Asutosh Mukerjee, J.
1. The question which has been referred for decision under Section 5 of the Court-Fees Act, 1870, relates to the true construction of a rule framed by the Governor-General in Council with reference to Section 105, Sub-section (8) of the Bengal Tenancy Act, 1885. The rule directs that an application made under the section for a settlement of rent, during the preparation of a Record of Eights, in the Presidency of Bengal under Chapter X of the Bengal Tenancy Act, shall bear a stamp of eight annas, for each tenant making or joining or joined in the application. The Stamp Reporter has held that if the application relates to a single tenancy, which is held by a number of joint tenants, a stamp of eight annas must be levied in respect of each of such Joint tenants. This novel interpretation of a rule which has been in existence for a quarter of a century is, in my opinion, clearly erroneous.
2. The rule in question must be read with paragraph 63, Clause (4) of the rules framed by the Governor-General in Council on the 7th December 1914. That rule is in these terms:
With the consent of the Revenue Officer, any number of tenants occupying land under the same landlord in the same village, may make a joint application for the settlement of root, or may be joined as defendants in the same proceedings on a similar application by the landlord, provided that if, at any time it appears to the Revenue officer that the question between any two of the parties, of whom one is so joined with others, cannot conveniently be so jointly tried, he may order a separate trial to be held of that question, or he may pass such orders, in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, for the joint or separate disposal of the application, as he may think fit.
3. This rule leaves no room for controversy that the case contemplated is that of joinder of matters relating to distinct tenancies in the same application; otherwise, no special permission would have been necessary, because if the application relates to one tenancy, which is held by a number of joint tenants all the joint tenants would be necessary parties to the application. The history of this matter is set out in the judgment of a Full Bench of this Court in the case of Upadhya Thakur v. Persidh Singh 23 C. 728 : 12 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 481. The rule for the levying of stamp duty which I have previously mentioned was framed with a view to modify the effect of the Full Bench decision. In my opinion the only, construction which can be legitimately put upon the rule is that a stamp of eight-annas is to be levied in respect of each tenancy, not in, respect of each tenant who may be one of a group of tenants holding a particular tenancy. The conclusion follows that adequate Court-fee has been paid on the memorandum of appeal which must be registered accordingly.