1. The plaintiffs are the appellants before me. The suit was brought by them as reversioners to recover possession of certain properties alienated by the widow of the last male owner. The last male owner was one Vijayasarathi who died in 1867. He died while he was a minor. In the year of his death the two alienations in question were effected on behalf of the widow by her father by Exs. I and II. Two points arose for decision in the case, (1) whether the plaintiffs are the reversioners of Vijayasarathi, and (2) whether the alienations are binding on the reversioners. The District Munsif decided both the points in favour of the plaintiffs and gave a decree. On appeal the Subordinate Judge found both the issues against the plaintiffs and dismissed the plaintiffs' suit. Hence the plaintiffs have filed this Second Appeal.
2. In Second Appeal both the findings of the Subordinate judge are attacked before me. Taking the first point, namely, that of reversionership, the Subordinate Judge found that two of the inam statements relied on by the District Munsif, namely Exs. A and C were irrelevant and were wrongly admitted by the District Munsif. I think the Subordinate Judge is right in this. These inam statements, Exs. A and C, purported to be filed on behalf of Butchamma, were actually signed by Komandur Krishnamachari, her brother's son. It is true that one of these, Ex. C, contains statements purporting to be made by her, but the fact remains that Exs. A and C were signed only by him and there is no other evidence to show that she actually dictated the contents to him or got them written under her directions and so on as in Shahzadi Begam v. Secretary of State for India ILR (1907) C 1059. Krishnamachari is not a member of the Kandalam family with which we are concerned, nor has he married a member of the Kandalam family. That being so, his statement, unless there is other evidence that he has special means of knowledge, is not relevant. Vide Sangram Singh v. Rajan Bibi ILR (1885) C 219, Jagatpal Singh v. Jageshzvar Buksh Singh ILR (1902) A 143 and Taylor on Evidence, Section 636. The case of Shamlal Singh v. Radha Bibee (1879) 4 CLR 173 relied on by Mr. Lakshmanna cannot help him. There it was shown that the person whose statement was sought to be admitted was a family priest. This corresponds to evidence that he had special means of knowledge. In Suraj Bali v. Tilok Chand (1916) 36 IC 66 the deponent was the son-in-law of the family. That falls within the rule stated above and cannot help in this case where the person was only connected or related through marriage of some other and not by his own marriage to the family in question.
3. The next complaint made against the Subordinate Judge's judgment on the first point is the manner in which he dealt with Ex. B. Ex. B is an Inam Register. As to this the Sub-ordinate Judge says, ' There is absolutely nothing to show that there was an enquiry by the Inam Commissioner as to the correctness of the pedigrees produced on behalf of Butchamma and that any decision was arrived at by him.' I think the Subordinate Judge is wrong in this statement. As pointed out in Pir Pacha Sahib v. Mohammad Ruhimuddin Sahib (1923) 46 MLJ 245, the Inam Register embodied the conclusions of the Inam Commissioner on such enquiry as he chooses to make upon the statements filed before him. The presumption is that Inam Registers in the country embody the findings of the Inam Commissioner after such investigation. There is no rule prescribing the extent of the investigation to be made by the Inam Commissioner. In Arunachalam Chetty v. Venkatachelapathi Guruswamigal ILR (1919) M 253 the Privy Council have pointed out that the Inam Register is 'a great act of State ' and is entitled to very great weight. It may be in particular cases some reasons may be given why the Inam Register might be discounted; but the particular reason given by the Subordinate Judge in this case is no reason at all, for he expects some proof that the Inam Commissioner made some actual enquiry, a proof which is impossible and a proof which cannot be adduced; whereas, as pointed out in Pir Pacha Saheb v. Mohammad Ruhimuddin Sahib (1923) 46 MLJ 245, the presumption is that he made such an enquiry. Secondly, the Subordinate Judge says, ' There is absolutely nothing to connect the plaintiffs with Kandalam Raghavacharyulu referred to in the fourth sheet of Ex. B.' In this again I think he is wrong and he has not applied his mind to the facts and documents in the case. Raghavacharyulu is another co-sharer according to Ex. B. The evidence on behalf of the plaintiffs shows that the share then enjoyed by Raghavacharyulu and his brother Ananthacharlu arc now enjoyed by the two plaintiffs, and unless these witnesses are disbelieved, it is impossible to say that Raghavacharyulu in the Inam Register is not connected with the present plaintiffs.
4. I am, therefore, constrained not to accept the finding of the Subordinate Judge on the first issue. If the case cannot be disposed of otherwise, I would be compelled to send the case back and call for a finding on this issue. But it seems to me that the Second Appeal must fail on account of the findings on the second point.
5. The second point, as I have already stated, is whether the alienations were for purposes binding on the reversioners. The Subordinate Judge refers to Venkata Reddi v. Rani Sahiba of Wadwan ILR (1919) M 541[cf. also Banga Chandra Dhur Biswas v. Jagat Kishore Acharjya Chowdhri ILR (1917) C186 and to the evidence of the defendants' witnesses 1 and 5 and then says, ' It is proved that the alienations were for discharging antecedent debts binding on the reversioners.' It is true there are several peculiar features in this case which are not to be found generally in alienations by widows. In this case the alienations were not actually made by the widow but on her behalf by her father. The first sale was to her brother, that is, her father was selling the property to his own son. The second sale was also to a relation. The Subordinate Judge does not specifically advert to this circumstance. He does not also refer to unsatisfactory features in the evidence of the defendants' 1st and 5th witnesses. The evidence of the 1st witness turns out to be mostly hearsay in cross-examination. These features of his judgment which I have pointed out have produced in me the impression that his judgment is very unsatisfactory, and probably he has conceived a bias against reversioner's suits. But in spite of all the circumstances, I am not able to reject the finding of the Subordinate Judge on the second point. It is legally arrived at and, however much one may feel dissatisfied with it, I do not think I am justified in rejecting it, though I regret my inability to interfere with it.
6. Accepting, therefore, the finding only on the second point, I dismiss the Second Appeal with one set of costs.