Article 66 applies to all suits for possession.
It is not confined to suits between landlord and tenant based on forfeiture. Forfeiture may also be occasioned by operation of law or usage. Article 66 applies to all cases of forfeiture including the right of possession of the lessor by reason of any forfeiture or breach of condition.
Forfeiture is defined by Blackstone to be a punishment annexes by law to some illegal act or negligence in the owner of lands, tenements or hereditaments; whereby he loses all his interest therein, and they go to the party injured, as a recompense for the wrong, which either he alone or the public together with him hath sustained. Forfeiture is the divestiture of specific property without compensation in consequence of some default or act forbidden by law. Forfeiture implies negligence or fault of a person, the result of which is to cause him to lose his property or right. In regard to property forfeiture is a loss of the right to possess; and it includes cesser or determination on bankruptcy, alienation, remarriage or any other event. The forfeiture is incurred in case the lessee breaks an express condition i which provides that on breach thereof the lessor may re-enter and even if in such a case the lessor has to notice in writing to the lessee of his intention to determine the lease on the ground of forfeiture.
In Tippayya v. Rama Narayan, (AIR 1961 Mys. 131), the donor has executed a deed of gift in favour of the donee on condition that the donee shall construct the college within the stipulated time, but failed to do so. The .suit has been filed by donor for recovery of possession land based on forfeiture of the deed of gift for breach of condition. Such a suit attracts Article 66 of the Limitation Act.
Where it is claimed that the lessor is entitled to re-enter by reason of the lessee on breach of covenant it is first necessary to ascertain whether the agreement provides for re-entry on breach of such covenant. In Krishna Chandra v. National Chemical, (AIR 1957 Ori. 35), it has been held that unless there is an express agreement for re-entry for breach of any covenant the lessor will not be entitled to treat the lease as forfeited. The breach of express condition of the lease makes the lessee liable to forfeiture provided the lease deed expressly contains the right of reentry on such breach. The second ground on which the forfeiture takes place is that the lessee renounces his character as such by setting up a title in a third person or by claiming title in himself.
The third condition on which the forfeiture takes place is that the lessee is adjudicated an insolvent and the lease provided that the lessor may re-enter on the happening of such event and in all these cases the lessor or his transferee gives notice in writing to the lessee of his intention to determine the lease. A decree of forfeiture cannot be passed unless a notice on the tenant under Section 111(g) of the Transfer of Property Act is given. Article 66 also attracts when a plaintiff has become entitled to possession of the immovable property by reason of breach of condition. In Mst.
Rattan Dei v. Surian Singh, (AIR 1973 P&H 285), it has been held that when the deed of partition stipulated that if any of the co-sharers purchased the raiyati holding lying within the allotment of any other co-sharer, the concerned co-sharer shall be entitled to take possession of the holding so purchased, a suit to recover possession of the property so purchased by the defendant co-sharer attracts the Art. 66 because it is a case when the plaintiff is entitled to recover possession on breach of condition. When in the deed of partition it is stipulated that if any co-sharer purchased the raiyati holding lying within the holding of another co-sharer the concerned co-sharer shall be entitled to take possession, the suit for recovery of possession by the concerned co-sharer is the date when the defendant co-sharer purchased the property of the plaintiff.
According to Art. 66, limitation starts running “when the forfeiture is incurred or condition is broken”. In Dhuman Khan v. Gurmukh Khan, (AIR 1936 Lah. 394), it has been held that when the forfeiture is entitled by reason of a breach of condition prohibiting alienation, the starting point of limitation will be the date of alienation and not the date when the deed was registered.