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Sri Sri Sri Krishna Chandra Gajapathi Narayana Deo Vs. Pragada Ramamurthy Pantulu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberAppeal No. 278 of 1944
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad68; (1951)IIMLJ325
ActsMadras Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923 - Sections 13, 14 and 17
AppellantSri Sri Sri Krishna Chandra Gajapathi Narayana Deo
RespondentPragada Ramamurthy Pantulu and ors.
Appellant AdvocateL.S. Veeraraghava Aiyar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateC.V. Dhikshitalu, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredKrishnachandra v. Rokkam Venkatappa Rao Dora
Excerpt:
.....are not inam lands forming part of maradikottah but were jeroyti lands and hill forming part of estate village of kuddaba - it was general survey for portion of estate made on application in writing of proprietor of estate - it was not survey of any boundary between any village or villages of estate - survey officer not concerned with fixing boundary between villages of kuddaba and maradikota - cannot be held that any order of survey officer can effect right of any defendants - appellant cannot rely upon provisions of sections 13 and 14 of survey and boundaries act in support of his claim to properties - suit rightly dismissed by trial court. - - ' it is, therefore, clear that the determination of boundaries in the survey could only be of boundaries within the villages specified..........the block numbers which were so included in kuddaba, though they were according to the block survey surveyed as within the geographical limits of maradikotta, were nos. 66, 68, 72, 78, 74, 78. 73, 81 and 83. on 16-8-1936, there was a notification under section 13, madras survey and boundaries act of 1928 giving notice that the survey of the jeroyati blocks in the villages of the parlakimedi estate mentioned in the notification was completed. it is useful to set out the exact language of the notice which follows the language of sections 13 and 14 of the act. '1. notice is hereby given under section 13, madras surrey and boundaries ant, viii [8] of 1923, that the survey of jerayati block in the undermentioned villages of the parlakimedi estate, parlakimedi taluk is now complete, 8......
Judgment:

Rajamannar, C.J.

1. The appeal was beard fully by Panchapagesa Sastri J. who recorded his findings on the several questions of fact which were necessary for disposed of the appeal and the memorandum of objections. He however thought it was desirable that the appeal should be finally disposed of by a Division Bench, because there were conflicting decisions of single Judges of this Court on a question of law which was very material for the disposal of the appeal. The appeal and the memorandum of cross objections have therefore been placed before this Bench for final disposal. Before us counsel very properly did not attack the correctness of the findings of fact arrived at by the learned Judge on a discussion of the relevant evidence relating to them. The arguments were confined to the question of law which arises in the following circumstances. The plaintiff (the appellant) is the Maharajah of Par-lakiniedi. The contesting defendants are lnamdarswho have been held to be entitled to an inam of the extent of 461 acres 94 cents in the village of Maradikottah. On 21-1-1933, Government issued a notification in exercise of the powers conferred on them by Section 17(a), Madras Survey and Boundaries Act of 1923 directing the survey of certain unsurveyed plots in villages specified in the list set out in the notification which were part of the estate of Parlakimedi. The Government also directed under Section 164(l), Madras Estates Land Act, the preparation of a record of rights for the same. In continuation of this notification, another notification was issued (EX. p. 99) on 1-8 1983 intimating that the survey operations of the unreserved waste blocks in certain villages in the estate would commence in the mouth of March 1933. The notification contained the following further provision,

Every person claiming to be interested in such lands as registered holder or otherwise should attend either in person or by agent at the time and place specified and from time to time thereafter when called upon for the purpose of pointing out boundaries and supplying information in connection therewith.'

Kuddaba was one of the villages mentioned in the notification. It is common ground that areas comprised in certain block numbers originally forming part of the village of Maradikottah which adjoined the village of Kuddaba were included in and surveyed as part of the village of Kuddaba, ad-mittedly a village in the estate. Maradikpotta was itself an unenfranehised in am village within the ambit of Parlakimedi estate, but certainly not forming part of the estate. The block numbers which were so included in Kuddaba, though they were according to the block survey surveyed as within the geographical limits of Maradikotta, were Nos. 66, 68, 72, 78, 74, 78. 73, 81 and 83. On 16-8-1936, there was a notification under Section 13, Madras Survey and Boundaries Act of 1928 giving notice that the survey of the jeroyati blocks in the villages of the Parlakimedi estate mentioned in the notification was completed. It is useful to set out the exact language of the notice which follows the language of Sections 13 and 14 of the Act.

'1. Notice is hereby given under Section 13, Madras Surrey and Boundaries Ant, VIII [8] of 1923, that the survey of jerayati block in the undermentioned villages of the Parlakimedi estate, Parlakimedi taluk is now complete, 8. Unless the survey hereby notified is modified by a decree of a civil Court under the provisions Section 14 of the same Act, the record of the survey shall be conclusive proof that the boundaries determined and recorded therein, have been correctly determined and recorded.'

Kuddaba is one of the villages mentioned.

2. The Inamdars did not file any suit such as is contemplated under Section 14 of: the Act. They, however, filed a petition before the Special Revenue Officer who was conducting the record of rights operations pointing out the mistakes which had occurred and claiming the lands which had been surveyed as part of the village of Kuldaba to be really included in their inam. The Special Revenue officer after comparison of the old survey plans and the new plans arrived at the conclusion that except the lands covered by block No. 74 which was hill poromboke and block No. 82 which was a village site, the other Hooks, namely, Nos. 66, 67, 68, 72,19, 80 and 81 were included in the inam and therefore the corresponding survey numbers should be registered as agraharam lands in the Maradikota Agraharam. The plaintiff appellant filed a revision petition to the Board of Revenue against this order of the special officer, but the Board saw no reason to interfere with this order. One of the points raised in the revision petition filed on behalf of the respondents was whether the special revenue officer was competent to change the tenure of the lands from estate jeryoti to inam when once the boundaries and classification of the two classes of land had been finally determined under Section 13, Madras Survey and Boundaries Act, On this point the Board observed that survey decides only the boundaries between two parcels of land and that it was not final on the question of the title to or the tenure of the lands. They held therefore that the special Revenue officer had jurisdiction to modify the determination made at the survey regarding the tenure of the lands. This order was passed on 21-5-1041 and on 7-4-1942 the Raja filed the suit out of which the appeal arises for a declaration that the suit lands and hill described in the schedule are not inam lands forming part of the Agraharam of Maradikottah but were the jeroyti lands and hill forming part of the estate village of Kuddaba.

3. The decision of the question which falls to be considered turns on a construction of Sections 13 and 14, Madras Survey and Boundaries Act, VIII [8] of 1923, and the effect of the provisions of those sections. Before we deal with them we think it is necessary to point out one fact which shows the nature of the survey which was directed by the Government. It was not a general survey of all lands within a district or other specified division that was ordered by the Government. The notification already referred to purported to be under Section 17 (a) of the Act; that is to say, it was a survey of a portion of an estate made on the application in writing of the proprietor of such estate. There was no Question of the survey of any boundary between any village or villages of the estate and villages not forming part of the estate. Section 5 of the Act specifically provides for such survey. It says:

'The Provincial Government or subject to the control of the Provincial Government, any officer or authority to whom this power may be delegated by it may by notification order a survey of any Government land or of any boundary of such land or of the boundary forming the common limit of Government land and land that is not Government land.'

It is, therefore, clear that the determination of boundaries in the survey could only be of boundaries within the villages specified like for instance, between different holdings and parcels of land within them. There was no question ofdetermination of the boundary for instance, bet-ween Kuddaba and Maradikota. This fact will have a material bearing in discussing the effect of the two material sections to which we shallimmediately refer. These sections run as follows:

'13. When the survey of any land or boundary which has been notified under Section 5 has been completed in accordance with the orders passed under Section 9, 10 or 11, the Survey officer shall notify the fact in the District Gazette and a copy of such notification shall be posted in the village chavadi, if any, of the village to which the Survey relates; unless the survey so notified is modified by a decree of a civil Court under the provisions of Section 14, the record of the survey shall be conclusive proof that the boundaries determined and recorded therein have been correctly determined and recorded.

14. Any person deeming himself aggrieved by the determination of any boundary under Section 9, 10, or 11 may, subject to the provisions of parts II and III, Limitation Act, 1908, institute a suit within three years from the date of the notification under Section13 to set aside or modify the said determination and the survey shall, it necessary, be altered in accordance with the final decree is the suit and the alteration, if any, shall be noted in the record.'

There are only two reported decisions of this Court dealing with these sections. There are other decisions dealing with the previous Survey and Boundaries Act of 1897 wherein the corresponding provisions are materially different. In Nagaratnam Pillai v. Guruswami Pillai : AIR1943Mad727 , Byers J. took the view that Sections 13 and 14 cannot have the effect of giving any jurisdiction to the survey officer to determine a question of title. The proceedings under the Survey and Boundaries Act are concerned really with the survey and boundary and any question of title cannot be decided by the Survey officer under the provisions of that Act. In Ponnuswami v. Mariappa Servai, : AIR1943Mad420 , Abdur Rahman J. came to a conclusion which cannot be said to completely differ from the view expressed by Byers J. though prima facie the impression left on us is that he was taking Quite a different view. Abdur Rahman J. points out that there may be cases when a decision of a Survey officer in a boundary dispute may have be effect of affecting title. Where as a result of the Survey officer's order the limit of a person's boundary has been determined and recorded the question of title to the area falling within that boundary must according to the learned Judge be held to have been equally determined as being implicit in that order. In such cases, at the expiry of the period described in Section 14 of the Act the survey would become conclusive under Section 13 with the result that there may be an adverse effect on the title of the property where land has been wrongly included within the boundary of the property of another person. But even the learned Judge recognised that there may be cases in which the dispute may not really relate to be boundary and in such cases it cannot be said that the order passed by the survey officer would become final on a question of title which might incidentally be raised. He observed :

'It may be that if the dispute merely related to the title of the plot in dispute a distinguished from a dispute as to its boundary, the order passed by the survey officer would not have become final'.

We agree with Abdur Rahman J. that there may be a case in which the result of a boundary fixed by the survey officer becoming conclusive under Section 13 of the Act may have an indirect effect on the title to an 'area covered by the boundary. To take a concrete example, if adjacent survey numbers, say 1 and 2, belong to two persona A and B and either after dispute or without any dispute the survey officer proceeds to fix the boundary between these two survey cumbers l and 2 and on doing so, he marks the boundary in such a way as to include a portion at what is really survey No. 2 as a part at survey No. l, it may be that after the lapse of the period specified in Section 14 of the Act, 8 the owner of the survey No. 2 would be precluded from challenging the correctness of the boundary and would virtually lose his title to that part of the survey number belonging to him which had been wrongly included in survey No. 1 on account of the wrong boundary fixed by the survey officer. It is obvious, however, that strictly speaking, this is not because the survey officer has any jurisdiction to determine a question of title. It is the indirect result of the fixing of the boundary.

4. In our opinion, a correct construction of these two sections was placed by the learned Judges of Orissa High Court in Krishnachandra v. Rokkam Venkatappa Rao Dora, I.L.R (1949) l cut. 165. The learned Judges there held that,

'The question as to whether the determination of the boundary of a village (whether a boundary dispute exists or not) under Section 13 of the Madras Survey and Boundaries Act of 1933 will affect title to a piece of land lying within the said boundary would depend very amah on the nature of the claim to that land and the questions that fell for decision before the survey officer. For Instance, it the claim to a particular piece o of land is itself baaed on the ground that ft lies in a particular village belonging to one of the parties and the survey officer while determining the boundary holds that the plot lies in the adjacent village, such determination I nation of the boundary unless set aside by a suit under Section 14 of that Act, would undoubtedly conclude title In respect of that plot. But where the rival claim regarding title to a plot has nothing to do with the question as to whether the plot lies within the boundary of one village or of the adjacent village, how can it be said that the determination of the boundary under Section 13 would affect title?'

We agree with respect) with these observations. In the present case, it is obvious that the survey officer was not concerned with fixing the boundary between the villages of Kuddaba and Maradikota. As we have already pointed out earlier in this judgment there was only a limited survey of the unsurveyed blocks of the villages in the estate. There was no notification under Section 5 of the Act which must; be invoiced for directing a survey between estate villages and villages not forming part of the estate Maradikota, as admitted by the plaintiff himself in his plaint, is an enfranchised inam village and though it may be within thegeographical ambit of Parlakimedi zamindari, it must be deemed to be a non-estate land for the purpose of the Madras Survey and Boundaries Act. There was, therefore, no question of any boundary between the two villages. There is no question of any survey of Maradikota village itself. In such circumstances, it cannot be held that any order of the survey officer can affect the rights of the defendants in the case. The real question, as pointed out by the learned Judge, Panchapagesa Sastri J. is whether the particular extents of land form part of the inam of the defendants or are they part of the jeroyati lands of the zamindar. If the finding which we accept is that these extents form part of the defendants' inam, it really does not matter to the defendants whether the lands are shown in any survey as lying within one village or the other village. We agree with the learned Judge that the plaintiff cannot rely upon the provisions of Sections 13 and 14 of the Survey and Boundaries Act in support of his claim to the properties which have now been found to belong to the defendants.

5. The appeal is therefore dismissed with costs. Accepting the finding arrived at by the learned Judge which was the same as that arrived at by the trial Judge, we dismiss the memo-randum of objections also with costs.


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