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K.V. Narayanan Nair Vs. T.P. Kesava Menon and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1948Mad361; (1948)1MLJ263
AppellantK.V. Narayanan Nair
RespondentT.P. Kesava Menon and ors.
Cases Referred and Kunhi Kutti Ali v. Muhammad Haji
Excerpt:
- .....principle of those decisions has no application to the present case, as it is not a case where the karnavan purports to grant a lease which is real but the terms of which are improvident. in the present case what is attempted by the karnavan is to invent a cloak for really parting with valuable forest lands for an insignificant rent. it is found by the commissioner and also borne out by the evidence that a very little portion of the property comprised in the lease can really be reclaimed and that there are about 3,000 trees on the land which are useful as timber. in these circumstances it cannot be said that the lease is a real lease but is an improvident one. the lease is not a lease at all of what it purports to be but is wholly a different transaction. this is certainly not within the.....
Judgment:

Satyanarayana Rao, J.

1. The suit out of which this second appeal arises is for a declaration that the lease granted by the second defendant, the karnavan, to the first defendant on the nth January, 1934, is not binding on the Idom and for possession of the plaint schedule properties. The plaintiff is the receiver appointed in a partition suit, O.S. No. 402 of 1938, between the members of the Idom. The lease comprises 132 acres of forest land and purports to be a reclamation lease for a period of 12 years. It fixes a rent of 5 paras of paddy per year and a renewal fee of Rs. 25. The ground on which the plaintiff seeks to attack the lease is that though it purports to be a reclamation lease, it is not really so but that it is merely a lease of a forest at a very low rent in the guise of a reclamation lease.

2. The Courts below have held that the lease does not bind the Idom as the lease was not a reclamation lease, but it was so mentioned in the lease as a pretext for alienating forest tract of considerable extent for a long period without any advantage to the tarwad. The purpose of reclamation is introduced in the lease merely as a cloak to give the transaction a semblance of propriety.

3. It is contended on behalf of the appellant that it is open to a karnavan of a tarwad to grant even an improvident lease, and that such a lease cannot be attacked by the junior members, and that the only remedy if the karnavan persists in. granting such improvident leases is to remove the karnavan in a properly constituted suit. Reference has been made to the decisions in Abdulla Koya v. Eacharan Nair (1917) 35 M.L.J. 405 and Kunhi Kutti Ali v. Muhammad Haji (1930) 60 M.L.J. 450 : I.L.R. 54 Mad. 239 but, in my opinion, the principle of those decisions has no application to the present case, as it is not a case where the karnavan purports to grant a lease which is real but the terms of which are improvident. In the present case what is attempted by the karnavan is to invent a cloak for really parting with valuable forest lands for an insignificant rent. It is found by the Commissioner and also borne out by the evidence that a very little portion of the property comprised in the lease can really be reclaimed and that there are about 3,000 trees on the land which are useful as timber. In these circumstances it cannot be said that the lease is a real lease but is an improvident one. The lease is not a lease at all of what it purports to be but is wholly a different transaction. This is certainly not within the powers of a karnavan, and he is not competent to bind the tarwad by such a transaction.

4. The decisions of the Courts below are correct and the second appeal is dismissed with costs.


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