1. These are two appeals against a decision of the District Judge of Midnapore, dated the 27th January 1899.
2. The point in the case is whether the defendants, who are under raiyats, are liable to pay rent to the plaintiffs at a higher rate than 50 per cent. per annum, above the rate the plaintiffs pay to their landlord.
3. It appears that before the passing of the Bengal Tenancy Act they entered into a written and registered lease agreeing to pay rent to the plaintiffs at a rate higher than 50 per cent. above what the plaintiffs paid to their landlord.
4. The Lower Courts have concurrently held that in spite of the kabuliat, the plaintiffs cannot recover rents exceeding by 50 per cent. what they themselves pay.
5. The plaintiffs now appeal, and on their behalf the cases of Atulya Churn Bose v. Tulsi Das Sarker (1895) 2 C.W.N. 543 and Basanta Kumar Boy Chowdhry v. Promotho Nath Bhuttacharjee (1898) I.L.R. 26 Cal. 130 have been cited, and we have ourselves referred to the case of Tejendro Narain Singh v. Bakai Singh (1895) I.L.R. 22 Cal. 658. These cases are not strictly in point, but they relate to other sections of the Bengal Tenancy Act, which have been held not to affect contracts made before that Act. They are, therefore, not precedents and cannot guide us in this case. The learned pleader for the appellants relies upon the principle on which they have been decided. We, however, think that we are bound by the rule in the case of Guru Dass Shut v. Nand Kishore Pal (1898) I.L.R. 26 199, and the case of Ram Kumar Jugi v. Jafar Ali (1898) I.L.R. 26 Cal. 199. In our opinion these cases are clearly in point. They lay down that the provisions of Section 48, Clause (a) are retrospective, and therefore that, although in the present case a kabuliat was executed before the passing of the Bengal Tenancy Act, the plaintiffs cannot recover rent at a rate exceeding by 50 per cent, what they themselves pay to the landlord.
6. That being so, these appeals fail and we dismiss them with costs.