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Devulapalli Ramamoorthy Sastri Vs. Jallu Ammanna - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1578 of 1946 and C.R.P. Nos. 1102 to 1106 of 1946 and C.M.A. Nos. 546 to 555 of 19
Judge
Reported inAIR1951Mad376; (1950)IIMLJ442
ActsMadras Estates Land Act, 1908 - Sections 3(2); Madras Estates Land (Amendment) Act, 1945
AppellantDevulapalli Ramamoorthy Sastri
RespondentJallu Ammanna
Appellant AdvocateV.V. Srinivasa Iyengar, ;M. Appalachari, ;D. Narasaraju, ;K.V.R. Sarma, ;T.C.A. Bashyam and ;C.V. Dhikshitalu, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateC.A. Vaidhyalinyam, ;T. Venkatadri and ;K. Ramachandra Rao, Advs.
Cases ReferredKrishnaswami Aiyangar v. Perumal Goundan
Excerpt:
.....3 (2) (d) property of which grant has been made and recognized by british government must be inam village - amending act makes no difference to requirement of section 3 (2) - amending act itself presupposes that grant of inam is expressed to be of named village as whole. - - 1007 to 1014 of 1942 relied upon by the learned subordinate judge in the present case is inconsistent with the decisions above referred to by me and cannot be accepted as good law in view particularly of the bench decision in a. learned counsel also urges that if there were some minor inams as well as a major inam at the time of the inam commission, which were all dealt with by separate title deeds, it does not necessarily follow that the grant of the major inam should be regarded as not that of a named..........is whether the agraharam satisfies the definition in section 3 (2) (d) which is as follows :'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.'that obviously and prima, facie requires that the property of which the grant has been made, confirmed or recognisad by the british government must be an inam village, i. e., at the date of the grant which has been made, confirmed or recognised by the british government. shahabuddin j., however held in the unreported case above referred to that 'village' as mentioned in this clause of the section should be understood in the same sense as is.....
Judgment:

Raghava Rao, J.

1. The question for determination in this batch of caaes is whether as held by the Courts below the village of Timmarajupalem agraharam is a whole village inam falling within Section 3 (2) (d), Madras Estates Land Act, as amended by the Madras Estates Land Amending Act, II [2] of 1945. On that depends the determination n of other questions such as whether the defendants have occupancy rights and whether the civil Court has jurisdiction to entertain the suits. The Courts below (the District Munsif of Kovvur and on appeal the Subordinate Judge of Elluru) either dismissed the suits or returned the plaints for presentation to the revenue Court in the view that they took in favour of the defendants that the agraharam is an estate within the s'atute. The plaintiff, the senior proprietor of the agraharam village has therefore filed these second appeals, revision petitions and civil miscellaneous appeals.

2. It is clear from Ex. D-12 dated 8-12-1902, a certified copy of the Permanent Settlement eanad given to the Zamindar of Nauzvid by the Governor-General, Lord Clive, that the agraharam was a sivar of himlet included in the list of villages forming the estate for which the sanad was issued. It is clear too from Ex. P. 1, an extract of the register of inams prepared on 5-12-1860 that the agraharam was a sivar or hamlet of Nidadavole granted by the Zemindar Sri Raja Veakatairi Apparao Garu toone Tripurantaka Somayajulu in 1166 F. The later revenue documents filed in the case however show that the Agraharam came to be treated as an independent village satisfying the definition of 'Village' contained in Section 3 (19) of the Act. On these facts the learned Subordinate Judge, founding himself upon an unrepotted decision of a single Judge of this Court, Shahabuddin J. in C. R. P. No. 1007 to 1014 of 1942, has held that the agraharam is an 'estate' within Section 3 (2) (d) of the Act read in conjunction with Expl. (1) introduced by the Madras Act II [2] of 1945.

3. If only the existence of minor inams in the agcaharam were the impediment in the way of the Agraharam being regarded as a whole village inam, it certainly would stand removed by the Explanation which runs is these terms :

'Where a grant as an inam is expressed to be of a named village, the area which forms the subject-matter of the grant shall be deemed to be an estate notwithstanding that it did not include certain lands in the village of that name which have already been granted on service or other tenure or been reserved for communal purposes.'

The question however is whether the agraharam satisfies the definition in Section 3 (2) (d) which is as follows :

'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.'

That obviously and prima, facie requires that the property of which the grant has been made, confirmed or recognisad by the British Government must be an inam village, i. e., at the date of the grant which has been made, confirmed or recognised by the British Government. Shahabuddin J., however held in the unreported case above referred to that 'village' as mentioned in this clause of the section should be understood in the same sense as is indicated by the definition of 'village' in Clause (19) of the section. The definition of 'village' in this clause is as follows :

Village means any local area situated in or constituting an estate which is designated as a village in the revenue accounts and for which the revenue accounts are separately maintained by one or more karnams or which is now recognised by the Provincial Government or may hereafter be declared by the Provincial Government for the purposes of this Act to be a village and includes any hamlet or hamlets which may be attached thereto.' It will be seen that the definition, excluding the inclusive part of it which is immaterial, consists of two parts, (i) any local area situated in or constituting an estate which is designated as a village in the revenue accounts and for which the revenue accounts are separately maintained by one or more karnams, (ii) any local area situated in or constituting an estate which is now recognised by the Provincial Government or may hereafter be declared by the Provincial Government for the purpose of this Act to be a village. The word ''new' which occurs in the second part does not occur in the first. 'Now' obviously means the date of the coming into force of the Act, and in the absence of that word in the earlier part it is clear that the expression 'is designated' ocaurring there cannot be treated as necessarily equivalent to 'is now designated'. When the first part of this definition is imported into Section Section 3 (2) (d) which contains the word 'village', there is, in my opinion, no strain on language involved in holding that at the time of the grant of the inam village contemplated by Section 3 (2) (d) the subject-matter of the grant must be a local area which is designated at the time as a village in the revenue accounts and for which the revenue accounts are separately maintained by one or more karnams. The words 'is' and 'are' in Section 3 (19) in this view are to be regarded as equivalent to 'was' and 'were' with reference to the state of things pertaining to the village at the time of the grant. Otherwise, the reading of the definition in Section 3 (19) into Section 3 (2) (d) would introduce a repugnancy into the context of the latter, and if there should be something repugnant in the subject or co'ntext the definition of 'village' in Section 3 (19) could not as the opening words of Section 3 would show enter into the inter-pretation of the word 'village' in Section 3 (2) (d).

4. This apparently is what Patanjali Sastri J. had in mind in making the observation to which I shall presently refer in his judgment of the Court consisting of himself and Bell J. in A. A. O. nOS. 584 of 1944 and 873 of 1945.

Those appeals related to certain lands in Patha Pentapadu known as Penfcapadu agrabaram and described in the instrument of grant as a hamlet of Pentapadu village. It was observed in the judgment of the Court :

'No doubt, Patha Pentapadu, which was known as Pentapadu Agraharam even at the time of the inam Settlement to distinguish it from the adjoining Government village of Kasba Pentapada, had been recognised to be a separate village and treated as such in the revenue accounts long before the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, was passed, and it might therefore be said thai in view of the definition of village as meaning, among other things, a local area which is now recognised by the Provincial Government to be a village, it is sufficient for purposes of Section 3 (2) (d), that the grant comprised a local area which was recognised by the Government to be a village at the commencement of the Act. But it is to be observed that Section 3 (19) refers only to village 'situated in or constituting an estate'. To Import that definition into Sub-clause (d) of Section 3 (2) which itself defines one category of 'estates' would lead to repugnancy in the context. The defective draftsmanship involved in defining terms by employing them one in another, which gives rise to puzzles of construction, has been commented upon by their Lordships of the Privy Council in Narayanaraju v. Suryanarayudu .'

The view that for any village to be regarded as an estate within Section 3 (2) (d) of the Act it must be a whole village granted as such and not a part of a whole village which subsequently might come to be recognised by the Government as a whole village is the view taken in two other decisions of this Court by two single Judges, Panchapagesa Sastri J. and Mack J. in C. R. P. Nos. 593 to 601 of 1947 and C. R. P. IOS. 1432 to 1437 of 1946 respectively.

5. The view of Shahabuddin J. in C. R. P. Nos. 1007 to 1014 of 1942 relied upon by the learned Subordinate Judge in the present case is inconsistent with the decisions above referred to by me and cannot be accepted as good law in view particularly of the Bench decision in A. A. O. Nos. 584 of 1944 and 373 of 1945 which is binding upon me and with which, with respect, I entirely agree. In the case before Shahabuddin J., the facts were that at the time of the grant itself the agtaharam was only a pact of a whole village, although it had come to be recognised as a village by itself by the time that the inam settlement of 1860 was effected, and so it continued down to the date of the enactment of Madras Act I [1] of 1908, down indeed to the date on which the question whether the subject-matter of the grant was an estate actually arose for consideration before the Court. In the case before me there is conclusive proof which has been accepted by the Courts below that as early as 1802, Timirmrnjupalem agraharam was only a sivaru, and there is no proof that at the time of the grant it was a whole village.

6. I had occasion in S. A. No. 2197 of 1946 to deal with a position analogous to the one which arises in the present case. There the village of Malkapuram in the District of Guntur happened to be dealt with at the time of the inam settlement in three different blocks. With reference to lands situated in one block the question arose whether they could be treated as lauds situated within an estate as defined by the Madras Estates Land Act. There was no proof that Malkapuram village as a whole had been originally granted in inam. The learned District Munsif held that the block of the village in which the suit lands were situate was not an estate but on appeal the learned Subordinate Judge of Guntuc reversed him bating himself upon Act II [2] of 1945 which had since the date of the judgment of the Munsif been passed. I stored in second appeal the decree of the learned District Munsif holding that notwith-standing the Amending Act of 1945 the inam in question could cot be regarded as a whole village so as to attract the definition of estate. In so holding I observed as follows:

'It is said for the appellant that although where a grant as inam is expressed to be of a earned village the legal result given effect to by the learned Subordinate Judge may follow, that result does not surely follow where the grant as inam is not expressed to be of a named village but of a particular block of land in the whole village, of which there happened to be two other blocks which were the subject matter of two other grants evidenced by two other title deeds. If this contention is regarded as correct, there is no doubt but that the judgment of the appellate Court mint be set aside.

In support of this contention, reliance is placed by the learned advocate for the appellant on an unreported decision of Govindarajaohari J. in C. M. A. No. 321 of 1946 and C. R. P. No. 707 of 1946. It is beyond doubt that the decision lays down that the burden of proying that the suit lands are part of an estate and that the civil Court has therefore no jurisdiction to entertain any suit for recovery of rent or for ejeotment would lie on the tenant. It is also beyond doubt that the judgment concerned had to deal with different blocks of land in one and the same village, which were dealt with by different title deeds at the time of the Inam Commission. But then, in the case before that learned Judge, there was no clear indication that out of the different blocks dealt with by different title deeds, any inams were in existence at the time of the inam commission proceedings which came in for deductions. As against the column 'Deduct rents', it would appear that there was no figure at all noted. On this point, says Mr. K. Kotayya, the learned advocate appearing at my instance for the respondent, the present case is distinguishable from the case before the learned Judge. Learned counsel also urges that if there were some minor inams as well as a major inam at the time of the Inam Commission, which were all dealt with by separate title deeds, it does not necessarily follow that the grant of the major inam should be regarded as not that of a named but only as that of a specfied portion of the whole village. No doubt there is some force in this argument of Mr. Kotayya for the respondent. At the same time, there is no denying the fact thit what the amending Act, which is claimed to be of benefit to the respondent before me, requires, is that the grant must be expressed to be of a named village, before the village could be regarded as an estate or any occupancy right could be claimed by any tenant of land in such an estate. In the case before me neither the original grant nor even the title deed issued by the Inam Commission has been produced. It is therefore prima facie difficult to say that the grant has been expressed to be of a named village within the meaning of the amending Act. My attention has no doubt, been drawn by Mr. Kotayya to the description in certain leases of the land comprised in this grant, with which we are concerned, as land situate in Malkapuram Agraharam. That, however, cannot, in my opinion, be of any conclusive significance fn favour of the contention for the respondent. In cases prior to the amending Act, it was held in a series of decisions that if there were in existence minor inams in a village exclusive of which a grant came to be made, the grant could cot be regarded as of a village. It was to set right this view of the matter that the Amending Act came in. But then, the amending Act, requires proof of the fact that the grant relied on as attracting the definition of 'Estate' should be a grant expressed to be of a named village. The grant may be so expressed either in the original deed of grant or in the title deed of the Inam commission, or the nature and scope of the grant may have to be inferred in a particular case from other evidence. But whatever the evidence may be, there is no doubt that what has to be established before the Act can be claimed to operate in favour of the tenant is that the grant must be expressed as of a named village a matter which must ba made cut by some kind of evidence or other, direct or indirect.'

This view of the matter then expressed by me applies to the present case. Here as well as there the original deed is not forthcoming, and the defendants have not, in my opinion, discharged the burden lying upon them of proving that the suit lands are part of an estate, and that the civil Court has therefore no jurisdiction. It is true that the Jnam fair register, Ex. P. 1, gives us details of the original grant; but then, it does not throw any light upon the question whether when the agrahanam was granted, it was a whole village or only a pait of a village, and we do know that at the time of the Permanent Settlement sanad as well as at the time of the inam settlement it was and remained only a siver or hamlet of Nidadavole. I am not satisfied that the agraharam has been proved to be an estate under the Madras Estates Land Act as it statds amended by Madras Act II [2] of 1945. The unreported decision of Shababuddin J. is, in my opinion, erroneous, and does not assist the defendant-respondent.

7. There is also a decision of the Privy Council to which my attention has not been drawn by counsel but a copy of which happens to have been circulated to me in the ordinary course of business routine by the office of the High Court since reservation of judgment. That is Privy Council Appeal No. 11 of 1949, Krishnaswami Aiyangar v. Perumal Goundan, in which Sir John Beaumont delivered the judgment on behalf of the Judicial Committee. The question in the case was whether certain lands in the village of Bairoji of the District of Salem were lands is which the rcspondents before the Board had occupancy rights under the Madras Estates Land Act of 1908. In upholding the claim of the respondents this is what his Lordship observes :

'The second question raised is whether the grant was one of a whole inam village. As already explained the inam had been granted in pre-British times but had been recognised by the British Government. In 1795 a small part of the village was resumed by the Government and granted in ryotwari tenure, but the rest of the village, by far the larger part, continued to be treated as an inam village. It is not necessary to consider the validity of the argument advanced by the appellants that after 1795 the inam village was only part of a whole inam village, since, when the Government resumed possession in 1894, the inam village became Government land and not subject to any particular tenure. In 1895 the Government granted in inam tenure (as their Lordships have held) the whole village, that is the whole village which for the past 100 years had been recogniaed as an inam village. In their Lordships' view it is irrelevant that the village so granted had once formed part of a larger village. The important fact is that the grant of 1895 comprised the whole of what was then regarded as an inam village. The evidence of the Revenue Inspector, Virapandi, Salem taluk, called on behalf of the respondents supports the view that the Bairoji agraharam is an inam village, and that the Bairoji village held on ryotwari tenure is separate. In the view of their Lordships therefore the the subject-matter of the grant of 1895 falls within the definition of 'estate' contained in Section 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, as amended by the Act of 1936. . . .'

It is true that there is no reference made in the judgment to Section 3 (19), Madras Estates Land Act; but it is perfectly clear, especially from the sentence in the passage quoted which has been under lined by me (here italicised), that the crucial test adopted by their Lordships is whether or not at the time of the grant the subject-matter was of a whole village or only of a part of a village. It is true too that Act II [2] of 1945 did not arise for consideration or reference before their Lordships. But as I have already indicated in my judgment in S. A. No. 2197 of 1946 from which I have quoted above, the Amending Act makes no difference to the requirement of the definition in Section 3 (2) (d) that the village of which the grant has been made, confirmed or recognised by the British Government must be an inam village and not a part of a village granted an inam. The explanation introduced by the Amending Act itself presupposes that a grant as an inam is expressed to ba of a named village, i. e., of a named village as a whole.

8. It follows from the foregoing that this eesond appeal, these civil miscellaneous appeals and civil revision petitions must ba allowed with costs here and in the Courts or Court below as the casa may be.

9. In the view that I have taken, it is not necessary to go into other questions involved in the C. M. As. Pursuant to this judgment decrees in ejectment and for future profits shall be prepared by the office of this Court in all these cases except in C. M. A. No. 553 of 1949. I also direct that the decrees shall provide for a remittal of the second appeal case and C. R. P. cases to the lower appellate Court and of the C. M. A. cases (which have been transferred to this Court from the District Court) to the learned District Munsif for determining other questions, if any not already disposed of and for passing appropriate decrees or orders. The costs of the further proceedings before the lower appellate Court and the learned District Munsif shall be provided for by those Courts in their further degrees to be passed pursuant to the remittal directed by me in the foregoing,

10. No leave in the second appeal.


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