1. The unsuccessful defendant, which is the State of Andhra Pradesh is the appellant in these second appeals. The respondent-plaintiffs filed the suits out of which these second appeals arise for declaration of their titles in respect of their respective areas and that they have perfected their titles by adverse possession. Their case is that these sites originally formed part of village site or Gramakantham in the village of the Yerajerla in the formar Zamindari estate of Venkatagiri. That estate was notified and abolished on 7.9.1949. In the subsequent settlement proceedings, these sites were included in Survey No. 292 and were shown as portions of the burial ground and cattle stand poramboke. The plaintiffs contended that the Government had no manner of right to do so, because even before the Abolition Act came into force, they had been in possession of the sites for more than 30 years and raised constructions therein. Under Section 21 of the Estates Land Act, they could not be evicted even by the communal land and after the Abolition Act they got rights to the property. Therefore, they are entitled to the relief sought.
2. The government contended that the entire land was right from the beginning a burial ground and cattle stand and the plaintiffs had no possession for 30 years before the Abolition Act.
3. The courts below concurrently found that these sites formed parts of village site; that the plaintiffs had been in possession of them for more than 30 years before the Abolition Act; that they had raised constructions and other buildings on the sites and that, therefore, they are entitled to the declaration of their title. The plaintiff's suits are accordingly decreed. The unsuccessful defendant has brought these second appeals.
4. Sri Mahipathi Rao, appearing for the appellant-Government, raises three contentions. The first of them is that Section 21 of the Estates Land Act does not confer any title on the plaintiffs. At best it confers on them a right not to be evicted. Therefore, the lower courts are wrong in resting their decree for title on section 21. This argument is fallacious for the reason that the Courts below did not found the decree for title on Section 21. That section was referred to and relied on only for the purpose of showing that the Government could not have evicted the plaintiffs from the sites even before the Abolition act came into force, because they had been in occupation for more than 30 years. The finding that the plaintiffs had been in occupation for thirty years before the Abolition act is a concurrent finding and is not rightly canvassed before me by Sri Mahipathi Rao. Now that the concurrent finding stands, it follows that the government could not have evicted the plaintiffs from the sites even before the Abolition act came into force. That is all the court below said.
5. From the above follows the second point advanced by the learned counsel. If under section 21, the plaintiffs had only acquired the right not to be evicted, then they had no title at all which could be declared by the Court. Under Section 3 of the Abolition act the entire estate vested in the Government. Therefore, whatever rights the plaintiffs had are now lost to them. The decree for title given by the Courts below to the plaintiffs is, therefore, wrong.
6. It is undisputed and that is the concurrent finding of the Courts below that before the estate was abolished, all the plaintiffs had raised building etc., in their respective sites. That finding of fact is also not disputed before me.
7. Then, the basis of Section 18 (4) it can be said that these buildings which are not the buildings belonging to the landholders have vested in the plaintiffs. Therefore, by virtue of Sub-section (4) of Section 18 they vested, despite the abolition of the estate, in the plaintiffs who had owned them before the act came into force. Sub-section (5) of the same section makes it clear that the expression ' building' includes a site on which it stands and any adjacent premises occupied as an appurtenance thereto. Thus , the plaintiffs have got the rights to the suit buildings and the sites around them.
8. This conclusion can also be rested on the provisions of the Madras Land Encroachment act, 1905, Section 2 declares that all the public roads etc., are the properties of the Government. But it lays down certain exceptions to that declaration and one of them is lands owned as temple sites or owned as house sites or backyard. In the case before me it is clear that these are house sites belonging to the plaintiffs. Therefore, they do not vest in the Government. It is undisputed that the Land Encroachment act applies to all the areas which were formerly estates but were subsequently abolished. This view is supported by a decision of the Madras High court in Rangaraja Iyengar v. Chikannuammal, (1959) 2 Mad LJ 513. Viewed upon from any angle, there is no doubt that the plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration of their title to the buildings and the site around them.
9. The last of the contentions is that the resent suit does not lie in view of the bar of Section 14 of the Survey and Boundaries Act,. But , this objection is easily answered. This is not merely for the correction of a boundary as declared by the Survey authorities or rectifying a survey number but one for declaration of title. Therefore, the bar of section 14 has no application to suits for title.
10. Thus, none of the objections pointed out to the decrees passed by the lower appellate court has any force. No other point is raised. The second appeals are accordingly dismissed with costs. No leave.
11. Appeals dismissed.