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Veduruvada Venkanna and ors. Vs. Receiver, Medur and Nidadavole Estates - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in24Ind.Cas.786
AppellantVeduruvada Venkanna and ors.
RespondentReceiver, Medur and Nidadavole Estates
Excerpt:
madras estates land act (i of 1908), section 40 - considerations not restricted to (a),(b) and (c) of section 40(3)--no particular weight to be attached to (a), (b) or (c)--interpretation of clause (a). - .....have been in previous years leaving uncultivated should be included in the area which is adopted as the figure for dividing the average total yield in order to ascertain the average yield per acre. there is no evidence that it is necessary to keep certain portions of each holding uncultivated in an average year, and if so, what such portions should be. it seems to me that in seeking to discover what is the proper rent value per acre we should in this case be exchanging certainty for uncertainty if we take 'the average value of the rent actually accrued' referred to in section 40(3), clause (a), as meaning the average value of the rent actually accrued on the whole holding, instead of the average value of the rent actually accrued on the average extent cultivated out of the total.....
Judgment:

Sadasiva Aiyar, J.

1. These six second appeals raise the question as to the proper rate of money rent into which the rent in paddy grain produce, which has been till now paid by certain tenants in the village of Mondur in the Nidadavole and Medur Estates, should be commuted. The suits out of which these second appeals have arisen were brought by the tenants for such commutation of the grain rents into money rents. In their plaints they were prepared to pay money rents according to the quality of the lands from Rs. 4-4-0 to Rs. 7-8-0 per acre. The entire area in each holding had always been treated as consisting of wet lands in the accounts from fasli 1303. When grain rents were being received by the landlord, the tenants seem to have been in the habit of letting some fraction of the entire area in some of the holdings lie fallow or to be cultivated with dry produce. The zemindar used to receive : a share of the wet produce raised from the cultivated wet area. Although the records do not show whether the area in which wet crops were not cultivated was left wholly fallow or whether dry crops were raised on the said area (or most of that area), for which some rent in money was paid to the zemindar, the learned Vakil for the plaintiffs (appellants) represented to us that at least some portion of the area not cultivated with wet crops used to be cultivated with dry crops and money rents paid to zemindar by the tenants.

2. As regards the question of commutation into money rents, Section 40 of the Madras-Estates Land Act deals with the principles which ought to guide the Courts in fixing the money rents in holdings which were paying grain rents. Section 40, Sub-section 3, says :

In making the determination the Collector shall have due regard to each of the following considerations :

(a) The average value of the rent actually accrued, due to the landholder during the preceding ten years other than the years which the Local Government may notify to be or to have been famine years in respect of any local area or, if the value for such period cannot be ascertained, during any shorter period for which evidence may be available, excluding famine years : (b) the money rent payable by occupancy ryots for land of a similar description and with similar advantages in the same village or neighbouring villages : and (c) improvements effected by the landholder or the ryot in respect of the holding, and the rules laid down in Section 32.

3. In the present case the consideration referred to in Clause (e) might be ignored as there is no evidence that improvements wore effected either by the landholder or the ryot in respect of the holdings in dispute. Sub-section 3, again, does not state that the three considerations (a), (b) and (c) are the only considerations which the Collector has to , bear in mind before determining what the fair money rate to be fixed by him should amount to. Nor does it say that the considerations in a particular Clause (a), (b), or (c), should be given more weight than in the other two, A general direction that 'due regard should be given to each of the following considerations' is all that appears in the section. In the present case I am unable to say that such due regard' has not been given to the considerations mentioned in Sub-section 3.

4. As regards the consideration in Clause (b)-if no evidence is let in by either side and if neither side relies upon any facts which have to be established before the Court is in a position to give effect to consideration (6), I cannot say that that consideration has not been given due regard to by the lower Courts.

5. Coming to the consideration (a), the only question argued was whether the expression the average value of the rent actually accrued due to the land-holder during the preceding ten years' means the average rent per acre of the holding arrived at by dividing the totals of the rents per cultivated acre received during the ten years by the number 'ten', or whether it meant the average value of the rent found out by dividing the rents received in each of the ten years by the number of acres in the holding (both cultivated and uncultivated), totalling up the rents per acre during those ten years as found above, and dividing the result again by ten. I think the fairer rule of construction as regards the terms of Section 40, Clause 3(a), is the former rule followed by the lower Courts. At any rate that rule seems to be the fairer rule for application on the facts of these present cases. 1, therefore, dismiss these second appeals with costs.

Spencer, J.

6. I agree. The point upon which the parties are really at issue is whether the average portions which the tenants have been in previous years leaving uncultivated should be included in the area which is adopted as the figure for dividing the average total yield in order to ascertain the average yield per acre. There is no evidence that it is necessary to keep certain portions of each holding uncultivated in an average year, and if so, what such portions should be. It seems to me that in seeking to discover what is the proper rent value per acre we should in this case be exchanging certainty for uncertainty if we take 'the average value of the rent actually accrued' referred to in Section 40(3), Clause (a), as meaning the average value of the rent actually accrued on the whole holding, instead of the average value of the rent actually accrued on the average extent cultivated out of the total area. I think the methods adopted by the lower Courts for arriving at the money rents are fair to both sides and these appeals should, therefore, be dismissed with costs.


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