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Tangutoori Kodandaramayya Vs. Tangutoori Ramalingayya and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in60Ind.Cas.650
AppellantTangutoori Kodandaramayya
RespondentTangutoori Ramalingayya and anr.
Cases ReferredKrishnaswami Naidu v. Akkulammal Avergal
Excerpt:
.....of section 15(1). where the claims of more than one family have to be considered the determination of the next heir according to the general custom and rule of primogeniture is obviously impracticable and the proprietor (or revenue officer, as the case may be) is simply enjoined to select the best qualified persons from among the families of the last holders of the abolished offices......to the general custom and rule of primogeniture is obviously impracticable and the proprietor (or revenue officer, as the case may be) is simply enjoined to select the best qualified persons from among the families of the last holders of the abolished offices.8. it is quite true that the opening words of section 10 refer to section 9 which deals with appointments to newly created village offices such as the one in question but this makes no difference. the three sections (sections 9, 10 and 15) must in fast all ba read together; and the general qualifications laid down in sub-section (1) of section 10 no doubt apply to appointments under section 15. but the prinoiples to be observed in ma&ing; selection between two or more qualified appliaants are different, and the claim of the present.....
Judgment:

William Ayling, J.

1. First respondent in this case was appointed Karnam of the grouped village of Vallur in the Venkatagiri Zemindari by the Sub-Divisional Officer under Section 15(3) of Act II of 1894. He sued for a declaration that he was the legally appointed Karnam and for an injunction restraining first defendant (the proprietor of the estate) and second defendant (the person appointed as Karnam by the first defendant) from interfering with his tenure of office. The District Munsif decreed the suit as prayed for. The Subordinate Judge set aside the injunction but confirmed the declaration.

2. In second appeal Mr. Krishnasawmy Aiyar has argued, (1) that plaintiff not being in possession of the office his suit is not maintainable under Section 42, Specific Relief Act; (2) that the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts is barred by Section 21 of Madras Act III of 1895.

3. The first objeotion may be summarily disposed of. The Subordinate Judge finds that at the date of suit plaintiff was in possession of the office; and his finding must be accepted. We may remark that most of the evidence to which Mr. Krishnasawmy Aiyar wished to refer us relates to proceedings after its institution.

4. The objection to the jurisdiction calls for more serious consideration. Section 21 of Madras Act III of 1895 runs thus: 'No Civil Court shall have authority to take into consideration or decide any claim to succed to any of the offices specified in Section 3 or any question as to the rate or amount of the emoluments of any such office or, except as provided in proviso (ii) to Sub-section (1) of Section 13, any claim to recover the emoluments of any such office: Provided that if, in any suit instituted under this Act the defendant has pleaded before the Collector that a Revenue Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit, on the ground that no emoluments, as defined in this Act, appertain to the office in respect Of which the suit is brought and if on appeal preferred from the decree a such suit, the appellate authority has decided adversely to such plea, the defendant may, within six months from the date of the appellate decree, institute a suit in a Civil Court to set aside such appellate decree on the said ground and on that ground only.'

5. The opening words with which we are concerned are no doubt of a very general character, and it is quite possible to interpret them as barring the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts to try any suit brought to establish a claim to any of the offices specified in Section 3 which would include the Karnam's office with which we are concerned. A much narrower interpretation has, however, been adopted in two reported cases of this Court, that of a Full Bench in Kesiram Narasimhulu v. Narasimhulu Patnaidu 30 M. 126 , and of a Division Bench in Manoulu Seetharam Naidu v. Doddi Rami Naidu 5 Ind. Cas. 137 . The Court in each case held that Section 21 only took away the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts in cases in which jurisdiction was conferred on Revenue Courts by Section 13 of the same Act. The dictnm in the Full Bench case may be impugned as obiter, but this oannot be said of the decision in Mavoulu Seetharam Naidu v. Toddi Rai Naidu 5 Ind. Cas. 137 , all that can be urged against the latter is that another line of reasoning might be suggested to support the decision, which, however, was not what the learned Judges relied on.

6. I do not feel at liberty to refuse to follow these decisions which have, moreover, been followed by Sadasiva Aiyar, J., in a recent case Krishnaswami Naidu v. Akkulammal Avergal 50 Ind. Cas. 185 .

7. We have, therefore, to see whether plaintiff had a right of suit in a Revenue Court under Section 13. I think it is clear that be had not. Section 13 only gives jurisdiction to the Revenue Courts to decide suits brought on the ground that the person suing 'is entitled under Sub-section (2) or (3) of Section 10 of the Madras Proprietary Estates Village Services Act, 1894, or under Sub-section (2) or (3) of Section 10 or Sub-section (2) or (3) of Section 11 or Section 12 of this Act, as the case may be, to hold such office and to enjoy such emoluments,'. Now, the present suit cannot be brought under one of the sections or Sub-sections specified. Section 10 of Act II of 1814 is the only one which could be relied on, bat Sub-sections(2) and (3) thereof have no application to the present plaintiffs' claim to the office. They lay down the principles to be observed in filling a vacancy to an exicting hereditary office. Where, as in the present case, a new office has been created in consequsnce of the grouping of two or more villages, that office has to be filled on different principles as laid down in the last sentence of Section 15(1). 'Where the claims of more than one family have to be considered the determination of the next heir according to the general custom and rule of primogeniture is obviously impracticable and the proprietor (or Revenue Officer, as the case may be) is simply enjoined to select the best qualified persons from among the families of the last holders of the abolished offices.

8. It is quite true that the opening words of Section 10 refer to Section 9 which deals with appointments to newly created village offices such as the one in question but this makes no difference. The three sections (Sections 9, 10 and 15) must in fast all ba read together; and the general qualifications laid down in Sub-section (1) of Section 10 no doubt apply to appointments under Section 15. But the prinoiples to be observed in ma&ing; selection between two or more qualified appliaants are different, and the claim of the present plaintiff is not based on Sub-sections (2) and (3).

9. That a suit should lie in a Civil Court regarding a newly created village office and its emolument, whereas it would not lie in the case of an older office, is anomalous and may be the result of oversight in drafting: but I cannot see that it involves any in justice or real inconvenience and, however it may be, it seems to be the only proper interpretation of the two Acts. I hold that the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is not barred by Section 21 of Madras Act 111 of 1895.

10. The only other point argued for appellant is that the six weeks time allowed by Sub-section (3) of Section 15 of Madras Act II of 1894 has been wrorsy calculated. This conterition must be disallowed. The time must be held to run from tha date of puublication of the Collector's notice (Exhibit XVII) which is 19th May 1913, and plaintiff's appointment by the Sub-Colleator was only on 27th Dacember 1913. I would dismiss the second appeal with costs and also the memorandum of objections, as I think the injunction sued for was rightly refused.

Coutts-Trotter, J.

11. I agree.


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