Fish, not fowl
Electricity charges (low tension) are not levied by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board on “small farmers” engaged in agriculture. Fish farmers farming on an equal area of land claimed similar benefits contending that fisheries too are the products of soil on which the water flows. Rejecting the contention, the Supreme Court held that pisciculture is not agriculture and fishes cannot be said to be domestic animals (Maheshwari Fish Seed Farm vs TN Electricity Board).
Bank on it
A landlord let out premises to a bank on condition that the same shall be used as an office. The premises were later used for storing books of account. A suit was filed contending that the premises were used for a godown and not as an office as stipulated in the lease deed. The Supreme Court rejected the bank’s contention saying that a godown is not an office. The bank could not produce valid permits for establishing that the premises were used as a bank (Goa Urban Cooperative Bank vs Nur Musa).
Maintain status quo
A wife filed a suit for maintenance against her husband. Awarding maintenance the court created charge over certain properties of the husband. The husband, along with mother and sister, appealed contending that some properties were gifted away to his mother and two sisters a long time back and question of creating charge on those properties did not arise. Relying on Section 39 of the Transfer of Property Act, the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that charge can be created against such property. Section 39 contemplates that where transfer has occurred,right to claim maintenance can be enforced against such transferees. The appellants (mother and sister) are part and parcel of the family and cannot plead total ignorance (C.Yemuna vs P. Manohara).