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Allahabad High Court
Mata Ghulam Singh vs Chhatar Singh on 2 March, 1926
Equivalent citations: AIR 1926 All 422


1. This is a first appeal from order. We will assume that an appeal lies, because if it does not, it is clearly one of those cases in which we ought to interfere in revision. The whole case has been misunderstood, and the points decided are purely academic without any issues of fact having been determined. It is a curious claim in a way. The plaintiff says in the plaint that he became a tenant of a certain plot from Baldeo Singh and others, who were mortgagees, at an annual rent of Rs. 55. He then goes on to say that in consequence of an arrangement between himself and the defendant, the defendant cultivated the plot jointly with the plaintiff, and agreed to pay half the rent. The plaintiff’s pleader was misguided to describe the defendant as a sub-tenant. which possibly caused half the trouble. But, as a matter of fact, a little care would have shown that the description of sub-tenant applied to the joint arrangement between the plaintiff and the defendant, and in no sense to the relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff. The rest of the plaint goes on in the ordinary way complaining that the defendant has not paid his share, and that the plaintiff has himself to discharge a certain amount of the liability, and after a sum of arithmetic the plaintiff claims Rs. 79 odd together with Rs. 14-12 interest, amounting in all to Rs. 94. The first Court dismissed the suit on a preliminary point of law holding that the plaintiff in the plaint treated the defendant as his tenant. He certainly did not. The plaintiff may have admitted that there was no privity of contract between Baldeo Singh and the defendant personally, and that admission will have to be taken into account when the case is tried on the facts. But the Munsif was clearly wrong. The lower appellate Court also misunderstood the case. It says that the plaintiff had no interest in the land except as tenant, which is probably right, and that if he joined the defendant, he must have joined him as a sub-tenant, and not as a co-tenant, because there was no privity between the defendant and the mortgagee, the zamindar. This is mere argument and not fact. The Court’s business was to determine whether the plaintiff’s allegations were correct and whether the facts were as the plaintiff stated them, or whether the whole story set up by the plaintiff was an invention. As the case stood throughout it was a case clearly cognizable by the civil Court, being nothing more than an ordinary suit between two alleged partners, in which the plaintiff claimed a contribution from his copartner, or as it may be put in an alternative form, damages for breach of contract. We have no alternative, holding that it is a case of contract cognizable by the civil Court, but to reverse the order and to return the case through the lower appellate Court to the Munsif with directions to hear the evidence and to try the case cut on the merits. The costs of this appeal and of all proceedings up to the present moment, including costs in this Court on the higher scale, will abide the result.

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