1. The reference states the defendants are permanent lessees of the melvaram rights of the plaintiff who is a Zemindar. Although the defendants are the 'tenants' of the plaintiff in. the sense that they are bound to pay rent to the plaintiff, yet the defendants are obviously, we think, not tenants in the sense in which that word is used in Section 12 of the Act. The defendants being lessees of the melvaram are farmers under an Inamdar and belong to the class of landholders specified in Section 3 of the Act. Sections 3 to 12 inclusive refer to the relations between these landholders and their tenants. For the purposes of Section 12, the defendants are not in the position of tenants, but of landlords. The proviso in Section 12 embodies the common law rule with regard to tenants (ryots) holding under the landholders named in Section 3, but was n*ot intended to app]y to persons who like the defendants are landholders though bound themselves to pay rent to a superior landlord for a term of years or in pertetuity under a lease.
2. This decision is in accordance with the views of the Pull Bench in Lakshminarayana Pantulu v. Venkatarayanam I.L.R. 21 M. 116 and of the Privy Council in Ramasami v. Bhaskarasami I.L.R. 2 M. 67.
3. We think that the view taken in Subbaraya v. Srinivasa I.L.R. 7 M. 580 relating to the reinstatement of an intermediate landholder who was ejected by a superior landholder and the decisions in Appasami v. Ramasubba I.L.R. 7 M. 262 and Ramachandra v. Narayanasami I.L.R. 10 M. 229 relating to distraints by a superior landholder for recovery of rent due by an intermediate landholder and also the decision in Baskarasami v. Sivasami I.L.R. 8 M. 106 relating to a sale by a superior landholder for sale of the tenure of an intermediate landholder, so far as they proceed on the supposition that the word ' tenant' as defined in Section 1 of the Act is applicable to an intermediate landholder who has to pay rent to a superior landholder, are erroneous.