MURUGESA CHETTI Vs. CHINNATHAMBI GOUNDAN
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Bhashyam Ayyangar, J -
(1.) This suit is brought for the recovery of rent due under an unregistered instrument of lease of a betel garden, dated 20 of December 1895, reserving an annual rent of Rs. 38, The District Munsif dismissed the suit on two grounds, viz.: (1) that it was not a lease for agricultural purposes and therefore its registration was compulsory under Section 107 of the Transfer of Property Act; (2) that, assuming it was an agricultural lease, its registration was compulsory under Section 17, Clause (d) of the Indian Registration Act, 1877, inasmuch as it was not a lease, "for a period not exceeding five years."
(2.) The second ground is clearly untenable and the Munsif has evidently overlooked the ruling of this Court in Virammal V/s. Runqayyangar I.L.R. 4 Mad. 381. The term of the lease may no doubt continue beyond five years in the event of neither party determining it in the meanwhile, but as either party may determine it before five years, it cannot be said to be a lease for "a terra exceeding live years" and inasmuch as the annual rent is below Rs. 50, its registration is optional under Clause (c) of Section 18 of the Registration Act.
(3.) The Munsif is also, in my opinion, wrong in holding that a lease of land for betel cultivation is not an agricultural lease. The case cited by him Kunhayen Haji V/s. Mayan I.L.R. 17 Mad. 98 is not, as I understand it, a decision in point. In that case, it was held that the lease was of the coffee plants only and not of the land.;
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