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B. Shankar Rao Badami and ors. Vs. State of Mysore - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal Nos. 196, 197 and 198-200 of 1965
Judge
Reported in(1969)3SCC637
ActsThe Mysore (Personal and Miscellaneous) Inams Abolition Act, 1955 - Section 17(1)(i) and (1)(v) 2(2)
AppellantB. Shankar Rao Badami and ors.
RespondentState of Mysore
Excerpt:
.....— section 17(1)(i) and (1)(v) — if cesses and-other levies come under the category of land revenue -- it is enacted by section 2(2) that — “land revenue” for purposes of determining the premium payable by a permanent tenant and a quasi-permanent tenant under sections 5 and 6, and the compenastion payable to the inamdar under section 17, means the amount payable as land revenue for the land during the revenue year 1953-54. section 219 has devised a special definition of “land revenue”, it is not intended to be a definition of the expression “land revenue”, for provisions not contained in chapter xiv. section 54 declares land revenue to be a paramount charge on the land. these provisions throw no light on the contention that land..........be the aggregate of the sums specified below —(i) a sum equal to twenty times the amount of land revenue payable in respect of land held by kadim tenants and permanent tenants entitled to be registered under section 4 and section 5 respectively;explanation.— * * *(ii) * * *(iii) a sum calculated at the rates specified below in respect of lands referred to in clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 7 or of section 9 —(a) seventy-five rupees per acre within the municipal limits of the cities of bangalore, mysore and davangere and within an area of one mile from such limits;(b) forty rupees per acre within the municipal limits of the towns of kolar, tunkur, chitaldrug, shimoga, bhadravati, chickmangalure, hassan and mandya and the limits of the kolar gold fields.....
Judgment:

J.C. SHAH, J.

1. Appellants in Appeal Nos. 196 & 197 of 1965 are Inamdars of Kappasoge and Debur Villages in Nanjangud Taluk. Appellants in Appeal Nos. 198, 199 and 200 of 1965 are Inamdars of Gandnahalli, Chenga (Chenganahalli) and Beeranahalli Villages in Mysore District. The Mysore (Personal and Miscellaneous) Inams Abolition Act 1 of 1955 was brought into force with effect from October 2, 1955 and the Inams held by the appellants stood abolished. The appellants applied for determining compensation payable to them. In appeals against the orders made by Special Deputy Commissioner determining compensation, the High Court of Mysore, confirmed the orders. With certificate granted by the High Court these appeals are preferred.

2. During the pendency of these appeals the appellants moved Writ Petition Nos. 188 & 189 of 1968 in this Court challenging the constitutional validity of Mysore Act 2 of 1955. This Court by order, dated December 4, 1968 dismissed the writ petitions. The question as to the vires of the Act which was sought to be raised in these appeals cannot, therefore, be agitated.

3. Three contentions survive for determination in these appeals —

“(1) In assessing compensation under Section 17(1)(i) of the Act cesses and other levies made by the Inamdars from the tenants should have taken into account;

(2) For loss of toddy shop rent compensation ought to have been awarded under Section 17(1)(v) to the Inamdars; and

(3) Compensation for loss tree rent ought to have been granted.”

 Section 17 of Mysore Act I of 1955 insofar as it is relevant states:

“(1) Save as otherwise provided in Section 26, the total compensation payable in respect of Inam shall be the aggregate of the sums specified below —

(i) a sum equal to twenty times the amount of land revenue payable in respect of land held by Kadim tenants and permanent tenants entitled to be registered under Section 4 and Section 5 respectively;

Explanation.— * * *

(ii) * * *

(iii) a sum calculated at the rates specified below in respect of lands referred to in clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of Section 7 or of Section 9 —

(a) seventy-five rupees per acre within the municipal limits of the cities of Bangalore, Mysore and Davangere and within an area of one mile from such limits;

(b) forty rupees per acre within the municipal limits of the towns of Kolar, Tunkur, Chitaldrug, Shimoga, Bhadravati, Chickmangalure, Hassan and Mandya and the limits of the Kolar Gold Fields Sanitary Board Area, and within an area of one mile from such limits; and

(c) twenty rupees per acre in all other areas;

(iv) * * *

(v) a sum equal to ten times the average net annual income derived by the Inamdar during a period of five years immediately preceding the date of vesting, from lands other than lands referred to in clause (iii) and lands in respect of which any person is entitled to be registered under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9:

Provided that….”

It is urged that the expression “land revenue” in Section 17(1)(i) includes water cesses and other levies recovered by the Inamdars, and in refusing to award compensation equivalent to twenty times those cesses and levies the Special Deputy Commissioner and the High Court erred.

It is enacted by Section 2(2) that — “Land revenue” for purposes of determining the premium payable by a permanent tenant and a quasi-permanent tenant under Sections 5 and 6, and the compenastion payable to the inamdar under Section 17, means the amount payable as land revenue for the land during the revenue year 1953-54. This is not a definition, because “land revenue” is defined in terms of land revenue payable during the revenue year 1953-54. In Section 2(1)(a) it is enacted that unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, all words and expressions defined in the Mysore Land Revenue Code shall have the same respective meanings as in that Code with the modifications made by the Act. But the Mysore Land Revenue Code also does not define in Section 3, which is the general interpretation section, the expression “land revenue”. Reliance was, however, sought to be placed upon Section 219 in Chapter XIV of the Code, in which it is enacted that “land revenue means all sums and payments in money or in kind received or claimable by, or on behalf of, Government, from any person on account of land held by, or vested in, him, and any cess or rate authorised by Government under the provisions of any law for the time being in force”. But that definition cannot be used in interpreting Section 17(1)(i) of Act 1 of 1955, for Section 219, expressly states that unless there is something repugnant in the subject or, context, “land revenue” in Chapter XIV has the meaning which is assigned thereto in the definition. The definition has been devised specially for the purpose of enacting the law relating to recovery of land revenue, and imposts which are recoverable as “land revenue”. It is common knowledge that several levies which are not land revenue are still recoverable as if they are arrears of land revenue. Section 219 has devised a special definition of “land revenue”, it is not intended to be a definition of the expression “land revenue”, for provisions not contained in Chapter XIV. The argument that by inadvertence the definition of “land revenue” was placed in Section 219 instead of in Section 3 merits no serious consideration. The expression “land” is defined in Section 219 and also in Section 3(3) of the Code and the argument of inadvertence may obviously not be relied upon when different definitions of the same expression have been given in two chapters in the same statute. It is unnecessary then to consider whether water cesses and other levies recovered by the Inamdars are “land revenue” within the meaning of that expression as used in Chapter XIV.

4. Reliance was also placed upon Sections 45, 48 & 54 occurring in Chapter V and Sections 106, 111, 112 & 114 occurring in Chapter VIII in support of the contention that “land revenue” includes cesses and other levies. Section 45 declares that all land, whether applied to agricultural or other purposes, and wherever situate, is liable for payment of land revenue to Government according to rules except such lands as may be wholly exempted. Section 48 declares that land revenue leviable under the provisions of the Act is to be charged upon three classes of lands specified therein, and that the assessment fixed under the provisions of the Act upon any land appropriated for any one of the there purposes shall be liable to be altered and fixed at a different rate when the land is appropriated to any other purpose. Section 54 declares land revenue to be a paramount charge on the land. These provisions throw no light on the contention that land revenue is to include cesses and levies other than revenue assessed on land. By Section 106 the Government is authorised to direct the survey of any land in the State or in any part of the State with a view to the settlement of land revenue and to the record and preservation of rights connected therewith or for any other similar purposes. By Section 111 the Officer in charge of survey is authorised to fix the assessment for land revenue on all lands within the local operation of an order made under Section 106. By sub-section (2) of Section 111, it is provided that the power to assess under the Act shall, in the case of lands used for purposes of agriculture alone, include power to assess, whether directly on the land, or in the form of a rate or cess upon the means of irrigation in respect of which no rate is levied under Section 53, or in any other manner whatsoever that may be sanctioned by Government. Section 112 provides that the assessment fixed by the Officer in charge of a survey shall not be levied without the sanction of Government. By Section 114 it is provided that in fixing the assessment under the provisions of Section 112 the assessment shall be strictly limited to the assessment of the ordinary land revenue, and shall not operate as a bar to the levy of any cess which it shall be lawful for the Government to impose under the provisions of any law for the time being in force for purposes of local improvement, such as, the construction, maintenance and improvement of schools, village and district roads, bridges, tanks, wells, accommodation for travellers, and the like. These sections also do not support the contention that cesses and other levies made by the Inamdars are to be deemed part of land revenue; on the other hand Section 114 implies that the cesses which are leviable for purposes of local improvement are not to be deemed part of land revenue.

5. Some argument was sought to be raised before us that the expression “assessment” is limited in its connotation, whereas the expression “land revenue” has a larger import. But we find no warrant for that submission. Where the Inam consists of the assignment of land revenue or part thereof, the Inamdar is entitled to recover the difference between the assessment and the amount which is made payable by him. Levy of cesses or other levies may have its source in the grant of the Inam, but the Legislature has not indicated any intention that in determining the land revenue the cesses and other levies shall be included. We do not think that there is any ground for holding that cesses and other levies other than land revenue strictly so called were to be included for the purpose of determining compensation under Section 17(1)(i).

6. The second contention has also no force. The appellants contended that “excise income” realized by the Inamdars ought to have been taken into account under Section 17(1)(v) of the Act in determining compensation, and “excise income” was to include the rent realized from the toddy shops run in the Inamdars' lands. In order that the income should be taken into account, it must fall within the terms of Section 17(1)(v) of the Act and to fall within the terms of Section 17(1)(v) it must be income arising from lands other than lands referred to in clause (iii) and lands in respect of which any person is entitled to be registered under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The rent which is recovered from the toddy shops is not income which arises from lands. It is income which arises by reason of agreements with the toddy shop-keepers who are permitted by the Excise Authorities to run the shops and to operate in certain places. The shop rent from the toddy shops is therefore not income falling within Section 17(1)(v) of the Act.

7. No serious argument was advanced in respect of compensation for tree-rent. No separate provision is made for compensation in respect of trees or rents received from the trees. The right which the Inamdars had in respect of the trees was part of his right in the land, and compensation in respect of the land should be included in the compensation for the trees.

8. The appeals therefore fail and are dismissed with costs. One hearing fee.


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