Harry Griffin and Chamier, JJ.
1. This was a suit under Sections 150 and 154 of the Tenancy Act for resumption of a rent-free grant. The plaintiff alleged that the grant was made for the performance of a specific service in connection with the Holi, which he no longer required. The Assistant Collector decreed the claim, but on appeal his decision was reversed on the ground that the land, being grove-land, was not 'land held for agricultural purposes' within the meaning of Section 4(2) of the Tenancy Act, and was not 'land' within the meaning of the word as used in Chapter X of the Act.
2. In the papers prepared at the settlement of 1836 and 1872 the land was recorded as held under a service grant, and during the current settlement it is recorded as a rent-free grant, and the wajib-ul-arz says that the land shall be held subject to the service to be rendered at the Holi.
3. The District Judge has not recorded a definite finding that the land is held rent-free on account of the service, but on the evidence no other conclusion is possible.
4. The plot however is a grove, apparently a mango grove, and has been recorded as such at all the three settlements. 'Land' is defined in the Tenancy Act as land let or held for agricultural purposes. The latest reported opinion of the Board of Revenue is that a grove is not 'land' as defined in the Act--see Megh Singh v. Nazar Fatma Select Decisions of 1911, No. 4, where a previous decision of the Board regarding a guava grove was considered and distinguished. In Sheo Mangal v. Sardar Singh (1909) 6 A.L.J.,749 two Judges of this Court doubted whether a grove was land within the meaning of the definition contained in the Act but the question was not definitely decided and, as far we are aware, never has been decided by this Court.
5. It is impossible to say whether the plot was a grove when the grant now in question was made; but, assuming that it was not then a grove, it has been a grove since 1836, and it must be presumed that if the trees were not standing on the land at the time of the grant they were subsequently planted with the consent of the proprietor.
6. In our opinion land held as a grove, whether On payment of rent or not, is not land held for agricultural purposes, and we can discover no reason for holding that the word 'land' is used in Chapter X of the Act otherwise than in the sense indicated by the definition.
7. In this view it must be held that the suit was not maintainable under Chapter X of the Act, nor would it avail the plaintiff if we were to treat the suit as one for ejectment of a tenant, for a rent-free grantee is not a tenant as defined in the Act.
8. It appears to us that if the plaintiff has any remedy it is by way of a suit in a civil court. The appeal is dismissed with costs.