1. This is an appeal on behalf of the first defendant in a suit for contribution. The plaintiff and the second defendant are under-ryots and possess their holding in equal halves. In 1904, the second defendant transferred his half share of the holding to the first defendant. The superior landlord, who was clearly not bound to recognise the transfer, brought a suit for arrears of rent against the plaintiff and the second defendant to recover his dues in respect of the years 1902 to 1905. He obtained a decree and proceeded to execute it by the attachment of the moveables of the plaintiff. The plaintiff thereupon satisfied the decree and commenced the present action for contribution. The sole question in controversy is whether the first defendant can be made liable for any portion of the sum paid by the plaintiff. It has been argued on his behalf in this Court that he ought not to be made liable because neither under Section 69 nor under Section 70 of the Indian Contract Act is any liability-imposed on hand.
2. Section 69 provides that a person, who is interested in the payment of money which another is bound by law to pay, and who, therefore, pays it, is entitled to be re-imbursed by the other. It has been argued that the first defendant was not bound by law to pay the money which has been paid by the plaintiff, because the decree satisfied was not against the first defendant. This contention, upon a superficial view of the matter, may seem to have some force, but upon closer examination, it turns out to be fallacious. The plaintiff by the payment which he made satisfied the arrears of rent due on account of the holding and that rent was payable unquestionably by the plaintiff and the first defendant. We are, therefore, not prepared to hold that Section 69 has no application. The view we take is supported by the observations in Mothoora Nath v. Kristo Kumar 4 C. 369 and Swarnarnoyee Debt v. Han Das 6 C.W.N. 903, notwithstanding the dictum in Futteh Alt v. Gunganath 8 C. 113 : 10 C.L.R. 20.
3. But even if it be assumed that Section 69 has no application, Section 70, undoubtedly, covers the case. That section provides that where a person lawfully does anything for another person not intending to do so gratuitously, and such other person enjoys the benefit thereof, the latter is bound to make compensation to the former in respect of the thing so done. There can be no question that the first defendant has enjoyed the benefit of the payment made by the plaintiff. If the plaintiff had not satisfied the decree, the landlord might have proceeded to sell the holding in which the first defendant was interested. The result of the payment by the plaintiff, consequently, has been that the property of the first defendant has been saved, and the act of the plaintiff cannot be deemed, to use the language in Damodara v. Secretary of State 18 M. 88 at p. 93, 'an officious interference of one man with the affairs or property of another.' In our opinion, Section 70 completely covers the case Smith v. Dinonath 12 C. 213, at p. 217.
4. The result is that the decree made by the Subordinate Judge must be affirmed and this appeal dismissed with costs.