Decided on September 05,1955



- (1.) THIS is the defendant's appeal against the appellate order of the learned Additional Commissioner, Jodhpur dated 29th September, 1954 decreeing the plaintiff's suit which was dismissed by the trial court.
(2.) PUT briefly the facts of the case are that the plaintiff respondent filed a suit against the appellant alleging that the later previously cultivated the land under a well known as 'sonawa' free of rent in lieu of service which they rendered to the respondent who was a Jagirdar of the village, that on 12-5-49 the appellants wrote a document agreeing to pay rent for the above mentioned well as they did not want to render service any longer, that in spite of this document they continued to render service for sometime but as they had subsequently discontinued the same after 2-9-50 a decree for Rs. 450/- on account of hasil and lagbag for the preceding harvest may be passed against them in favour of plaintiff. The suit was resisted by the defendant appellants on the ground that they themselves were the Jagirdar of a part of the village and were holding the well Sonawa in 'muafi' and that they had never rendered any service to the respondents nor were liable to pay (any hasil. The trial court held that the document purporting to be an agreement for payment of rent made by the appellant did not stand proved, that the said agreement was inoperative because it was never acted upon and that the plaintiff's evidence had failed to establish his title to claim rent, and dismissed the suit. On an appeal, the learned Additional Commissioner took a different view. He observed that the document was duly proved and the fact that the appellants held the lands in lieu of rendition of service was also established and held that since the appellant ceased to render service, they were liable to pay rent to the respondent. He accordingly decreed the suit for Rs. 450/ -. Hence this appeal by the defendants. The main contention of the learned counsel for the appellant is that even if it be conceded that the appellants used to render service in lieu of hasil of the land given to them by the respondents, the later could not recover the rent for it on the former's refusal to render service to him. He has based his arguments on the definitions of 'rent' as given in the Sirchi Land Revenue Act of 1947 and the Rajasthan Revenue Courts (Procedure and Jurisdiction) Act, 1951. In both these Acts 'rent' has been defined as given below: - "rent means whatever is paid or payable in money or kind by a tenant or sub-tenant on account of the use or occupation of land held by him. " It is argued that according to the definition referred to above any service rendered is not rent within the meaning of this definition and therefore a suit for recovery of arrears of rent for non-performance of some stipulated service is not maintainable in a revenue court. It is further argued that in the Punjab such suits ate entertain able by a revenue court, as the term 'rent' is defined in the Punjab Tenancy Act as 'whatever is payable to the landlord in money or kind or service by a tenant on account of use or occupation of the land held by him. ' The learned counsel for the respondent however conceded before us that he could not lay his hands on any enactment of the former Sirohi State under which a revenue court could pass a decree for the commutation of service into cash. We have ourselves carefully examined this point and we are of the opinion that since the word 'rent' does not include service under the definition of rent given in the Tenancy Act of the former Sirohi State or in that given in the Rajasthan Revenue Courts (Procedure and Jurisdiction) Act, 1951, the suit is not maintainable in a revenue court. Rules and Regulations for the Jagirdars of Sirohi State 1923 also do not contain any provision for the commutation of service into cash or for the realisation of rent on non-rendition of service. The learned Additional Commissioner was therefore, not justified in holding that the amount claimed by the respondent in lieu of service was covered by the definition of 'rent' and could be decreed by a revenue court. In the result, we hold that the suit is not maintainable by a revenue court and therefore set aside the decrees of the lower courts and direct that the plaint be returned to the respondent after making necessary endorsements thereon for presentation to a competent court. .;

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