Decided on September 16,1970

Santimoy Roy Choudhury Appellant
Chairman, Jangipur Municipality Respondents


S.K. Chakraborty, J. - (1.) The vexed question as to whether a per son is a tenant or a licensee arises for determination in this appeal. The Appellant and his four brothers, each having equal share, were the owners of plot No. 129 in Basudevpur. That plot was being used as a trenching ground by the Jangipur Municipality, the Respondent No. 1, since 1926 at least, originally under the Appellant's father Purna, and since his death, under the Appellant and his brothers. This plot was acquired under Act II of 1948 for the purpose of building a hospital and the Jangipur Municipality relinquished its claim to compensation. The Appellant preferred a claim before the Land Acquisition Collector but was awarded nothing. He then prayed for a Reference to the learned District Judge and it was made. His contention was to the effect that the Municipality was only a licensee and never had any tenancy right, and in the circumstances, he was entitled to the entire compensation in respect of this acquisition, and the land should have been valued at the rate of Rs. 2,000 per bigha. This case was also made out before the learned District Judge who held that the Municipality was a tenant and that the Appellant "will get compensation payable to the landlord proportionately to the extent of l/5th share", "on the basis of yearly rent payable to him" and directed the Collector to ascertain the compensation on this basis. The present appeal has been fried against that award.
(2.) The first point that is pressed on behalf of the Appellant by Mr. C. N. Mukherjee, learned Advocate appearing for him, is to the effect that on the evidence as adduced before the learned Judge, he was entirely in the wrong in holding that the Municipality was a tenant and not a mere licensee. He has also made a grievance of the fact that the learned Judge did not take into consideration the settlement khatian (Ex. 1) which records this land as in the possession of the Appellant and his brothers without any under -tenancy and further that the Municipality had filed an objection under Sec. 44(2a) of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act which has also been dismissed (Ex. 3).
(3.) He has also referred to a number of decisions, namely, M.N. Clubwala (Mrs.) v/s. Fida Hussain Saheb : (1964) S.C.R. 642; Associated Hotels of India Ltd. v/s. R. N. Kapoor, (1960) 2 S.C.A. 1; Ram Prosad Mondal v/s. Smt. Snehalata Ghosh : (1966) 71 C.W.N. 17 and B.M. Lal (dead) by his legal representative and B.M. Dunlop Rubber Company (India) Ltd., (1968) 1 S.C.A. 18.;

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