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Serang Abdul Khadir Vs. Rajagopala Pandarayar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1956)1MLJ34
AppellantSerang Abdul Khadir
RespondentRajagopala Pandarayar and ors.
Cases ReferredNachiarkoil v. Chinnaswami
Excerpt:
- - it is true that some of the provisions in the act appear to be inappropriate to a case like this, where the tenant actually cultivating has not entered into a tenancy agreement with the land-owner himself but we see no reason why because some of the sections may not apply to a case like this the rights of persons lawfully on the land cultivating it with their own physical labour should be negatived......are not cultivating as trespassers or as owners. no doubt, the tenancy agreement is not with the landowner as such, but in the definition the words are merely 'a tenancy agreement express or implied' and it does not specify that such agreement must be with the landowner as defined in clause (g). this is the view which govinda menon, j., took in k.p.a.d. charities, nachiarkoil v. chinnaswami (1954) 1 m.l.j. 277, the facts of which case are on all fours with the facts of this case and rajagopalan, j., has followed the decision of govinda menon, j. mr. ramachandran for the appellant referred us to some of the other provisions of the act which is he contended were inconsistent with the view that a tenancy agreement could be with any one else than the owner himself. it is true that some of.....
Judgment:

P.V. Rajamannar, C.J.

1. This is an appeal against an order of Rajagopalan, J., allowing an application made by respondents 1 to 8 before us (Writ Petition No. 825 of 1953) under Article 226 of the Constitution to quash the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tanjore, dated 7th March, 1953, passed on appeal against the order of the Conciliation Officer, Papanasam, in L.R.A. No. 200 of 1952. The decision of this appeal depends on the construction of the provisions of the Tanjore Tenants and Pannaiyal Protection Act, Madras Act XIV of 1952, defining 'cultivating tenant' and 'land-owner'. The facts are not in dispute. The concerned lands belonged to the Panchanadeeswara Swami Devasthanam. The Receiver appointed in respect of these lands granted a lease in favour of two persons Vasudeva Padayachi and Pichai Asari for a period of one year ending with 30th April, 1951. The Devasthanam eventually took possession of the lands on the expiry of the lease granted by the Receiver and cultivated the lands themselves during 1951-52. Respondents. 1 to 8 are sub-lessees from Vasudeva and Pichai for the year 1950-51. For the year 1952-53 the Devasthanam leased the lands to the appellant before us. The only question in this appeal is, who is entitled to obtain the benefits of the Act whether it is the appellant or respondents 1 to 8. Respondents 1 to 8 filed an application under Section 6(2) of Tanjore Tenants and Pannaiyal Protection Act XIV of 1952. The Conciliation Officer allowed their application and restored them to possession, but on appeal the Revenue Divisional Officer dismissed their application. Rajagopalan, J., before whom the application under Article 226 of the Constitution came up for hearing quashed the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer on the ground that respondents 1 to 8 would be entitled to the rights conferred by the provisions of Section 6(2) of the Act. The appellant before us, who was the contesting party before Rajagopalan, J., denied that respondents 1 to 8 were entitled to any rights under the Act, because of two reasons. The first was that they were sub-lessees under a lessee from a Receiver and a receiver could not be deemed to be a 'land owner' within the meaning of the definition of that term in Section 2(g) of the Act. The other ground was that respondents 1 to 8 were not 'cultivating tenants' within the meaning of the term in Section (2)(d) of the Act, because they were not in possession under a tenancy agreement with the land-owner, i.e., the Devasthanam and that their only agreement was with the lessee. Both these objections were overruled by Rajagopalan, J.

2. In appeal learned Counsel for the appellant once more pressed on us the same two grounds.

3. We see no force in the contention that a Receiver would not fall within the definition of 'land-owner' in Section 2(g) of the Act. A receiver virtually represents the real owner of the property in his possession. He would therefore be the owner for the time being of the property. No authority has been cited before us to the contrary.

4. The next ground is not quite as easy to dispose of. But we have come to the same conclusion, as Rajagopalan, J. did, that respondents 1 to 8 would be 'cultivating tenants' within the meaning of the definition, because they are persons who contribute their own physical labour, or that of the members of their family in the cultivation of land belonging to another, namely, the Devasthanam, and they are not cultivating under a tenancy agreement. That is to say, they are not cultivating as trespassers or as owners. No doubt, the tenancy agreement is not with the landowner as such, but in the definition the words are merely 'a tenancy agreement express or implied' and it does not specify that such agreement must be with the landowner as defined in Clause (g). This is the view which Govinda Menon, J., took in K.P.A.D. Charities, Nachiarkoil v. Chinnaswami (1954) 1 M.L.J. 277, the facts of which case are on all fours with the facts of this case and Rajagopalan, J., has followed the decision of Govinda Menon, J. Mr. Ramachandran for the appellant referred us to some of the other provisions of the Act which is he contended were inconsistent with the view that a tenancy agreement could be with any one else than the owner himself. It is true that some of the provisions in the Act appear to be inappropriate to a case like this, where the tenant actually cultivating has not entered into a tenancy agreement with the land-owner himself but we see no reason why because some of the sections may not apply to a case like this the rights of persons lawfully on the land cultivating it with their own physical labour should be negatived. There is nothing in the Act, which expressly or impliedly compels us to hold so. We agree with Rajagopalan, J., on this point also.

5. In the result the appeal is dismissed with costs. Advocates fee Rs. 100. R.M. Appeal dismissed.


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