1. This appeal is against an order of the Sub-Judge of Rajahmundry returning a plaint to be presented to the proper Court; and the Subordinate Judge held that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to try the suit but only the Revenue Court had. The suit was for the recovery of possession of certain properties on the strength of a lease alleged to have been given orally to the Ist defendant by the 2nd plaintiff. The defendant denied the lease and claimed occupancy rights in the lands and also pleaded that the plaintiff as Inamdar was a landholder within the meaning of the Madras Estates Land Act and therefore this suit could not be tried by the Civil Court. The Subordinate Judge decided on the first part of issue 3 that the suit land is a Darmila inam; and that finding we must accept. He then considered himself bound by the ruling of the Full Bench reported in Brahmayya v. Achiraju I.L.R. (1922) M 716 : 43 MLJ 229 to hold that the plaintiff as a Darmila inamdar was a landholder within the meaning of the Act, and therefore the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to try this suit, and he directed the plaint to be returned to the proper Court. It is pointed out to us that the plaintiffs' case was that they owned the kudivaram interest to start with in this land and that it was only subsequently that they obtained by grant the melvaram interest from the Zamindar. It was argued that, when a kudivaramdar gets by transfer or otherwise the melvaram interest in the land, the kudivaramdar does not lose his kudivaram interest thereby, and the persons who were in occupation of the lands as tenants under him as kudivaramdar do not become ryots and do not get kudivaram rights automatically transferred to them by the transfer of melvaram rights to the original kudivaramdar. The Full Bench case referred to is sought to be distinguished from the present case on this ground. In the Full Bench case the transfer Avas of both the varams simultaneously to the grantee and the question arose whether under those circumstances the suit by the grantee for rent should be tried by the Revenue Court or the Civil Court. The question depended upon whether he was a landholder within the meaning of the Act or not. The majority of the Judges held that in the circumstances he was landholder.
2. Here we have a different case put forward by the plaintiff, namely, a case of the transfer of melvaram to a person who already owned the kudivaram right. If the plaintiff was a kudivaramdar to start with before the melvaram right was transferred to him his position is different from the position of the parties in the Full Bench case. The Subordinate Judge has not considered the question whether the plaintiff's allegation, that he was a kudivaramdar to start with, is true or not. The District Munsif discussed the question and came to the conclusion that the plaintiff's allegation was true. That finding of the District Munsif has not been displaced by the Subordinate Judge. We must, therefore, for the purpose of deciding this appeal, assume that the plaintiff was a kudivaramdar before he got the melvaram interest. In such circumstances we are of opinion that the ruling in the Full Bench case above cited will not apply. The Estates Land Act itself in the explanation to Section 6 recognises that a person owning a right of occupancy already in the land does not lose it subsequently by getting the interest of the landholder in the lands. No doubt, as pointed out by Mr. Justice Oldfield in the Full Bench case there is some difficulty in reconciling this explanation with Section 8. We must take it that Section 8 must be read subject to the explanation in Section 6. A question similar to the one before us arose before another Full Bench in this Court on a former occasion in Marina Veerasami v. Boyinapally Venkatrayudu : (1920)39MLJ225 . It was held by that Full Bench of five Judges that a person who was already the owner of the kudivaram right and to whom the Zamindar granted the melvaram subsequently is not a person holding an estate or part thereof, and is also not a person entitled to collect the rent by virtue of a transfer from the owner or his predecessor in title within the meaning of Section 3(5) of the Estates Land Act, and therefore he did not acquire the status of a landholder in consequence of the grant by the Zamindar and his suit was maintainable in the ordinary Civil Court against his tenants for recovery of rent. The authority of that Full Bench is still subsisting and it has not been overruled by any subsequent Full Bench of this High Court. We must therefore hold that the Subordinate Judge was not right in disposing of this case without going into the question whether the plaintiff owned the kudivaram interest before the melvaram was granted to him. If he finds that the plaintiff had no kudivaram interest at all, that he became an inamdar solely by virtue of the grant made by the Zamindar of melvaram rights, his view that the plaintiff could not maintain the suit in the Civil Court would be right; but if, on the other hand, he comes to the conclusion, as the Munsif has done, that the plaintiffs owned the kudivaram interest before they became entitled to the melvaram by the grant by the Zamindar, the Full Bench case in Marina Veerasami v. Boyinapally Venkatrayudu : (1920)39MLJ225 already referred to, will apply, and the present case will have to be tried by the Civil Court. In the latter case the Subordinate Judge will consider the other issues in the case and dispose of the appeal himself. In the former case the order returning the plaint would be re-affirmed. We therefore set aside the order of the Sub-ordinate Judge and remand the appeal to him to be disposed of in the light of the observations made above. Costs will abide and follow the result of the appeal. The Court-fee paid for the appeal in this Court will be refunded to the appellant.