1. In this case the 1st defendant as Karnavan of the Tarwad granted a Melcharth to the 4th defendant, whereby he empowered him to recover 2 items of property held under 2 leases, the term of one of which had expired and the term of the other would expire in 2 years. This Melcharth has been held by the lower Courts to be invalid apparently on two grounds, that is, (1) that the 2nd defendant was the de facto Karnavan, and (2) that the lease was not beneficial to the Tarwad, As regards the first point it is not disputed that 1st defendant was actually Karnavan, and consequently, although he may have allowed 2nd defendant to discharge the duties of Karnavan, it was open to him to resume the management at any time. On the second point the learned Vakil for the appellant argues that a Karnavan has absolute powers as regards leases, and leases granted by him cannot be questioned on the ground that they are not beneficial to the Tarwad. The Karnavan, by the grant of a lease, does not alienate Tarwad property and although the income of the Tarwad may be diminish-ed by the grant of improvident leases, that is mainly a matter which concerns the Karnavan alone, for it reduces the income out of which he has to meet liabilities. No doubt if a Karnavan habitually grants improvident leases and thereby renders himself unable to fulfil his obligations towards the other members of the. Tarwad, this would be a ground for removing him from Karnavastanam, but we do not think that a particular' lease can be declared to be invalid as against the lessee merely because it is not proved to be beneficial to the Tarwad. To fetter a Karnavan's discretion in this way would be to render his whole management of the property liable to criticism and reversal at any moment.
2. It is then argued for the respondent that the grant of this lease, 2 years before the expiry of the term under which the land was held, is ipso facto invalid and reliance is placed on Cheria Chirikandan v. Krishnan Nambiyar 16 Ind. Cas. 391 and Roman Nambiar v. Raman Nambiar 25 Ind. Cas. 578 : 1 I L.W. 540 and Moidin Kutti v. Kunhi Koyan 87 Ind. Cas. l007 : 27 M.L.J. 691 These cases are, however, only authority for holding that a Melcharth granted by a Karnavan before the expiry of the previous term will not bind his successor, and not that such Melcharths are necessarily invalid ab initio.
3. In this view we think that the decision of the lower Courts is wrong and in allowance of the second appeal we dismiss the plaintiff's suit with costs throughout.
[This second appeal coming on for hearing on 19th December 1917 in pursuance of the order of this Court, dated the 21st November 1916, the Court delivered the following.]
4. The guardian of 17th and 19th respondents has now been made a party. Mr. Madhavan Nair on his behalf has nothing new to argue. We, therefore, for the reasons stated by us on 24th October 1916 allow the second appeal and dismiss plaintiff's suit with costs throughout.