Horace Owen Compton Beasley, Kt., C.J.
1. In this appeal the question for consideration is whether a dasabandam inam is capable of alienation. According to the foot-note to Standing Order 56 of the Standing Orders of the Board of Revenue 'a dasabandum inam is a grant of land or of Revenue as compensation for the construction of a tank, well or channel; the grant generally, though not invariably, carries with it the condition of keeping the work in repair. If the inam consists of land, it is called Khandam dasabandam; if it is an assignment of revenue, it is called shamilat dasabandam'. In the present case the dasabandam inam was sold in execution of a decree against the inamdar and the question was whether the sale was invalid and also whether the inamdar was estopped from questioning that Court sale which he had allowed to be held without protest. Both lower Courts held that the Court sale was invalid because land burdened with the performance of a service of a public nature is inalienable being opposed to public policy. This ruling was based upon the decision in Neti Anjayaneyalu v. Sri Venugopala Rice Mill Co. Ltd. I.L.R.(1922) 45 Mad. 620 : M.L.J. 477 . The question here is whether the principle has not been too generally stated in that judgment because it is contended for the appellant that this decision must only be taken as one on the particular facts of the case. There, the lands were burdened with Swastivachakam service and it was held that this was a public service and not restricted in its enjoyment to the owner personally and the sale of such lands was opposed to public policy and the nature of the interest affected. In dealing with this matter Schwabe, C.J., on pages 623 and 624 says:
In my judgment the sale of such property is opposed to the nature of the interest affected and also is contrary to public policy. The right to enjoy the property is as long as the inamdar renders services in the performance of which the public have an interest. If the inamdar sold the property it is obvious that he would in all probability no longer perform the services; and further, it is quite opposed to the nature of his interest and duty (namely, that he should enjoy the produce of the land as salary for the public services he has to render) that he should sell it or alienate it, leaving himself without the means of subsistence and without further interest in the place or in the performance of the services. It is also to be observed that, if the property were sold, the purchaser would get not title of any value, for at any moment the property might revert to the Zamindar or the Government, as the case may be, when the inamdar ceases to render such services.
2. Those words seem to us to be sufficiently wide to cover all service inams of a public nature; and whilst Standing Order 54(2) of the Standing Orders of the Board of Revenue gives the Government the power to resume possession, on alienation, of religious and charitable imams - and this is not a religious or charitable inam - we see nothing in the Board's Standing Orders which would prevent a resumption of any inam of a public service nature where the inamdar alienates the lands which are burdened with those public services. Standing Order 56 gives the power to resume in default of service in the case of dasabandam inams; and we are quite unable to see why there should not be a power of resumption of the inam in the case of an alienation which may make the further performance of the service impossible. The service here, in spite of a streneous argument to the contrary by the appellant, was clearly a public one, namely, the keeping in repair of a tank the water from which benefits the lands of the surrounding ryots. In our view, the observations of Schwabe, C.J., must be taken to be of general applicability and to cover the cases of all public service inams. We must hold that lands burdened with a dasabandam service, which is a service of a public nature, are inalienable as being against public policy and, being inalienable, cannot be sold in execution of a decree against an inamdar. The lower Appellate Court also found that estoppel cannot be relied upon to defeat a prohibition in law on the ground of public policy. No argument to the contrary was addressed to us by the appellant upon this point and that question therefore does not arise in this appeal. The second appeal must fail and be dismissed with costs.