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Maharaja of Pithapuram Vs. the Secretary of State for India in Council and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in152Ind.Cas.707
AppellantMaharaja of Pithapuram
RespondentThe Secretary of State for India in Council and ors.
Excerpt:
madras land encroachment act (iii of 1905), section 14 - eviction of tenant in proceedings under act without notice to landlord--suit by landlord more than six months after knowledge of eviction--maintainability--scope of section 14. - .....government evicted a tenant from the land. no notice of the proceedings which were taken under the madras land encroachment act of the proposed eviction was given to the landlord and it appears that he did not come to know of the eviction of his tenant until sometime afterwards. he filed his suit three years after the time when he first became aware of his tenant's eviction. he set up his own title to the land and was met in the district munsif's court with the plea of limitation. section 14 of the madras land encroachment act, is as follows:-nothing contained in this act shall be held to prevent persons deeming themselves aggrieved by any proceedings under this act except as herein before provided from applying to civil courts for redress; provided that the civil courts shall not take.....
Judgment:

1. The suit under appeal was one by a landlord to recover land which he claimed formed part of his estate. The Government claimed the land as belonging to it as part of a channel irrigating lands. The Government evicted a tenant from the land. No notice of the proceedings which were taken under the Madras Land Encroachment Act of the proposed eviction was given to the landlord and it appears that he did not come to know of the eviction of his tenant until sometime afterwards. He filed his suit three years after the time when he first became aware of his tenant's eviction. He set up his own title to the land and was met in the District Munsif's Court with the plea of limitation. Section 14 of the Madras Land Encroachment Act, is as follows:-

Nothing contained in this Act shall be held to prevent persons deeming themselves aggrieved by any proceedings under this Act except as herein before provided from applying to Civil Courts for redress; Provided that the Civil Courts shall not take cognisance of any suit instituted by such persons for any such cause of action unless such suit shall be instituted within six months from the date at which the cause of action arose.

2. The District Munsif and the lower Appellate Court held that, the cause of action being the eviction of the tenant and as the suit was not filed within six months from that time, the suit was barred. Here it has been argued as it was in the lower Courts, that these were not proceedings under the Act because the Act does not apply to the property of any zamindar as this property is claimed by the plaintiff 10 be or any person claiming through or holding under any of them. But the short answer-to that contention is that these proceedings purported to be proceedings under the Act. The contention that the Act did not apply to the land in question was one which could be raised in the suit. Then the question is, was the landlord a person deeming himself to be aggrieved by the proceedings. The proceedings in question were to evict the tenant. Obviously those proceedings implied that the landlord was not the owner of the land. He, therefore, clearly was a person aggrieved by those proceedings. He received no notice of them it is true but the fact that the landlord received no notice of such proceedings is not a matter which would prevent the landlord from being a person 'deeming himself to be aggrieved' within the meaning of Section 14 of the Madras Land Encroachment Act, when he came to know of them. The most that could be said is that until the landlord knew of the proceedings which resulted in the eviction of his tenant he could not deem himself to be aggrieved and therefrom until he did know of them the period of limitation given by Section 14 of the Madras Land Encroachment Act, might not start to run. Whatever might have been said for that argument, on the facts of this case it can have no force because when the landlord did get to know of what had happened he did not file his suit within six months from the time when he first became aware of the eviction. He waited for three years. Even on that footing the suit under appeal was clearly barred by limitation. Both the lower Courts were right on the question of limitation and it follows that the second appeal must be dismissed with costs.


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