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R. Shanmuga Rajeswara Naganathan Sethupathy, Raja of Ramnad Vs. B.R. Kandasami Dorai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1964)1MLJ58
AppellantR. Shanmuga Rajeswara Naganathan Sethupathy, Raja of Ramnad
RespondentB.R. Kandasami Dorai
Cases ReferredLakshmi Venkavaramama v. Surya Rao
Excerpt:
- - on the other hand, the maintenance-holder like the respondent will also have the benefit of 1/5th of the final compensation amount as well......was effected, the act provided for payment of an advance compensation, interim compensation and a final compensation. in other words, it was anticipated that the final compensation comprising half the entire compensation was to be paid in one lump sum. but, long after the compromise had been entered into, the legislature amended section 50 of the abolition act and also had introduced certain other amendments under section 54(.4) to (h). those provisions enabled the government to pay the final compensation amount in five equal instalments. by virtue of the amended statute, the government deposited 1/5th of the final compensation amount. the maintenance-holders appear to have drawn their aliquot share therefrom. under the provisions of section 50(4), on payment of an instalment of the.....
Judgment:

S. Ramachandra Iyer, C.J.

1. On the taking over by the Government of Ramanathapuram Zamindari under the provisions of the Abolition Act certain amounts by way of advance compensation were deposited. There were a number of claims made for portions of the amount deposited. Some of them were by creditors, and others by maintenance-holders. There was also a claim on the part of the sons of Raja of Ramnad. The Raja was claiming that he was entitled to the entirety of the compensation amount. But each one of these claims was settled on the advice of certain mediators. The respondents to the present appeal, Kandaswami Dorai, is the brother of the Raja of Ramnad, and, so far as he was concerned, it was agreed that he should receive a sum of Rs. 75,000 in full quit from out of the entire compensation amount paid and to be paid by the Government for the estate. As the advance compensation deposited covered only a moiety of the entire compensation due, he was to get initially a sum of Rs. 37,500. That sum was paid. But the compromise provided, in addition for certain rights also to persons in the position of maintenance-holder in the interim compensation amount payable by the Government to the proprietor. Kandaswami Dorai was one of the maintenance-holders. Under the provisions of the Act, all the persons entitled to receive maintenance from out of the compensation amount, the compromise in the instant case proceeded upon the footing that Kandaswami Dorai would also be entitled to a share of the interim payments : but the compromise did not give him that proportion of interim compensation. He was to get a sum of Rs. 3,000 alone per Fasli as his share of the interim compensation payable to the Raja. Under the provisions of the Act, the proprietor of the estate was to be paid one half of the net ryotwari assessment on the land as interim compensation in cases where a moiety of the entire compensation has been deposited as advance compensation. It appears from the material supplied to us by learned Counsel for the appellant that the interim compensation amount received by the Raja was approximately in the region of Rs. 2,16,000 per Fasli. Under the various compromises that had been entered into with the maintenance-holders it appears that the Raja was to part not with the 1/5th share of the compensation amount which under the law the maintenance-holders might be held entitled to, but with a lesser fraction somewhere about a tenth of the interim compensation amount. It is admitted that the entire amount that was fixed under the compromise for being paid over to the maintenance-holders totals to only about Rs. 21,000. It will be apparent from what we have stated above that the parties were adjusting their rights, not strictly in accordance with the terms of Sections 42 and 35 of the Act, but with a view to settle their rival claims to title. At the time when this compromise was effected, the Act provided for payment of an advance compensation, interim compensation and a final compensation. In other words, it was anticipated that the final compensation comprising half the entire compensation was to be paid in one lump sum. But, long after the compromise had been entered into, the Legislature amended Section 50 of the Abolition Act and also had introduced certain other amendments under Section 54(.4) to (H). Those provisions enabled the Government to pay the final compensation amount in five equal Instalments. By virtue of the amended statute, the Government deposited 1/5th of the final compensation amount. The maintenance-holders appear to have drawn their aliquot share therefrom. Under the provisions of Section 50(4), on payment of an instalment of the final compensation amount, the interim payment due to the Raja will proportionately stand reduced. On the other hand, the maintenance-holder like the respondent will also have the benefit of 1/5th of the final compensation amount as well. The enforcing of the compromise arrangement under the changed circumstances entails an undoubted hardship on the Raja of Ramnad, because while the interim compensation amount has been reduced and the maintenance-holder was further in the more advantageous position of having 1/5th of his capital due to him also paid, still if the terms of the compromise were to be enforced according to their letter to pay a sum of Rs. 3,000 to the respondent. Naturally enough, he applied to the Tribunal to reduce the amount of Rs. 3,0.00 payable to the respondent every Fasli by proportionately reducing the amount. This he claimed, could be done under provisions of Sub-clause (9) of Section 50. But, unfortunately for him, the maintenance-holders are not paid by any fixed proportion. As we said, it was by virtue of a settlement of disputed claims that a lump sum was arrived at as the share of interim payment to the maintenance-holders. That amount having been fixed by consent cannot be altered except without the further consent from all the parties. It is true, as has been contended by Mr. U. Somasundaram on behalf of the appellant, that the basis on which the compromise proceeded, has now been altered by reason of the amendments effected to the Act in 1954. When the compromise was entered into, it was contemplated that the final compensation amount would be paid only in a lump sum, and till that time, the Raja of Ramnad would get half the basic annual sum as interim compensation. By reason of an amendment of the section, this expectation could not be realised. The Raja's income has been reduced. We can fully appreciate the attitude now taken by the Raja that justice requires that there should be some kind of reduction in so far as the interim payments to the maintenance-holders are concerned. But the question is whether that can be done by the machinery provided under the statute. We are unable to find anything in Sub-clause (9) of Section 50, which will empower the Tribunal to go behind a settlement of the kind before us arrived at between the parties and re-adjust the share of interim compensation payable to the various persons proportionately to the diminution of the liability of the Government to the Raja with respect to the final compensation. Mr. U. Somasundaram, however, has contended that the Court would have a power even in such a case to adjust the equities between the parties, and, in support of his contention, he referred to a decision of the Andhra High Court in Lakshmi Venkavaramama v. Surya Rao (1956) An. W.R. 37. That was a case where a question arose as to the valuation of the maintenance claim charged on the estate. The learned Chief Justice delivering the judgment of the Bench, rejected an argument advanced on behalf of the maintenance-holder that, after the abolition of the estate, when a question of the distribution of the compensation arose, the value of maintenance right should be adjudged at 20 years' purchase of the annual maintenance. We can find nothing in that decision to support the proposition that a compromise entered into on the lines that had been done in this case can be got behind on account of the change in the statute itself. We are unable to find any provision in the statute which would enable either the Tribunal or ourselves to do so. In the absence of any such provision, we are unable to grant any relief to the appellant in these proceedings.

2. The appeal fails and is dismissed, but, in the circumstances, without costs.


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