Decided on January 23,1967

GUTTI Appellant
MOHANLAL Respondents


- (1.) THIS is an appeal by the defendant against the decree dated 31-12-1962, passed by the 1st Additional District Judge, Jabalpur, in Civil Appeal No. 21-A of 1962, affirming the decree, dated 16-12-1961, passed by the 2nd Civil Judge II Class, Jabalpur, in Civil Suit No. 241-A of 1960.
(2.) THE field Khasra No. 135 in 'Malik-Makbuza' right was originally held by Mst. Motibai, who died in the year 1953. During her life time, she used to sub-let the field to the present appellant. However, after her death, the appellant continued in possession without any fresh contract of sub-tenancy. After her death, the respondents Nos. 1 and 2, Mohanlal and Sohanlal are her heirs. It appears that there were other co-owners, but Mst. Motibai used to manage the property on her own behalf and on behalf of the other co-owners. THE interest of another co-owner, Mst. Chhuttanbai was purchased by the first respondent. Consequently, the present respondents became owners of the suit field. THE sale deeds in that behalf are on record as Ex. P/1 dated 24-8-1959 and Ex. P. 2 dated 14-3-1960. The respondents issued a quit notice, dated 30-3-1959 (Ex. P/4) intimating the appellant that they did not want to continue the sub-tenancy and that the appellant should deliver back possession of the property by the end of May, 1959. This notice mentions field Khasra No. 135, but in the concluding portion a demand was made for possession of the premises under the impression that the property was house property in respect of which 15 days' notice ending with the tenancy month would be sufficient. A demand was also made for mesne profits for wrongful use and occupation at the rate of Rs. 100 per year. Thereafter the present suit was filed on 7-5-1960 for possession on the allegation that the defendant was a rank trespasser, who had no right to be in possession of the property. The appellant denied that he was a trespasser. According to him, he was a sub-tenant of Mst. Motibai and by virtue of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959, he had become an occupancy tenant vide section 185 of the same. Therefore, the quit notice Ex. P. 4 had no legal effect of determining his sub-tenancy as he had acquired an occupancy status.
(3.) THE learned Judges of the Courts below held that the defendant was a sub-tenant of Mst. Motibai and that the agreement of sub-tenancy was never renewed by her heirs or by other co-owners. It was further found that the defendant did not acquire any occupancy status. In that view, the quit notice was considered sufficient to terminate the defendant's sub-tenancy and the plaintiffs were held entitled to claim possession from him. That was the only basis of the decree passed by the Courts below. In this appeal only one question of law arises whether the appellant can avail of the provisions of section 185 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959, by claiming occupancy status, with the result that his tenancy can be terminated only in the manner provided by section 193 of the said Act. The respondents evidently do not claim that they terminated the tenancy in the manner provided by the said section. Therefore, if it be found that the appellant can invoke section 185 of the Act in his favour, the respondents cannot evidently evict him, except in the manner laid down in section 193, and the present suit, at any rate, will have to be dismissed.;

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