Posted On by &filed under Allahabad High Court, High Court.

Allahabad High Court
Pandit Kunj Behari Lal vs Kishan Behari Lal And Ors. on 4 December, 1909
Equivalent citations: 4 Ind Cas 491
Author: Banerjee
Bench: Banerjee


Banerjee, J.

1. In my judgment the Courts below have rightly dismissed the plaintiff’s suit. The Maharaja of Bhadawar is the assignee of Government revenue of the village Gudhi Barauli in which the parties to the suit, out of which this appeal has arisen, are co-sharers. The revenue for the years 1306; 1307 and 1308 having fallen into arrears, the Maharaja brought a suit against the parties to this suit and obtained a decree on the 22nd of March 1902. The plaintiff’s allegation is that Rs. 544-14 out of the amount of the decree was realised from him alone, and that this was in excess of the amount for which he was liable. He accordingly brought this suit for contribution in respect of the amount which he alleged had been paid by him in excess of his proportionate share of liability. In the 5th paragraph of his plaint he, however, stated that having regard to the fact that the defendants cultivated some land in the village and collected rent from the tenants &c., they were liable to pay a considerable amount, and that the plaintiff was entitled to recover from the defendants the balance remaining after deduction of his share. The Courts below have found that the amount paid by the plaintiff was not in excess of his proportionate share of liability for the revenue. But those Courts refused to go into an account of what was payable to the plaintiff by the defendants on account of land cultivated by them and rents recovered by them from the tenants and held that that was a matter for settlement of accounts between the co-sharers in a properly framed suit. In so holding the Courts below were in my judgment right. In a suit for contribution towards the amount of a joint-decree for arrears of revenue all that the plaintiff can claim is the amount if any, which he has paid on account of the decree in excess of his proportionate share of liability. Any other amount which may be due to him from the defendants cannot be brought into account in a suit for contribution. It is urged that a similar suit was brought by the defendants in respect of the revenue for previous years, and that the decision in that suit is res judicata in the present suit.

2. This contention is wholly untenable as any decision in a suit relating to revenue for other years cannot be res judicata in the present suit. It is next urged that under the provisions of Section 197 of the Agra Tenancy Act, the lower appellate Court should have tried this suit as a suit for settlement of accounts. I do not think there is any force in this contention. There was no claim for settlement of accounts in the plaint and no claim was advanced such as is contemplated by Section 165 of the Agra Tenancy Act. Even if the suit could be deemed to be one for settlement of accounts, it was time-barred after the expiry of three years from the termination of the year 1308 F. The appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed with costs.

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