Patanjali Sastri, J.
1. This civil revision petition arises out of an application filed by the respondent in the Court of the Special Deputy Collector, Chandragiri, under Section 15 (4) of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act. In order to obtain the benefits of the Act, the respondent who is the proprietor of the Muddumudi village, an agraharam situated in the Kalahasti zamindari, paid into Court Rs. 21-12-2 being the jodi alleged to be due to the petitioner herein, who is the representative in interest of the zamindar, and prayed for a declaration that the 'rent' due for Fasli 1347 had been fully paid up. The petitioner pleaded that the jodi payable by the respondent was not 'rent' as defined by Section 3 (iv) of the Act and that therefore the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the application. This objection was overruled by the Court below and the only question for determination in this civil revision petition is whether the petitioner's contention is correct.
2. The term 'rent' is defined for the purposes of the Act as meaning not only rent as defined by the Madras Estates Land Act but also 'quit rent, jodi, kattubadi, poruppu or the like payable to the landholder of an estate as defined by the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, whether a decree, or order of a civil or revenue Court has been obtained therefor or not'. The Madras Estates Land Act as amended by the Madras Act XVIII of 1936, contains the following definitions (so far as they are material here):
Section 3(2)(d)-'Estate' means any inam village of which the grant has been made, confirmed or recognised by the British Government, notwithstanding that subsequent to the grant, the village has been partitioned among the grantees or the successors-in-title of the grantee or grantees.
(5) 'Landholder' means a person owning an estate or part thereof and includes every person entitled to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the Owner or his predecessors-in-title or of any order of a competent Court or of any provision of law.
3. The petitioner's contention is that the agraharam in question is an estate and the respondent and not the petitioner is the 'landholder' thereof, and that therefore the jodi due from the respondent is not 'payable to the landholder of an estate' as there could not be two 'landholders' in respect of the same 'estate'. Now, an agraharam is a. village, granted to a community of Brahmins by former rulers or zamindars either absolutely rent-free in which case it is called sarva agraharam or on condition of paying annually a fixed sum which is variously called jodi, poruppu or kattubadi. At the time of permanent settlement of zamindaris in this Presidency, such villages were excluded from the assets of the zamindari for the purpose of fixing the peishcush or assessment payable by the zamindar to the Government, the jodi payable to him being alone included. The result of this was that such villages were thereafter regarded as held by the agraharamdars under the Government and subject to its right of resumption on valid grounds, and they were dealt with on that footing at the time of the subsequent Inam Settlement when they were 'enfranchised' by the Government relinquishing its right of reversion in lieu of a fixed annual payment called 'quit rent'. The jodi, however, continued to be payable to the zamindar as before but it was no longer indicative of the zamindar's ownership and the agraharamdars' under-tenure of the village. This was why such a village was held not to fall under Clause (e) of Section 3 (2) of the Madras Estates Land Act which included in the definition of estate villages held on a permanent under-tenure in permanently settled zamindaris-see Virabadrayya v. Sonti Venkanna : (1913)24MLJ659 . This is not, however, the position in respect of agraharam villages in the Kalahasti zamindari. As pointed out by the Privy Council in Secretary of State for India : in Council v. Raja of Venkatagiri the permanent settlement : of what were known as the four western zamindaris, namely, Venkatagiri, Kalahasti, Bomrauzepalem and Karvetnagar, was not made in accordance with the practice described above which, was prescribed by the Permanent Settlement Regulation (XXV of 1802), but was made on quite different lines independently of the provisions of the Regulation; that is to say, the peishcush was not based upon a computation of the assets of these zamindaris after excluding lakhiraj or revenue-free lands and other lands paying only small quit rents or jodis but was fixed' on the basis of a commutation of the military service subject to which the zamindaris were originally held. The agraharams and other Inam villages were thus not excluded from the zamindaris by the settlement and it was for this reason that their Lordships held in the case referred to above that the Government had no right of reversion in such Inams comprised in the Venkatagiri zamindari. The position therefore is that the agraharam here in question which is in Kalahasti zamindari continued as before the Permanent Settlement to be held on an under-tenure under the zamindar whose right has now become vested in the petitioner. In such circumstances, we can see no reason why the petitioner should not still be regarded as the owner, and therefore the 'landholder' of the village. The fact that by virtue of the amending Act XVIII of 1936 the respondent has also to be regarded as a 'landholder' does not affect the position of the petitioner as a landholder in respect of that village. The definition of a landholder clearly contemplates a plurality of landholders by making express provision for settlement of disputes that may arise in such cases. The relation between the petitioner and the respondent is thus one of owner and an> under-tenure holder, just as it would be if the zamindar had made a post-settlement grant of the village as an agraharam, and there is nothing incongruous in holding that both of them are 'landholders' as defined in the Madras Estates Land Act. The jodi payable by the respondent to the petitioner being thus payable to a landholder of an estate comes within the purview of Section 15 of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act.
4. Our attention was drawn to the decision of Pandrang Row, J., in C. R. Ps. Nos. 205 to 209, 246 to 249, v59 and 460 of 1939 where the learned Judge held that jodi payable by-certain Inamdars of whole Inam villages lying within the Shulagiri zamindari was not 'rent' as defined in Madras Act IV of 1938 and did not therefore attract the application of Section 15(1) thereof. The learned Judge observed:
It being clear that the petitioners themselves are the landholders in respect of these villages, they cannot rely on any payments made by themselves to the zamindar as payments made to the landholder. It follows, therefore, that Section 15(1) does not apply to the petitioners.
5. It does not appear how the villages were dealt with at the time of the settlement and if, as in the general case, they were excluded from the assets of the zamindari, the decision would be correct. But, as already pointed out, the position in the present case is entirely different and the decision referred to does not assist the petitioner.
6. A recent decision of Abdur Rahman, J., reported in Madura, etc. Devasthanam v. Masanam Pillai : AIR1940Mad422 was also brought to our notice. It related to amounts payable to an Inamdar of a whole village by holders of minor inams comprised therein for water charges and land cess. The learned Judge referred to the definition of rent in the Madras Estates Land Act and held, in the light of that definition, that-
If the jural relationship between the parties is not that of the landlord and tenant Section 15 of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act or Rule 6(1) would have no application.
7. This view overlooks the definition of rent in the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act which plainly includes 'quit-rent, jodi, kattubadi, poruppu or the like payable to the landholder of an estate', which are not included in the definition in the Madras Estates Land Act and it is obvious that the scope of the relief intended to be afforded by Section 15 of the Agriculturists' Relief Act must be determined with reference to the wider definition contained therein. It was said that the reference to a 'holding' in the proviso to Section 15(1) militated against this view. That term is no doubt defined in the Estates Land Act so as to denote lands held by a ryot under a single patta but there is no warrant for importing that definition into the Agriculturists' Relief Act which does not define that expression. If the jodi payable to the landholder of an 'estate' is rent, the person liable to pay it is a 'tenant', as defined by the proviso for the purposes of the section, and the property in respect of which such 'rent' has accrued must be regarded as his 'holding'. We are therefore unable to agree with the observations of the learned Judge in the case cited above confining the operation of Section 15 to cases arising between landlord and tenant under the Estates Land Act.
8. In the result, the civil revision petition fails and is dismissed with costs.