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Bhadain vs Gokul Singh And Ors.

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad|21 December, 1936


1. This is a plaintiff's application in revision from an order returning his plaint for presentation to the revenue Court in a suit for recovery of Rs. 110 realised from the plaintiff by the revenue authorities on account of the revenue said to have been due from the defendants. The defendants' father had granted a lease for 20 years to the plaintiff. The lease related to specific plots and not to a fractional share in the village. Under the terms of the lease the lessor was liable to pay Government revenue, and it was no part of the lessee's duty to pay it. There was in fact a specific provision that if the lessee were called upon to pay the Government revenue, then he would be entitled to recover the amount from the lessor with interest. The present claim is for Rs. 100 paid as such revenue, and Rs. 10 due as interest thereon. The learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes has come to the conclusion that the suit is not maintainable in the civil Court. He has, however, not quoted any section under which the plaintiff could maintain a suit in the revenue Court. The learned Judge concedes that Section 222, Agra Tenancy Act, is not applicable and the plaintiff cannot avail himself of the provisions of that section. That section obviously applies to a co-sharer who pays arrears of revenue on account of any co-sharer who defaults and gives such co-sharer the right to recover the amount so paid. But the plaintiff being a lessee of isolated plots is obviously not a co-sharer within the meaning of that section.
2. The learned Judge also concedes that Section 183, Land Revenue Act, would not apply to a case like this, as the plaintiff is not suing the Government for any illegal realisation of money. The Court below is of the opinion that the case comes within the scope of Section 233(m), Land Revenue Act, because the suit is in respect of a claim connected with or arising out of collections of revenue, or on account of any sum which is by this or any other Act realisable as revenue. The plaintiff, however, is not claiming this amount as arrears of revenue from the defendant and his claim really does not arise out of any collection of revenue, which he does not challenge; nor is it on account of any sum which could have been realised as revenue. The plaintiff's grievance is that under the terms of the registered contract between the parties he was not liable to pay this amount at all and the lessor was liable, but he has had to pay it, and that according to the covenant in the deed, he is entitled to recover the amount with interest. The suit really is one for the enforcement of a registered contract and is not governed by any section of the Agra Tenancy Act or the U.P. Land Revenue Act. The illustration to Section 69, Contract Act, shows that where a lessee of land granted by the zamindar pays arrears of revenue due on account of the land from the zamindar, the latter is bound to make good to the lessee the amount so paid. The learned Judge has invoked the analogy of two cases which are really not in point. On the other hand in two other cases of this Court a civil suit in similar circumstances was decreed, see Hazari Lal v. Naurang Lal A.I.R. 1930 All. 517 and Ram Ratan Lal v. Gaura A.I.R. 1930 All. 516 though it is true that in those cases the question of jurisdiction was not directly raised or decided. There being no special provision in any of the local Acts under which the present plaintiff could maintain his suit, we think that he is entitled to sue the defendants in the civil Court on the strength of the covenant in the lease, and the civil Court has jurisdiction to entertain the claim. Of course, if the plaintiff has paid revenue on account of the share of co-sharers other than the defendants, the latter would not be liable for it in excess of their own share. We accordingly allow this revision, and setting aside the order of the Court below send the case back to that Court with direction to restore the suit to its original number on the file and to dispose of it according to law. The costs will abide the result.
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Bhadain vs Gokul Singh And Ors.


High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad

21 December, 1936