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Anagha Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Rao Vs. Province of Madras Represented by Collector and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subjectcivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1945Mad19
AppellantAnagha Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Rao
RespondentProvince of Madras Represented by Collector and anr.
Excerpt:
- - 3. we fail to see how section 3, madras restoration of village officers (validation) act, can be said to be in conflict with this provision of law......madras legislature was acting within its powers when it enacted section 3, madras restoration of village officers (validation) act (18. of 1939). the act was passed to restore to village officers or their heirs offices which they had lost by reason of their association or connection with political movements. section 2 of the act empowers the provincial government to pass orders for restoration in such circumstances. section 3 states that if the provincial government declares that an order passed by it is of the nature referred to in section 2, the declaration shall be conclusive proof of the fact and all courts shall take judicial notice of it. it is said that in making this second provision the legislature exceeded its powers. the appeal arises out of a suit filed by the appellant in.....
Judgment:

Leach, C.J.

1. This appeal raises the question whether the Madras Legislature was acting within its powers when it enacted Section 3, Madras Restoration of Village Officers (Validation) Act (18. of 1939). The Act was passed to restore to village officers or their heirs offices which they had lost by reason of their association or connection with political movements. Section 2 of the Act empowers the Provincial Government to pass orders for restoration in such circumstances. Section 3 states that if the Provincial Government declares that an order passed by it is of the nature referred to in Section 2, the declaration shall be conclusive proof of the fact and all Courts shall take judicial notice of it. It is said that in making this second provision the Legislature exceeded its powers. The appeal arises out of a suit filed by the appellant in the Court of the District Munsif of Narsaraopet for a declaration that his removal from the office of karnam of Thalarlapalli village was unlawful and for a mandatory injunction directing his re-instatement. In 1921 the office was held by one Krishnayya, but he was removed because he had not within, the time allowed to him, passed the prescribed tests. He had three sons, Hanumayya, Suryanarayana and Lakshminarasimha Row (defendant 2). None of his sons was qualified for the office and the Collector appointed Sriramulu, the father of the plaintiff. It transpired during the course of the trial that defendant 2 was a supporter of the Congress party and was suspected of having taken part in the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1921. This was not the reason given by the Collector for passing over him. The reason given was that he was not qualified for the post. Sriramulu waa the nearest agnatic relative of the Krishnayya family. He was appointed on 23rd September 1921 and held the office until 26th April 1933, on which date the Collector selected the plaintiff to succeed his father. By an order dated 11th October 1939 the Government of Madras removed the plaintiff from the post and appointed defendant 2 in his stead. The Congress party was then in power and it is common ground that the order appointing defendant 2 was passed because it was considered he had lost the appointment in 1921 on account of his political opinions.

2. The plaintiff felt himself aggrieved by this action and filed the present suit. The District Munsif 'dismissed it on the ground that it was not maintainable in a civil Court by reason of the provisions of Sections 2 and 3, Madras Restoration of Village Officers (Validation) Act of 1939. This decision was concurred in on appeal by the Subordinate Judge of Guntur. The plaintiff has now appealed to this Court. Here it has been contended that Section 3 of the Act is in conflict with the Evidence Act, and therefore the Legislature had no power to place it in the Act. If the Legislature had the power there can be no doubt that the suit was rightly dismissed. The order appointing defendant 2 was professedly passed Under Section 2. A declaration was made by the Provincial Government Under Section 3 and the declaration was published in the Fort St. George Gazette on 22nd October 1939. The argument in support of the contention that the Legislature acted beyond its powers is this. Section 107, Government of India Act, states inter alia that if a provision of a Provincial law is repugnant to any existing Indian law with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent Legislative List, then, subject to the provisions of that section, the existing Indian law shall prevail and the Provincial law shall to the extent of the repugnancy be void. Entry No. 5 in the Concurrent Legislative List reads: 'Evidence and oaths; recognition of laws, public acts and records and judicial proceedings. Therefore the Provincial Legislature could not pass an Act relating to evidence if repugnant to the Evidence Act, unless Sub-section (2) were invoked, which was not the case. It is said that Section 3, Madras Restoration of Village Officers (Validation) Act of 1939 is repugnant to the last paragraph of Section 4, Evidence Act, which is in these terms:

When one fact is declared by this Act to be conclusive proof of another, the Court, shall, on proof of Ibo one fact, regard the other as proved, and shall not allow evidence to be given, for the purpose of disproving it.

3. We fail to see how Section 3, Madras Restoration of Village Officers (Validation) Act, can be said to be in conflict with this provision of law. It is obviously not in conflict. There is no connection between the two. It is conceded by the learned advocate for the appellant that Section 3, Provincial Act, is not repugnant to any other section of the Evidence Act. Therefore the plea of ultra vires must be rejected. Whether the Provincial Government was justified in displacing the plaintiff and appointing de-fondant 2 to the office of the Karnam of Thalarlapalli is another matter. If Section 3 had not boon inserted in the Provincial Act, it might have been open to the appellant to contend that the case did not fall within the four corners of Section 2. The Court cannot, however, go into that question, as the Legislature has provided that a declaration Under Section 8 shall be conclusive proof that the order passed is one of the nature contemplated by Section 2. The Legislature had the power to insert the provision, and as it has done so, the jurisdiction of the Courts is ousted. The question whether this is wise does not call for discussion here. The appeal must be dismissed with costs in favour of respondent 2.


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