1. The Subordinate Judge in his judgment says: 'The land involved in this appeal is admittedly cultivable tank-bed land and even at present admittedly the land is liable to submersion.' The question is whether the land is a ryoti land within the meaning of Section 3(16) of the Estates Land Act, 1908. That clause says: Ryoti land means cultivable land in an estate other than private land but does not include (a) tank-beds; (b) threshing floors, cattle-stands, village-sites, etc., etc.' So far as tank-beds are concerned, what the Legislature was alluding to was such class of tank-beds as are cultivable, that is to say, as are capable of being cultivated when the tank has become dry or when there is no water in the tank in certain years. Mr. Narayanamurthi for the appellants contends that what the Legislature meant was the bed of a tank which is full of water. It is difficult, however, to assume that the Legislature was dealing with land that could not be cultivated at all.
2. Section 20 of the Act was also referred to by the learned Pleader. That section lays down; 'Threshing floors, cattle-stands, village-sites and other lands situated in any estate which are set apart for the common use of the villagers shall not be assigned or used for any other purpose without the written order of the District Collector,' but with reference to tank-beds the section says: 'Nothing in this section shall apply to tank-beds in any estate or affect the rights of the landholders over them.' That seems to be a quite clear provision that so far as tank beds are capable of being cultivated or used in any such manner, the rights of the land-holders over them are not affected by the enactment of Section 20.
3. Then Mr. Narayanamurthi seemed to argue that since this class of land does not come within the definition of private land' we must take it as ryoti land, but there is no warrant or authority for that proposition. In fact, the definition of 'ryoti land' contemplates the existence of non-ryoti lands which are not private lands. If the land in suit is not ryoti the defendant is liable to be ejected, unless he could make out that all lands which are not private lands are to be treated on this same footing as ryoti lands. Such a presumption as we have said is clearly negatived by the wording of Clause 16, Section 3. We, therefore, hold that the decision of the Subordinate Judge is right, and the appeal must be dismissed with costs.