MUMMIDI PATTABHIRAMAYYA Vs. BADAM SUBBA RAO AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Badam Subba Rao And Ors.
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Shahabuddin, J. -
(1.) THIS revision petition arises out of the judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge of Coconada in S.C.S. No. 84 of 1942. That was a suit based on an award. The plaintiff prayed for a decree for Rs. 583 -14 -0 on the ground that the dispute between himself and the defendants was referred to one Venkatakrishna Rao who after hearing the evidence of both parties gave an award on 8th August 1989, to the effect that the defendants should pay the plaintiff Rs. 600 by way of compensation and that the sum of Rs. 50 payable by the plaintiff to defendant 2 under a promissory note should be deducted from that amount. According to the plaint the dispute was this. The defendants had leased their lands to the plaintiff and one Venkataramayya for a period of five years. Subsequently by reason of an agreement between the plaintiff and Venkataramayya, the latter went out of the land and the plaintiff alone cultivated the entire land as the sole tenant. With a view to sell the lands the defendants asked the plaintiff to give up possession. The plaintiff did not agree to that course. The award in respect of this dispute was to, the effect that the person who passed the award had considered the evidence and the justice of the case and come to the decision already referred to. The defendants filed a written statement admitting the lease but they alleged that the lease deed contained a provision that in case of alienation by the lessors, the lessees should give up the remaining portion of the lease. With regard to the award, they took up the position that it was not valid and enforceable. At the time of the trial, they took the further objection that the award not having been registered as required Under Section 17, Registration Act, was inadmissible in evidence. The learned Subordinate Judge upholding this contention dismissed the suit. He came to the conclusion that as the award purports to extinguish the right of the plaintiff in the land as its lessee and created a right in the defendants and as the property was worth more than Rs. 100 it was governed by Section 17, Registration Act, and should have been registered. He therefore held that the award was inadmissible Under Section 49, Registration Act. Learned Counsel for the petitioner concedes that the award is register able Under Section 17 but he argues that the fact that it has not been so registered does not make it inadmissible in view of the proviso to Section 49 which runs as follows:
Provided that an unregistered document affecting immovable property and required by this Act or the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, to be registered may be received as evidence of a contract in a suit for specific performance under Chap. 2, Specifics Relief Act, 1877....
(2.) HIS argument is this. Under Section 30, Specific Relief Act, the provisions of chap. 2 as to contracts, shall mutatis mutandis apply to awards and therefore an award should be considered to be on the same basis as a contract and in that sense the proviso is applicable to this case and the suit should be regarded as a suit for specific performance of a contract. The Small Cause Court has no doubt no jurisdiction to try such a suit. The learned Judge therefore should not have dismissed it but returned the plaint for presentation to the proper Court. I am unable to accept these contentions. As argued on behalf of the respondents, an award is not a contract. Section 30 which is relied on on behalf of the petitioner says only this that the award can be enforced in the same manner as a contract. That does not amount to saying that an award is a contract. In a decision of this Court in Sornavalli Animal v. Muthayya Sastrigal, (1900) 23 Mad. 593 relied on by learned Counsel for the respondents, the argument with regard to Section 30, Specific Belief Act, was put forward on the question whether the unit to enforce an award was barred by limitation. In dealing with this argument, the learned Judges observed as follows:
It is true that Section 30, Specific Relief Act, directs that the provisions of Chap. 2 of that Act, shall apply to awards. It cannot on that ground be contended that awards are contracts, because it would have to be similarly contended that directions in a will or codicil to execute a particular settlement, which are included in the same section are also contracts, which would be absurd.
The same view was taken in Devi Bhagamulu v. Veeravadhanta, (1910) 33 Mad. 246. The learned Counsel for the petitioner has not cited my decision supporting his position. I therefore see no reason to interfere. The petition is dismissed with costs.;
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