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The Secretary of State for India Represented by the Collector of Godavari Vs. the Rajah of Pittapur - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in19Ind.Cas.667; (1913)24MLJ530
AppellantThe Secretary of State for India Represented by the Collector of Godavari
RespondentThe Rajah of Pittapur
Excerpt:
- - it is contended by the advocate-general that the karnams of the villages were bound to keep proper accounts giving all necessary information about the inams, that the zamindar is invested with powers of control over such karnams and that if he failed to carry out the duty imposed upon him by the statute, the government ought not to suffer thereby and the zamindar must take the consequences i......have enfranchisd the inams in favor of the zamindar and issued pattas in his name fixing an annual quit rentthe zamindar has refused to receive pattahs on the ground that he is not in possession of the inams and that he is not bound to receive any pattahs from the government for them.3. then the question is whether the zamindar is bound to accept the pattahs fixing the annual quit rent. there is no doubt that these service inams belonged to the holders thereof and not to the zamindar. the persons therefore entitled to receive the pattahs on enfranchisement are those inamdars. if they refused to receive pattahs, the government are entitled to resume those lands. it is contended by the advocate-general that the karnams of the villages were bound to keep proper accounts giving all necessary.....
Judgment:

Sankaran Nair, J.

1. The finding in this case is that prior to the permanent settlement of 1802 in certain villages in the Zamindari of Pittapur there were kapu service Inarns.

2. Those inams were not granted to the Zamindar. The reversion therefore vested in the Government. The inamdars, whoever they f. were, have ceased to perform the services which they are bound to *' perform and the inam lands themselves as such have disappeared, $ that is to say, the Government are not able to identify them or localise them. Acting on the view that they are now held by the Zamindar as jeroyati lands the Government Officials have enfranchisd the Inams in favor of the Zamindar and issued pattas in his name fixing an annual quit rentThe Zamindar has refused to receive pattahs on the ground that he is not in possession of the Inams and that he is not bound to receive any pattahs from the Government for them.

3. Then the question is whether the Zamindar is bound to accept the pattahs fixing the annual quit rent. There is no doubt that these service Inams belonged to the holders thereof and not to the Zamindar. The persons therefore entitled to receive the pattahs on enfranchisement are those Inamdars. If they refused to receive pattahs, the Government are entitled to resume those lands. It is contended by the Advocate-General that the karnams of the villages were bound to keep proper accounts giving all necessary information about the Inams, that the Zamindar is invested with powers of control over such Karnams and that if he failed to carry out the duty imposed upon him by the statute, the Government ought not to suffer thereby and the Zamindar must take the consequences i.e., pay the quit rent on the Inams which the Inamdars of the lands are bound to pay. It is to be observed that the Zamindar is not the owner of these Inams. He had no title to them. Again Sections 11 and 18 of the Madras Act II of J 894 show that the Inams are to be enfranchised in favor of the holders of those lands, and it was the duty of the Zamindar to recover the quit rent from the holders of such lands and such quit rent is stated by Section 18 to be the first charge upon the lands in respect of which it is leviable. It is necessary therefore for the Government before imposing the quit rent to localise the lands. It is not open to them to tell the Zamindar that he must be in possession of these lands, though they cannot now be identified, and that he must receive pattahs for the same. The Inams are enfranchised and pattahs are issued for the benefit of the Inamdars. If they do not accept the same, the proper course for the Government to follow is to resume these lands if they desire to do so. They cannot force the pattahs on a person who is unwilling to receive them. I am therefore of opinion that the Subordinate Judge is right. I would dismiss the Second Appeals with costs.

4. Old field J :--I concur in my learned colleague's conclusion that the Zamindar's connection with these Inams has always been limited to his collection of the quit rent on them for Government as its' agent and includes nothing enabling Government to insist on his accepting title deeds for them on terms of which he does not ap prove. I desire to deal only with the argument of the learned Advocate-General that the consent of the Zamindar or person in possession to the terms of enfranchisement not being obtainable,; Government must not be the loser owing to its inability to localise the land, of which the Inams consist. He in. fact contended, with reference to Section 106 of the Evidence Act, that the Zamindar was bound to prove where the land was, and, that it was not in his enjoyment.,

5. The special knowledge referred to in that section cannot be imputed to the Zamindar on the ground that he has or had any title to these Inams, since, as my learned colleague has pointed out, he was never invested with themThe contention is that the knowledge in question must be presumed, because of the Zamindar's dutv to appoint Karnams under Section 9 Regulation XXIX of 180?. But neither these enactments nor others, to which we have been referred, impose on the Zamindar an obligation to see that the Karnam keeps such a register or to keep one himself, if he does not desire to do so in his own interest. In the absence of such obligation the presumption of special knowledge on the part of the Zamindar plaintiff, or his predecessors cannot be sustained.

I concur in the dismissal of the second appeal with costs.


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