1. The appellant in these two appeals is the plaintiff. He is an occupancy ryot under an inamdar and his crops have been distrained by the Collector for arrears of quit-rent due by the land-holder. He contends that the crops are not liable to be distrained under the Revenue Recovery Act, for the reason that they are not crops of land 'belonging to a defaulter' within the meaning of Section 11. His argument is thai the Inamdar is grantee only of the land revenue, that the land consequently does not belong to him and that he himself is not a tenant properly so-called. He proceeds to the length of asserting that ,the Kudivaramdar is the owner of the land, which most certainly is not the case. If his reasoning were sound, it would follow that, where the land-holder is grantee only of the land-revenue, no one owns the land and the Government could not attach the crops on it or sell it under the Revenue Recovery Act for arrears of quit-rent. No doubt, in a Madras case in 1902, the holders of the melwaram and the kudivaram were described as co-owners, but the correct view seems to be that the latter, though not described as such in the Madras Estates Land Act, is in the position of a tenant. And the Act itself describes a person in the position of the Inamdar in this case as a land-holder owning an Estate--See clauses (2) and (5) of Section 3. Under Section 1 of the Revenue Recovery Act also, an Inamdar is a land-holder; in other words, for the purpose of the Act, he is treated as the owner of the land.
2. We are, however, concerned here to consider not a case of sale of the land and what interest in it would pass by the sale, but the case of an attachment of crops in possession of a tenant. It seems to us to present no difficulty. By Section 11 of the Act, the land, the buildings on it and its products are to be regarded as 'the security of the public revenue.' Nothing could be more comprehensive. Section 11 deals with the sale of attached crops. The appellant relies on the words 'the land belonging to a defaulter.' In our view, they cover a case like this, where, for the purposes of the Act, the land is regarded as belonging to the land-holder in, default. It is with him that the Government is concerned and not; with any subordinate holder under him. And the section affords the utmost protection to his tenants, who can deduct the value of their crops that have been sold from any rent which may then or later be due by them to the land-owner. For the purpose of the section, the appellant is, we think, clearly such a tenant. The appeals fail and must be dismissed with costs of the 1st and 2nd respondents: