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Prem Ballabh Shebait Vs. the Board of Revenue, Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Ref. No. 35/60 in D.B. Civil Writ Petn. No. 4 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1961Raj85
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Jaipur Matmi Rules, 1945; Alwar State Muafi Rules, 1939 - Rules 5, 7 and 9
AppellantPrem Ballabh Shebait
RespondentThe Board of Revenue, Rajasthan and ors.
Appellant Advocate S.L. Mardia, Adv.
Respondent Advocate G.C. Kasliwal, Adv. General
Cases ReferredNiranjanlal v. Govind Narain. The Board
Excerpt:
- - having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are satisfied that the decision is liable to be quashed by this court on a writ of 'certiorari'.7. taking the case of the muafi situated in the jaipur district we find that the full bench decision on which the board relied was quashed by this court as being without jurisdiction in d......by the rulers of alwar and jaipur respectively in accordance with the provisions of the alwar muafi rules 1939 and the jaipur matmi rules 1945.before final orders were passed in the case the rajasthan jagir decisions and proceedings (validation) act 1955 came into force under which the board of revenue was the competent authority to decide the case. the commissioner of jaipur accordingly made a recommendation to the board of revenue that matmi be sanctioned in favour of prem ballabh petitioner on the basis of his adoption. this recommendation was not accepted by them on the ground that the adoption had not been recognised by the rulers of alwar and jaipur.4. so far as the muafi situated in the jaipur district was concerned the board held that the jaipur matmi rules 1945 were not.....
Judgment:

Jagat Narayan, J.

1. This petition was referred for decision to a Full Bench along with D. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 187/56 (Jai Singh v. Sobhag Singh and others) as some common important questions of law arose in them. As however the facts in the two cases were different the two cases were dealt with separately. The connected writ petition was disposed of on 8-11-1960.

2. This writ petition is directed against an order of the Board of Revenue dated 19-12-56 refusing to sanction Matmi in favour of Prem Ballabh petitioner on the basis of his adoption by Radha Ballabh who died on 20-10-50.

3. Radha Ballabh was the Shebait of the Temple of Thakurji Shri Vijay Gopalji situated in Johari Bazar Jaipur for the Sewa Puja of which Muati land had been granted by the Rulers of Alwar and Jaipur respectively. Radha Ballabh adopted Prem Ballabh on 10-12-41. After the death of Radha Ballabh he applied for Matmi over the Muafi land situated in the two districts. His application was opposed by the other collaterals of Radha Ballabh on the ground that his adoption had not been recognised for purposes of succession by the Rulers of Alwar and Jaipur respectively in accordance with the provisions of the Alwar Muafi Rules 1939 and the Jaipur Matmi Rules 1945.

Before final orders were passed in the case the Rajasthan Jagir Decisions and Proceedings (Validation) Act 1955 came into force under which the Board of Revenue was the competent authority to decide the case. The Commissioner of Jaipur accordingly made a recommendation to the Board of Revenue that Matmi be sanctioned in favour of Prem Ballabh petitioner on the basis of his adoption. This recommendation was not accepted by them on the ground that the adoption had not been recognised by the Rulers of Alwar and Jaipur.

4. So far as the Muafi situated in the Jaipur district was concerned the Board held that the Jaipur Matmi Rules 1945 were not retrospective. But they relied on a Full Bench decision of the Board in case No. 4/Jaipur of Section 2006 decided on 14-7-51 relating to the Matmi on the death of Rao Heeralal Muatidar of Bidarka Tehsil Lalsote (Niranjanlal v. Govind Narayan) in which it was held that according to the practice and usage prevailing even before the Matmi Rules 1945 were made every adoption required sanction of the Government and unless sanction was given the right to adopt could not prevail as against the other claimants. They were of the opinion that they were bound by that Full Bench decision.

5. As regards the Muafi situated in the Alwar district, the Board held that Rule 5 of the Alwar State Muafi Rules 1939 was applicable to the case and that as Prem Ballabh had not been adopted with the previous sanction of the Ruler, his adoption could not be recognised for purposes of succession.

6. The contention on behalf of the petitioner is that the decision of the Board is vitiated by errors apparent on the face of the record. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are satisfied that the decision is liable to be quashed by this Court on a writ of 'certiorari'.

7. Taking the case of the Muafi situated in the Jaipur district we find that the Full Bench decision on which the Board relied was quashed by this Court as being without jurisdiction in D. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 666 of 1952 decided on 31-3-1955, Niranjanlal v. Govind Narain. The Board consequently erred in regarding that decision as binding on them.

8. We have examined the above Full Bench decision of the Board. Not a single instance was cited in it in which it might have been held that previous sanction of the Ruler was necessary before a grantee could take a son in adoption. Nor was any such instance brought to our notice by the learned Advocate General.

9. It was only in the Jaipur Matmi Rules 1945, that it was laid down for the first time that previous sanction for adoption was necessary before it could be recognised for purposes of succession. We have held in Jai Singh's case, Writ Petn. No. 187 of 1956 that these Rules did not have the force of law at any time but that they were merely administrative rules framed for the guidance of the officers who were entrusted with the disposal of Matmi cases relating either to small Jagirs or in which there was no dispute. There is thus no material on the basis of which it can be said that previous sanction to adopt was necessary under any law, custom or usage.

10. It was however not disputed that in the times of erstwhile Rulers of Jaipur State, before an adopted son could succeed to the Jagir his adoption had to be recognised by the Ruler for purposes of succession. This power of recognising succession vested in the Rajpramukh on the integration of Jaipur in the State of Rajasthan. But as was pointed out by us in Jai Singh's case, W, P. No. 187 of 1956 this power lapsed on the coming into force of the Constitution.

This power could no longer be exercised either by the Rajpramukh or by the State of Rajasthan or by any one else and the question of succession to Jagirs became purely a civil matter justiciable by the ordinary courts of the land. A validly adopted son became entitled to succeed to the Jagir on the coming into force of the Constitution without his adoption being recognised by any authority. By valid adoption, we mean an adoption valid in accordance with the personal law of the adopter Jagirdar. As was pointed out by us in Jai Singh's case, W. P. No. 187 of 1956 this personal law includes custom or usage relating to the particular Jagir.

11. The decision of the Board of Revenue that the petitioner was not entitled to succeed to the Muafi land situated in Jaipur district on the basis of his adoption for want of recognition by the Ruler is therefore erroneous on the face of it.

12. Coming now to the Muafi land situated in Alwar district, we are of the opinion that the Board erred in thinking that Rule 5 of the Alwar State Muafi Rules 1939 was applicable to the case.

13. Rule 3 classifies Muafis in seven classes as follows;

(1) 'Bhog Kharach' Muafi -- granted for the maintenance of a temple;

(2) 'Punya Udak' Muafi -- a charitable endowment;

(3,) 'Kabila Kharach' Muafi -- granted for the maintenance of a family;

(4) 'Inam' Muafi -- granted as a reward for meritorious services rendered to His Highness' Government;

(5) 'Sewa' Muafi -- granted on condition of a grantee rendering service in the Sanad of Muafi;

(6) 'Baghat' Muafi -- granted for the upkeep of a garden;

(7) 'Jaidad' Muafi -- granted for maintenance of a Jagirdar.

Rules 4, 5 and 6 relate to succession to Inam, Baghat and Jaidad Muafis. Rule 4 lays down that succession to such Muafis will be governed by the rule of primogeniture. Rule 5 lays down that a Tikai Muafidar or a Chhutbhaiyya who has no male issue may adopt an heir with the previous sanction of His Highness' Government. Rule 6 lays down that if a son is born to a Muafidar after he has' made a valid adoption under Rule 5, the former shall succeed and the adopted son would only be entitled to a maintenance allowance for his life-time. The Board erred in taking Rule 5 to be applicable to all Muafis. There is an express mention of Rule 5 in Rule 4.

Further Rule 5 prescribes the conditions under which a Tikai Muafidar or a Chhutbhaiyya may adopt a son. Only Muafidars holding Inam, Baghat and Jaidad Muatis are governed by the rule of primogeniture. Succession to other kinds of Muafis is in accordance with ordinary Hindu law. The expressions 'Tikai' and 'Chhutbhaiyya' are only applicable to a Muari which is governed by the rule of primogeniture. The Muafi in the present case is partly Bhog Kharach and partly Punnya Udak. Succession to Bhog Kharach Muafi is governed by Rule 7 and succession to Punnya Udak Muafi by Rule 9. In neither of these two rules, it is laid down that an adoption can only be made with the previous sanction of the Ruler.

14. We accordingly hold that the Board erred in applying Rule 5 of the Alwar State Muafi Rules 1939 to the Muafi in the present case.

15. For reasons given above we quash the decision of the Board of Revenue dated 19-12-1956 passed in this case and direct them to decide the casein accordance with law in the light of observationsmade by us in this judgment.


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