MATANGINI DEBI Vs. MOKRURA BIBI
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Maclean, C J -
(1.) If it had not been for the view entertained by my learned colleague, I should have thought that this was a reasonably clear case. The question submitted to us is whether the plaintiff in this case is entitled to interest at the rate specified in the kabuliat executed by the defendant, or whether Section 67 of the Bengal Tenancy Act controls the provisions of Secs.179 of the same Act. Construing the Act by the ordinary rules of construction applicable to statutory enactments, the case does not to my mind present any real difficulty. Section 67 is general: Section 179 is particular and specific, and by it the Legislature has thought fit to make special provision in relation to permanent tenures in permanently-settled areas.
(2.) The location of Section 179 is not without some importance in relation to the question we are now discussing; for it comes after Section 67 and after clause (h) of sub- Section 3 of Section 178, and the section says: "Nothing in this Act"--I pause there for a moment to point out that "nothing in this Act" must cover the provisions of Section 67--"shall be deemed to prevent the proprietor or holder of a permanent tenure in a permanently-settled area from granting a permanent mocurari lease on any terms that may be agreed on between himself and his tenant." The language is clear and precise: why are we not to give its ordinary meaning to it? I can find no good reason nor have I heard any valid argument against our so doing. The provisions in the case before us as to payment of interest is, speaking with all respect to the view taken by the learned Judges who decided the case of Basanta Kumar Boy Chowdhry V/s. Promotha Nath Bhuttacharjee (1898) I. L. R. 26. Calc. 130. undoubtedly a term agreed upon between the landlord and his tenant, and I am quite unable to accept the subtle but unconvincing reasoning as to what the expression "term" means, as suggested in the last-mentioned case. To my mind if We were to accept the view laid down in that case, and from which view, it is not unimportant to mention, that one of the learned Judges has already resiled, we might just as well strike Section 179 out of the Act.
(3.) The language of the section is plain and clear, and there is nothing in any other part of the Act to warrant us in qualifying it, or putting a construction upon it which the words, read in their ordinary acceptation, do not bear.;
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