Skip to content


T. Gopala Mannadiar, Zemindar of Paranipalayam Vs. Palani Goundan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in96Ind.Cas.768
AppellantT. Gopala Mannadiar, Zemindar of Paranipalayam
RespondentPalani Goundan and anr.
Cases ReferredGouri Pattar v. Reily
Excerpt:
.....c. 'the district judge will first consider whether since the date of the last assessment of rent, land has been added to the holding by encroachment, accretion or in like manner. 392 clearly applied to the facts of the present case, that section 42 obviously referred to increase in holding due to addition of the actual physical holding and not to a revision of the area which was merely a paper calculation, that there was no evidence on record that the defendant made any addition to his holding and that he was not, therefore, entitled to enhancement of rent under section 42 of the madras estates land act. as regards the power in revision, in a case like the present, it is not merely an erroneous decision of law which i am asked to revise, but it is an assumption that section 44 of..........for the respondent that as the petitioner applied to the board of revenue which had also concurrent revisional powers and the board of revenue declined to interfere, this court ought not to interfere in revision. it seems to me that as the board of revenue declined to interfere, because it thought that it had no power to do so, the high court is not precluded from interference, especially as, in my view, the board put an erroneous construction on the provisions of the madras estates land act. there is no reason why, if the collector happens to be the appellate authority from the decision of the sub-collector and passes orders, the board should not revise the order passed by the collector acting as an appellate authority from, the divisional officer. it is obvious that, where the.....
Judgment:

Kumaraswami Sastri, J.

1. This is a revision petition filed against an order of the Collector dismissing the application of the petition under Section 44 of the Madras Estates Land Act for enhancement of rent. The applicant is the zemindar of Paranipalayam and the counter-petitioner is a tenant holding lands under him. The zemindar claimed that the tenant was in possession of an excess 3-1-2 vallams and that he was liable to pay an extra rent of Rs. 11-5-8 at Rs. 3-10-9 per vallam. The tenant refused to pay the excess and the zemindar applied to Mr. Tottenhan, the Revenue Divisional Officer of Pollachi, under the Madras Estates Land Act for the determination of the rent payable by the tenant. He was called upon to furnish certain particulars and to amend the application giving the information which was required. According to him there was an excess in three Paimash Numbers 164/14, 164/1-0, 15 and 16 and 148/1 to 3, the total excess being 3=1=2 vallams. The Sub-Collector, on receipt of his amended petition, called upon the Land Records Officials to report, and the Sub-Collector, on the report of the Revenue Inspector and the Tahsildar, held that the zemindar was entitled to an increase of rent of Rs. 2-0-7 on an increased area of 2 acres and 12 cents. The ryot filed an appeal to the Collector, who was of opinion that the rules laid down in Section 44 of the Act were not kept in view and that the opinion of the Land Records Tahsildar was not evidence, and he set aside the Sub-Collector's order and remanded the application to the Sub-Collector for fresh disposal according to the rules laid down in the Act. The matter came on before the Sub-Collector, Mr. Lancashire, who took the necessary evidence and who held that the result of the measurement of the fields showed an excess of 6 acres 37 cents, and that the plaintiff was 'entitled to levy an additional rent of Rs. 6-1 8 in respect of the land in question in this suit. He held that there was no reason to believe that before 1910 the proprietor was aware that the defendant was in enjoyment of more land than he held patta for. He also held against the defendant's contention that the rent was a consolidated rent for the lands within certain defined limits and observed. 'The defendant has no title deed to show this holding to be defined otherwise than as field with a recorded area and kist fixed for each field in that area. It is immaterial that the boundaries of each paimash number cannot be pointed out now. The defendant having obtained a compact block of land is under few or no restrictions as to the way he should lay it out for the convenience of his cultivation and the particular kind of crops he chooses to raise so that the natural tendency of such a state of affairs will be towards the modification or obliteration of such ridges as formed the boundaries of the paimash, fields at the time when the original village records were not compiled.' The counter-petitioner filed an appeal from the decision of Mr. Lancashire, the Sub-Collector, and the appeal was disposed of by the Collector in camp, neither party appearing before him to argue the appeal. It appears from the record that the office put up certain notes for his information, The order of the Collector which was passed on the 31st of January, 1919, was, AS follows: 'The suit is remanded to the Court of 'the Revenue' visional Officer, Pollachi, for a finding on the following issue: Whether any portion or portions of the suit lands, and if so which, lay or lie outside the boundaries of the suit lands as those boundaries existed at the time of the inception of the tenancy.' This finding was evidently called for owing to the office note which was put up containing reference to Gouri Pattra v. Reily 20 C. 579 : 10 Ind. Dec. 2 which was based on the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885 which has been subsequently amended by Bengal Act III of 1898. The Collector evidently overlooked the fact that Clause (4) of the Explanation to Section 44 of the Madras Estates Land Act provides that 'when the landholder or ryot is unable to indicate any particular land as held in excess, the rent to be added on account of the excess area may be calculated at the average rate of, rent paid on all the lands of the holding exclusive of such excess area.' The effect of the amendment of the Bengal Tenancy Act, which amendment is incorporated in the Madras Estates Land Act, is set out clearly in the decision of Mookerjee, C.J., and Fletcher, J., in Durga Priya Choudhury v. Hazra Gain 62 Ind. Cas. 453 : 25 C.W.N. 204 as follows: 'The District Judge will first consider whether since the date of the last assessment of rent, land has been added to the holding by encroachment, accretion or in like manner. If this is answered in the negative, he will consider whether the rent was assessed at a consolidated sum for the entire tract in the possession of the tenant, whatever its area might turn out to be, or whether the rent was assessed on area fixed by estimate or determined by measurement. If the rent was not fixed as a consolidated sum, the plaintiff is entitled to additional rent'. Having regard to the findings of Mr. Lancashire and to his observations which I have set out in the previous portion of my judgment, it seems to me that the additional issue which the Collector has raised was not necessary for the determination of the appeal because it was found that, owing to the alteration in the ridges, it was not possible to state in which particular portion of the field there was encroachment one, way or other. However, as there was a remand, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Mr. Govindan, heard the parties and the Vakil for the Zemindar stated that he was not in a position to show what the boundaries of the land were at the time of the inception of the tenancy and that that issue was unnecessary But the Revenue Divisional Officer was of opinion that he was hound to return a finding and, as the zemindar adduced no evidence on the issue, he returned a finding against him. The matter again came up before the Collector who was of opinion that the decision in Gouri Pattra v. Reily 20 C. 579 : 10 Ind. Dec. 392 clearly applied to the facts of the present case, that Section 42 obviously referred to increase in holding due to addition of the actual physical holding and not to a revision of the area which was merely a paper calculation, that there was no evidence on record that the defendant made any addition to his holding and that he was not, therefore, entitled to enhancement of rent under Section 42 of the Madras Estates Land Act. A revision petition was filed to the Board of Revenue against this order of the Collector, but it was of Opinion that Section 205 of the Madras Estates Land Act gave concurrent jurisdiction to the District Collector and the Board of Revenue to revise the orders of Revenue Officers and that they had no power to revise the order of a District Collector, This seems to have been the view taken by the Board in several cases and is reported as In re Section 205 of the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908 59 Ind. Cas. 345 : 12 L.W. 145. The petitioner, in addition to going to the Board of Revenue for relief, filed this revision petition.

2. The power of the High Court to interfere in revision against, orders passed by the Collector under the Estates. Land Act was considered in Ramasivami Goundan v. Kali Goundan 52 Ind. Cas. 634 : 42 M. 310 : 36 M.L.J. 571 and it was held by Ayling and Krishnan, JJ., that this Court had power to interfere in revision. It is argued by Mr. G. Krishnaswami Iyer for the respondent that as the petitioner applied to the Board of Revenue which had also concurrent revisional powers and the Board of Revenue declined to interfere, this Court ought not to interfere in revision. It seems to me that as the Board of Revenue declined to interfere, because it thought that it had no power to do so, the High Court is not precluded from interference, especially as, in my view, the Board put an erroneous construction on the provisions of the Madras Estates Land Act. There is no reason why, if the Collector happens to be the appellate authority from the decision of the Sub-Collector and passes orders, the Board should not revise the order passed by the Collector acting as an appellate authority from, the Divisional Officer. It is obvious that, where the District Collector himself acts as an appellate authority from the Divisional Officer he cannot revise his own order and there seems to me nothing in the Code to say that the Board of. Revenue in that case cannot also interfere. Section 3(13) defines, 'Revenue Officer' as meaning Collector, and including any person appointed by the Local Government whether by name or in virtue of his office to exercise any of the functions of a Revenue. Officer under this Act and the Board has power to revise the order of a Revenue Officer, if he happens to be the District Collector himself. As regards the power in revision, in a case like the present, it is not merely an erroneous decision of law which I am asked to revise, but it is an assumption that Section 44 of the Act requires proof of certain facts, or to take into consideration certain circumstances which it does not require and a decision by the Collector on the view that the appellant does not prove facts, which the section does not require him to prove before giving relief. I think the case is covered by authority. The power of revision in such cases was held to exist in the High Court in Venkubai v. Lakshman Venkoba Khot 12 B. 617 : 13 Ind. Jur. 270 : 6 Ind. Dec. 895, Sivaprosad Ram v. Tricomdas Coverji Bhoja 27 Ind. Cas. 917 : 42 C. 926, Kristamma Naidu v. Chapa Naidu 17 M. 410 : Venkatachallam Pattar v. Parasu Pattar 16 M.L.T. 156 and Ross Alston v. Pitambar Das 25 A. 509 : A.W.N. (1903) 104 where the learned Judges point out the limits within which errors of law can be subjected to revision by the High Court.

3. As in my view, the Collector Was wrong in thinking that Gouri Pattar v. Reily 20 C. 579 : 10 Ind. Dec.392 concluded the question in dispute between the parties and that in the absence, of evidence satisfying the requirements laid down in the decision, there should be no relief, I set aside the decision of the Collector and remand the case to him for disposal according to law. The Collector will decide the matter having regard to the findings of Mr. Lancashire on the evidence taken by him.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //