Sankaran Nair, J.
1. The suit is brought by the plaintiff against the Secretary of State for a declaration of his title to certain property and for the recovery of the penal assessment levied on him by Government under Section 5 of Madras Act III of 1905. The Government claim it as Government land. The suit was dismissed by the Lower Appellate Court on the ground that it is barred by limitation under Section 14 of Act III of 1905. In second appeal it is contended that the prayer for declaration is not barred. The claim to recover the amount levied as penal assessment is not pressed in Second appeal. Under Section 3 of Act III of 1905 the Government is entitled to levy an assessment on land which is unauthorizedly occupied by any person if such land is the property of Government. Under Section 5 in addition to the assessment under Section 3 the Government is entitled to levy a penalty. Then Section 14 confers a right to sue upon the person from whom the assessment is levied. Such suit must be brought within six months-see the 'explanation' to the section. This suit is admittedly brought after the six months prescribed by that section. Then Section 6 declares that the Government may summarily evict the person who is occupying the Government land without their consent. Section 14 gives a right of suit to the person so evicted and under the section read with the explanation that suit must be brought within six months of the eviction. In the case before us there has been no eviction and therefore the 'explanation' does not apply to this suit.
2. Section 14 declares that any suit which may be brought by a person aggrieved by any proceeding under the Act must be brought within six months from the time the cause of action arose. If therefore it is any proceeding under the Act which gives a cause of action for the suit, it must be brought within six months of the date of that proceeding. The cause of action is stated in the plaint to be a proceeding under the Act i.e., the notice and the levy penal assessment and the suit was brought more than six months afterwards.
3. The contention before us is that the suit for declaration may be brought within the ordinary period of and reliance is placed upon the decision in Narayan Pillai v. Secretary of State for India : (1912)23MLJ162 . It is urged that such suit is maintainable as the title of the plaintiff is not lost till 6 months have expired from the date of eviction. It may be that the plaintiff has a cause of action to bring a suit within six months of the levy of the. penal assessment from him in any year to recover the amount so levied, so that, if the plaintiff is compelled to pay any assessment next year or the year after, it is possible that he may have a right to bring the suit within six months from that date. On that point it is unnecessary for Us to give any opinion.
4. It may also be, as contended by the appellant, that, if the Government evict him at some future time from this land, he may have a right to bring a, suit within six months from that date of eviction to recover possession of the land and that, therefore, it cannot be said that he would lose his title to the land till that period has expired. Bat that again is not the question that we have to consider. The question that we have to consider is when did the cause of action arise for this suit, and whether it is barred under Section 14. And the cause of action for this suit for the declaration certainly arose as stated in the plaint, when the Government denied their title to the property or levied the penal assessment from them. If the plaintiff did not feel himself aggrieved by the notice or levy of the penal assessment, he was not bound to bring a suit for declaration. He might wait till any further action taken by Government which gives him a right of suit. But as he alleges that it was a proceeding under this Act i-e, notice to quit the land etc., that gives him a cause of action, he was bound to bring his suit within six months from the date of the act alleged to give him a cause of action though his title to the property may not have been lost. In the plaint it is said that the cause of action arose on or before the 23rd March 1908. The suit is admittedly brought six months after those dates. The Judge is right, therefore, in holding that the suit for the declaration of title is barred, and we accordingly confirm the decree and dismiss the appeal with costs.
5. I entirely agree.