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Ayudhanula Venkata Ramamurty and ors. Vs. V. Venkatarao and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 36 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1972AP212
ActsAndhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956 - Sections 2
AppellantAyudhanula Venkata Ramamurty and ors.
RespondentV. Venkatarao and ors.
Appellant AdvocateM.S.R. Subrahmanyam, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG. Balaparameswari Rao and ;P.V.R. Sarma, Advs. for ;Principal Govt. Pleader
Excerpt:
.....of the government including any other documents like the inam fair register or any other document which is relevant for the purpose. if the revenue accounts maintained by the government and in force on the date the inams abolition act came into force clearly and unambiguously show that a village was designated as an inam village it is enough for the purpose of the definition to find out a village as an 'inam village'.it is only when the entries in the revenue accounts are ambiguous and it is not possible to come to a definite conclusion from those entries, it may be necessary to consider other relevant evidence, which is admissible under the evidence act......involved is whether the village of royllavaka in vizianagaram taluk. visakhapatnam district, is an inam village or not as defined under section 2 (d) of that act. the tahsildar found that according to 'a' and 'b' registers of the village, rollavaka is an agraharam village . on appeal, the revenue divisional officer (sub-collector), vizianagaram, disagreed with the conclusion of the tahsildar found that it is not an inam village.2. the object of the act is to abolish and convert the inam lands into ryotwari lands in inam villages as also in ryotwari or zamindari villages. as provided under section 4 of the inams abolition act, in the case of an inam land in a ryotwari or zamindari village, the person or institution holding such land as inamdar on the date of commencement of the act is.....
Judgment:

Ramachandra Raju, J.

1. In this writ appeal the correctness of the order of our learned brother, Mr. Justice Gopal Rao Ekbote rendered in writ petition No. 1733 of 1967 is questioned. The learned Judge, by his order, upheld the decision of the Sub-collector, Vizianagaram, given on 2-1-67 reversing the order of the Tahsildar (Inams), Vizianagaram, dated 13-2-64. The matter has arisen under the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari)_ Act, 1956 hereinafter referred to as the 'Inams Abolition act' and the question involved is whether the village of Royllavaka in Vizianagaram Taluk. Visakhapatnam District, is an inam village or not as defined under Section 2 (d) of that Act. The Tahsildar found that according to 'A' and 'B' registers of the village, Rollavaka is an Agraharam village . On appeal, the Revenue Divisional Officer (Sub-Collector), Vizianagaram, disagreed with the conclusion of the Tahsildar found that it is not an inam village.

2. The object of the Act is to abolish and convert the inam lands into ryotwari lands in inam villages as also in ryotwari or zamindari villages. As provided under Section 4 of the Inams Abolition Act, in the case of an inam land in a ryotwari or zamindari village, the person or institution holding such land as inamdar on the date of commencement of the Act is entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect thereof. In the case of an inam land in an institution, such institution will be entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect of that land. If such land in an inam village is held by an inamdar other than an institution and in the actual occupation of a tenant on the date of the commencement of the Act, he is entitled to a ryotwari patta for two thirds share of that land and the inamdar is entitled to ryotwari patta for the remaining one third share thereof. The present appellants, who are petitioners in the writ petition, are tenants in respect of the writ petition, are tenants in respect of various inam lands in the village of Rollavaka. They claim that the village is an inam village and therefore they are entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect of two-thirds of those lands. What is an inam village for the purposes of the names Abolition Act is defined under Section 2 (d) of that act,. It is provided under Section 3 of the Inams Abolition Act that as soon as may be, after commencement of the Act, the Tahsildar may suo motu and shall on application enquire and determine (I) whether a particular land in his jurisdiction is an inam land, (ii) whether such inam land is in ryotwari, zamindari or inam village, (iii) whether such inam land is held by an institution. On an application filed by the Ist respondent herein, an advocate of Vizianagaram, the Tahsildar, (Inams), Vizianagaram took up enquiry as provided under Sec. 3 of the Inams Abolition Act o determine whether the lands in question are inam lands in a Zeroyati village or in an inam village and gave the decision as mentioned above that the village is an inam village.

3. The lands in question are admittedly inam lands and are now part of Rollavaka village. The only controversy between the parties is whether that village can be said to be an inam village or not as per the definition given under Sec. 2 (d) of the Inams Abolition Act. It is convenient to extract the definition here:

2. .......................................................

(d). 'inam village' means a village designated as such in the revenue accounts of the Government; and includes a village so designated immediately before it was abolished and taken over by the Government under the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) act , 1948 (Madras XXVI of 1948).

4. In the above definition two kinds of 'Inam villages' are contemplated, viz.,(i) inam village which have not been attracted by the provisions of the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act and (2) those which were attracted by that Act and were notified and taken over by the Government under the provisions of that Act. To attract the definition with regard to the first category of villages it is enough if, on the date of the commencement of the Inams Abolition Act, they are designated as inam villages in the revenue accounts of the Government. With regard to the latter category of villages, it is enough if they were so designated immediately before they were notified and taken over by the Government under the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act. Therefore, in either case, as per the definition, what is relevant to find out whether a village is an relevant, to find out whether a village is an inam village or not, is to see whether it is so designated in the revenue accounts of the Government on he relevant date.

5. The are some recent pronouncements of this Court with regard to the kind of evidence that is relevant to find out whether a particular village is an inam village or not as per the definition given under Section 2 (d) of the Inams Abolition Act. Before we consider the evidence on hand to find out whether Rollavaka is an inam village or not as per the definition what was held in those decisions may be referred to. The decision P. Hymavathamma v. Revenue Divisional Officer, : AIR1971AP103 , is a Bench decision of our learned brothers, Gopal Rao Ekbote and Parthasarathy, JJ. What was held in that case has been correctly brought out in the head note of the report which is a follows:

'Revenue accounts' has been used in the Inams Abolition act and in the Madras Estates Land act in comprehensive sense so as to include accounts and also registers that were prescribed to be maintained by the Board of Revenue or other authorities pursuant to the karnams Regulation and the subsequent enactments. It is open to the authorities concerned including the Board of Revenue, to add from time to time to the list of accounts or registers that are to be kept by the village establishments.

No restrictive connotation can be placed on the expression 'revenue accounts.' It should mean and include all forms of accounts and registers kept by the village establishment pursuant to the statutory provision as also the accounts kept at all the higher levels of the Official hierarchy and which have a bearing on the assessment and collection of revenue.

The expression 'revenue accounts' cannot be limited to the accounts of any particular year to point of time. Nor can any limitation be placed on the accounts kept at any particular point in the official hierarchy. The entries in the Inam Fair registrar are also within the purview of revenue accounts. If the entries in the revenue accounts are ambiguous and do not afford the basis for a sure conclusion it is incumbent on the tribunal to consider other pieces of evidence, which are relevant under the Evidence Act.

6. In the decision K. Venkayya v. Revenue Divisional Officer, Parvathipuram, (1967) 2 Andh WR. 1. which is a judgment of our learned brother. Krishna Rao, J. it was held that the simple question to be decided is whether the village is designated as such in the revenue accounts of the Government. This is a simple test for the determination of an in a village and the object of this simple definition is to avoid all complications which have arisen in the interpretation of Section 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land act. The learned Judge while remanding the case for fresh disposal directed the Revenue Division Officer to consider the appeal afresh after referring to the various recitals in the revenue accounts of the Government including any other documents like the Inam Fair Register or any other document which is relevant for the purpose.

7. A similar view was taken in the Writ petn. No. 937 of 1969 decided on 17-11-1970 (Andh Pra) by one of us (Obul Reddy, J.) It was also held in that judgment that when, in the revenue accounts, a village is designated as an inam village, it is no part of the function of the Tribunals or the Court to invent reasons for its being designated as such in the revenue accounts.

8. Therefore according to the definition to find out whether a village was designated as an inam village or not, prima facie the revenue accounts of the Government which are in force at the time of Inams abolition Act came into force have to be looked into. As found in the Bench decision referred to above, 'revenue accounts' should mean and include all forms of accounts and registers kept by the village establishments and at all levels of official hierarchy pursuant to the statutory provision. If the revenue accounts maintained by the Government and in force on the date the Inams Abolition Act came into force clearly and unambiguously show that a village was designated as an inam village it is enough for the purpose of the definition to find out a village as an 'Inam Village'. It is only when the entries in the revenue accounts are ambiguous and it is not possible to come to a definite conclusion from those entries, it may be necessary to consider other relevant evidence, which is admissible under the Evidence act.

9. The accounts which are available in the present case to find out as to how the village was designated in the revenue accounts are 'A' and 'B' registers maintained for the village Rollavaka. It is not in dispute that Rollavaka was being treated as a separate revenue village since a long time. That it is so is also evident from 'A' and 'B' registers maintained in the village. According to the Sub-Collector, Vizianagaram these 'A' and 'B' registers must have been in existence from the date of the first survey which was round about the year 1901. A certified copy of the Inams Statement was also made available in the record which preceded the Inam Fair Register. It came into existence in the year 1867. In this statement also Rollavaka was mentioned as a village. After this Inam Statement was filed, the Inams Commissioner granted title deed, No. 27 to the village. That title deed, No. 27 was given to the village by the No. 27 was given to the village by the Inams commissioner, would appear from 'A' and 'B' registers referred to above. It appears from it that at the time of the inam grant, Rollavaka village was not in existence. The lands of an extent of ac. 43743 cents dry and Ac. 104-83 cents wet which originally belonged to the neighbouring village Ambativalasa were the subject-matter of the grant and subsequent to the grant these extents were constituted as a separate village and was named as Rollavaka. This is also what was found by the Courts including this Court in the judgment dated 27-7-1962 in S. a. No. 421 of 1959 (Andh Pra) when the matter had arisen there while considering whether the village Rollavaka would be an inam estate or not as defined under Section 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land act. In all these three documents, viz., 'A' and 'B' registers and Inam Statement, the village was mentioned as Rollavaka Agraharam, which means inam village of Rollavaka. from these documents it appears clear that since the beginning, when the village was constituted, it was being designated in the revenue, accounts of the Government as an inam village. There is no other evidence to show the contrary.

10. Sri Balaparameswari Rao, the learned counsel for the appellants has argued at some length to contended that a village to come under the definition of inam village as defined under Section 2 (d) of Inams Abolition Act, it should have been a village since the inception, i. e. , the village itself must have been the subject matter of the grant. This is the vie taken by the Sub-Collector Vizianagaram, in the appeal in reversing the finding of the Tahsildar that the village is an inam village as ;per the term of the definition. The same view was also taken by our learned brother, Gopal Rao Ekbote, J., in the writ petition. That at the time of the grant there was no village and what was granted was not a village but only some extents of land comprised in the village of Ambativalasa has now been concluded in the previous litigation referred to above. But that is not the point here. According to the definition given under Section 2 (d) of the Inams Abolition act, for a village to become an inam village it is enough that on the date the Act came into force if the village came to be designated as an inam village in the revenue accounts of the Government. It is no part of the function of the Tribunals under the Act and the Courts to find out the reasons for its being so designated in the revenue accounts and whether at the time the grant was made it was a village or not. We are in entire agreement with our learned brother Krishna Rao, J. when he observed in (1967) 2 Andh WR 1, as follows:

'So, the question to be decided by the Tribunal is ......................whether the village is designated as such in the revenue accounts of the Government. This is a simple test for the determination of an inam village and the object of this simple definition is to avoid all complications which have arisen in the interpretation of section 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act.'

11. The object of the Legislature in adopting that definition for the inam village appears to be to confer benefit also on the ryots in those inam villages which have escaped abolition under the Madras Estates Land Act, having not attracted the definition of inam estate as defined under Section 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act. With regard to those inam village which became estates under that definition, they having been abolished under the Madras Estates Abolition Act, the ryots in these villages got the benefit of getting ryotwari pattas for the lands in their possession. It is evident that by making the provision in Section 4 (2) (b) of the Inams Abolition Act, the Legislature wanted also to benefit the tenants of those inam villages which have not come under the scope of the Madras Estates Abolition Act, by conferring on them the right to get a ryotwari patta for a two-thirds share in the inam lands which are under their cultivation. It may be seen that no such benefit to get a ryotwari patta for a tow-thirds share was conferred under the Act on the ryots relating to inam lands in ryotwari and zamindari villages right was given only to inamdars to get ryotwari patta for the entirely of the lands.

12. With profound respect we are unable to agree with the view taken by our learned brother Gopal Rao Ekbote, J. when he held that:

'As long as there is no separate grant as inam village, merely because subsequently these lands coupled with some other lands were constituted for administrative purposes as a village would not make that village an inam village.'

13. Before closing the judgment we have to make mention also about another argument submitted by Sri Balaparameswari Rao. According to him, the Government has not made available the Inam Fair Register extract and in the absence of such an important document, it is unwise, to come to a conclusion in the matter. Therefore, according to him, the inam fair register must be sent for and looked into. We do not think that the recitals made n the Inam Fair Register with regard to the village are absolutely necessary to this case to come to a correct conclusion. in the matter. The extract of the Inam Statement is there. It is very unlikely that when the village was mentioned as an Agraharam in the Inam Statement it would have been mentioned differently in the Inam Fair Register. The recitals in the 'A' and 'B' registers show conclusively that Rollavaka Village was being treated as an inam village. The matter has come to the High Court now for the second time after remand. All long till this writ appeal stage the appellants did not think that Inam Fair Registers also would be useful to come to a correct conclusion in the matter. The matter is hotly contested between parties. If really there are some recitals in the inam fair register which are useful to the case of the appellants, nothing prevented them from obtaining a certified copy of that register and make use of it. But they have not chosen to do so. Under these circumstances, we do not think that it is necessary and any useful purpose will be served by directing the Government to produce the Inam Fair Register at this late stage.

14. Accordingly the writ appeal is allowed and the orders in the writ petition and of the sub-collector. Vizianagaram, are set aside and that of the Tahsildar (Inams), Vizianagaram, restored by declaring that Rollavaka village is an inam village within the meaning of Section 2 (d) of the Inams Abolition act. The appellants are entitled to their costs in the writ appeal. Advocates fee Rs. 100/-.

15. Writ appeal allowed.


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