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Ganta Bangarigadu and ors. Vs. Paltheru Atchutaramayya and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Mad572; (1941)1MLJ384
AppellantGanta Bangarigadu and ors.
RespondentPaltheru Atchutaramayya and anr.
Cases ReferredVenkayya v. Sateyya I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- .....a fresh patta is accepted. no fresh patta has been issued by the landholder in respect of the land in suit and therefore the patta which was issued to the first respondent on the 16th september, 1928 was a valid patta on the date of the institution of the suit.6. nor do we see any substance 'in the argument that the patta required registration if it was to be enforced after the expiration of the twelve months. on the face of the patta it is a lease for one year and section 17 of the registration act does not require such a lease to be registered. the fact that section 52 of the madras estates land act permits the holder of a patta for a year to remain in occupation of the land after the expiration of the period until a fresh patta is issued does not turn the document into a lease.....
Judgment:

Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.

1. On the 16th September, 1928 the first respondent was granted a patta by the second respondent for land situate within the jurisdiction of the District Munsif's Court of Parvatipur. The land covered by the patta admittedly forms part of an estate within the meaning of the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908. The appellants were in possession of the land at the time, but they were trespassers. The first respondent did not take steps immediately to evict them and in fact allowed them to continue in possession of the land until the 30th September, 1929, when he filed the present suit in the District Munsif's Court for their eviction. The defence of the appellants was successful. The District Munsif held that the first respondent was not entitled to maintain the suit as his patta had expired when the plaint was filed and the landholder had not been made a party.

2. On appeal by the first respondent the Subordinate Judge of Vizagapatam concurred in the decision of the District Munsif. The first respondent then appealed to this Court. His appeal was heard by King, J, who decided that the second respondent, as the landholder, should be made a party to the suit and passed an order to this effect. As the result, the case was remanded to the Subordinate Court for a finding as to whether the appellants had been in adverse possession of the property for twelve years. The Subordinate Judge after considering the evidence adduced by the parties on this question reported that the appellants had not been in possession for twelve years on the date of the filing of the suit. King, J., was on leave when the report was received by this Court and therefore it had to be considered by another Judge. The case came before Wadsworth, J., who on the finding of the Subordinate Judge, allowed the appeal and decreed the suit. A certificate having been given under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent the respondents have preferred the present appeal.

3. In the opinion of King, J., the case came within Venkayya v. Sateyya I.L.R.(1911)Mad. 281. The appellants say that the learned Judge here erred. They also advance the contention that they must be deemed to have been in adverse possession up to the date when the second respondent was made a party as the result of the order of King, J., namely the 31st March, 1938 and not merely up to the date of the institution of the suit. If the 31st March, 1938 is the date which has to be taken, the appellants have, of course, been in adverse possession for over twelve years. The appellants have advanced the further argument that the patta cannot be relied upon by the first respondent because it has not been registered.

4. In Venkayya v. Sateyya I.L.R.(1911)Mad. 281, a lessee whose lease had expired before the date of the filing of his plaint sued for possession of the land leased to him, the defendant being a trespasser. The landholder was made a party and it was held that inasmuch as he had acquiesced in the plaintiff obtaining a decree the trespasser was not in a position to resist the suit. This decision is binding on us and we can see no difference in principle between that case and the present one. The fact that the landholder here was not made a party at the inception of the suit does not change the effect of her acquiescence. The landholder is the second respondent and she supports the first respondent in his claim. Therefore he is entitled to the possession of the land as against the appellants subject to the plea of adverse possession. We consider that King, J., was fully justified in holding that the case falls within Venkayya v. Sateyya I.L.R.(1911)Mad. 281.

5. But even if it did not, we still consider that the first respondent could maintain the suit. He obtained a valid patta from the landholder by virtue of which he was entitled to the possession of the land. Mr. Subramanyam, on behalf of the appellants, admits that the respondent could have maintained the suit if it had been filed within the year. The fact that the suit was not, however, filed within the year does not alter the first respondent's title. By reason of Section 52 of the Madras Estates Land Act, his rights as the pattadar of the land continued after the expiry of the year. Clause (3) of that section states that a patta shall remain in force until the commencement of the new year for which a fresh patta is accepted. No fresh patta has been issued by the landholder in respect of the land in suit and therefore the patta which was issued to the first respondent on the 16th September, 1928 was a valid patta on the date of the institution of the suit.

6. Nor do we see any substance 'in the argument that the patta required registration if it was to be enforced after the expiration of the twelve months. On the face of the patta it is a lease for one year and Section 17 of the Registration Act does not require such a lease to be registered. The fact that Section 52 of the Madras Estates Land Act permits the holder of a patta for a year to remain in occupation of the land after the expiration of the period until a fresh patta is issued does not turn the document into a lease for more than a year within the meaning of Section 17 of the Registration Act. If the term mentioned in the patta had been for a longer period than a year registration would have been necessary, but not otherwise.

7. We are also unable to accept Mr. Subramanyam's contention that for the purpose of calculating how long the appellants have been in adverse possession the date on which the second respondent was made a party to the suit must be taken. The adding of the second respondent as a party did not alter the position between the first respondent and the appellant. Of course, if the first respondent was asking for relief against the second respondent, the 31st March, 1938 would have been the material date against her, but the first respondent is asking for no relief against her. As we have already mentioned she is acquiescing in the demands of the first respondent for possession of the land in suit. The evidence shows that the appellants only came into possession of the land some six years before the patta was granted. Therefore the first respondent was entitled by reason of his patta to oust them.

8. For these reasons the appeal fails and must be dismissed with costs in favour of the first respondent.


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