Decided on May 08,1901



Francis W Maclean, K C I E C J - (1.) The facts to which it is necessary to refer for the purpose of our decision may be concisely stated as follows. The predecessors in title of the present appellants, on the 1 of June 1884, granted certain putni leases of certain properties, the details of which it is unnecessary to enter into; in 1888, they, in execution of a decree for arrears of rent due under the putni leases, purchased the putni leases, they being at that time the zemindars of the property. The putni rights by this purchase became vested in the zemindars. In May 1896, the present plaintiffs bought at a revenue sale the zemindari rights of the appellants in the lands which, with other lands, were included in the above putnis, and on the 30 of March 1898, the present suit was instituted to have an apportionment of the rent payable to them under the putnis in respect of their zemindari interest so purchased, for payment to them of the amount which might be found due upon such apportionment and for other and consequential relief.
(2.) The defence, in short, of the present appellants is, that the putni leases have determined, inasmuch as by the purchase by their predecessors in title of the putni leases in 1888, the leases merged in the reversion. They rely upon subsection (d) of Section 111 of the Transfer of Property Act. That is substantially the only point that has been seriously argued before us; and if the appellants are successful upon that point, there is admittedly an end of the suit in their favour.
(3.) The question then is, whether this case falls within the provisions of the section of the Transfer of Property Act, to which I have referred, which runs as follows: "A lease of immoveable property case the interest of the lessee and the lessor in the whole property becomes vested at the same time in one person in the same right." This appears to me to be a section codifying the law upon a particular subject: in effect introducing the principles of the English law of merger, into the system of Indian law. It has not been contested, that, when the appellants predecessors bought up the putni leases in 1888, the interest of the lessees under those putni leases, and the interest of the lessor, the zemindar in the whole property, did become vested at the same time in the; zemindar in the same right, prima facie, then, the case falls within the statute. But the plaintiffs take two objections to this view, and their contention is, that the case is not within the Act, because putni leases are leases "for agricultural purposes" and they rely on Section 117 of the Act which says that, "None of the provisions of this chapter apply to leases for agricultural purposes" and further they say that, inasmuch as the transfer in 1888 was one in execution of a decree, the Act does not apply, having regard to subsection (d) of Section 2 of the Act, which says: "Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to affect...any transfer by operation of law, or by, or in execution of a decree, or order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.";

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