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Secy. of State Vs. Gorantla Raghavulu and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1931Mad607
AppellantSecy. of State
RespondentGorantla Raghavulu and anr.
Cases Referred and Krishnaswami Naidu v. Akkulammal Avergal
Excerpt:
- - such a person is in no better position than any one else who is put in temporarily to do some one else's work and it will be presumed that the authority which appointed him has the authority to remove him. the respondent therefore had no right to the office as such and was liable to be sent away when those who appointed him thought that a, better substitute could be found......the office will then vest in the stranger and his heirs. it is argued from these extracts that a person appointed under section 10 (4) has a qualified hereditary right defeasible no doubt by the return of the suspended officer or by the death of the dismissed officer and existence of heirs on his death but not otherwise. i do not agree with this at all. a person appointed under section 10 (4) is a person appointed only to do the duties of the office and when the section says that the collector may direct that until the death or return to duty of such last holder the duties of the holder shall be performed by some person, it only prescribes the period of time during which that provision has to be made but does not mean that the person who is appointed is to hold for that period. such a.....
Judgment:

Pandalai, J.

1. These are two second appeals respectively by the Secretary of State for India in Council who was defendant 2 in the suit and defendant 1 who was appointed by the Collector of Guntur in the place of the respondent to do the duty of Village Munsif of Chimakurti village in that district. The facts are not disputed. The office of village Munsif of that village is hereditary and is one governed by the Madras Hereditary Village Offices Act 3 of 1895. The holder of that office, a member of the family was dismissed by the Collector and it became necessary to appoint some one to execute the duties of the office. The Sub-Collector of Ongole who is the Collector empowered under the Act being of opinion that any member of the undivided family of the last holder should not he appointed purported to act under Section 10(1) and appointed the respondent who was the Village Munsif of some neighbouring village on the recommendation of the Tahsildar in December 1922. The form of this order which was defective in the first instance was subsequently amended so as to bring it into conformity with the language of the subsection by the Sub-Collector on 10th April 1923. Meanwhile the Collector had on 30th March 1923 removed the respondent from the appointment and put in the appellant in Second Appeal 602 in his stead on the ground that the respondent was not a resident of the village of Chimakurti. The respondent vainly pleaded before the revenue authorities that he had been improperly removed and in the end brought this suit. for a declaration that his removal was. illegal. The case made by the Respondent in the first instance was that he, had been appointed under Section 10 (6) and, had thereby become entitled to the hereditary office. The District Munsif found that the respondent was not appointed under that subsection but under Sub-section (4). The respondent then contended that even under that subsection he could not be removed. This contention, the District Munsif rejected and dismissed the suit. In appeal to the learned' Subordinate Judge the contention based on Sub-section (6) was abandoned but that, based on sub S. (4) was pressed. The, learned Subordinate Judge has held that even if the appointment was one under that subsection, the respondent became, entitled to hold the office until the death or return to duty of the dismissed Village Munsif and that the District Collector though superior administratively, to the Sub-Collector had no power under the Act to remove the respondent. He. relied upon two decisions, Ghan Sambanda Pandara Sannadhi v. David Nadar [1904] 14 M.L.J. 433 : : (1904)14MLJ433 and Krishnaswami Naidu v. Akkulammal Avergal [1919] 50 I.C. 185.

2. In these second appeals it is admitted that the two decisions relied upon by the learned Judge have no application, the former one relating to proceedings. under the Rent Recovery Act and the latter to proceedings under the Proprietary Estate Village Services Act. The, question remains whether the respondent by his appointment under Section 10 (1) got a tenure in the office terminable only by the death or return to duty of the dismissed officer and whether the District Collector had any power to remove the respondent.

3. The learned Subordinate Judge seems to have misunderstood the character of the appointment under Section 10(4). The person put in to do the duties of the dismissed officer is not appointed to an office governed by the Act. He is put into do the ditties of the office which is a different thing. The Act does not provide for a subsidiary class of hereditary officers other than those for whom the Act is intended, consisting of their substitutes and their heirs. I enquired of the learned advocate for the respondent what was to happen if the substituted man who was put in to do the duties of the dismissed officer happened to die before that officer. He answered by referring to the Board's Standing Order 148, para. 5 where it is stated that when the vacancy is caused by the suspension or dismissal of a village officer, the Divisional Officer has discretionary power to appoint a divided member of the dismissed or suspended officer's family during the lifetime of the dismissed or suspended officer or until the dismissed or suspended officer returns to duty and at the end of that paragraph it is stated that where a stranger is appointed under Section 10 (4) to succeed a dismissed village officer, the heirs of the dismissed officer cannot sue for office till the dismissed officer dies and that if he leaves no qualified or minor heir, the hereditary right to the office will then vest in the stranger and his heirs. It is argued from these extracts that a person appointed under Section 10 (4) has a qualified hereditary right defeasible no doubt by the return of the suspended officer or by the death of the dismissed officer and existence of heirs on his death but not otherwise. I do not agree with this at all. A person appointed under Section 10 (4) is a person appointed only to do the duties of the office and when the section says that the Collector may direct that until the death or return to duty of such last holder the duties of the holder shall be performed by some person, it only prescribes the period of time during which that provision has to be made but does not mean that the person who is appointed is to hold for that period. Such a person is in no better position than any one else who is put in temporarily to do some one else's work and it will be presumed that the authority which appointed him has the authority to remove him. The respondent therefore had no right to the office as such and was liable to be sent away when those who appointed him thought that a, better substitute could be found.

4. But it was said that although the Sub-Collector might have removed the respondent the District Collector had no authority to do so. There is no substance in this point when the nature of the appointment is remembered. If he is not, as I am confident he is not, a person whose rights are governed by the Hereditary Villages Offices Act, his is a case of an appointment made by the Sub-Collector which was cancelled by his superior. The Act does not govern the case and the respondent has no grievance. The second appeals thus succeed. The decree of the lower appellate Court is reversed and that of the District Munsif restored with costs throughout.


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