Ramkristo Dass vs Sheikh Harain on 22 December, 1883

Calcutta High Court
Ramkristo Dass vs Sheikh Harain on 22 December, 1883
Equivalent citations: (1883) ILR 9 Cal 517
Author: R Garth
Bench: R Garth, Mitter


Richard Garth, C.J.

1. The plaintiff is the registered owner of a revenue-paying estate under Beng. Act VII of 1876, and in this and other analogous cases he sues certain tenants of that estate to recover rent for the lands which they hold; and for the purposes of the question, which we have to determine, we must assume that he has proved no title to the rent which he claims, beyond the mere fact that he is the registered proprietor. The question is, whether that fact alone entitles him to recover rent from the defendants.

2. The Court of First Instance considered that it did; but the Subordinate Judge and the learned Judge of this Court have both decided against the plaintiff. He now appeals to us relying on the language of Section 78 of Beng. Act VII of 1876.

3. That section says that “no person shall be bound to pay rent to any person claiming such rent as proprietor or manager of an estate or revenue-free property in respect of which he is required by this Act to cause his name to be registered, or as mortgagee, unless the name of such claimant shall have been registered under this Act.”

4. It is contended that under the provisions of that section the registered owner of a revenue-paying estate has a right to sue the tenants for rent, although he has not entered into any contract with them, and although he cannot prove a good title to the estate of which he is the registered owner.

5. We think that the section does not say or mean anything of the kind. It is true that the owner of the estate cannot sue for rent, unless he is registered; but it by no means follows, that one who is not the true owner, can sue because he is registered.

6. This point is very clear, and has been decided by this Court on several previous occasions.

7. Speaking for myself I heartily wish it were the law, that the registered owner, and the registered owner only, was entitled to sue the tenants for rent; and that, not only as regards revenue-paying, but all other estates.

8. Unfortunately, however, that is not the law at present; and we must therefore dismiss this appeal with costs.

9. It is admitted that the appeals, numbered 1550 to 1553 inclusive, will be governed by this decision. Those appeals, therefore, are also dismissed with costs.

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