1. This is an appeal in a suit to recover arrears of rent. The Judge of the Assam Valley Districts having allowed the plaintiffs local rate at one anna in the rupee, instead of at one anna and a half in the rupee, as claimed, and having disallowed damages on the arrears of rent, the plaintiffs appeal, and, on their behalf, the contentions raised refer to the two matters we have just mentioned.
2. The Judge observes that legally the plain-tins ought to get only one anna in the rupee, though for a long time they have been realising at If annas.
3. The Assam Local Rates Regulation 1879, provides (Section 17) that a landholder may realise from the tenant a part of such rate in certain proportions, and Section 3 of the Regulation provides that the maximum rate cannot exceed 1 anna 4 pies for every rupee of the annual value of the land. From a note in the Land Revenue Manual, published under the authority of the Local Government, it appears that the maximum rate at present imposed is one anna in the rupee. Consequently, the finding of the Judge of the Court below admits of no dispute and is evidently based on the law of the Regulation.
4. The reported cases cited to us would justify a contract between the landlord and tenant, for the latter to pay the full amount of local rate but not to pay any thing in excess of that maximum. Here there was no express contract between the parties, that, however, is not a matter with which we are concerned because the lower Courts have given the plaintiffs a rate up to the statutory limit.
5. An argument, or, rather, an explanation was addressed to us as to the realisation of local rate at 1 annas in the rupee, by the plaintiffs who are nisf khirajdars, and it was sought to justify that realisation by the definition of 'annual value,' in Section 5(b) of the Regulation. We, however, cannot consider this matter in the face of the finding of the lower appellate Court.
6. With regard to the non-award of damages, although, no doubt, the landlords are equitably entitled to something by was of damages, it appears, in the present case, that the tenant did not know what amount of rent to pay, the lands not having been surveyed.
7. The appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
8. This judgment will govern the other connected Appeals, A.A.D. Nos. 725 to 727 of 1908.