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Mohendra Nath Banerjee Vs. Rani Srimati Harshamukhi Dassi, Executrix to the Estate of Late Raja Manindra Chandra Sinha and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in164Ind.Cas.490
AppellantMohendra Nath Banerjee
RespondentRani Srimati Harshamukhi Dassi, Executrix to the Estate of Late Raja Manindra Chandra Sinha and ors.
Cases ReferredBohra Thakur Das v. Collector of Aligaih
Excerpt:
bengal tenancy act (viii of 1885), sections 163, 167 - application for attachment and sale under section 163, sub-section (2)(a)--use of wrong form--processing under sections 163, sub-section (2), clause (b)--held, sale had effect of rent sale--notice under section 167--purchaser himself encumbrancer--notice, if required--transfer of property act (iv of 1882), section 60--mortgagee of portion of property purchasing at rent sale--his right to throw mortgage burden on remaining property. - .....for rent on june 3, 1923 for the years 1326 to 1328 b.s. the same company obtained a decree in the rent suit no. 50 of 1925, on february 3, 1926, and this was for the arrears of rent for the year 1331 b.s. the said company also obtained a rent decree suit no. 56 of 1926 for the rent of the year 1332, b.s. and that was on september 22, 1926. on january 8, 1927 the decree of the last mentioned suit no. 56 of 1926 was put in execution. the sale in pursuance of that decree took place on july 12, 1927. the sale fetched a price of rs. 6,800 and the result was that lot no. 5 of the mortgaged properties was purchased by the original mortgagee in the benami of one hari das daw. the ground taken with regard to this sale is that this was not a rent sale as the procedure laid down in chap. xiv of.....
Judgment:

D.N. Mitter, J.

1. This is an appeal by defendant No. 4 and arises out of a suit brought to enforce a mortgage security. It appears that defendants Nos. 1, 2 and 3 mortgaged six properties which are described as properties Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 4 ka and 5 to certain mortgagees who are defendants Nos. 10 to 14 in the suit. They borrowed a sum of Rs. 23,000 from defendants Nos. 10 to 14 and hypothecated the properties just mentioned. This mortgage was executed on June 7, 1924. Defendants Nos. 5 to 9 are purchasers of equity of redemption like defendant No. 4 who purchased at the certificate sale lot No. 1 on June 19, 1927. The plaintiff is an assignee of the mortgagee's right in five of the properties hypothecated, the deed of assignment being dated October 4, 1929. The defence of defendant No. 4 to the suit is to be found at page 21 of the first part of the paper book. He states that the plaintiff has no cause of action against the defendants, that the suit is not maintainable in the present form, that except what is admitted specifically in the written statement the defendant does not admit to be true any other statement in the plains that the defendant does not admit as true that the bond produced by the plaintiff was executed by the defendants Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and that the same was legally executed and attested, and that if such deed was executed, it cannot operate as a mortgage-deed. In para. 5 that defendant further states that if the plaintiff be considered as entitled to get any mortgage-decree then the defendant reserves his claim to redeem the property in his right by paying off the share of the mortgage amount in proportion to the value of his purchased properties. In the said paragraph the defendant stated further that if the plaintiff be entitled to get any mortgage decree, then the same should be realised from the properties in possession of the defendants Nos. 1, 2 and 3. In para. 6 it was stated that the plaintiff having discharged certain properties included in the document from the liability of the mortgage, she is not entitled in any way to get any mortgage decree as against the property of this defendant wherein he has got title. These substantially were the defences taken by defendant No. 4. The defence as he has been summed up by the learned Advocate for this defendant falls under three heads and those defences only need be noticed for. the purposes of the present appeal. It is stated that the defence centers round the question as to whether the assignee of the mortgagee's rights can proceed against properties Nos. 1 to 4-ka leaving out property No. 5. In the second place the defendants including defendant No. 4 contend that they are entitled t) redeem a proportionate part of the mortgage money. He also pleads that there should be a reduction of the mortgage-debts and the price of the mortgage property No. 5 which was purchased by the original mortgagee should be deducted from the mortgage money now due to the plaintiffs. These defences have all been negatived by the Subordinate Judge who has granted a preliminary mortgage-decree and directed that in the event of the nonpayment of the mortgage-money the properties Nos. 1 to 4-ka shall be sold.

2. Against this decree the present appeal has been brought and the defences which were summarised by the learned Advocate for the appellant have been repeated before us grounds in support of the appeal. It becomes necessary therefore to state a few salient facts in order to consider the soundness of the grounds taken before us, which are really covered by the defences which have already been set forth. It appears that the Port Canning Company who are the landlords in respect of property No. 5, obtained a decree for rent on June 3, 1923 for the years 1326 to 1328 B.S. The same company obtained a decree in the Rent Suit No. 50 of 1925, on February 3, 1926, and this was for the arrears of rent for the year 1331 B.S. The said company also obtained a rent decree suit No. 56 of 1926 for the rent of the year 1332, B.S. and that was on September 22, 1926. On January 8, 1927 the decree of the last mentioned suit No. 56 of 1926 was put in execution. The sale in pursuance of that decree took place on July 12, 1927. The sale fetched a price of Rs. 6,800 and the result was that lot No. 5 of the mortgaged properties was purchased by the original mortgagee in the benami of one Hari Das Daw. The ground taken with regard to this sale is that this was not a rent sale as the procedure laid down in Chap. XIV of the Bengal Tenancy Act was not complied with. The only ground on which this argument was rested in the Court below seems to be that the property was sold under the provisions of Section 163 (2) (6) of the Bengal Tenancy Act where as it ought to have been sold, under Section 163(2) (a) of the Act; and it was said in the Court below that this deference in procedure makes the sale not one under the Bengal Tenancy Act but a sale of right, title and interest of the judgment-debtor. This question is really covered by issue No. 5 which runs as follows:

Whether the original mortgagees purchased mortgaged property No, 5 in execution of a rent decree free from all incumbrances in the Benami of Haridas Daw? If so, is it necessary to serve any notice under Section 167 of the Bengal Tenancy Act ?

3. Before us, however, a very difficult ground has been taken in addition to this ground which is indicated in the judgment of the Subordinate Judge and it has been said by Mr. Bhattacharjee who has argued very strenuously that the whole of the proceedings in execution of the rent decree shows that the decree which was being executed was not a decree in Rent Suit No. 56 of 1926 as alleged by the plaintiff in her plaint, but a decree in another Rent Suit namely suit No. 50 of 1928. This point was never raised in the Court below and it would not be right for us to allow this point to be raised for the first time being that the pleadings of defendant No. 4 which have already been referred to do not raise this point at all. It is no doubt true as appears from an examination of the several proceedings in connection with the attachment of the holding that some mistakes have crept in some of the execution papers. In Ex. 11, however, which is an application for execution of the decree, the suit number namely 56 of 1923 is rightly given and the property in arrears is rightly described in the Schedule as mokarari mourashi interest of the judgment-debtor and a prayer is made that the jama be attached and sold under the provisions of Section 163 (2) (a) of the Bengal Tenancy Act. Next we come to the order of attachment printed at p. 4.5 of the second part of the paper book. We find there a reference to the decree of Suit No. 50 of 1925 and not to the decree of Suit No. 56 of 1926. Similarly in the proclamation of sale of tenure or holding with power to annul incumbrances in Rent Execution Case No. 2 of 1927 printed at p. 48 of the second part of the paper book, reference is made to Rent Suit No. 50 of 1925. But it appears from the order sheet of these proceedings that the property was sold, In Rent Execution Case No. 2 of 1927 which refer undoubtedly to the suit of 1926. This surely is a point which ought to have been taken if there was any substance in it, in the Court below; and it ought to have been made the subject of an issue. It seems somewhat singular that although an application was made by the judgment-debtor under Order XXI, Rule 90 of the Code of Civil Procedure to set aside the sale in execution of the decree which purported to be one in execution of Rent Suit No. 56 of 1926 no such ground appears to have been taken. It seems somewhat singular that if there was any substance in this point which goes materially to affect the sale and could form a good ground for proceeding under Order XXT, Rule 90, it would not have been taken before the District Judge. Of this point there is no mention in the written statement and the point was never agitated in the Court below. For these reasons we think that there is no substance in this point. Some mistake of form might have taken place which does not affect the merits and we should not allow this point to be raised in this Court.

4. With regard to the point indicated 'in the judgment of the Subordinate Judge that wrong description was given with reference to the sub-section under which the proceeding under Chap. XIV had taken place, the landlord asked for attachment according to the provisions of Section 163 (2) (a) but through some mistake apparently a wrong form was used proceedings were taken obviously under Section 163 (2) (b) of the Act. It was staled that the sale would be by public auction and with power to annul all incumbrances of the occupancy holding. But the schedule at the end of the sale proclamation describes the holding as an mokarari mourashi interest of the judgment debtor. This was a misdescription and it certainly does not render the sale as one not coming under the provisions of chap. XIV of the Act. A question of similar kind did arise in this Court in the case of Akhoy Kumar V. Bijay Chand Mahataip 29 C 813. The learned Judges in that case in dealing with this contention dealt with a similar question. See p. 819 Page of 29 C--[Ed] of the said report. There also an incorrect form was used as has been done in the present case and the learned Judges observe this:

There can be little doubt that what the Maharaja intended to bring to sale in satisfaction of his decree for rent of the darpatni was the tenure itself and that was in fact what he prayed for in his application. By carelessness or oversight a wrong form was used for the proclamation of sale. That is to say, a form suitable for the sale 'of an occupancy holding with power to annul all encumbrances. The result was that in the sale certificate an order confirming the sale the property was wrongly described as the right, title and interest of the debtor in the darpatni tenure although in the schedule attached to each it is specified as the lot, or property itself in arrears.

and they held that the proceedings notwithstanding this defect were proceedings under Chap. XIV of the Bengal Tenancy Act. There is, therefore, no substance in the ground that by reason of this irregularity the sale should not be regarded as a rent sale.

5. The next point which is taken is that if it were a rent sale as no notice under Section 167 of the Bengal Tenancy Act was given, the sale must be regarded as a sale not free from incumbrances but subject to the mortgage in question. It has been decided by a decision of this Court that where the encumbrancer himself purchases the properly hypothecated to him it is not necessary that any notice should be given under Section 167 of the. Bengal Tenancy Act. Reference may be made in this connection to the decision in the case of Mastullah Mandal v. Gyam Mamud Sah 4 C.W.N. 735. The learned Judges pointed out that the legislature in making this provision had in view the fact that the person who claimed to have a charge or encumbrance on that property, and intended that the purchaser if he wanted to destroy anybody else's interest in the property purchased by him was bound to proceed in accordance with the provisions of Section 167 of the Bengal Tenancy Act as it then stood. This view has also been taken in another case which has been referred to the Bar, namely, the case of Hem Chandra Chowdhury v. Tafazel Hossein Khan 8 CWN 332. In view of these authorities we do not think that this contention of the appellant can succeed.

6. The third point taken is that as the mortgagee had purchased property No. 5, the integrity of the mortgage has been broken and that the mortgage having been split up the appellant should be allowed to redeem lot No. 1 on paying proportionate part of the mortgage money due. In other words, the prayer is for a piecemeal or partial redemption. Of course authorities no doubt establish that ordinarily when mortgagees purchase a part of the equity of redemption the integrity of the mortgage is broken and the parties interested in the other portions of the equity of redemption can redeem piecemeal. The rent was a fixed charge on the tenure and consequently the sale was free from all incumbrances. To such state of facts then the decision of their Lordships of Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the case of Bohra Thakur Das v. Collector of Aligarh 37 IA 182 : 32 A 612 : 7 Ind. Cas. 732 : 14 CWN 1034 : 12 CLJ 272 : 8 MLT 276 : (1910) MWN 665 : 7 ALJ 1132 : l2 Bom. LR 1105 : 20 MLJ 890, to which we shall presently refer, applies. In that case their Lordships observe this:

In the present suit the appellants seek to redeem agrana upon payment of a proportionate share of the Rs. 5,000; their contention being that as Nand Kishore purchased one of the properties on which the mortgage-debt was secured, it was pro tanto satisfied and agrana was only liable for the share legitimately chargeable one. As Kachura was sold and purchased by Nand Kishore in execution and part satisfaction of a decree obtained on the prior mortgage of 1868 the Courts in India properly overruled the appellants' contention which has not been pressed before this Board.

7. The facts are fully stated in the report of the case from which this Privy Council Appeal was taken, and which is to be found reported in Bohra Thakur Das v. Collector of Aligaih 2 A 593 at p 598 : AWN 1907, 185 : 4 ALJ 726. The question is dealt with by the learned Judges at p. 598 Page of 28 A.--[Ed] of the report. Mr. Justice Knox and Mr. Justice Aikman who delivered the judgment in the case say this:

The first ground in the memorandum of appeal was abandoned and the last ground was not pressed. The second and third grounds were supported and they raise what is really the same question, that is whether the mortgagee, having himself purchased part of the mortgaged property can throw the whole burden of the mortgage on the remainder of the mortgaged property. The answer to this question depends on the circumstances under which the purchase was made. Supposing A and B are mortgagors of certain properly which they have jointly mortgaged to O. Now if C, the mortgagee himself purchases the equity of redemption from A, it is clear that he cannot be permitted to throw on B's share the whole burden of his mortgage. In such a case B's share can only be saddled with the proportionate amount of the mortgaged-debt. But if as is the case here C's purchase was at a sale in execution of a decree obtained on a prior mortgage, the case is different The learned Judge finds that the mortgagee brought the Kachura property at an open sale and not subject to any charge and that he must be presumed to have paid fair value for it. The case then stands thus the whole of the Kachura property has been swallowed up by the first mortgage and consequently the burden of second mortgage falls entirely on the Agrana property. The owner of the latter property has under the circumstances no right of contribution against the owner of the Kachuna property.

8. This view was affirmed by their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in the passage which we have just quoted. In the present case before their Lordships there can be no question that their Lordships of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that the sale was free from incumbranee and what the original mortgage purchased was not mere lease equity of redemption but the mortgaged property free from incumbrance. This ground also therefore fails.

9. The result it that all the grounds taken in this appeal fail and the appeal must be dismissed with costs.

10. Let the record be sent down as soon as possible.

Patterson, J.

11. I agree.


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