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Kalluri Punnayya Vs. Kalluri Lakshminarayana and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Mad448
AppellantKalluri Punnayya
RespondentKalluri Lakshminarayana and anr.
Cases ReferredAppanna Poricha v. Narasinga Poricha A.I.R.
Excerpt:
- .....a consideration mainly of the documentary evidence, came to the conclusion that the price of the suit land is rs. 6,930; and adding to this the mesne profits of rs. 1,600 he found that the total value of the subject-matter of the suit on the date of the decree in appeal in the high court amounted to rs. 8,530: see para. 15 of his, report.3. the subject-matter of the suit is an inam wet land consisting of 4 acres 62 cents. it is a sanctioned wet land and lies to the west of a donka. there is nothing on the record to show when the government granted sanction to irrigate the suit land, but it is stated that it began to be cultivated wet about two years subsequent to 1917. the following general facts can be gathered from the evidence-given by the witnesses in this petition. the sites to.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. This is an application by the respondent in A.S. 414 of 1924 under Sections 109 and 110, Civil P.C., for permission to appeal to the Privy Council against the judgment and decree of this Court in that appeal. By that judgment and decree this Court set aside the decision in O.S. 7 of 1923 on the file of the Court of Additional Subordinate Judge of Bapatla. As the decision sought to be appealed against is a reversing one, the question for consideration is as regards the value of the land which forms the subject-matter of the suit and the appeal. The petitioner's case is that its value is at least Rs. 10,000 so that the condition laid down by Section 110, Civil P.C., viz., that the value of the subject-matter of the suit in the Court of first instance must be Rs. 10,000 or upwards and the value of the subject-matter in dispute on appeal to His Majesty in Council must be the same sum or upwards is satisfied in this case. It has also been argued that even if the value of the subject-matter is below Rs. 10,000 leave should be given under Section 109, (e).

2. The learned Subordinate Judge, on a consideration mainly of the documentary evidence, came to the conclusion that the price of the suit land is Rs. 6,930; and adding to this the mesne profits of Rs. 1,600 he found that the total value of the subject-matter of the suit on the date of the decree in appeal in the High Court amounted to Rs. 8,530: see para. 15 of his, report.

3. The subject-matter of the suit is an inam wet land consisting of 4 acres 62 cents. It is a sanctioned wet land and lies to the west of a donka. There is nothing on the record to show when the Government granted sanction to irrigate the suit land, but it is stated that it began to be cultivated wet about two years subsequent to 1917. The following general facts can be gathered from the evidence-given by the witnesses in this petition. The sites to the north of the suit land) are higher in, level than the suit land. These are house sites and there are cattle sheds also. To the east are wet lands, some of them being old wet lands which are unfit for growing dry crops, but in which wet crops are now being raised. House sites are more valuable than cultivable lands. Old wet lands are also' admittedly more valuable than the suit land. The lands round about the suit land are seri lands. The drainage water' of the village goes through the suit land and some quantity of it stagnates there. Before the suit land became converted' into a wet land it was a chowdu land, chowdu meaning salt or saline earth. Even after it became wet some chowdu earth remained on the suit land and it has to be removed: see the evidence of P.W. 12. These facts which, are admitted in the course of the evidence by the petitioner's witnesses themselves show that the suit land is not as good as. the lands in its neighbourhood and suffers mainly from two defects, namely, the salinity of its earth though it is stated to be decreasing and the fact that some of the drainage water collects in it.

4. The learned Subordinate Judge not being satisfied with the oral evidence given by both the parties in the case has based his report mainly on the documentary evidence. To fix the value of the suit land he takes into consideration the value of the land lying to its north and then the value of those lands lying east, south and west of it. We agree for the reasons given by him that the prices given in the documents for the lands which lie to the north and east of the suit lands cannot be taken as standards for fixing the value of the suit laud. The prices mentioned in some of those documents, if worked out come to Rs. 10,000 or more for an acre (for example, see Exs. J and A). But either their situation is better or they are house sites or there are special circumstances (such as proximity to the house of the purchaser, etc.) which enhance their value. It is common knowledge that people will readily pay a high price for a small extent of land for special reasons; but they may not be willing to pay at the same rate for a large extent. Exs. 2, C and V relate to some lands which lie on south and west of the suit land. These, the learned Subordinate Judge considers as somewhat important as Exs. 2 and C relate to lands which lie immediately to the south of the suit land and Ex. 5 relates to a land which lies immediately to the west of it. Amongst the documents which relate to sanctioned wet lands the learned Subordinate Judge attaches some value to Ex. E. It may be mentioned that this document executed in August was registered on 26th December that is after the hearing of the appeal in this Court, but before the delivery of the judgment. Having come into existence only recently, its value for the purposes of this case is questionable.

5. Exs. 2, C, V and E being the only documents which are somewhat useful, the learned Subordinate Judge fixed the average price as per these documents and applying this average he has found that the suit land is worth, as already mentioned, Rs. 6,930. In estimating the value of the suit land, he has acted on the principle that house sites should be excluded from consideration, and only cultivable lands in the vicinity should be relied upon. In view of the evidence in the case we cannot find any objection to the principle adopted by him and also to the conclusion arrived at as regards the total value. In this connexion another important circumstance also has to be mentioned. The petitioner, as D. W. 5 in the suit, admitted that the suit land was fetching a gross annual income of about two putties of paddy. If this evidence is to be accepted, it would show that the yield per acre per annum would be less than half a putty. According to the petitioner's witnesses, the best wet land in the village yields 1 or 1 1/8 putty per acre per annum and that it is worth Rs. 2,300 or Rs. 2,400 per acre. If this evidence in the suit is accepted, the suit land will not be worth more than Rs. 1,200 per acre. The value of the entire suit land would then come to a little more than Rs. 5,000. This evidence has the effect of destroying the present case of the petitioner. As pointed out by the learned Subordinate Judge neither the petitioner nor his son who was giving instructions to his vakil has chosen to go into the witness-box. Probably the petitioner was afraid that he would be confronted with his previous deposition. This is a circumstance which should be remembered in judging the evidence adduced by the petitioner in support of his present case.

6. The learned vakil for the petitioner argues that the Subordinate Judge should have estimated the suit land as worth at least Rs. 2,000 per acre. He has not made it clear to us why this particular sum of Rs. 2,000, neither more nor less, should be accepted as the correct value of an acre of the suit land. The chief objection urged against the Subordinate Judge's conclusion is this, viz., that in estimating the value of the suit land, he has not given effect to the evidence which states that the difference in value between sanctioned and non-sanctioned wet lands will be Rs. 500 for every 1,000; that is to say, if sanctioned wet land is worth Rs. 1,000 per acre, the nonsanctioned wet land would be worth only Rs. 500. It is true that the land is admittedly a sanctioned wet land. But, as pointed out in the earlier-part of this order, it has got various defects and therefore the evidence regarding the difference in value cannot be given full effect to in estimating the true value of the suit land. Another point urged is that the Subordinate Judge in appreciating the evidence has not given effect to the difference in value between inam land and seri land. It is argued that as the suit land is inam land, it must be more valuable than seri land. But there is no evidence in support of this argument. It is suggested that the amount of Rs. 1,000 per acre found by the learned Subordinate Judge as the average value per acre of wet land, should be' accepted as representing the melyaram value and thus the market value of an acre of inam land should be taken as Rs. 2,200 peracre. This is only pure speculation. We can easily imagine conditions in which seri land would be more valuable than inam land.

7. On the whole, we think that the Subordinate Judge has correctly valued the suit land. In this view, it is not necessary to consider the question whether the amount of mesne profits after institution of the suit can be added to the value of the suit land in determining the value of the subject-matter under Section 110, Civil P.C. On this point there is a difference of opinion in this Court: see Subramania Ayyar v. Sellammal [1916] 39 Mad. 843 and Raghunathasami Iyengar v. Gopal Rao A.I.R. 1923 Mad. 135 However it is not necessary to decide the point in this petition as the value of the suit land, even after adding the amount of the mesne profits to it, does not amount to Rs. 10,000.

8. In support of the argument that this is a fit case for appealing to the Privy Council under Section 109, Clause (c.,) it is pointed out that the appeal raises the question whether sanction under Section 92, Civil P.C., was necessary for the institution of the suit and that, on that point there is a conflict between the opinion of this Court and that of at least of one other High Court; and that it is desirable that the law on the point should once for all be settled. On the question raised we have followed the decision reported in Appanna Poricha v. Narasinga Poricha A.I.R. 1922 Mad. 17 and this being a Full Bench decision, so far as this Court is concerned, the law has been well settled. On this ground, we do not, therefore, think that this is a fit case under Section 109 (c) for granting permission to appeal to the Privy Council. In the result, we reject this petition and refuse to grant the leave asked for. The petition is dismissed with costs.


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