Decided on August 24,1944

R. Shanmuga Rajeswara Sethupati Alias Naganatha Sethupathi Avergal, Rajah Of Ramnad, Ward Under Court Of Wards Represented By Manager, Ramnad Estate Respondents


Somayya, J. - (1.) THE suit out of which this second appeal arises was filed on 30th June 1941 to recover a sum of Rs. 336 -9 -0 for the twelve years prior to suit at the rate of Rs. 20 -4 -0 for each fasli. The only question raised by the defendants was whether the suit was not barred by limitation. This depends on the nature of the right which the plaintiff claimed. The trial Court granted a decree for three years and dismissed the suit as regards the rest of the period. The appellate decree has decreed the claim for all the remaining nine years. The view of the appellate Court is that the right is a periodically recurring right and that, therefore, the suit to recover arrears due under a periodically recurring right is governed by Article 131, Limitation Act. If the right that is found is a periodically recurring right then the suit for recovery of the twelve years' arrears payable in respect of that right would be governed by Article 131. That is the only point decided by the Full Bench in Zamorin of Calicut v. Achatha Menon, A.I.R. 1914 Mad. 377. In that case it was conceded that the right claimed was a recurring right and there was no decision on that question. But the question that we have to consider is whether the right in this case is a periodically recurring right. A perpetual right to receive year after year a particular sum of money is not a periodically recurring right. The quantum of the right is there defined once and for all. It is payable every year. In such a case it is a perpetual right and not a periodically recurring right. In the case of a periodically recurring right, it; must vary according to the circumstances each time it accrues. For example, if the right is to recover certain allowances from and out of the revenues or the income of a particular property, then it may be said to be a periodically recurring right. If the right is to recover from the revenue either a percentage of the collections, or a fixed sum of money out of the collections, it is obvious that the quantum of the right will vary according to the collections. If there are no collections, then there will be no right to recover for that year. If the collections come to a particular figure then the right cannot be to recover anything more than that sum. Thus in a case as in Ramnad Zamindar v. Doraiswami, (1984) 7 Mad. 341 where the right was to receive Rs. 700 per mensem from out of the income of the property, or as, in the case before the Judicial Committee in Secretary of State v. where the right was to recover a particular percentage from the collections of the villages, the right may be described to be a periodically recurring right.
(2.) IN the case before us the right is to recover a fixed sum of Rs. 20 -4 -0. It is not said to be out of the revenue of any particular property. Thus it is not dependant upon the income of the property coming up to Rs. 20 or more. It is an obligation cast upon the person, who is the holder of the property for the time being to pay a fixed sum of Rs. 20 -4 -0 every year. Cases of this kind where there is an obligation to pay a fixed sum not dependant upon the varying circumstances of each year cannot possibly be said to be a periodically recurring right. I hold, therefore, the Article 181, Limitation Act, has no application to this case. Then the only question is whether Article 120, Limitation Act, applies or some other article. The District Munsif is not find under which article of the Limitation Ac he decreed only three years arrears. He discussed the question as to the nature of the right in para. 9. Referring to a previous judgment between the parties, which recognized this right to receive Rs. 20 -4 -0 every year, the District Munsif stated this: But this amount is not one by way of rent as the melwaram interest also has been acquired by defendant 1. Thus the appellate Judge (in the previous suit) was not interested in discussing the why and wherefore of this liability, as the same has been admitted by defendant 1. He was only interested for the purpose of preventing disputes between the parties in incorporating the same in the decree and this the learned Judge does by giving a declaration that the contesting respondent is entitled to the melwaram also subject only to a liability to pay a sum of Rs. 20 -4 -0 per annum. This is not poruppu as the poruppu is only an amount payable by an inamdar to a zamindar, nor is it by way of rent, as in the present case, there is no relationship of landlord and tenant. Thus the District Munsif found expressly that there is no relationship of landlord and tenant and that the amount claimed was not by way of rent. Article 110, on which Mr. Kesava Ayyangar, the learned advocate for the appellant, relies, is therefore not applicable. There is no question of contract, express or implied and hence Article 115, the only other article suggested, is not applicable. Therefore, the only article that can be applied is Article 120. I modify the decree of the lower appellate Court by limiting the amount to the amount payable for the six years prior to the suit, i.e., from faslis 1344 to 1349 both inclusive. Each party has succeeded to the extent of half. Therefore, both parties will pay his or their own costs throughout. No leave.;

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