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Javadi Soorayya and ors. Vs. Tavvala Surya Rao Naidu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1923Mad623; (1923)45MLJ41
AppellantJavadi Soorayya and ors.
RespondentTavvala Surya Rao Naidu and ors.
Cases ReferredSuryanarayana v. Pattanna
Excerpt:
- .....that at the date of the grant there were any tenants in the village holding lands with any rights of occupancy by custom or otherwise. 'in other words, the grant of a whole village will not be presumed to be the grant only of melwaram interest unless it is shown that the kudivaram interest was already in the hands of some one else than the donee. the division of produce between the agraharamdars and the cultivators throws light on the system then prevalent of paying kist to the land owner, but is no indication whether the tenant had or had not occupancy rights. mr. wilson's definition in his glossory of the word 'mouza' has been referred to in several decisions. it is 'a village, understanding by that term one or more clusters of habitations, and all the lands belonging to their.....
Judgment:

Spencer, J.

1. The order sought to be revised is an order of the Subordinate Judge of Ellore remanding certain suits for disposal by the District Munsif. The question whether the Civil Court had jurisdiction to try these suits, which were for rent and ejectment of tenants depends on the question whether the Agraharam of Pentapad in the Zamindari of Nuzwid was an estate within the meaning of the Madras Estates Land Act. The Subordinate Judge has found that the grant in question was a grant of both Melvaram and Kudivaram. In this case the original grant is before us and is marked as Ex. D. It purports to be a grant by Apparayanimgaru, Zamindar of Nuzwid in the year 1744 of the Mouza village of Patha Pentapad to a Brahmin named Tirumalasingaracharyulu Ayyavarlamgaru.

2. Reliance is placed for the appellants on the fact that this is a grant to a Brahmin and that it is described as a Mauza village, also on the fact that in Ex. IX, an abstract of Revenue collections in the years 1777 to 1781, the existence of 300 inhabitants is mentioned; also that there was a division of produce between the Brahmin Agraharamdars, and the cultivators; also that in Ex. O which is a statement made by Agraharamdars before the Inam Commissioner, the Agraharamdars disclaimed any interest in the communal lands of the village ; and lastly on the mention in Ex. XV (j) of 23 kadiams among the population of the village.

3. As regards the existence of 300 inhabitants 33 years after the grant, the words of the Privy Council in Suryanarayana v. Pattanna I.L.R. (1918) Mad. 1012 are most apposite. They are these : 'It is not proved, nor is there any evidence to suggest, that at the date of the grant there were any tenants in the village holding lands with any rights of occupancy by custom or otherwise. 'In other words, the grant of a whole village will not be presumed to be the grant only of melwaram interest unless it is shown that the kudivaram interest was already in the hands of some one else than the donee. The division of produce between the Agraharamdars and the cultivators throws light on the system then prevalent of paying kist to the land owner, but is no indication whether the tenant had or had not occupancy rights. Mr. Wilson's definition in his Glossory of the word 'Mouza' has been referred to in several decisions. It is 'a village, understanding by that term one or more clusters of habitations, and all the lands belonging to their proprietary inhabitants.' It is not clear whether the word 'proprietary' is intended to refer to the habitations or to the lands.

4. In Upadrastha Venkata Sastrulu v. Divi Seetaramudu 26 M.L.J. 585 Sadasiva Aiyar J. interpreted Mauza village as meaning a village in which there were peasant proprietors owning cultivable lands. The value to be attached to the learned Judge's definition has been considerably diminished by the remarks of the Judicial Committee in the appeal in Upadrashta Venkala Sastrulu v. Divi Seetharamudu 37 M.L.J. 42 (P.C.) when Sadasiva Aiyar, J's decision was reversed. That case was one of a grant of an inam called Billapadu Agraharam in 1748 by the same zamindar of Nuzwid who was the donor in the present case. The latest pronouncement regarding the meaning of the expression 'Mouza' is that of the learned Chief Justice in Subrahmanya Somayajulu v. Seethayya (1922) 46 Mad. 92 . He observed that on the material before him it was not possible to say that this word necessarily imported the meaning that there were occupancy ryots on the land. With this observation I respectfully agree, and I apply it to the same expression occurring in the present case.

5. The word 'Kadim' is defined by Mr. Wilson as 'an old inhabitant of a village, one holding by hereditary descent.' In the Glossory to the 5th report, 'Kadim' is defined as a 'headman.' The word is uncommon so far as my experience goes. But it does not seem to convey anything as to the existence of occupancy rights. On the other hand, a large number of muchilikas (Exs. A, E, F, J, S, K and W Series) have been filed in these suits in which the tenants agree to vacate their holdings on the expiry of the term of their tenancy. There is no express admission that the tenants have no jiroyiti rights as there was in the muchilikas in Suryanarayana v. Pattanna 36 M.L.J. 585 (P.C.). But their undertaking to quit the lands at the end of their term implies absence of occupancy rights. There is also the further fact referred to by the Subordinate Judge that in some cases where lands have been acquired by the Government, compensation has been paid to the Agraharamdars as shown in Exs. Q series, without any claim being made by the tenants to share in such compensation. For these reasons, I consider that the lower Court was right in deciding that the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts had not been ousted by Section 189 of the Madras Estates Land Act.

6. The Civil Revision Petitions are therefore dismissed with costs.

Venkatasubba Rao, J.

7. I agree.


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