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each of the five pattidars who joined in the engagement. This is the
natural meaning of the word, and I so understand it in the absence of any
express definition to the contrary.

As to this broad meaning being incapable of precise application to the
powers of annulment of the settlement under clause (/), s. 150 read with
8. 158. and the powers of sale under clause (a) of s. 150 read with s. 166 of
the Revenue Act as to the sale of a, patti in arrears of revenue, I have little
doubt. But the fact that a revenue officer desirous of collecting revenue by
either of those processes is bound by the rules to put a restricted interpre-

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tation on the word patti by interpreting it to mean the whole patti does not
necessitate my interpreting the word patti to mean that the share of a man
who is admittedly a pattidar is not a patti in the sense in which I under-
[244]stand it in s. 188 of the Revenue Act for purposes of pre-emption.
If a revenue officer cannot annul a settlement unless it is a patti includ-
ing the whole area covered by the engagement to pay the revenue, it is
not because the word pitti necessarily and exclusively means that, but
because the nature of the engagement with the Government for the pay-
ment of revenue, like a mortgage, necessitates that the breaking up of such
an engagement must relate -to the whole area. Similarly clause (g) of
s. 150 read with s. 166 relates to cases where a revenue officer desirous of
realizing the arrears of revenue cannot sell the share of any individual
pattidar if that; share falls short of what the revenue officer is bound
to recognize as the area subject to the engagement for payment of
revenue. This is so, not because the word patti means anything other
than what is really does i.e., the share of a pattidar, but because, by
reason of the provisions of s. 166 taken with the provisions of s. 167,
which clear away prior incumbrances, no such sale can take place by
the summary process without disturbing the whole engagement with all the
pattidars who joined in the responsibility for payment of Government
revenue. It is therefore in consequence of the exigencies of the engage-
ment for payment of Government revenue that in clauses (/) and (g) of
s. 150 and in the corresponding ss. 158 and 166 the word patti must be
taken to mean the whole patti. No such reasons apply to sales under
s. 168 which must be read with clause (h) of s. 150 of the Act.

Whilst I fully recognize the rule of interpretation that words, when
they occur in one and the same statute, must, so far as possible be
interpreted in exactly the same meaning, I regret I am differing with the
majority of the Bench in holding that that rule of interpretation, which
undoubtedly is a sound rule in ordinary cases, is not applicable to this
case. I am driven to the conclusion that the interpretation of the word
patti in s. 188 so as to exclude the share .of a pattidar for the purpose of
pre-emption would defeat; the whole policy with which we must credit the
Legislature in having framed that section with the special object of pre-
venting the intrusion of strangers in pattidari estates.

[245] As to the rule of interpretation that words in a statute should
bear the same meaning throughout, unless something to the contrary is
shown, I wish to say that it is far from being an inflexible rule, and that
it amounts only to a presumption for purposes of understanding the mean-
ing of the Legislature. Mr. Maxwell in his work on the interpretation of
statutes (at p. 385, 2nd ed.), referring to decided cases, states the rule in
the following terms :

" It has been justly remarked that when precision is required no safer
rule can be followed than always to call the same thing by the same
name. It is at all events reasonable to presume that the same meaning
is intended for the same expression in every part of the Act. But the
presumption is not of much weight."

The learned author supports this statement of the rule by illustrations
furnished by decided cases, and his conclusions are similar to those arrived
at by Mr. Wilberforce in his work on statute law from which I quote a
passage (at pp. 135 6) :

" As the literal meaning of words, and even their usual meaning can
thus be forsaken, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the same
word may have various meanings not only in different Acts of Parliament,



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but sometimes in the same Act or in the same section. As a general rule
the Courts ' endeavour to give the same meaning to the same words
occurring in different parts of an Act of Parliament,' and it is said that
' if the Legislature have used an ambiguous word in a definite sense in
one passage of a clause in an Act of Parliament, it is in accordance with
the rules of sound construction and legitimate inference to hold the same
word is used in the same sense when found in another passage of the
same clause.' This, however, is not always possible. In one case the
Court, in construing the 9th section of 3 and 4 Will. IV., Cap. 27, found
that the word ' rent ' occurred seven times in that section, and that in three
of those instances it must be read in the sense of ' rent-charges' in the other
four instances in the sense of ' rent reserved."

This passage is also supported by the authority of decided cases,
which show that the rule that a word used in a statute is to be [246] un-
derstood in the same sense throughout, is only a rule of presumption,
by no means inflexible, and certainly not of such a character as to be
irrebuttable by other rules of interpretation founded upon the especial
context of statutory words of reasons and objects wherfore any special
section is enacted.

I have dealt upon the exact scope of this rule of interpretation
because the point upon which my judgment in this case virtually turns is
to show that, unless the word patti as it occurs in s. 188 of the Bevenue
Act is to be interpreted literally as including the share of any pattidar and
in a sense different to, or rather, less restricted than the sense in which it is
used in s. 150, clauses (/) and ((/} and in the corresponding ss. 158 and 166,
s. 188 need never have been enacted. In other words I have come to the
conclusion that in interpreting the word patti in s. 188, there exist enough
reasons for interpreting the word in a sense other than that in which,
speaking strictly, it occurs in some other parts of the Act.

Now s. 188 provides what ? It provides no rule calculated to facilitate
the recovery of arrears of revenue. There is not one word in that section
which is intended to provide any special process for expediting the collec-
tion of revenue. It is also clear from the preamble of the Act that the
scope of the enactment was " to consolidate and amend the law relating
to land revenue and the jurisdiction of Eevenue officers in the North-
Western Provinces of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal." There
is not one word in that preamble which would suggest that the enactment
was intended to create a right of pre-emption in connection with sales that
may take place in collecting arrears of revenue.

This being so it is of considerable importance for understanding the
section to notice that the Legislature, going beyond the exact purview of
the enactment as specifically represented by the preamble, chose to frame
a rule such as s. 188 contemplates. That rule, if it is to be understood
in any sense of having an object in view, must be understood to mean
that its aim and end is that in pattidari estates when sales take place in
arrears of Government revenue, such sales should be made under conditions
which give a chance to [247] other pattidars of precluding the intrusion
of strangers by paying up the amount of money represented by the last bid
in a public auction sale. The protection of the integrity of pattidari
estates from intrusion by strangers is not a part and parcel of the rules as
to collection of revenue, and I say this with emphasis, because I attach
to s. 188 an especial importance as representing an ecpecial and definite
policy of the Legislature, namely, that in pattidari estates the intrusion
of strangers should be obviated.

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I will now show by analogical illustration that if the word patti in
Si 188 is to be understood in any inflexible or rigid sense so as to mean only
the whole patti, and not a share of a patti, then it will be a necessary
consequence that s. 188 will be suicidal in itself, becausethe right of pre-
emption which it provides will be easily defeated by the simple fact that
the property brought to sale is not the whole patti, but only the share
of a pattidar. The purchaser of such a share, however disliked he may be,
by the co-pattidars of the pattidars whose rights are sold, may intrude
upon the co-parcenary with impunity, and not only in the patti of which
he has bought a share, but also thus acquire a pre-emptive right in other
portions of the mahal. The case may be thus illustrated :

Suppose that the words of s. 188 were to begin by saying" where
any property sold under s. 166 is a house " the question would arise
whether the sale of a portion of the house would imply that a right of
pre-emption is enforcible in respect of such sale. The argument by which
the word patti is interpreted in that section as meaning only the whole
patti, when applied to the house would be this : " When the whole house
is sold then undoubtedly there is a right of pre-emption, but if a portion
of the house is sold then there is no right of pre-emption for the co-sharers.
A neighbour is entitled to sue when the whole house is sold to enforce
his pre-emption but the sale of a portion of the house, where by a stranger
is introduced into the house, cannot be questioned by any pre-emptive
claim by the co- sharers in the bouse itself."

That such would be the consequence of holding that the word patti
a? it occurs in s. 188 of the Eevenue Act does not include the [2483
share of a pattidar is obvious. I cannot credit the Legislature with
any such intention, as I believe, in framings. 188 of the Revenue Act,
they were only recognizing and showing consideration to the well-estab-
lished custom of pre-emption in this part of the country. In short, I
think that, whatever meaning is to be assigned to the word patti for
purposes of considering the annulment of settlement or considering the
question whether a patti cannot be executively brought to sale under
s. 166, so as to defeat prior incumbrauces ; for purposes of interpreting
s. 188 the word patti must include the share of a pattidar. I must repeat
that I am driven to this conclusion, because otherwise the policy of the
Legislature in framing s. 188 would be frustrated, as it would be repug-
nant to the very notion of pre-emption. So far as these views are in
discord with the ruling of a Division Bench of this Court in Narain
Singh y. Muhammad Faruk (1) I respectfully dissent from it.

I now proceed to consider the case-law upon the subject, and in
doing so I must premise what I have already pointed out that the pro-
visions of s. 188 of the Revenue Act (XIX of 1873) are a reproduction of
the rule as to pre-emption contained in s. 4 of Act I of 1841, and that by
section 14 of Act XXIII of 1861 the rule was extended to auction-sales
in execution of Civil Courts' decrees. Whilst the law stood thus it was
held by Morgan, C. J., and Spankie, J., in Sheikh Kadir Bux v. Ram Tahul
Bhagat (2) following some earlier rulings of the Sadar Court, that a claim
for pre-emption under s. 4 of Act I of 1841 applied equally to perfect and
imperfect pattidari tenures, as they both fall under the purview of the
definition of pattidari estate in s. 2 of that Act, Even a stronger case
is the ruling of Pearson and Brodhurst, JJ., in Ram Autar v. Sheo Dutt (3)

(1) 1 A. 277. ' (2) N.W.P.H.C.R. (1871), p. 125.

(3) N.W.P.H.C.R. (1874), p 243.

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where there had been no public partition, bub it appeared from the
settlement wajib-ul-arz that the lands in the mauza were held in the
following manner, that is to say, the co-sharers had divided them into
pattis, and each pattidar realized the rents or proceeds of his own separate
holding, and his share of the rent of the common lands, and paid his own
quota of revenue [249] separately, it was held that the tenure came within
the definition of a pattidari estate contained in s. 2 of Act I of 1841, and
a share in the mauza having been put up for sale in the execution of a
decree and knocked down to the defendant, a stranger, the plaintiff, a
co-sharer of the share, was held to be entitled, under the provisions of
s. 14 of Act XXIII of 1861, to take the share.

These cases are clear authorities for the proposition that the mere
fact of a pattidar's share being situate in an imperfect pattidari estate
did not preclude pre-emption in respect of the sale of such share under
s. 4 of Act I of 1841, and I see nothing in the corresponding s. 188 of the
present Revenue Act (XIX of 1873) to require any other interpretation.

As to the third point I am of opinion that the phrase "any recorded
co-sharer " as it occurs in s. 188 of the Revenue Act means any pattidar,
that is, the holder of a share in a pattidari estate or mahal, and that therefore
the plaintiff-respondent, Sital Singh, was entitled to the right of pre-
emption along with the other pattidars, there being no such restrictive
words in the section as would exclude a person in his position.

The third ground of appeal in this case, namely, that since the lower
appellate Court has found that one of the plaintiffs, Bhoja Singh was not
entitled to pre-emption, it should also have held that the plaintiff -respon-
dent, Sital Singh, had also forfeited his right of pre-emption by joining the
aforesaid Bhoja Singh as* plaintiff in the suit is also the turning point of
the ground taken by Bhoja Singh in his connected second appeal, No. 998
of 1888, in which he contests the validity of the lower appellate Court's
finding in this respect ; so far, therefore, bath these appeals may be consi-
dered together.

It has been argued on behalf of the defendant Baijnath, who is res-
pondent in Bhoja Singh's appeal (No. 998 of 1888), that since Bhoja Singh
was a co-sharer of the same patti as Lala Singh whose share wag sold on
the 20th August 1888, his proper course was to have prevented that sale by
paying up the money due by Lala Singh in respect of which the Revenue
Court's decrea was passed against the latter, and that he, having omitted to
do so, must be taken to be [250] himself a defaulter so as to disentitle him
from the benefits of s. 188 of the Revenue Act. This indeed is the view
adopted by the lower appellate Court as the ground for dismissing his
claim, but it is thoroughly unsound. In the first place it was not pleaded
and it does not appear, that Bhoja Singh, was himself in arrear of revenue
with regard to the land sold, and in the next place, as I have shown, the
sale must be understood to have taken place under s. 177 of the Rent
Act read with section 168 of the Revenue Act, sales under which must
necessarily be limited to the interest of the defaulter Lala Singh, and
could in no sense have imperilled the rights and interests of Bhoja Singh,
thus rendering it unnecessary for him to make any payment to obviate the
sale. As a pattidar, Bhoja Singh was entitled, like Sital Singh, to the right
of pre-emption in respect of the sale of the 20sh August 1886, and there
was nothing irregular or improper in their having joined in bringing the
suit to enforce the pre-emptive right which was common to them both.
This view renders it unnecessary for me to consider how far the rule laid

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down in Bhawani Prasad v. Damru (1) and Karar Singh v. Muhammad
Ismail Khan (< 2) that the joinder of a stranger by a pre-emptor in suing
for pre-emption defeats the entire pre-emptive rights can be applicable
to a case such as this where the claim for pre-emption is based upon the
statutory provisions of s. 188 of the Revenue Act.

As the result of this judgment I would dismiss this appeal, and,
setting aside the decrees of the lower Courts, so far as they dismiss the
claim of Bhoja Singh, decree his appeal (S. A. 998 of 1888) with the
effect that the whole suit as brought would stand decreed with costs in
all the Courts.

EDfrE, C. J. In the view which I take of sections 166, 168 and
188 of Act XIX of 1873, it is not necessary for me to express in this case
any opinion as to the effect of s. 177 of Act XII of 1881, or on the
various other points discussed by my brother Mahmood.

In my opinion we must, apply here the rule of construction which
is applicable generally to Statutes and Acts of the Legisla-[25l] ture
that is, we must construe a word which occurs more than once in the
same Act, so as to give it the same meaning throughout the Act, unless
some definition in the Act or the context; shows that the Legislature used
the word in different senses.

If the Legislature by "patti " as used in es. 166 and 188 of Act XIX
of 1873 meant the share of a pattidar in a patti and not a division of a
mahal, ib appears to me that the Legislature used the word " patti " in
two different senses in the Act. In s. 150 clause (d) a distinction is made
between a " share " and a " patti " and a "mahal." In clause (e) of that
section a distinction is made between a " share " and a "patti," Clause (/)
of s. 150 relates to " the annulment of the settlement of such patti or
of the whole mahal," clause (g) to a "sale of such a patti or of the whole
mahal " and clause (h) to a " sale of other immoveable property of the
defaulter." The " other immoveable property of the defaulter " in clause (h)
must be immoveable property other than " the share, or patti, or mahal
in respect of which the arrear is due " mentioned in clause (d), and
consequently other than " such share or patti " mentioned in clause (e) and
other than, " such patti " or the " whole mahal " mentioned in clauses (f)
and (g).

The " processes " respectively prescribed in clauses (a) to (h} inclusive
of s. 150, by which an arrear of revenue may be recovered are separately
developed and provided for in tbe subsequent sections of the Act, acd are
not in those sections confused one with the other. As, for example, the
process " by attachment of the share, or patti, or mahal, in respect of
which the arrear is due " mentioned in clause (d) of s. 150 is dealt with in
S3. 154, 155 and 156. Again the process " by transfer of such share, or
patti, to a solvent co-sharer in the mahal " mentioned in clause (e) of s. 150
is dealt with in s. 157. Again the process "by annulment of the settle-
ment of such patti or of the whole mahal " mentioned in clause (/) of
8. 150 is dealt with in ss. 158 and 169. Ss. 160 to 165 inclusive further
relate to some of the above-mentioned processes. The process " by
sale of such patti or of the whole mahal " mentioned in clause (g)
of s. J50 is dealt with in s. 166 ; s. 167 enacting what shall be tbe effect
of sale under s. 166. The process " by sale of other immoveable
[252] property of the defaulter " mentioned in clause (h) of s. 150 is



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1890 separately dealt with in s. 168. Sg. 169 to 187 inclusive relate to pro-

JUNE 91, cedure, re-sales, the application of proceeds of sales the liability of a

purchaser and other matters not necessary to refer to here. There is

APPBL- nothing to suggest that the word " patti " in s. 166 has been used in any

LATE other sense than that in which it has been used in clauses (d), (e), (/)

OlVIL. an( ^ W ^ s> 1^0 wnen ^ i g U8Q d as meaning something other than a

share of a defaulting share-holder or pattidar in the patti. It appears to

18 A. 221= me that in whatever sense the word "patti" is used in s. 166, the same

11A.WN, meaning, and that only, must be applied to it as it is used in s. 188

(1891) 68. which enacts that " when any land sold under s. 166 is a patti of a mahal

any recorded co-sharer may, &c." It will be remembered that what

may be sold under s. 166 is the patti or mahal in respect of which such

arrear is due and not the share of a defaulting share-holder or pattidar

in the patti.

A sale under s. 168 of Act XIX of 1873 can only be restored to " if
the arrear cannot be recovered by any of the above processes," amongst
which is the process of a sale of the patti or mahal in respect of which
such arrear is due " authorized by s. 166. I cannot read s. 188 of the
Act as applying to a sale under s. 168.

For the above reasons, whatever may be the construction of s. 1T7 of
Act XII of 1881, I am of opinion that 8. 188 of Act XIX of 1873 cannot
apply in this case in which the property sold was not a patti of a mahal
within the meaning of that section.

It was not suggested by the learned vakil who represented the
respondent before me that there was any right of pre-emption if s. 188 of
Act XIX of 1873 did not apply.

I would allow the appeal of Baij Nath, defendant, with costs and
dismiss the suit with costs.

YOUNG, J. This was a suit for pre-emption of the share of the
pattidar in an imperfect pattidari estate, such share having been sold at
auction in execution of a decree of a Rsnt Court.

The points for decision in this case appear to be the following. Where
a dearee under the Rent Act (XII of 1881) has been passed [253] against
the owner of a share in an imperfect pattidari estate and execution of such
decree has been had by sale of the defaulter's share in the mahal (not
being the property on which the arrear accrued) does the right of pre-
emption accrue

(1) to a co-sharer in the same patti ?

(2) to a co-sharer in another patti of the same mahat?

The law as to execution of decrees of Rent Courts provides (Act XII
of 1881, s. 177) that the " Board " may order the property to be sold, " in
which case the sale shall be made under the rules in force for the sale of
land for arrears of revenue but without prejudice to the incumbrances
(if any) to which suoh property may be subject."

I think the expression " the rules in force for the sale of land for
arrears of revenue " must be taken in ibs most comprehensive sense and is
probably wide enough to include within its scope the rule allowing the
exercise of the right of pre-emption at such sales under certain circum-
stances.

What then are the circumstances under which a right of pre-emp-
tion arises in a sale for arrears of revenue ?

Under s. 166 of the Land Revenue Act (XIX of 1873) the Collector
may, with the sanction of the Board, sell by auction "the patti or mahal
in respect of which such arrear is due." The next section (a. 167) enacts

158



YII] BAIJ NATH y. SITAL SINGH 18 All. 255

that land so sold is sold " free of all incumbrances." S. 168 enacts that 1890
if the arrear cannot; ba recovered by any of the processes previously men- JUNE 21.
tioned " and the defaulter owns any other mahal or any share in any other
mahal or any other immoveable property " the Collector "may proceed APPEL-
against such mahal or other immoveable property as if it were the land on LATE
account of which the revenue is due under the provisions of this Act." ClVIL

The rule allowing the pre-emption is contained in s.*188 of the same

Act which runs as follows : 13 A. 224

" When any land sold under s. 166 is a patti of a mahal, any recorded It A.W.N.
co-sharer, not being himself in arrear with regard to such land may, if the (1891) 68.
lot has been knocked down to a stranger, claim to [254] take the said
land at the sum last bid." S. 168 extends these provisions to any mahal,
share, or immoveable property other than that on which the arrear
accrued ; but only authorizes sale of the defaulter's right and title therein
saving incumbrances.

It is admitted that the village of Musafirpur consists of three
" pattis"

Patti (I) containing 6 bis. 134 biswansis.



Online LibraryChas. A. Stevens & BrosThe Indian decisions (New series) : being a re-print of all the decisions of the Privy Council on appeals from India and of the various high courts and other superior courts in India reported both in the official and non-official reports from 1875 (Volume 7) → online text (page 25 of 155)