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Vappuluri Venkata Ramamurthi Vs. Pappala Venkayya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1948)2MLJ268
AppellantVappuluri Venkata Ramamurthi
RespondentPappala Venkayya and ors.
Cases ReferredNarayanaraju v. Suryanarayudu
Excerpt:
- - 2 per year should be paid to them as kattubadi and that subba rao should improve the land extensively and enjoy the same freely from son to grandson in succession with rights of gift, sale, etc. the reference to the services rendered by subba rao to the proprietors, the small amount of kattubadi fixed having regard to the extent of the lands given, which is about 8 acres approximately, the provision that subba rao shall be entitled to enjoy the property hereditarily with full powers of alienation, and the further significant clauses that the only right which the proprietors reserve to themselves is a right to recover only the sum of rs. it is conceded that this is well established by the decision of the judicial committee in narayanaraju v......the property mortgaged as property given to subba rao ' under a permanent cowle, that is, darmilla inam wet land.' it is so stated again in the particulars of the land mortgaged. reference may also be made to ex. d. 1, which is an annual statement of occupation and cultivation field-war for fasli 1353. in column 1 it is stated that the suit lands are darmilla inam. both the lower courts have relied upon the description of the suit lands as darmilla inam in exs. d. 1 and d 3. mr. venkatesam, the learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the proper interpretation of ex. d. 2 would only lead to the conclusion that it was a mere lease of jeryoti land on favourable terms to subba rao and that it was not a post-settlement grant by way of inam. he further contends that the later.....
Judgment:

Panchapagesa Sastry, J.

1. The petitioner is the plaintiff in O.S. No. G3 of 1944 on the file of the District Munsiff of Yellamanchilli. The suit was filed by him to eject the defendants and for the recovery of arrears of rent. It was contended by the defendants that the plaintiff was a landholder within the meaning of Madras Estates-Land Act that they (the defendants) are ryots entitled to occupancy rights and. could not be ejected and that the claim for arrears of rent would not lie in the Civil Court; The learned District Munsiff held that the plaintiff was only a landholder and upheld the contention of the defendants. While holding therefore that the prayer for ejectment could not be granted he directed that the plaint should be returned for presentation to the proper Court inasmuch as there was a claim for arrears of rent. The plaintiff appealed to the District Judge of Vizagapatam. He too agreed with the view of the District Munsiff and confirmed the order. This revision petition is filed by the plaintiff on the ground that both the Courts have misconstrued the legal position and that on a proper interpretation of Ex. D. 2, which is the document creating rights in favour of the plaintiff's predecessor, it should be held that the plaintiff himself should be regarded as the ryot entitled to occupancy rights and that the defendants, who took a lease of the suit land from the plaintiff, were not entitled to occupancy rights.

2. The question at issue depends upon the proper construction of Ex. D. 2. Ex. D. 2 describes itself as a permanent cowle given in favour of Subba Rao, by the proprietors of Thimrnapurarn village. It recites that they (the proprietors) have, because of the help rendered to them in litigation by Subba Rao, given him four visams of land described in the document, under a permanent cowle, with a condition however that a sum of Rs. 2 per year should be paid to them as kattubadi and that Subba Rao should improve the land extensively and enjoy the same freely from son to grandson in succession with rights of gift, sale, etc. It is stated earlier in the document that the property was left uncultivated to a large extent and that breaches were formed on account of recent heavy rains and wind and that the property was in need of repairs. The document further states,

Whenever, in case the payment of kaltubadi relating to the said land is delayed we shall recover only the said kattubadi but we shall not claim the land at any time.

This was in the year 1897. It would appear that in 1911 there was a usufructuary mortgage of these lands in favour of the present plaintiff for a sum of Rs. 500 and in that document, Ex. D. 3, the mortgagors refer to the property mortgaged as property given to Subba Rao ' under a permanent cowle, that is, darmilla inam wet land.' It is so stated again in the particulars of the land mortgaged. Reference may also be made to Ex. D. 1, which is an annual statement of occupation and cultivation field-war for fasli 1353. In column 1 it is stated that the suit lands are darmilla inam. Both the lower Courts have relied upon the description of the suit lands as darmilla inam in Exs. D. 1 and D 3. Mr. Venkatesam, the learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that the proper interpretation of Ex. D. 2 would only lead to the conclusion that it was a mere lease of jeryoti land on favourable terms to Subba Rao and that it was not a post-settlement grant by way of inam. He further contends that the later documents of 1911 and 1943, Exs. D. 3 and D. 1, cannot be looked at for construing Ex. D. 2, which is the document of title. I am inclined to agree with the contention that Ex. D. 1 and Ex. D. 3 cannot be looked at and that the question has got really to be decided on the terms of Ex. D. 2 alone. Confining our attention to the terms of the document, Ex. D. 2, it is difficult to hold that it is a mere lease on favourable terms and not an inam grant treating an under-tenure. It seems to me that the plaintiff's title under this document is to a permanent under-tenure of a portion of a village on a small annual payment of Rs. 2 described as Kattubadi in the document. The reference to the services rendered by Subba Rao to the proprietors, the small amount of Kattubadi fixed having regard to the extent of the lands given, which is about 8 acres approximately, the provision that Subba Rao shall be entitled to enjoy the property hereditarily with full powers of alienation, and the further significant clauses that the only right which the proprietors reserve to themselves is a right to recover only the sum of Rs. 2 the Kattubadi amount and that they shall have no right to the land at any time would all seem to indicate that this is an inam grant and not a mere lease of jeryoti land on favourable terms. On this interpretation of the document it follows that the grantee is merely a landholder within the meaning of the Madras Estates Land Act, and that the defendants in possession will be the ryots who are entitled to occurpancy rights. It is conceded that this is well established by the decision of the Judicial Committee in Narayanaraju v. Suryanarayudu (1939) 2 M.L.J. 901 : 1939 L.R. 66 LA. 278 : I.L.R. (1940) Mad. 1. It follows that the judgments of the lower Courts are correct. This petition is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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