to the rent payable by the defendants Nos. 1 to 5 is based on a settlement which, as he alleges, he obtained from the defendant No. 7. This was an oral settlement not reduced to writing, and if at the trial it was tut disputed that there was some such settlement, the parties ware not agreed as to its terms. There being no document to construe, any question as to the nature of the settlement or its terms, in a question of fact.

2. As I read the judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge in the lower Appellate Court, he has found on the evidence that the right obtained by the plaintiff from defendant No. 7 was mereiy the right to cultivate tins land as a raiyat and that there was no assignment to the plaintiff of the right to receive rent from the defendants. The case, therefore, would appear to fall within the decision of this Court in Ram Kanai Dass v. Fakir Chand Das 8 C.W.N. 438.

3. In that case also the defendant in possession was a burgadar, the plaintiff claiming the rent as a jotedar under a subsequent but apparently unwritten lease granted by the superior landlord. There was nothing definite to show what the precise rights of the plaintiff were but the lower Appellate Court had found that the relationship of landlord and tenant did not exist between him and the defendant burgadar, on the ground that there was no proof that the superior landlord had assigned to the plaintiff the right to collect rent from that defendant. The plaintiff's appeal to this Court came first before Mitter, J., who concluded in his favour. The learned Judge was of opinion that, 'as between the superior landlord and the defendant, the right of the one to receive rent from the other has passed by the creation of the intermediate holding to the plaintiff.' He considered that it was immaterial whether the plaintiff was called a jotedar or a tenure-holder and that no formal assignment was necessary, particularly as the Munsif had found that the landlord did not object to the plaintiff receiving rent from the defendant. The defendant having appealed, however, under the Letters Patent, it was held by Sir-Francis Maclean, C.J., and Parjiter, J., that upon the finding of the lower Appellate Court the suit tor rent could not be maintained.

4. That decision is sufficient to justify the dismissal of the present appeal, in spite of the argument insistently urged that the superior landlord is impleaded as a party defendant to this suit and has not contested the plaintiff's claim.

5. 5. The principle seems to be that in these cases the second lease is not a lease of the proprietary rights but a mere hiring out of the land and no privity of contract or of estate is created as between the second lessee and the first lessee.

6. No sympathy need be felt with the present plaintiff. Both the Courts below have found that, taking advantage of his position as subsequent lessee, he made serious efforts, prior to this suit, to oust the principal defendants from the land.

7. Under the Bengal Tenancy Act the question of the status of the tenant is not without importance. In my opinion it would introduce confusion into the administration of the Act to say that if a holding be leased by the landlord for the purposes of cultivation first to one raiyat and then to another, the second raiyat would be entitled to collect the rent payable by the first.

8. I will add that the law as to concurrent leases in England appears to be curious and techinical and in some respects unsettled. See for instance Woodfall, Twentieth Edition, page 258, and Redman, Second Edition, page 32. In my opinion the appeal should be dismissed with costs.

Suhrawardy, J.

9. I agree.


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