(1.)The principal question for determination in this appeal is whether a certain lease had validly terminated by efflux of time or whether there was "holding over" by the lessee of the leasehold property as contemplated in S.116, T. P. Act. The circumstances under which this question and several subsidiary questions to which reference will be made later have arisen may be briefly stated as follows.
(2.)The Province of Bengal (hereinafter, refd. to as the resp. 1 or pltf., is admittedly the owner of an area of 1125 bighas and odd of land in villages Akra. On 17-9-1928, the resp. 1 executed a lease (Ex. 3) in respect of the said land for 10 years for manufacture of bricks in favour of the applt. at a rental of Rs. 6,000 a year. The lease was to commence from 24-9-1928, and a year's rent was payable in advance. By the terms of the said lease, the lessee was prohibited from assigning or subletting the premises or any part thereof without the consent of the lessor except to a limited co. and the lease also contained a general provision that the lessee would at the expiration of the lease restore to the lessor the demised premises in as good condition as it was at the date of the lease, reasonable wear and tear excepted. Two further clauses in the lease, which are material for the decision of this appeal, may be reproduced verbatim :
Clause 11 of Part I of the Schedule.
"The Secretary of State reserves the right to terminate the lease at any time subject to six months' notice in the event of the lessee's failing to observe and duly perform the conditions hereinbefore and after mentioned and it is hereby agreed that the lessee shall before the expiration or prior termination of the lease hereby granted remove his boilers engines, trucks, kilns rly and tram lines bricks tools and plant and all, other materials whatsoever and yield up the said demised premises unto the Secretary of State and that those bricks tools and plant and other materials that shall not be removed before such expiration or prior termination shall become the property of the Secretary of State."
Clause 1 of Part III of the Schedule.
"The lessee shall be at liberty to keep on the said premises hereby demised for three months after the expiration or prior termination of the term of this lease any bricks boilers engines tracks kilns rly. and tram lines and all other materials whatsoever as may have been manufactured by him in the premises in accordance with the conditions of these presents but any bricks and other materials left in contravention to this condition shall become the absolute property of the Secretary of State without payment."
It may be stated here that at the time of the execution of the lease, the lessee had purchased from the lessor for Rs. 50,000 "all the boilers, engines, trucks, kilns. rly. and tramway lines and all other movable property, plant and machinery, on the demised premises."
(3.)The case of the resp. 1, who is the pltf. in the present litigation, is that the applt. (deft. 1) had, in contravention of the terms of the lease, sublet the brickfield to defts-resps 2 to 18 without the consent of resp. 1, and they had caused serious damage to the brick field in general and failed to maintain the embankments, slices, etc. in proper repair resulting in a total loss of Rs. 16,840. It was further alleged that the defts. had refused to deliver possession though the lease had terminated, and they had not removed the bricks, pug mills and other materials within 3 months from the termination of the lease. On these allegations the resp. 1 prayed for the following reliefs : (a) a decree for ejectment and khas possession over the brickfield : (b) damages amounting to Rs. 4,000 for the period between the termination of the lease and the institution of the suit and mesne profits for the subsequent period: (a) decree for Rs. 16, 840 for damages caused to the field ; and (d) a decree for permanent injunction restraining the defts. from removing or otherwise disposing of the bricks, pugmills, etc. which were claimed to have become the property of the pltf.