Waller Salis Schwabe, Kt., K.C., C.J.
1. The question referred to the Full Bench is
Has a Civil Court jurisdiction to entertain a suit by a ryot to set aside a sale of his holding which was held under the provisions of Chapter VI of the Madras Estates Land Act?
2. It is found as a fact in this case for the purpose of the reference that no notice was given to the ryot by the landholder of his intention to sell. The sale was therefore illegal, and Civil Courts of this country have a right to set aside illegal sales, unless there is some statutory provision to prevent them from doing so. It is, therefore, necessary to look at the Madras Estates Land Act of 1908 to see if the Civil Courts are precluded from setting aside such a sale. Under Section 213
Any person deeming himself aggrieved by any proceedings taken under colour of this Act...shall be at liberty to seek redress by filing a suit for damages before the Collector.
and thou Sub-section 2 says
This section shall not be deemed to bar any right of action in a Civil Court in any case not taken out of its jurisdiction by this Act.
3. In order to ascertain what cases are taken out of the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts by the Act, one has to look at Section 189. Under Section 189, suits and applications of the nature specified in Parts A and B of the Schedule can be brought before the Revenue Court, and are taken out of the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts expressly. Turning to the Schedule, the only article in the Schedule which it is suggested could apply is Article 12, Part A, where among the suits triable by a Collector are included suits under Section 112 of the Act to contest the right of sale of a holding, and then that article gives a limit of thirty days in which to commence that suit from the date of the service of the notice on the defaulter; and looking at Section 112, the landholder who has to avail himself of the powers of sale has to give notice in writing to the defaulter, that notice having to be given in a particular way and to contain certain particulars, and has to inform the defaulter, if he does not pay the amount or file a suit within that time, the property will be sold. That is the suit and the only suit which is referred to in Article 12, Part A of the Schedule, namely, a suit by the ryot within thirty days of the service on him of the notice to contest the right of sale. This suit is nothing of the kind. This is a suit by the ryot, who says that his property has been unlawfully sold and there is nothing in the Act or in the Schedules of the Act to take away the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts to try such suits.
4. That being so, the answer to the question referred to us must be in the affirmative.