Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. The appellant is the Zamindar of Tuni and sued in the Court of the Deputy Collector of Peddapuram to recover from the respondents in this appeal what he had been compelled to pay by way of cess under the Madras Local Boards Act, 1920, in respect of faslis 1338 to 1343. The respondents are darmilla inamdars, or under-tenure-holders, within the zamindari. They contested the right of the appellant to sue for more than what he had paid in respect of the last three faslis. Their contention was that as the appellant in suing in the Revenue Court had called in aid the Madras Estates Land Act he could not recover for more than three years. This contention was accepted by the Deputy Collector, by the District Judge of East Godavari on first appeal and by Wadsworth, J., on second appeal. This appeal is from the judgment of Wadsworth, J., who gave the necessary certificate under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent.
2. By virtue of Section 88 of the Madras Local Boards Act, the appellant has the right to recover from the respondents the amounts which he claimed, and if he had instituted the suit in the Civil Court it is not contested that he would have been entitled to a decree for what he had paid by way of cess during the six years preceding the suit. In Raja of Vizianagaram v. Thammanna : (1937)1MLJ91 , a Full Bench of this Court held that a suit which had been filed in a Civil Court to recover cesses under the Madras Local Boards Act was governed by Art : 120 of the Limitation Act. The respondents rely however, on the provisions of Section 89 of the Act. That section says:
Every landholder, sub-landholder or any other intermediate landholder, as the case may be, shall, in recovering any amount which may be due to him under the provisos to Section 88, be entitled to exercise the same powers as may, under any Act or Regulation which now is, or hereafter may be, in force, be exercised by any landholder in the recovery of rent, and shall be liable to all the penalties prescribed therein for the abuse of such powers.
Explanation. A landholder or sub-landholder shall, in recovering the amount due to him, under the first proviso to Section 88 from the intermediate landholder referred to herein, be entitled to exercise the powers and be subject to the penalties specified in this section, as if the intermediate landholder were a ryot with whom a patta and muchilika had been exchanged and the provisions of the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, shall, so far as may be, be applicable thereto.
3. By reason of this section the appellant is given the right, if he so chooses, to use the same machinery as a landholder is allowed to use for recovering arrears of rent from a ryot.
4. The Madras Estates Land Act gives the landholder three remedies, namely: (1) He may sue in the Revenue Court for 'the recovery of what is due to him, (2) without recourse to a suit in the Revenue Court he may distrain for rent, or (3) he may sell the holding through the Collector without recourse to a suit. Section 77 expressly provides that a landholder shall be entitled to recover any arrear of rent by a suit before the Collector, by distraint and sale of moveable property belonging to the tenant or by the sale of the ryot's holding. If he institutes a suit in the Revenue Court he cannot recover arrears of rent for more than three years. This is the effect of Article 3 of Part A of the Schedule. If he distrains he is limited to the rent which has accrued due within the twelve months preceding the demand under Section 78. This provision is contained in Section 77-D. If a landholder wishes to sell the holding without recourse to a suit he is again limited to one year's rent--see Sections 111 and 112.
5. Mr. Somasundaram on behalf of the appellant has frankly conceded that a landholder who wishes to recover from an under-tenure-holder. cess paid by him under the Madras Local Boards Act, cannot, by using the machinery provided by the Madras Estates Land Act, distrain for more than one year's cess or sell in the summary manner provided by Section 111 and the connected sections for more than one year's arrears. In these circumstances it is very difficult to understand why he should be allowed to sue in the Revenue Court for a greater period than that allowed by the Madras Estates Land Act. A suit in the Revenue Court is of a summary nature and therefore is subject to less delay than that entailed in a suit in a Civil Court. The landholder who wishes to recover cess does not need to sue in the Revenue Court, but if he does so he is restricted to what the Court can give him. Mr, Somasundaram has argued that the Madras Estates Land Act does not expressly cut down his rights under the Madras Local Boards Act. That is true, but if he appeals to the Madras Estates Land Act to help him to recover what is due to him he can get nothing more than what that Act contemplates. As already indicated there cannot be any difference in principle when distraint is levied or property is sold and when a suit is brought under Section 77 of the Madras Estates Land Act.
6. For these reasons we consider that the learned Judge was right and that the appeal should be dismissed with costs in favour of the second respondent, who alone is represented by counsel.