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Swaminatha Odayar and K. Arumuga Padayachi Vs. S. Sundaram Aiyar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1921Mad314; 60Ind.Cas.18
AppellantSwaminatha Odayar and K. Arumuga Padayachi
RespondentS. Sundaram Aiyar
Cases ReferredMadras Estates Land Act. See Receiver of Ammayyanaikanur Zamin v. Suppan Chetty
Excerpt:
.....(i of 1908), section 46(5) - occupancy rights, application for acquisition of--receiver holding estate, application to, validity of. - - therefore, sub-section (5) to section 46 when it says that any application or proceeding under this section shall be made only to or against such a landholder who is the owner of the estate it clearly intended to exclude persons like a receiver of the estate from the purview of that section. that may very well be, but here we have to consider the express words of a statute which clearly show that the legislature intended to confine these proceedings against persons who are owners of the estate as distinguished from persons who may be entitled to collect the rents of the estate and to do other acts contemplated by the act as landholder. the frame of..........be made only to or against such landholder (which means the landholder who is the owner of the estate). landholder,' as defined in section 3 clause (5), would include not only the owner of an estate but also persons who are entitled collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner or his predecessor-in title or of any order of a competent court or of any provision of law. this definition, therefore, would include a receiver appointed by the court as a landholder within the meaning of the act. therefore, sub-section (5) to section 46 when it says that any application or proceeding under this section shall be made only to or against such a landholder who is the owner of the estate it clearly intended to exclude persons like a receiver.....
Judgment:

Abdur Rahim, J.

1. These cases arise out of an application made by certain tenants of the Palace Estate, which is under the management of a Receiver appointed by the Court, for the compulsory acquisition of occupancy rights under Section 46 of the Estates Land Act. The Revenue Authorities decided against the ryots on the ground that Section 45 precludes any application being made under it to a Receiver appointed by the Court as distinguished from the beneficial owner of the property. We have not found it necessary to decide the preliminary objection raised that no objection lies against the order of the Revenue Authorities as, on the merits, we are already of opinion that sub Section 5 of Section 43 is a bar to the present application of the ryots in the case. While in the main clauses of that section the word landholder alone is used, in Clause (5) at the end, the Legislature has added: 'The sums payable under this section for the acquisition of the occupancy rights shall be paid to the landholder who is the owner of the estate or part thereof and any application or proceeding under this section shall be made only to or against such landholder (which means the landholder who is the owner of the estate). Landholder,' as defined in Section 3 Clause (5), would include not only the owner of an estate but also persons who are entitled collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner or his predecessor-in title or of any order of a competent Court or of any provision of law. This definition, therefore, would include a Receiver appointed by the Court as a landholder within the meaning of the Act. Therefore, Sub-section (5) to Section 46 when it says that any application or proceeding under this section shall be made only to or against such a landholder who is the owner of the estate it clearly intended to exclude persons like a Receiver of the estate from the purview of that section. There is another section brought to our notice by Mr. Varada Chariar, the learned Vakil for the respondent, in which the same definition is found, namely, Section 200. It is argued by Mr. Rajah Aiyar that a Receiver exercises all or most of the powers of the landholder with reference to the management of the property and, therefore, in several connections he has been held to stand in the shoes of the owner. That may very well be, but here we have to consider the express words of a Statute which clearly show that the Legislature intended to confine these proceedings against persons who are owners of the estate as distinguished from persons who may be entitled to collect the rents of the estate and to do other acts contemplated by the Act as landholder. It is not for us to speculate as to what the object of the Legislature 'was in drawing this distinction and in restricting the rights given to the ryots by Section 45 to eases where the owner himself is in management of the property. The frame of this section, like that of several sections of the Act, is somewhat person but there is no escape from its language which admits of no doubt as to the intention of the Legislature.

2. The result is that Civil Revision Petitions Nos. 643 and 641 are dismissed with costs.

Odgers, J.

3. I agree. There is no doubt that a Receiver falls within the definition of a landholder in Section 3 Sub-section (5) of the Madras Estates Land Act. See Receiver of Ammayyanaikanur Zamin v. Suppan Chetty 30 M. 505 . It is equally clear that the meaning of 'landholder' as defined in Section 3 Sub-section (5) has been restricted by words in Section 46 Sub-section (5) for the purposes set forth in that section. Section 46 sub-section (5) is very clear and lays down that 'any application or proceeding under this section shall be made only to or against such landholder.' Such landholder being defined just previously as the person 'who is the owner of the estate or part thereof.' The difficulty in construing this section arises, in my opinion, from the fact that the definition of landholder for the purpose' of the section has beer relegated to the last sub section instead of being clearly stated in the first. In view of the clear and unequivocal words of Section 46 Sub-section (5) no good purpose is served by referring to decisions under other Acts in which the word owner' has been held of to me necessarily a beneficial owner, as for instance, Section 7 of the Easements Act. The construction put upon Sub-section (5) of Section 46 of the Madras Estates Land Act is further strengthened by the distinction drawn between a landholder who is a landholder who is not owner in Section 200 of the game Act.

4. I, therefore, think that the decision of the Revenue Authorities are right and that the Civil Revision Petitions Nos. 643 and 644 must be dismissed with costs.


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