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Dronamraju Seshagiri Rao Vs. Godithi Rammayya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1945Mad503; (1945)2MLJ214
AppellantDronamraju Seshagiri Rao
RespondentGodithi Rammayya and ors.
Cases ReferredNarayanaraju v. Suryanarayudu
Excerpt:
- - he further referred to the fact that the numbers of the fields were not consecutive and some numbers like 12, 13, 18, 28, 32, 33, etc. the omission of certain numbers in the inam register is explicable on the basis that they perhaps relate to the devadayam and other inams of a like nature which could not be taken into account in settling the jodi or quit rent. this shows fairly clearly that the villages were the subject of the grant excluding of course, dharmadayam and service inams. secondly, sub-clause (c) of sub-section (16) of section 3 clearly contemplates a case where the service tenure is of such a nature as can be put an end to......we find that certain lands in a named village were not included in the grant for some reasons, the land granted as in am would still be an estate.4. sub-clause (e) of section 3(2) speaks of' any portion consisting of one or more villages of any of the estates specified above in clauses (a), (b) and (c) which is held on a permanent under-tenure.' the contention of the petitioners is that in the cases before us we have not got an entire village or villages forming part of the estates as defined in sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c) and which are held.on a permanent under-tenure. in support of this contention, reliance was placed on the entries in the in am fair register and the inam statement printed in c.r.p. no. 1506 of 1943, the inam fair register is ex. i and the inam statement is ex. i-a......
Judgment:

Chandrasekhara Aiyar, J.

1. These two civil miscellaneous appeals and eight civil revision petitions are connected. I shall deal with the revision petitions first as all of them raise the same point.

2. The mokhasadars of Chilakapadu and Muppavaram filed suits in the District Munsiff 's Court of Tanuku against their tenants for the recovery of rent and for ejectment. The tenants pleaded that they had occupancy rights in the lands as they form part of an 'estate ' within the meaning of the Estates Land Act and that the Civil Courts had no jurisdiction. This plea was upheld by the District MunsifF who directed the plaints to be returned for presentation to the proper Court. On appeals preferred by the mokhasadars, the Subordinate Judge of Ellore, reached the same conclusion and confirmed the decrees of the District Munsiff. These revision petitions are from the decision of the Subordinate Judge and raise the question whether the lands form part of an estate in which the defendants have occupancy rights. It was contended for the petitioners that the lands were not part of an estate for two reasons : firstly, because Clause (d) of Section 3(2) of the Estates Land Act will not apply as there is nothing to show that the grant was of an entire village and secondly, that Clause (e) of Section 3(2) is not applicable, as the grant was only of specific lands in the villages and not of one or more villages of any of the estates specified in Clauses (a), (b) and (c):

3. The first ground has ceased to be available to the petitioners because of the new Madras Act II of 1945 which enacts that ' where a grant as an in am 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.' Therefore even in a case where we find that certain lands in a named village were not included in the grant for some reasons, the land granted as in am would still be an estate.

4. Sub-clause (e) of Section 3(2) speaks of' any portion consisting of one or more villages of any of the estates specified above in Clauses (a), (b) and (c) which is held on a permanent under-tenure.' The contention of the petitioners is that in the cases before us we have not got an entire village or villages forming part of the estates as defined in Sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c) and which are held.on a permanent under-tenure. In support of this contention, reliance was placed on the entries in the in am fair register and the inam statement printed in C.R.P. No. 1506 of 1943, The inam fair register is Ex. I and the inam statement is Ex. I-a. Mr. Satyanarayana Rao referred to the fact that, besides giving the total extent comprised in the mokhasa grant, the inam register specifies the several numbers of the fields also which is consistent only with the theory that the villages, Chilakapadu and Muppa-varam, in their entirety, were not treated as the subject of the mokhasa grant but only some fields in those villages. He further referred to the fact that the numbers of the fields were not consecutive and some numbers like 12, 13, 18, 28, 32, 33, etc., in Chilakapadu and numbers 4, 6, 20, 28, 37, 38, etc., in Muppavaram were omitted. Such an inference, viz., what was granted is not the entire village of Chilakapadu or Muppavaram but only certain fields in those villages--does not appear to me to be warranted by the entries. The register and the statement speak of the villages as mokhasa and the boundaries given indicate that the grant comprised the villages themselves. It was necessary for those who prepared the inam register to specify the extents and the fields for the purpose of arriving at the cist or jodi that had to be paid as it was then believed that these mokhasas were excluded from the assets of the zamindari at the time of the permanent settlement and that the Government had the right of reversion. Subsequently this belief was found to be ill-founded and the Government gave up further steps as regards the mokhasa grants in pursuance of reports made by the Commissioner (Mr. Taylor) on enquiries made by the Board of Revenue of the Collector and the final sanction of the Secretary of State on a letter addressed to him by the Madras Government about the true state of affairs which turned out to be that these mokhasa grants were included in the assets when the peshcush was calculated. :

5. The Subordinate Judge has in this connection rightly drawn attention to the fact that in Exs. X and XI, these villages are entered under the heading of mokhasa villages. The omission of certain numbers in the inam register is explicable on the basis that they perhaps relate to the devadayam and other inams of a like nature which could not be taken into account in settling the jodi or quit rent. Ex. I refers in column 4 to certain inams and gives the extent as 12-12. In Ex. I-a under: column 9 we get the real clue for answering this question. The total extent, of Chilakapadu village is given as 48-4-1 kandies. Out of this, some extent is deducted lor porombokes and out of the remainder two extents are deducted under the head of dharmadayam and service inams. The remainder is the mokhasa grant. Similarly with reference to Muppavaram. This shows fairly clearly that the villages were the subject of the grant excluding of course, dharmadayam and service inams. Therefore, I am of the opinion that Clause (e) applies to the facts of this case.

6. Assuming for any reason that it does not, the mokhasa grant will come within Clause (b), as it is a portion of a permanently settled estate in Nuzwid. It is undoubtedly, therefore, an ' estate ' within the meaning of the Act. But it was urged that this does not by itself oust the jurisdiction of the Civil Court because of the fact that the mokhasa grant is of the nature of a service tenure and the definition of ' ryoti land ' as given in the Act excludes mokhasa grants. Sub-clause (16)(c) of Section 3 provides that ' ryoti land ' does not include ' lands granted on service tenure either free of rent or on favourable rates of rent if granted before the passing of this Act or free of rent if granted after that date, so long as the service tenure subsists.' The position taken for the petitioners is that in a case where the grant is irresumable and is permanent, the service tenure still subsists either because it had not been put an end to, or because it could not be put an end to, and therefore the land is not ryoti land and the landholder cannot bring a suit for rent or ejectment in a revenue Court. This argument is, however, based upon a double fallacy. We have nothing whatever to do with the question whether the mokhasa as such is resumable or irresumable service tenure. We are concerned with lands in a mokhasa village and the question is whether those lands form part of an estate. Obviously they do, for the reasons already given. If the particular lands in respect of which the suits are brought for rent or ejectment have been granted on service tenure, it is no doubt true that they may not be ' ryoti land ' within the meaning of the Act. But there is no allegation in this case that the lands in question are held under any such tenure. Whether the mokhasa grant is itself on the basis of a service tenure is a question which does not concern us. Secondly, Sub-clause (c) of Sub-section (16) of Section 3 clearly contemplates a case where the service tenure is of such a nature as can be put an end to. If it is permanent and irresumable, it falls within Clause (e) of Sub-section (2) of Section 3. What has been made an ' estate' by reason of Sub-clauses (b) and (e) of Sub-section (2) of Section 3 could not have been intended to be deprived of its character by the definition of ' ryoti land ' in sub'-section (16) of Section 3. If the lands are held under a tenure which the landholder can put an end to by a unilateral act of his own, the Act says that the tenant holding possession of such a land does not possess occupancy rights therein but, if the land is held under a tenure which cannot be terminated by the landlord, then it is held on a permanent under-tenure and is an 'estate' within the meaning of the Act.

7. In the inam fair register there is a note under column 21 that the two villages of Chilakapadu andMuppavaram stand on the same footing as the mokhasa villages of Gotenu, Komavaram and Surampudi. The inam register extract of these three villages has been filed as Ex. II and it is the same as Ex. I as regards the features relied on for the petitioners, namely, the giving of the numbers of the fields and the omission of certain numbers. Veeraswami v. Seetharama Kanthayya : (1926)51MLJ394 was a case which dealt with lands in those three villages and it was held that they were an ' estate ' within the meaning of the Act. The case in Sadasivarayudu v. Venkitaswami (1931) 62 M.L.J. 598 relied on by the petitioners was an instance of a resumable service granted and has no application to the facts before us. A holding in another mokhasa village called Arungolanu within the ambit of. the Nuzvid zamindary was the subject-matter of the decision in Lakshminarasimham v. Veerabadrudu (1923) 19 L.W. 671 and there also the same conclusion was reached. The Privy Council decision in Narayanaraju v. Suryanarayudu (1939) 2 M.L.J. 901 : L.R. 66 IA. 378 : I.L.R. (1940) Mad. 1 is authority for the position that the mokhasadar is himself the landholder within the meaning of the Act; and the cultivating tenants under them are in the position of ryots with occupancy rights in respect of the holdings in their possession, unless it can be shown that the lands are held by them under a service tenure which the landholder can resume or put an end to.

8. The civil miscellaneous appeals are from the orders of the District Judge in two cases refusing to set aside orders of dismissal passed by him in two civil miscellaneous appeals on memos filed that they had been adjusted out of Court. Some of the trustees interested in a temple, which was the landholder, compromised the matter with the tenants and reported the cases as settled. Other trustees who were not the managing trustees at the time and whose right to become trustees in rotation would arise only later, applied for the dismissal being set aside, stating that the compromise was effected without their being consulted and it was therefore not binding against them. The District Judge negatived their prayers on the ground that the action of the managing trustees in reporting adjustment was final and binding on the petitioners. Whether this view is right or wrong, is really unnecessary to consider now, for the simple reason that it has been held even on the merits that the lands form part of an estate; and this would be the conclusion which would have been reached even if the appeals had been heard instead of being dismissed on the basis of a reported compromise or settlement.

9. For the reasons given above, the two civil miscellaneous appeals and the several civil revision petitions will be dismissed with costs.

10. No leave.


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