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Kalar Singh and ors. Vs. Mathura Prosad and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1914Cal781,25Ind.Cas.547
AppellantKalar Singh and ors.
RespondentMathura Prosad and ors.
Cases ReferredMathura Prasad v. Tota Singh
Excerpt:
bengal tenancy act (viii of 1885), section 29 - abwab--illegal cesses--stipulation as to payment of husks over and above certain nakdi rent, whether legal. - .....over and above the rent to which reference has been made), they (that is the tenants) would pay a cartload of husk year after year till the period of the patta was at an end, and in case they fail to do the same they would pay rs. 6 as the value thereof; and that if they did not pay the said rent annually they should be held liable for interest at the rates specified. then there is a schedule which gives the following items: area of land 10 bighas, rate per bigha rs. 4-4, total rent rs. 42-8; value of husk, rs. 6; annual jama, rs. 48-8. the question in this case is whether the husk is or is not really a part of the rent.2. we have these circumstances that are significant; first, the plaintiffs themselves in their plaint do not treat the husk as a part of the rent in totalizing rs. 48-8.....
Judgment:

1. These two appeals involve the question whether a part of the claim made by the plaintiffs is open to objection as (Soiling within the statutory prohibition against abwabs and other illegal cesses. The circumstances of each case may be briefly stated : Suit No. 520 relates to a case where there was no kabuliat. In No. 521 there was a kabuliat and that kabuliat has been placed before us. I will deal with the second of these two suits first. This kabuliat states: 'that there is an annual nakdi rent of Rs. 4-4 per bigha making in all the specified amounts of Rs. 42-8 annas' and that is followed by the usual provisions to be found in documents of this kind. It is then finally provided that over and above this (that is over and above the rent to which reference has been made), they (that is the tenants) would pay a cartload of husk year after year till the period of the patta was at an end, and in case they fail to do the same they would pay Rs. 6 as the value thereof; and that if they did not pay the said rent annually they should be held liable for interest at the rates specified. Then there is a schedule which gives the following items: Area of land 10 bighas, rate per bigha Rs. 4-4, total rent Rs. 42-8; value of husk, Rs. 6; annual jama, Rs. 48-8. The question in this case is whether the husk is or is not really a part of the rent.

2. We have these circumstances that are significant; first, the plaintiffs themselves in their plaint do not treat the husk as a part of the rent in totalizing Rs. 48-8 because they make a claim in excess of that, that is to say, at the rate of Rs. 10 per cartload. Then again, cesses have not been claimed or paid on the basis of the husk being a part of the rent. These were circumstances which were present in the case of Mathura Prasad v. Tota Singh 17 Ind. Cas. 177 : 16 C.L.J. 296, and it is manifest that they must be regarded as having a material bearing on the question whether or not the cartload of husk, whatever may have been said in an isolated part of the document, really was or was not a part of the rent.

3. No doubt in Suit No. 521, the Munsif, the Subordinate Judge and Mr. Justice Holmwood before whom the case came thought that the husk was a part of the rent, and that is a circumstance that is to be taken into consideration. But we have the fact that, in circumstances which I think cannot fairly be distinguished from the present, it was distinctly held that the husk was not a part of the rent; and Mr. Justice Holmwood was a party to that decision: Mathura Prasad v. Tota Singh 17 Ind. Cas. 177 : 16 C.L.J. 296. I think we must accept that decision as correct, and in fact there is no suggestion before us that it is incorrect, and also as conclusive of this case. So much for Suit No. 521.

4. Suit No. 522 appeal's to me to be stronger in the appellants' favour, because there is not even the slender circumstance of an apparent consolidation of rent. In that case there is no kabuliat. There is merely the circumstance that on the evidence the learned Judge of the lower Appellate Court came to the conclusion that two cartloads of husks were supplied every year. The decision of the Munsif was in favour of the defendants, but the learned Subordinate Judge as also Mr. Justice Holmwood were in the plaintiffs' favour. Those factors which were treated in Mathura Prasad v. Tota Singh 17 Ind. Cas. 177 : 16 C.L.J. 296, as showing that the obligation in respect of husk was really an obligation in respect of illegal cesses, are present in this case, and I am unable to distinguish in any particular this case from that. The result is that we reverse the judgments of the learned Judge of this Court, as also the decree of the Subordinate Judge, in both Nos. 520 and 521. In No. 520 we restore the decree of the Munsif and in No. 521 we vary his decree by disallowing the plaintiffs' claim in respect of the cartload of husk.

5. The defendants will get their costs in each case in the lower Appellate Court and in this. Court including the costs of two appeals. We do not interfere with the Munsif's order as to the costs in either suits.


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