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Rajah Sir M.A. Muthia Chettiar Vs. R.M. Murugappan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1979)1MLJ311
AppellantRajah Sir M.A. Muthia Chettiar
RespondentR.M. Murugappan and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....subject or context-'landholder' means a person owning an estate or part thereof and includes every person entitled to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner or his pre-decessor-in-title or of any order of a competent court or of any provision of law.where there is a dispute between two or more persons as to which of them is the landholder for all or any of the purposes of this act or between two or more joint landholders as to which of them is entitled to proceed and be dealt with as such landholder, the person who shall be deemed to be the landholder for such purposes shall be the person whom the collector, subject to any decree or order of a competent civil court, may recognize or nominate as such landholder in accordance.....
Judgment:

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. The Assistant Settlement Officer granted a ryotwari patta in respect of the land in question under Section 9(1)(a)(i) of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1963 in favour of the appellant herein. However, on appeal preferred by the respondents herein, the Special Tribunal, Inam Abolition, Ramanathapuram at Sivaganga, by his order dated 30th April, 1974, allowed the appeal preferred by the respondents herein and set aside the order of the Settlement Officer. It is against this order of the Tribunal, the present appeal has been filed.

2. It is not in dispute that the matter arises out of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1963. Section 9(1) of that Act deals with the right of a landholder to the grant of ryotwari patta under that Act. Section 9(1) opens by stating, 'in the case of an existing inam estate, the landholder shall with effect on and from the notified date, be entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect of.' The expression 'landholder' occurring in Section 9 has been defined in Section 2, Clause (8), as follows:

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, 'Land-holder'-

(i) in relation to an existing inam estate shall have the same meaning as in Clause (5) of Section 3 of the Estates Land Act;

... ... ... ... (It is not necessary to refer to the further portions of this cause).

Thus, it will be seen that this definition throws us back to Section 3(5) of the Estates Land Act, 1908. Section 3(5) of the Estates land Act defines the expression 'landholder' as follows:

In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context-

'Landholder' means a person owning an estate or part thereof and includes every person entitled to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner or his pre-decessor-in-title or of any order of a competent Court or of any provision of law.

Where there is a dispute between two or more persons as to which of them is the landholder for all or any of the purposes of this Act or between two or more joint landholders as to which of them is entitled to proceed and be dealt with as such landholder, the person who shall be deemed to be the landholder for such purposes shall be the person whom the Collector, subject to any decree or order of a competent civil Court, may recognize or nominate as such landholder in accordance with rules to be framed by the State Government in this behalf.

Thus, it will be clear that a person, to be a landholder entitled to the grant of a ryotwari patta under Section 9 of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1963, should be a person owning 'n estate or a part thereof or a person entitled to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner or his predecessor-in title or of any order of a competent Court or of any provision of law. Consequently, the first question for consideration before Section 9 of Act XXVI of 1963 can be applied is whether the appellant herein satisfied the definition of 'landholder' as contained in the Act.

3. It is admitted that the appellant does not have any title deed in respect of the land in question. Ail that is stated is that from the previous landholders viz., Thiru S.P. Subramania Chettiar and Thiru Arunachalam Chettiar, the South India Corporation Limited at Madras purchased the lands in question under Exhibit A-3 dated 6th July, 1943, and the appellant herein, who is a Director of South India Corporation Limited, became entitled to the land by virtue of a book adjustment in Exhibit A-7, the ledger of South India Corporation Limited. As we pointed out already, admittedly the South India Corporation Limited had not executed any sale deed in respect of the land in question to the appellant herein. It is not clear how the appellant can claim to have become the owner of the land in question by way of a book adjustment in the ledger of South India Corporation Limited. Equally, admittedly the property being immovable property of the value of more than Rs. 100, no title can be created in favour of the appellant over the property except by way of a registered sale deed. No such registered sale deed admittedly been has executed in favour of the appellant by the South India Corporation Limited. Consequently, the appellant cannot be said to be the owner of the estate or part thereof or a person entitled to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner or his predecessor4n-title. There is no case that the appellant became entitled to collect the rents of the land in question by virtue of any order of a competent Court of any other provision of law. Under these circumstances, it is clear that the appellant is not a landholder as contemplated by Section 9 of Act XXVI of 1963 and therefore he cannot come within the scope of that Section and consequently his claim for ryotwari patta under that Section was rightly rejected by the Tribunal.

4. Mr. T. Rangaswami Iyenger, learned Counsel for the appellant, then contended that in any event the order of the Tribunal granting a joint patta in respect of the several respondents cannot stand and the Tribunal should have specified the land with reference to which each one of the respondents will be individually and separately entitled to ryotwari patta. Even if we accept this argument and set aside the order of the Tribunal and remand the matter to the Tribunal for the purpose of ascertining with reference to what portion of the land which respondent will be entitled to ryotwari patta, we asked the learned Counsel for the appellant how it will benefit the appellant, and the learned Counsel had to concede that the appellant will not be benefited by such an order of remand. In view of this, it is unnecessary to set aside the order of the Tribunal for that purpose.

5. Under these circumstances, the appeal fails and is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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