MAHADEO MAROTI Vs. GANPATI SOUSTHAN
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
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(1.) THE question which has been referred to the Division Bench is as follows :
"whether in the case of a lease for the year 1958-59, a landlord is entitled to recover rent from the tenant according to the agreement of lease, or whether the liability of the tenant is determined by the provisions of Section 11 of the Tenancy Act notwithstanding the agreement between the parties?" This question arises in these three second appeals in the following way: in Civil Suit No. 185 of 1961 the plaintiff claimed that the appellants-tenants had executed a lease-deed on 7th March 1958 agreeing to cultivate the field owned by the plaintiff during the year 1958-59 and Rs. 1,000/- were agreed to be paid as lease money on 1st December 1958. A sum of Rs. 141 was paid by the defendants and a suit for the balance along with interest was, therefore, filed. The main defence with which we are concerned is that since the tenants were lessees for the year 1958-59 the plaintiff could not claim more than 4 times the assessment as lease money in view of the provisions of Section 11 of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha Region) Act 1958, hereinafter referred to as the Act, which has come into force on 30th December 1958. This contention was negatived by the trial Court which held that since the lease money was agreed to be paid on 1st December 1958 the provisions of Section 11 of the Act were not attracted and the plaintiff's claim was decreed on the footing that he was entitled to lease money as agreed. The defendants appeals, Civil Appeal No. 248 of 1962, was dismissed by the District Judge, Amravati and therefore they filed Second Appeal No. 292 of 1963 in which the only question was whether the lease money was to be paid in accordance with the terms of the agreement of lease or in accordance with the provisions of Section 11 of the Act.
(2.) THE appellants in the other two appeals are also tenants and the respective landlords had filed suits claiming lease money on the basis of the original agreement of lease. However, in both these cases the lease money was agreed to be paid on 1-1-1959, that is, after the Tenancy Act had already come in force. In the two suits filed by the plaintiff also the defence of the defendants-appellants was that they were liable to pay only the maximum amount prescribed under Section 11 of the Tenancy Act and not the amount as agreed by the agreement of lease. The trial Court in both the cases held that the tenants were liable to pay according to the terms of the agreement of lease and the suits were accordingly decreed. Their appeals were dismissed by the District Judge, Amravati, and they have, therefore, filed the two appeals Nos. 357 and 359 of 1963 challenging the decisions of the trial Court and the lower Appellate Court. It may be stated that the appellants in Second Appeal No. 357 of 1963 are the same persons as the appellants in Second Appeal No. 292 of 1963.
(3.) WHEN these three appeals came before one of us (Chandurkar J.) two decisions of Abhvankar. J. and one decision of Paranjpe, P. were cited in Dattatraya v. Gulabchand, 1964 Mah LJ Note No. 11 and Shri Radha Raman Sansthan v. Parashram, 1964 Mah LJ Note No. 8. Abhyankar. J. had taken the view that a lessee for 1958-59 was entitled to the benefit of Section 11 of the Tenancy Act. A contrary view was, however, taken by Paranjpe. J. in Shri Sadawarth Sansthan v. Deorao, 1963 Mah LJ 860 and in view of this direct conflict between the two decisions of this Court, the question reproduced above was referred to a Division Bench.;
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