1. The question for determination is whether the respondent is entitled to charge varam rates as rent for the land occupied by the appellants. The estate was under the management of the Court of Wards from 1872 to 1878 and from 1893 to 1899. During the first period of management, from 1872 to 1878, the Court of Wards levied a fixed rent of Rs. 14 per kottah of land in lieu of varam but when the management came to an end, the tenants asked the proprietor to revert to the varam rate, and he consented to it, making it a condition that they should admit that they had not got occupancy rights. When the Court of Wards again came into management they reverted to the money rent, and, when. that management terminated, the proprietors again reverted to varam. It is admitted by the defendants that prior to 1872 there was varam tenure on the lands; for they asked for a return to varam tenure in 1878 or 1879. The proprietor has a right to varam' tenure unless it is proved that there is a valid contract that money rent should be paid in its place. It is argued that because the proprietor agreed to revert to varam tenure with a condition that the ryots should admit that they had not occupancy rights, the arrangement is not binding on the ryots, now that the Courts have held that they have occupancy right in these lands, and the lands are what are called ryoti lands in the Estates Land Act. This decision of the Court has not in any way altered the nature of the lands, but it has determined what their nature was and, therefore, when they were paying varam from 1872 onwards they were ryoti lands in the same sense that they are now ryoti lands. It being admitted that the lands were originally held on varam tenure, it is for defendants to prove a contract to adopt a fixed money rent. It is suggested that as the Court of Wards levied a money rent it must be deemed that there was a contract to do so for ever. In so far as the period from 1872 to 1878 is concerned it is obvious that there was no such contract, or even if there was, it was put an end to by the parties themselves when they expressed a desire to revert to varam, a desire which was acquiesced in. To suggest that the payment of money rent from 1893 to 1899 constitutes a contract to pay for ever thereafter at that rate cannot be supported. The period of payment at this rate is very short and there are no grounds for assuming that there was any valid contract. It is quite probable that the Court of Wards levied this money rent, because it found it to be a more convenient way in which to collect rent. As there is no contract to alter the varam into money rent in perpetuity the proprietor is entitled to charge rent according to varam rates.
2. The appeals are accordingly dismissed with costs. Vakil's fee in all the appeals together Rs. 100.