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The Secretary of State for India, in Council, Represented by the Collector of Kistna Vs. Penumacha Venkatapatha Raju and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in17Ind.Cas.953
AppellantThe Secretary of State for India, in Council, Represented by the Collector of Kistna
RespondentPenumacha Venkatapatha Raju and anr.
Excerpt:
jurisdiction of civil court - suit for refund of land revenue--land revenue, nature of--hadras rent recovery act (ii of 1864), section 58. - .....was levied from the plaintiffs under act vii of 1865. the suit is, therefore, one for refund of land revenue on the ground that as the government failed to supply water for raising wet crops, it was not entitled to levy the revenue assessed on the land. it is entirely a matter for government to decide what amount of revenue should be levied on any land and civil courts have no jurisdiction to try any question relating to it. (section 58 of the madras revenue recovery act, ii of 1864). the lower courts are quite wrong in supposing that the liability to pay land revenue rests on contract or some relation resembling contract. land revenue is a tax imposed on lands by virtue of the prerogative of the state. the plaintiffs were bound to pay it whether water was available or not for wet.....
Judgment:

1. The decrees of the lower Courts are altogether unsupportable. The land is admittedly classed as wet land, and no cess was levied from the plaintiffs under Act VII of 1865. The suit is, therefore, one for refund of land revenue on the ground that as the Government failed to supply water for raising wet crops, it was not entitled to levy the revenue assessed on the land. It is entirely a matter for Government to decide what amount of revenue should be levied on any land and Civil Courts have no jurisdiction to try any question relating to it. (Section 58 of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act, II of 1864). The lower Courts are quite wrong in supposing that the liability to pay land revenue rests on contract or some relation resembling contract. Land revenue is a tax imposed on lands by virtue of the prerogative of the State. The plaintiffs were bound to pay it whether water was available or not for wet cultivation. If they regarded the tax as excessive, their proper and only remedy was to appeal to Government for the redaction of the tax. The decrees of the lower Courts are reversed and the suit is dismissed with costs throughout.


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