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State of Tamil Nadu, Represented by the Joint Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department and anr. Vs. His Holiness Sri-la-sri Ambalavana Pandara Sannadhi Avergal, Adheenakarthar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1975)2MLJ50
AppellantState of Tamil Nadu, Represented by the Joint Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department and an
RespondentHis Holiness Sri-la-sri Ambalavana Pandara Sannadhi Avergal, Adheenakarthar
Excerpt:
- .....the merits of the question whether the lands notified under madras act xxx of 1963 constituted minor inams or not. he answered that question in the negative. the state's objection based on the madras inams (supplementary) act, 1963, did not find favour with him which, in our opinion and with due respect to the learned judge, was not right.2. the madras inams (supplementary) act, 1963, was enacted, as seen from the preamble to the act, to provide for the determination of the question whether any non-ryotwari area in the state of madras, is or is not an existing inam estate, a part village inam estate, a minor inam or a whole inam village in pudukkottai. madras act xxx of 1963 which deals with the abolition of minor inams, did not provide for a machinery to decide whether an inam is a.....
Judgment:

K. Veeraswami, C.J.

1. This is an appeal by the State from a judgment of Palaniswamy, J., which is capable of disposal on a short ground, though the learned Judge had! gone into the merits of the question whether the lands notified under Madras Act XXX of 1963 constituted minor inams or not. He answered that question in the negative. The State's objection based on the Madras Inams (Supplementary) Act, 1963, did not find favour with him which, in our opinion and with due respect to the learned Judge, was not right.

2. The Madras Inams (Supplementary) Act, 1963, was enacted, as seen from the preamble to the Act, to provide for the determination of the question whether any non-ryotwari area in the State of Madras, is or is not an existing inam estate, a part village inam estate, a minor inam or a whole inam village in Pudukkottai. Madras Act XXX of 1963 which deals with the abolition of minor inams, did not provide for a machinery to decide whether an inam is a minor inam to which that Act would have application. Madras Act XXXI of 1963 which is the Madras Inams (Supplementary) Act, 1963, provides for the machinery. Section 5 starts with a non obstante clause and confers jurisdiction upon the Settlement Officer to decide whether ' the non-ryotwari' area specified in the application is or is not 'among other things a minor inam. The definition Section 2 read with the non-obstante clause in Section 5, shows that Section 5 is overriding and under the former section an existing inam estate shall have the same meaning as in Clause (4) of Section 2 of the Inam Estates Abolition Act and minor inam, as in Clause 2 of the Minor Inams Abolition Act. The whole object of Section 5 is to enable to decide when a dispute arises as to the character of the land. If it is non-ryotwari, the question would be whether it would constitute one or the other forms of estates listed in Section 5. If it is ryotwari, it would at once be clear that it would not constitute any one of those estates in the list. Palaniswamy, J., proceeded upon the view that Section 5 would confine only to non-ryotwari area and, only if on application, Section 5 involves such land, a question as to whether it constituted the other form of estate mentioned therein would arise. We are unable to accept this construction. It is a well accepted principle that, where the jurisdiction of a Tribunal or Court is dependent on certain characteristics, it would be incidental to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to find out as a preliminary issue whether the elements are present in order to assume or not to assume jurisdiction to proceed further ; where one party says that the land is non-ryotwari and it constitutes a minor inam and the other party claims, as in this case, that the land is ryotwari, the Tribunal under Section 5 would certainly have jurisdiction to decide that issue and, once the Tribunal decides that the land is non-ryotwari, the further question would arise whether, it would be a minor inam. These two questions are well within the power of the Tribunal under Section 5 to decide. We cannot subscribe to the view that the jurisdiction is confined only where the land is admittedly non-ryotwari. To take that view, would defeat the very purpose of the Act. We find that the decision of the Tribunal is subject to an appeal and a further revision to this Court. The decision arrived at by the application of the Act is made binding upon the parties; vide Section 8. Also, the jurisdiction of civil and Revenue Courts is barred by Section 10 to adjudicate upon the questions adumbrated therein. Having regard to the scheme of the Act, we are of opinion that the question whether the notification made in 1965 under Madras Act XXX of 1963 on the footing that the lands were minor inams would have to be decided only under the provisions of Madras Act XXXI of 1963. It is true that Article 226 is not subject to any limitation as to the jurisdiction of this Court. However wide the power thereunder is, it is plain that in exercising that power this Court would not allow the parties to by pass or circumvent or defeat any of the statutory provisions providing for other remedies in specific cases. On that view of the matter, we allow the appeal with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 150.

3. But in the circumstances of the case in order to serve the ends of justice, we direct that if the respondent files an application under Section 5 within 60 days from this date, no question of limitation will be permitted to be raised, the application will be taken on file and the Tribunal will deal with on that basis. In disposing of such application, the Tribunal will not in any way be guided by the observations or conclusion of the learned Judge expressed in the petition from which this appeal arose which we allowed.


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