Decided on December 12,1967



- (1.) THIS judgment disposes of Second Appeal Nos. 679 of 1964, 680 of 1964, 681 of 1964, 682 of 1964, 683 of 1964, 684 of 1964, 456 of 1965 and 38 of 1966, which have been heard together
(2.) THESE eight appeals arise in the following circumstances. Eight different tenements were let out jointly by two brothers, Gangadhar Rao and Narayan Rao, to 8 different tenan's. The tenants have all admittedly made full payment of rents due for the period in question to Gangadhar and, now, his brother Narayan Rao has brought these eight separate suits for recovery of his share of rent, impleading the tenants and Gangadhar Rao as defendants. The attitude of the tenants was that by payment to Gangadhar Rao, they stand discharged of their liability. Gangadhar Rao, the defendant No. 2 in all the suits, pleaded that the suits as framed were not maintainable, and further that unless there was a partikion, the rents could not be apportioned between the two brothers. On these fakrs, the Courts below have both decreed the suit against the defendant No. 2, Gangadhar Rao and he now appeals. The suits were, however, dismissed against the tenants by the 6rst Court and that part of the decree has now become final. The sole question for consideration in these appeals is, whether a suit by a co-lessor for his share of rents against another co-lessor is maintain- able Certain principles may now be taken as well settled. Firstly, payment of rent to one of the several joint-lessors is a payment to all. Secondly, the joint lessors may sue together, or anv one of them may sue alone; for the lease by lessors who are joint tenants of a property operates as a lease by each and by all. Thirdly, if the lessors are tenants-in-common, the lessee should pay rent on a joint receipt to all or to one who is authorised by c thers. Payment to one co-sharer landlord is not a discharge against all (See, Mulla's Transfer of Property Act, 5th Edition, p. 707).
(3.) IN Raja Promoda Nalh Roy v. Baja Rammi Kanta Roy, (1907) L R 35 I A 73. their Lordships of the Privy Council held that share-holders in a zamiadari may sue individually for the whole rent by making his co-sharers defendants ; but. one co-sharer cannot sue separately for his share of the rent, unless there is an agreement that the lessee shall pay each his share separately. This dictum was reiterated by their Lordships in Roy Jotindra JVath v. Prasanna Kumar? by stating that under the general law, one joint-landlord may berg a suit for arrears of rent, making the other joint landlords defendants. Their Lordships indicated the reason underlying, namely, rent in arrear is a debt. The liability of a tenant to pay rent is founded on privity of estate That is why a joint owner is not entitled to sue for proportionate rent unless there is such an arrangement. In Baraboni Coal Concern v. Skree Sree Ghpinath Jiu3 (1933) L R 61 I A 35. their Lordships held that one of the Shebaits of a family deity, cannot sue for his share of royalties, stating : The view, their Lordships state, accords with common sense and equity as otherwise each one of the lessors under the lease, might, successively or simultaneously, harass the lessees with separate suits.;

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