1. The question which we have to decide in this case is, how is a suit brought by one of the members of a Malabar tarwad to obtain a declaration of his status as a member of that tarwad to be valued for purposes of jurisdiction. The tarwad concerned in this litigation consists of 30 members including the plaintiff, and the value of its property is Rs. 26,605. According to the Marumakkatayam usage, no member of a tarwad can enforce a partition of tarwad property at his pleasure though such partition can be made with the consent of all its members. In the case before us, the Subordinate Judge held that the value of the share which would ordinarily be allotted to the plaintiff if a partition were effected by common consent, viz., Rs. 886-13-4 was the value of the present suit and that he had no jurisdiction to entertain it and in support of his opinion he relied on the decisions of the High Court in S. A. No. 442 of 1883 and in Regular Appeals 135 of 1885 and 131 of 1886. It is contended before us that tarwad property not being partible, its aggregate value is the proper value of the suit, and that the District Munsif was right in holding that he had no jurisdiction. Our attention is drawn to the case reported at I. L. R 12 M 223, Ganapati v. Chathu, in which it was decided that a suit brought to obtain a declaration of title to specific property should be instituted in that court in which a suit to recover its possession ought to be filed on the ground of title. The point for consideration is, what is the subject-matter of the present suit and what is its value within the meaning of Section 12 of Act III of 1873. The status of a member of a Malabar tarwad carries with it four distinct rights, viz., (1) a right to be maintained in the tarwad house, (2) a right to see that tarwad property is not alienated otherwise than in accordance with law, (3) a right to become the tarwad karnavan when he becomes the senior male member and (4) a right to a share if a partition were made and the tarwad broken up by common consent.
2. In the case before us the plaintiff sued as karnavan and the declaration he desires to obtain carries with it a recognition of his right to present possession of the tarwad property. It is therefore governed by the principle laid down in Ganapati v. Chathu, I. L. R 12 M 223, and the plaintiffs in the cases on which the Subordinate Judge relies sued as mere Anandravans, the first defendant in each case being the karnavan.
3. The order of the Subordinate Judge must be set aside and he must be directed to entertain the plaint and deal with it in accordance with law. The respondents will pay appellant's costs.