1. No evidence has been placed on record in this case, but it is admitted that the first defendant had lands in two separate villages, Alagapuri and Sammandhapuram, for which he held separate pattas. It is further admitted that no arrears of revenue were due on the lands in Alagapuri at the date of either the court sale or the sale on account of arrears of revenue of those lands. The acting Government Pleader further states that although the information at his disposal not such as to enable him to make any positive statement as to the facts he is prepared to admit for the purpose of argument that at the date of the court sale no arrears on account of land revenue were due by the first defendant in any village.
2. The lands entered in the patta held by the 1st defendant in Alagapuri village were on the 25th June 1897 sold in execution of the decree in O.S. No. 140 of 1896 on the file of the District Munsif of Srivilliputtur and purchased by the plaintiff. Subsequently in November or December 1897, the same land was sold an account of arrears of revenue due by the 1st defendant and purchased by the 2nd defendant. The plaintiff sues for a declaration that this sale is invalid, Both the Lower Courts have decided against him and he has consequently filed this second appeal here. It is not alleged that the plaintiff on the strength of the sale certificate granted to him, applied to the Collector for transfer of the patta for the lands in Alagapuri to his name. Section 3, Regulation XXVI of 1802, lays down that no transfer of land which is not registered shall exempt the person in whose name the entire estates are registered from paying the revenue due to Government from such land. From this provision of law it is clear that, as pointed out by Collett, J. in the decision reported in Mangamma v. Timtnapaiya 3 M.H.C.R. 134 under this Regulation as against Government and for the purpose of exemption from liability to revenue, a transfer without change of registry is not valid. It follows therefore that the transfer by court sale of the lands in Alagapuri from the 1st defendant to the plaintiff did not relieve the 1st defendant or the lands from liability on account of land revenue due by him for those lands inasmuch as there was no change of registry regarding them in the Collector's office.
3. The further question, however, that has to be considered is whether the lands in Alagapuri village which had been bought at a court sale by the plaintiff remained liable on account of revenue arrears due by the 1st defendant not on them, but on other lands in a different village. Section 5, Act II of 1864 (Madras), no doubt provides that all the moveable and immoveable property of a defaulter wherever it is to be found can be proceeded against in order to recover arrears of land revenue due by him, but the question to be decided is whether after the purchase of the Alagapuri lands in court sale by the plaintiff, they can be held to have remained the property of the defaulter. At the hearing of this second appeal, I was inclined to hold that as the patta of the Alagapuri lands had not been transferred they still remained the property of the pattadar in so far at all events as liability for Government revenue was concerned, but having since then considered the provisions of Section 6, Sub-Sections (3) and (4) of Act I of 1890, I am of opinion that this view is incorrect, and that all that was sold at the revenue sale at which the 2nd defendant was the purchaser was the interest of the defaulter in the land and that interest was then in consequence of the prior sale at court auction and purchase by the 1st defendant, practically nothing.
4. The decrees of both the lower courts should be reversed and the plaintiff given a decree has prayed for with costs throughout.
5. My view is that the land the plaintiff had bought in the court sale was not liable to be sold under the Revenue Recovery Act, because at the time of sale (1) there were no arrears of revenue due upon it, and (2) it then ceased to form part of the defaulter's property. Reading Sections 3, 4, 5 and 25 of the Act together, it seems to me clear that the land which is liable to be sold for arrears of revenue must either be the land upon which the revenue is due, or that it mus the land which is the property of the defaulter. It is admitted that the land sold in this case did not comply with either of those conditions. Section 3 of Regulation XXVI of 1802, which runs as follows: 'Transfers of land made by individual persons without being so registered in the registers of the Collectors, shall not be valid in the Courts of Adalat ; and such transfers of land, being unregistered, shall not exempt the persons in whose names the entire estates are registered from paying the revenue due to government from such lands,' has been relied on in this Court in support of the judgments of the Courts below. The construction now wished to be placed upon that section is that the words 'entire estates' mean all the estates of the individual, but they will not in my opinion bear that interpretation. The plural ' estates' has reference to the plural 'person,' and when used with reference to one person must be read in the singular ' Estate.' Now the word ' Estate' means the 'land' (the words are also used as synonymous in Section 25 of the Act) and the land must be such land as had revenue due to Government upon it before Section 3 of the Regulation can be made applicable to it.--The land bought by the plaintiff was held by the 1st defendant, the defaulter under a separate pattah in another village and had no connection whatever with the land for which the revenue was due to Government. A patta represents a whole or entire estate as held by this Court in Secretary of State for India v. Narayanan I.L.R. 8 M. 131. Land held under another patta must therefore be deemed to form another estate. In no case has it been held that a holding means all holdings from Government under different pattas in different places. So that what the plaintiff bought was a separate estate distinct from that on which revenue was due, and as no revenue was due on that estate, the plaintiff's purchase was not subject to the payment of revenue due on other land on (as it would appear; the fiction that what the plaintiff purchased was still the defaulter's property when, in fact, it was not. I, therefore, agree with my learned colleague in reversing the decrees of both the lower courts and decreeing the plaintiff's claim with costs throughout.