G. Ramanujam, J.
1. The petitioner claims to have taken 8.87 acres in R.S. No. 70 in Kanganchari Vattam, Nannilam Taluk belonging to the (Railways through the respondent and to have raised paddy crops therein ever since 1945. He also claims to have cultivated the lands by contributing his own physical labour. In fasli 1382 the respondent, on behalf of the Railways held a public auction of the leasehold right in the lands. The petitioner along with others bid at the auction. Since the petitioner was not the successful bidder, he was directed to deliver possession to the successful bidder for that fasli. At that stage the petitioner approached this Court seeking a writ of mandamus forbearing the respondent from interfering with his possession of the said lands in pursuance of his notice dated 1st February, 1973 directing him to deliver possession to the successful bidder.
2. The petitioner's case is that he is a cultivating tenant in respect of the lands ever since 1945 and that therefore he is entitled to the benefits of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act (Tamil Nadu Act XXV of 1955) and as such he cannot be dispossessed of the lands except in accordance with the provisions of that Act. In support of his case the petitioner relies on the decision of Natesan, J., in Nattanna Gounder v. Munuswamy Gounder : (1970)1MLJ213 . In that case it was held that a lessee of agricultural land from the Government could claim protection under the provisions of that Act and that it is not open to the State to contend that by virtue of Section 3 of the Government Grants Act, the provisions restrictions, conditions and limitations of the lease deed ought to prevail over the statutory rights conferred on, tenants under Tamil Nadu Act XXV of 1955. According to the learned Judge Section 3 of the Government Grants Act has to be taken to have a limited scope of saving the Government Grant only in, respect of provisions, restrictions conditions and limitations contained in the Transfer of Property Act in view of the decision of the Judicial Committee in Jagannath Baksh v. United Provinces and of the Supreme Court in Collector of Bombay v. Nusserwanji : 1SCR1311 . The learned Judge was also of the view that the estate cannot claim exemption from the provisions of the said Act on the ground of the archaic prerogative and immunity of the 'Crown' from operation of statutes as the State is no longer sovereign entitled to any prerogative and that therefore a statute like Tamil Nadu Act XXV of 1955 applies to the State as much as it does to a citizen unless it expressly or by necessary implication exempts the State from its operation.
3. However, Ramakrishnan, J. in an unreported decision W.P. No 5 of 1961 had held that in view of Section 3 of the Government Grants Act there is no necessity for any separate provision exempting the Government from the provisions of the Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act. A Division Bench consisting of Srinivasan and Sadasivam, JJ., went into the scope of Section 3 of the Government Grants Act in elaborate detail, if I may say so with respect, and it was ultimately held therein that having regard to the scope and purview of the Government Grants Act as also its preamble, Section 3 of that Act has to be taken to be general in its scope and therefore the Government Grants should take effect according to their tenor, notwithstanding any law to the contrary and that therefore it is not possible to restrict the operation of section, 3 only with reference to the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act. The learned Judges did not agree with the view expressed by Natesan, J., but agreed with the view expressed by Ramakrishnan, J., and held that though the Legislature can by express words, or by necessary implication, take away the effect of Section 3 while enacting a particular legislation, so long as the Tamil Nadu City Tenants' Protection Act (Tamil Nadu Act XXV of 1955) does not contain any provision extending the Act to Government lands either expressly or by necessary implication, it will clearly lead to the inference that the provisions of Act XXV of 1955 cannot be invoked contrary to the terms of the Government grants and, therefore, there is no need for a separate provision in the Tamil Nadu Act XXII of 1955 exempting the provisions of that Act to Government Grants. In view of the said decision of the Bench which is also based on two earlier decisions of this Court in Murugesa Gramani v. The Province of Madras : AIR1947Mad74 and Ullathuthedi Ghovi v. Secretary of State for India : AIR1921Mad409 , it has to be held that the petitioner cannot assert his rights under the Tamil Nadu Act XXV of 1955 in the face of Section 3 of the Government Grants Act. The writ petition has, therefore, no merits and it is dismissed. No costs.