MARIAPPA THEVAR Vs. KALIAMMAL
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
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G. Ramanujam, J. -
(1.) The defendant in O.S. No. 1341 of 1963 on the file of the District Munsif, Coimbatore, is the appellant in this second appeal. The said suit was filed by the respondent herein claiming Rs. 2870 as arrears of rent from the defendant in respect of his occupation of the suit premises. This claim of the plaintiff has been upheld by the courts below and the same is not in dispute in this second appeal. In the written statement filed by the defendant, he made a counter claim in a sum of Rs. 7870 as the value of the standing crops on the date of delivery of the properties through court. The trial court found that the defendant was entitled to claim the value of the crops like sugar -cane, cholam, plantains, chilis, brinjals, tomato and coconut saplings amounting to Rs. 5770, as also a sum of Rs. 100 as value of the materials and coconuts left on the property when he vacated the property and after adjusting the amount of Rs. 2870 as arrears of rent it decreed the counter claim in a sum of Rs. 3000.
(2.) On appeal by the plaintiff, the lower appellate court, however, came to the conclusion that the defendant is not entitled to claim the equitable relief by way of improvements as he himself had brought about the termination of the lease by his own default, and that in any event the evidence regarding the value of the crop as on the date of eviction adduced by the defendant was not sufficient to enable the court to arrive at the valuation. In the view it had taken the lower appellate court has allowed the appeal and dismissed the defendant's counter claim towards the value of the crops and improvements. The second appeal is directed against the said decision of tie lower appellate court.
(3.) The following facts are not in dispute. The defendant was a tenant under the plaintiff in respect of the suit properties from the year 1958. On an application filed by the plaintiff for eviction of the defendant on the ground that he had defaulted in payment of the rents, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Coimbatore, passed an order of eviction under Ex. A. 6 dated 5 -9 -1963. Against the said order of eviction the defendant filed a revision petition to this court in C. R. P. 1470 of 1963 and this Court by its order Ex. A. 11 dated 8 -11 -1963, rejected the same. Few days before this court dismissed his revision, the defendant filed also a suit O. S. 996 of 1963 on the file of the District Munsif Coimbatore, for an injunction restraining the plaintiff from evicting him from the suit property but the said suit was also dismissed on 19 -11 -1963. In pursuance of the order of eviction passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer the defendant was actually evicted from the suit property on 18 -11 -1963. The plaintiff claimed Rs. 2870 as arrears of rent in this suit upto 18 -11 -1963 as the defendant was in possession of the property upto that date. The defendant had claimed Rs. 7870 in his counter claim for the value of the standing crops after adjusting the said arrears of rent. The defendant's counter claim was based on the fact that there were crops such as sugarcane crop in an extent of 7 acres valued at Rs. 5000 plantain crop worth Rs. 1500 in addition to the crops such as cholam, tomato, brinjal etc, in portions of the suit lands as also certain coconuts and coconut saplings. On 5 -12 -1963, long before the trial of the suit, the defendant applied for appointment of a Commissioner to note the improvements made by him and to assess the value of the crops in the property and a Commissioner was appointed ex parte and he inspected the property on 9 -12 -1963. He submitted a report Ex. C. 1 on 16 -12 -1963 wherein he valued the improvements and the crops standing on the property as on 8 -12 -1963 at Rs. 6915. As a matter of fact the defendant's written statement was filed later to the said Commissioner's report, making a counter claim of Rs. 8020 for the value of the improvements and the standing crops as on the date of delivery. After setting off a sum of Rs. 2870 being the arrears of rent due by him, he restricted his claim to Rs. 5000 as the excess value of the improvements and standing crops. The plaintiff filed a reply statement denying his liability to pay the alleged value for the crops and improvements on the suit property. The plaintiff also applied for the appointment of a fresh Commissioner for making local inspection and for report as to the value of the improvements and standing crops. The plaintiff complained that the Commissioner appointed at the first instance did not know much about agriculture and his report cannot be accepted. But the trial court appointed the same Commissioner to inspect the suit property and to report as to the value of the improvements and standing crops with the help of a sugarcane expert as the main crop that was said to be on the land was sugar -cane. Accordingly the Commissioner inspected the property over again along with the Agricultural Demonstrator (sugar -cane) Coimbatore on 2 -7 -1964. The sugar -cane expert gave the report Ex. C. 3 of his inspection to the Commissioner on 3 -7 -1964 and on that basis the Commissioner filed a report Ex. C -2, At the trial, the plaintiff's husband was examined as P. W. 1 and none was examined on the side of the defendant.;
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