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Krishnaswami Pillai Vs. Aminjikarai Sri Ekambareswarar Devasthanam - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1935Mad725
AppellantKrishnaswami Pillai
RespondentAminjikarai Sri Ekambareswarar Devasthanam
Cases Referred and Muthuveera Vandayan v. Secretary of State
Excerpt:
- .....the building which he has erected on the suit site. he also relied in support of his title on a patta granted to him subsequently in the year 1927. the subordinate judge held that even if the defendant claimed to be in possession of the suit land, there was nothing ultra vires in the grant of patta to the plaintiff by the tahsildar and therefore there was nothing to be conveyd subsequently to the defendant under the patta on which he relied. it was also held that the defendant is not entitled to compensation for the building.2. it is argued that the tahsildar in granting the patta to the plaintiff has acted beyond the scope of his authority, that the civil court in such a case can examine the validity of the grant and that this case cannot be disposed of without a definite finding on.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. The defendant is the appellant. The short question for decision in the second appeal is whether the plaintiff has a valid title to the suit property. The property in question was originally a water pandal inam. The Government resumed it and issued a patta in favour of the plaintiff in 1925. The order of the Collector to issue the patta was in these terms : 'A ryotwari patta should be issued to the persons in possession of the inam land.' It was in consequence of this order that the patta was issued to the plaintiff. The defendant's case is that the plaintiff was not the person in possession of the land at the time when the patta was granted, that he was the person in possession of it at that time and that the issue of the patta is therefore invalid; and that even if valid he should be given compensation for the building which he has erected on the suit site. He also relied in support of his title on a patta granted to him subsequently in the year 1927. The Subordinate Judge held that even if the defendant claimed to be in possession of the suit land, there was nothing ultra vires in the grant of patta to the plaintiff by the Tahsildar and therefore there was nothing to be conveyd subsequently to the defendant under the patta on which he relied. It was also held that the defendant is not entitled to compensation for the building.

2. It is argued that the Tahsildar in granting the patta to the plaintiff has acted beyond the scope of his authority, that the civil Court in such a case can examine the validity of the grant and that this case cannot be disposed of without a definite finding on the question as to whether who was in possession, the plaintiff or the defendant, when the grant was made. To show that in cases like this, the civil Court can question the validity of the grant, reference was made to the decisions in Secretary of State v. Kasturi Reddi (1903) 26 Mad. 268 and Muthuveera Vandayan v. Secretary of State (1907) 30 Mad. 270. It was also argued that in any event the defendant is entitled to compensation.

3. The foundation for the application of the cases above named is the assumption that the Tahsildar has acted beyond the scope of his authority, i.e., while the order to him was that the person in possession should be given the patta, the patta was given to another person who was not in possession. In my opinion there is no scope for the application of, the principle laid down in these cases to the present case. Though the lower appellate Court has assumed that the defendant was in possession at the time and yet the grant of the patta in plaintiff's favour must be considered to be valid, the facts show that the assumption is not justified and that there is no need for calling for a definite finding on the point. Against the grant of the patta to the plaintiff the defendant appealed to the Collector. His appeal was rejected. Then stating the facts fully and urging the arguments now urged, he applied to the Revenue Board for the review of the Collector's order. That application was also rejected. I find from the records that the orders of the Board of Revenue and the Collector are perfectly justified, because of Ex. C, Memorandum of the Tahsildar dated 10th October 1925. In that he says:

The ayan patta with respect to the suit land has been issued in the name of Ekambareeswarar, now in enjoyment.

4. The plaintiff is the trustee of Sri Ekatnbareeswarar Devasthanam. There can be no doubt that the Tahsildar issued the patta in favour of the plaintiff because the Devasthanam was in possession of the land. He therefore acted strictly within the scope of his authority. It therefore follows that there is no foundation for the argument that he acted beyond his authority. In these circumstances, there is no need to call for a fresh finding as to who was in possession of the property at the time when the patta in favour of the plaintiff was issued. The argument on this point must therefore be overruled.

5. The next argument is that the defendant should be given compensation for the building erected by him on the site. Assuming that he has made out a case for claiming compensation, namely, that he bona fide believed that he had a clear title, on the finding by the first Court that he has not by satisfactory evidence proved the amount spent by him for the construction of the building, his claim for compensation has to be refused. Further there is nothing to show, that the appellant bona fide believed that he had a title to the property when he made the improvement. It is said that the plaintiff is estopped from saying that the appellant is not entitled to compensation because of his acquiescence and general conduct. The plea of estoppel must depend for its decision very largely on the particular facts of the case. No issue as to estoppel has been raised in the suit, and no reference to it has been made in the judgments of the lower Courts. The point being a new one dependent on facts for its decision cannot for the first time be urged in second appeal. In the result the appeal is dismissed with costs.


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