1. The question argued in this second appeal is whether Revenue courts have jurisdiction to try a claim to the office and emoluments of a village carpenter in a proprietary estate. Both the lower courts hold that they have and we are of opinion that they are right.
2. Mr. Ramadoss, for the appellant, contends that Section 3 of the Madras Hereditary Village Offices Act III of 1895 excludes from the operation of the Act the office of a village carpenter and the other offices mentioned in Sub-clause (4). The section divides into four classes the village offices to which the Act is applicable. The third class is mentioned in Sub-clause (3) in these terms: 'Other hereditary village offices in proprietary estates except (I) the offices forming class (4) below.' Then the fourth class runs thus-' The hereditary offices of village artizans and village servants such as the following.' The first office enumerated is the village carpenter. The argument for the appellant is that inasmuch as Clause (3) mentions as offices to which the Act applies ' other hereditary village offices in proprietary estates except the hereditary offices of certain village artizans and village servants' it cannot be applied to those that are thus excepted. But what is excepted is included in the next sub-clause. The object of excepting the offices mentioned in Sub-clause (4) from Sub-clause (3) was to form them into a separate class as, according to the scheme of the Act, it was intended to deal with questions relating to succession and other matters relating to the offices included in Sub-clause (3) and Sub-clause (4) separately. The object of the exception was to carve out a smaller class for the purpose of making special provision for offices in that class with respect to succession and other matters. It is true that Clause (3) speaks of other hereditary village offices in proprietary estates except those included in Clause (4) and that Clause (4) does not expressly speak of the hereditary offices of village artizans and village servants in proprietary estates. At the same time it is not confined in express terms to hereditary offices of village artizans and village servants in non-proprietary estates. It will be observed that succession to offices mentioned in Clauses (1), (3) and (4) is dealt with separately in that Act. Section 10 deals with the offices forming class 1 ; Section 11 with offices forming class 3, and Section 12 with those forming class 4. The subject of the control and punishment of village officers is also dealt with separately in Ss.7 to 9. None of such provisions, it may be noted, has reference to Clause (4) in Section 3. It is quite clear to our minds that the object of the draftsman was merely to group the offices under convenient heads for the purpose of dealing with them in different sections with reference to the questions of succession, punishment, etc., of village officers, artizans and servants. The result of upholding the appellant's contention would be that the emoluments attached to the offices mentioned in Cl. (4) of Sub-section 3 would not be declared inalienable under Section 5 of the Act. There can be no doubt that the emoluments of all public offices of the kind were declared inalienable by Regulation VI of 1831. That provision, was repealed by Act III of 1895and Section 5, we have no doubt, was intended to re-enact the rule of inalienability embodied in that Act. We can conceive of no reason for supposing that the legislature could have intended not to declare the inalienability of emoluments attached to the offices mentioned in Clause (4) in Section 3. Our attention has been drawn to a judgment of Munro and Abdur Rahim JJ. in Chinnaya Asari v. Mooniappa Mudalli (1909) 7 M.L. T. 264. That judgment is no doubt in the appellant's favour. But it is an extremely short one. The learned Judges say ' we have no doubt that the District Judge has properly considered Section 3 of Act III of 1895. No reasons are given by the learned Judges themselves for the conclusion they arrived at. In Raja of Vizianagaram v. Dantiveda Chellhiah I.L.R. (1905) M. 84. the learned Judges who decided that case proceeded on the assumption that a carpenter's inam was covered by Section 5 of Act III of 1895. Reference is made to it in the later case of Chinnaya Asari v. Mooniappa Mudali (1909) 7 M.L. T. 264 and it is said that the fact that the office was that of a village carpenter in a proprietary estate seems to have escaped notice. It is hardly likely that such was the case though no doubt it was not argued that the emoluments of such an office were inalienable. For the reasons given above we are unable with all deference to agree with the judgment in Chinnaya Asari v. Mooniyappa Mudali (1909) 7 M. L. T. 264.
3. We dismiss the second appeal with costs.