1. This is an appeal by the plaintiffs in a suit under Section 106 of the Bengal Tenancy Act. The plaintiffs seek to correct an entry in the Record of Rights to the effect that they are in possession of the disputed land as intermediate tenure-holders without payment of rent though the land is liable to assessment. The plaintiffs assert that the land originally belonged to one Tarini Prasad Mitter in rent free title and that they have acquired title thereto by purchase. It is not disputed that the plaintiffs as also the defendants are part proprietors of the estate which comprises the disputed land. The Subordinate Judge has found that the allegation of rent-free title of Tarini Prasad Mitter has not been established and that there is no reliable evidence to show that the plaintiffs have acquired title to a rent-free tenure by purchase. The position, consequently, is reduced to this, that the plaintiffs have collected rent from the tenants in actual occupation for a long series of years. From this fact alone, the plaintiffs invite the Court to draw the inference that as they have never paid rent to the proprietors of the estate they hold under a rent-free grant. In our opinion, the principle that long possession without payment of rent may justify the inference that the possessor holds under a rent-free grant [Bissonath Komilla v. Brojo Mohan Chuckerbutty 10 W.K. 61 : 1 B.L.R. (S.N.), ii., Radha Gobind Doss v. Prokash Chunder Doss 14 W.R. 108.] has no application to the circumstances of this case. The possession of the plaintiffs may be explained on the ground that they are themselves part proprietors of the estate. As such part proprietors, they are, no doubt, ordinarily not entitled to collect rent exclusively from tenants. But it may happen that by an arrangement amongst the co-proprietors rent from certain tenants is collected exclusively by some co-proprietors, while rent from other tenants is collected exclusively by other co-proprietors. Consequently the mere fact that the plaintiffs have been in possession for a long series of years without payment of rent does not justify the inference that they held under a rent-free grant. Such inference cannot legitimately be drawn where, as here, the fact of possession without payment of rent may be attributed to a lawful origin other than a rent-free grant.
2. The result is that the decree of the Subordinate Judge is affirmed and this appeal dismissed with costs.