VARANASI RAMAMMA AND OTHERS Vs. KOKIPARA VENKATESWARLU AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Varanasi Ramamma And Others
Kokipara Venkateswarlu And Others
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KRISHNA RAO,J. -
(1.)This appeal is filed by the plaintiffs. The first defendant was admitted as a tenant into possession of the suit land by one Annapuranamma who had a life estate in the suit property under a registered deed of settlement, Ex. A-1 dated 11-8-1936 executed by her husband"s undivided brother one Balaramaiah. The property was given to her to be enjoyed by her only for her maintenance for her life time with a vested remainder in favour of the heirs of the settlor Balaramaiah. Balaramaiah, the settlor, died on 27-7-1961 and the life estate holder Annapurnamma also died on 20-11-1962. On her death, the plaintiffs who file the present suit for possession became entitled to the property as vested remainder-men, under the settlement deed Ex. A-l. The case of the first defendant is that he is a cultivating tenant entitled to the protection of the Andhra Tenancy Act and that the plaintiffs are not entitled to evict him. The trial court negatived the contentions of the first defendant and decree the suit as prayed for. On appeal, the lower appellate court reversed the said judgement and dismissed the suit holding that the first defendant is entitled to protection under the Andhra Tenancy Act but gave a direction that he can be evicted only after the expiry of six years from the date of his tenancy.
(2.)In this second appeal, the first point which arises for consideration is whether the appellant is entitled to protection under the Andhra Tenancy Act. According to the deed of settlement Ex. A-l, it is clear beyond doubt that Annapurnamma, the lessor, was given only a life estate merely to enjoy the usufruct towards her maintenance with a vested reminder to the heirs of the settler. The first defendant was inducted into possession as a lessee for the first time only by the life estate holder Annapurnamma and not by the settlor. Under these circumstances, any interest in the land created by the life estate holder falls to the ground on the death of such life tenant and it will not ensure beyond her life time so as to bind the remainder men. The lessor Annapurnamma is not in the position of a limited owner under the Hindu law so that any transaction effected by such limited owner may be binding on the reversioners on the ground of legal necessity or benefit to the estate. Section III (c) of the Transfer of Property Act makes it clear that a lease of immovable property determines when the interest of the lessor or the power of the lessor to dispose of the same in the property terminates. As already pointed out Annapurnamma had no right in the land but she had a right only to enjoy the usufruct and hence the first defendant cannot be regarded as a lessee in the proper sense of the term but is only a person who is entitled to enjoy the usufruct on the land and pay a fixed amount to Annapurnamma. As the lease in favour of the first defendant came to an end on the death of the life estate holder, it is not open to the first defendant to contend that litre is any privity of estate or contract between himself and the plaintiffs. There is, therefore, no relationship of landlord and tenant between the plaintiffs and the first defendant. It is not the case of the first defendant that after the death of the life-estate holder there was any fresh contract, either express or implied between the first defendant and the plaintiffs creating a news tenancy. In view of the above facts, I do not think that there is any scope for the application of the Andhra Tenancy Act. The learned counsel for the first defendant placed reliance upon sections 10, 11, 13 and 17 of the Andhra Tenancy Act. Section 10 of the Act contemplates the existence oft continuing lease and section 11 also refers to change of ownership during the currency of a lease. In the present case the lease itself came to an end with the death of the life estate holder. It was not a lease executed by the original owner who executed the settlement deed. The vested remainder men data through the original owner and not through tie life estate holder whose interest is only an intervening estate. Hence the provisions of section 11 of the Act are not attracted. Section 13 which prescribes the condition for evicting the tenant contemplate the existence of the relationship of land-lord and tenant and has no application as there is no such relationship between the plaintiffs and the first defendant. Section 17 of the Act which is in the following terms does not really help the first defendant.
Sec. 17. "?The provisions of this Act shall have effect not with standing anything inconsistent therewith contained in any preexisting law, custom, usage, agreement, or decree of court. "?
(3.)This section obviously refers to the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act by which a land-lord is entitled to evict his tenant merely by the issue of a notice to quit without establishing anything more. But under the Act, section 13 provides that a land-lord can evict his tenant only if he establish certain grounds enumerated thereunder. Hence only such of the provision of the general law as are inconsistent with the express provisions of the Andhra Tenancy Act have no operation. But under the provisions of the general law, as embodied in section 111 (c) of the Transfer of Property Act, the tenancy created by a life estate holder automatically comes to an end on the death of the life estate holder. There is no specific provision in the Andhra Tenancy Act which is inconsistent with any previsions of the general law as to the powers of a life tenant. For all the above reasons, I hold that the first defendant is not entitled to any protection under the Andhra Tenancy Act. The learned counsel for the first defendant drew my attention to an unreported judgement of a Division Bench of this Court in L.P.A. No. 5 of 1961 dated 13-2-1962. But on a scrutiny of the same, I do not think that it throws any light on the present question. CMP No. 4398/69 has been filed in this court by the first defendant to admit two documents as additional evidence. They are proceedings instituted by the plaintiffs before the Tahsildar under the Andhra Tenancy Act by way of abundant caution and the said proceeding" have been stayed pending disposal of this second appeal. I do not think that the said proceedings operate as estoppel as the plaintiffs have taken the said Proceedings without prejudice to their contentions in the suit. There is therefore no reason to admit the said documents as additional evidence in this second appeal. The C.M.P. is therefore dismissed.
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