1. This is an appeal in a suit brought by the plaintiff who sought to recover possession of a certain plot of land on declaration of his Jote right to the same.
2. The plaintiff's document of title is a lease bearing date the 17th March 1896 granted by the manager of the estate of a certain lunatic appointed under Act XXXV of 1858. In that lease the manager conferred an ordinary Jote right on the lessee; he did not specify any term. There was a covenant for cultivation, and provision was made for ousting the tenant from the land in certain contingencies.
3. The defendant, however, set up a lease of later date granted to him by one of the sons of the lunatic called Jogendra Narain Mujumdar.
4. On a consideration of the respective titles of the parties and admissions and the pleadings, the Court of first instance held that the plaintiff had a Jote right to the land; that the defendant entered on the land as plaintiff's bargadar; and that the plaintiff was entitled to recover possession.
5. When the case went up to the District Judge on appeal, it appears that one short point was taken and it had reference to the powers of the manager under Section 14 of the Act. The District Judge has held that the Manager had no power to grant the lease in question because it was a lease of immovable property for a period exceeding five years.
6. It is conceded that no permission of the Civil Court was obtained by the Manager in this behalf. We have examined the lease, and we entertain no doubt that it was an ordinary cultivating lease executed in the due course of management of the estate of the lunatic.
7. Section 14 of the Act contemplates sanction being obtained in those cases only where the Manager grants a lease for a specific term exceeding five years. The uncertain term appearing on the face of the document, the lease before us, is not of that description. We are consequently unable to hold with the District Judge that the manager acted ultra vires. This expression of our opinion is sufficient to dispose of this appeal.
8. We have considered whether it is necessary to remand the case for further hearing by the lower appellate Court; but on a review of the facts found and the admissions of the parties, it appears unnecessary to do so. Evidently the point taken on appeal before the District Judge was the only point at all arguable and we believe it was the only point 60 taken,
9. Assuming that Jogendra had the power to grant a subsequent lease, it could not override the prior lease in favour of the plaintiff granted by the manager acting on behalf of Jogendras father.
10. We direct that the judgment of the District Judge be set aside and that of the first Court restored with all costs. The appeal is allowed.