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Ayya Nadar and ors. Vs. Sri Vaidyanathaswami Koil Devasthanam Through Its Executive Officer and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts And Societies
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1970)2MLJ129
AppellantAyya Nadar and ors.
RespondentSri Vaidyanathaswami Koil Devasthanam Through Its Executive Officer and anr.
Cases ReferredIn Venkatarama v. Venkayya I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- r. sadasivam, j.1. these letters patent appeals are against the dismissal by a common judgment of second appeal nos. 126 to 133 of 1957, on the file of this court, and confirming the concurrent judgments of the courts below that the suit properties covered in the inam title deed no. 503 are service inam lands comprising both the warams and that the resumption of the inams by the collector for default on the part of the service holders to perform the services is valid. the suits have been filed by the alienees from the original inamdars under section 35 (2) of the hindu religious and charitable endowments act (xix of 1951), to set aside the order of the district collector, ramanathapuram at madurai, directing resumption of the inams at the instance of sri viadyanathaswami koil devasthanam.....
Judgment:

R. Sadasivam, J.

1. These Letters Patent Appeals are against the dismissal by a common judgment of Second Appeal Nos. 126 to 133 of 1957, on the file of this Court, and confirming the concurrent judgments of the Courts below that the suit properties covered in the inam title deed No. 503 are service inam lands comprising both the warams and that the resumption of the inams by the Collector for default on the part of the service holders to perform the services is valid. The suits have been filed by the alienees from the original inamdars under Section 35 (2) of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act (XIX of 1951), to set aside the order of the District Collector, Ramanathapuram at Madurai, directing resumption of the inams at the instance of Sri Viadyanathaswami Koil Devasthanam represented by its Executive Officer, who figured as the first defendant in all the suits, the second defendant being the State of Madras, represented by the Collector of Ramanathapuram at Madurai.

2. The original inam grant has not been filed in this case. The nature of the inam has to be ascertained only on a construction of the inam extract, Exhibit A-6 and the inam title deed, Exhibit B-1, in the light of the other evidence in this case. It is clear from column 8 of the inam extract Exhibit A-6 that the inam was granted for the service of sthaladars of puja paricharakam, stanikam, karivelam, sripadam, etc., of the pagoda of Vaidyanathaswami at Madavarvilagam. It appears from the inam extract that the services were being rendered by the sthaladars at the time of the inam settlement. It is ah undisputed fact that the service holders defaulted to perform the services and in fact, the service holders had disappeared from the scene a long time ago, having alienated the lands to strangers, who did not, or could not perform the service in the temple for the performance of which the original grant was made.

3. Three contentions were urged on behalf of the appellants in these Letters Patent Appeals, namely, that the inams were personal grants burdened with service and not service inams resumable under Section 44-B of the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act (II of 1927) that the inams comprised only the melwaram and not both the melwaram and kudiwaram and that the result of the prior proceedings under Section 44-B of Act (II of 1927) operated as a statutory bar against the devasthanam from contending that the inams comprised of both the warams.

4. It is true the inam was not in favour of Sri Vaidyanathaswami temple, Madavarvilagam. In fact, the claim of the devasthanam is that the inam is a service inam, namely, an inam granted to the holders of the offices attached to the temple like archaka, paricharaka, karivelam, sripandaram, etc., as emoluments for their services. There are admissions in the plaint which would go to show that the inam was a service inam and not a personal inam burdened with service. It is only during the trial of the suit an attempt was made for the first time to construe the grant as a personal inam burdened with service. The learned District Munsif has stated that it is the contention of the defendants that the above plea that the inam is a personal one burdened with service has been inspired by the decision of this Court in Beemasena Rao v. Telia Reddi I.L.R. (1955) Mad. 35, reported after the filing of the suits, and that the learned Advocate for the plaintiffs did not seriously dispute the same, but only urged that the plaintiffs are not prevented from raising the contention at any stage. In fact, it was urged on behalf of the devasthanam in the lower appellate Court and before Jagadisan, J., in the second appeal that the appellant ought not to be permitted to raise the question that the grant was only a personal grant burdened with service in the face of the definite admission contained in the plaint that the inam was service inam. But the lower appellate Court and Jagadisan J., permitted the appellants to urge that the inam was a personal grant as the trial Court had allowed the parties to adduce evidence about the said contention and observed that the devasthanam would not in any way be prejudiced, or taken by surprise, by reason of the lack of plea in the plaint.

5. Column (2) of the inam extract refers to the inam as devadayam padikasuvaithan kulam. It is true the use of the word devadayam is not decisive or conclusive to denote that it was a grant to the temple, or to an office attached to the temple. In Subramania v. Kailasanatha A.I.R. 1934 Mad. 258, it has been pointed out that the word devadayam is used in inam registers not only in connection with religious grants strictly so called but also where the ultimate purposes are religious. It is clear from the decision that the test to be applied in distinguishing a grant to an institution from a grant to an individual is the intention and that each case depends upon its own facts. In Sami Ayyangar v. Venkataramana : AIR1934Mad381 , it was held that devadayam in a grant does not necessarily import that the grant is made to the temple. It was further held that where a grant contains the clause that it is to be confirmed to party as long as he continues the performance of the service, it is a grant to the party burdened with service and not to the deity even though the word devadayam is used as the inam register disclosed that the land was continuously held at least for two generations by the family of the party. It appears from page 260 of Sundararaja Iyengar's Land Tenures that the mere description of an inam as devadayam is not conclusive that the grant is in favour of a religious institution, though it is a strong proof that the institution is a public one. It appears from the same page that where an inam was granted to the family of the defendant for service as acharya purusha in a temple confirmed so long as the service was rendered, the grant is not one made to the grantee for the benefit of himself and the temple, but one made for the support of the temple officer performing the duties of acharya purusha. It is clear from column (8) of the inam extract relating to the description of the inam in the present case that the inam is for the service of sthaladars, or puja paricharakams, sthanikams, karivelam, sripadam, etc., of the pagoda of Sri Vaidyanathaswami at Madavarvilagam. Thus the inam is not to a particular person, or to benefit a particular individual and the emphasis is really on the office of sthaladars. The description in column (10) referring to the inam as permanent instead of as hereditary is more consistent with the inam being a service inam, rather than a personal grant burdened with service. Again it appears from column (13) of the same inam extract that the inam of the original grantee in fasli 1212 is given as devalsekara brahmadayam sthalatharinam. In column (15) it is stated that in fasli 1254 the name entered in the survey accounts is that of Vaidyanathaswami Koil Sthalasthar inam, Chinnakutti Bhattar Visweyam and ten others. In the next column it is stated that the inam is held in 75 pangus by the Madavarvilagam Vaidyanathaswami Koil Sthalasthar inam office-bearers, namely Subba Bhattar and 16 others. The entries are consistent only with the inams being service inams attached to the temple offices and not personal grants burdened with service. The inams have been granted, principally to the several offices attached to the temple the holders of the offices being remunerated by the enjoyment of the inam for rendering various services in the temple.

6. The conduct of the devasthanam in exercising the right of removal and the appointment of office holders with the consequent result of depriving or allowing the enjoyment of the manibam lands by the person so removed or appointed is also a clear indication that the original grant is not a personal one. The above finding of Jagadisan, J., and of the Courts below are supported by Exhibits B-2, 3 and 11, discussed by them. In Lakshminarasimhachari v. Agastheeswaraswamivaru : [1960]2SCR768 , the Supreme Court has pointed out the test to be applied in such cases (head note):

To be confirmed to the party so long as he continues the performance of the services' in the Inam Register is a personal grant but 'to be confirmed so long as the service is performed ' is not.

There is nothing in the last column of Exhibit A-6 to show that the inam is a personal inam burdened with service. The terms in Exhibit B-1 are more consistent with the claim of the devasthanam that the inam is a service inam. The inams in this case are admittedly for services of sthaladars in the suit devasthanam and are clearly service inams. A service inam is resumable when the service is not performed. Section 44-B (1) of the Madras Act II of 1927 is really confined to inams directly granted to the temple, or service inams for the purpose of a temple or mutt, or inams the whole of the income of which is meant for charity and does not include personal inams burdened with service Vide Bheemasena Rao v. Telia Reddi : [1962]1SCR339 . In view of our finding that the inams forming the subject-matter of these appeals are service inams, the resumption proceedings were properly instituted under Section 44 (B) (1) of Act II of 1927.

7. The question whether the inam title deed No. 50 comprised both the warams as contended by the devasthanam, or only the melwaram as contended by the appellants, has to be decided mainly on a construction of the inam extract Exhibit A-6 and the inam title deed Exhibit B-1 in the light of the surrounding circumstances in the absence of the original sannad or cowle evidencing the grant. We entirely agree with Jagadisan, J., that prima facie it appears on a proper construction of Exhibits A-6 and B-1 without being hampered by any judicial precedents that the subject-matters of the grant consisted of the lands comprising both the melwaram and the kudiwaram. We have already referred to the fact that the devasthanam. does not claim the inam grant as one made to the temple. In column (2) of the inam extract, the inam has been described as devadayam padikasuvaithan kulam. In Bala Tripura Sundaramma v. Secretary of State : AIR1928Mad282 , a Bench of this Court has held that the mere use of the word devadayam does not necessarily show that the grant is to a. religious endowment and that the word devadayam indicates a gift for religious purposes, but does not necessarily cannot anything more. We have already found that the inam grant was not a personal grant burdened with service but a service inam grant attached to the office of sthaladars of the devasthanam. Column (16) of the inam extract shows that the inam is held in 75 pangus by Madavarvilagam Vaidianathaswami Koil Sthaladar inam office-bearers numbering 17. Column (21) of the inam extract gives a clear indication that the subject-matter of the grant is the entire land comprised in both the warams. It is mentioned in that column that the whole of the pirivu of padikasuvattam minus certain minor inams is held by the sthaladars and the other servants of the pagoda and that the tank by which these lands are irrigated is maintained at the cost of the inamdars. If the inamdars were interested only in the melwaram due and payable, this obligation of maintaining the tanks will be onerous one. In the inam title deed Exhibit B-1 it is stated that the inam pertained to 316 acre 37 cents of punja; 266 acres 92 cents of punja and 4 acres 93 cents of garden lands excluding poromboke. It is an undisputed fact that the inamdars mentioned in the inam extract owned the kudiwaram ?rights. But the contention of the appellants is that even before the grant of the melwaram, the inamdars were granted kudiwaram by ancient Carnatic Rajas. The inam commission was constituted only to enquire into and scrutinise the title of persons claiming interest in the inams existing at the time of the inam settlement. The inams were granted to sthaladars or office-bearers attached to the pagoda and they belonged to different communities. It is highly improbable that the 17 persons mentioned in column (16) of the inam extract Exhibit A-6 who held the inam in 75 pangus, belonging to different communities such : as Bhattars, Pandarams, Othuwars and Pillais, got kudiwaram rights from ancient Carnatic Rajas and that melwaram alone was subsequently given to them for doing service in the temple. If the Carnatic Rajas made any gift, it would have been in respect of the entire land comprising both the warams. Jagadisan, J., has rightly pointed out that it cannot be an accident that the inam of melwaram alone as alleged by the plaintiffs happened to be granted to the very persons who were owning the kudiwaram rights and that, on the other hand, it is reasonable to suppose and to infer that the grant consisted of both the warams, which is consistent with the inamdars being owners of kudiwaram rights. There is nothing in the inam extract or in the inam title deed, or the evidence in this case, to show that the inam is in respect of the melwaram alone.

8. The learned Advocate for the appellants relied on the entries in the inam extract showing that the total ayan theerva payable on the inam lands is Rs. 2,072-11-2 and that jodi Rs. 203-1-6 alone is payable to the pagoda of Vaidyanathaswami and contended that the balance alone was granted to the inamdars. Jagadisan, J., has rejected this contention relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in Satyanarayana v. Venkatapayya : [1953]4SCR1001 There is no evidence that the sum of Rs. 2,072-11-2 mentioned as ayan theerva was ever collected by anyone and paid to sthaladars for their remuneration. In fact, there is nothing in Exhibit B-1 or Exhibit A-6 to show that the difference between Rs. 2,072-11-2 and the jodi Rs. 203-1-6 should go to the sthaladars for their remuneration. It has been pointed out in the above decision that the entries found in columns 7 of the inam extract would be found the inam register irrespective of the fact whether the grant comprised of both the warams or the melwaram alone.

9. Exhibit B-1 shows that the inam patta was granted to Subbarayan, Meenakshi Ayyan, Sarvai Vaidyalingam Ayyan, Chinna Vaidyalingam Ayyan, Muthu Vayyan and twelve others and their successors, without any obstruction whatsoever so long as the temple service conditions are properly carried out. It is clear from the document that the inam patta was in respect of 4 acres 93 cents of garden land, 266 acres 92 cents of nanja, 316 acres 38 cents of punja, excluding the poromboke. The word inclusive of poromboke in the inam grant has been held to be proprietary interest in the land itself. Sri Vedantachari relied on the Bench decision in Lakshminara-simhacharyulu v. Ratnam : (1947)2MLJ289 , where it was held that the word exclusive in the inam grant should not be read as reserving the promboke by the grantor in view of the fact that the inam commissioner found that the grant included the poromboke, as appeared from the inam register. There is no substance in the contention that the decision is authority for the position that the word exclusive could be interpreted as inclusive. But the fact that the poromboke has been excluded is by itself not sufficient to show that the grant in respect of the lands covered by the inam included only the melwaram. In fact, the inam extract Exhibit A-6 shows that the tank by which the lands are irrigated is maintained at the cost of the inamdars. The words 'deduct poromboke in column 12 of the inam extract does not necessarily mean that the poromboke was excluded from the grant. In Krishnaswami v. Perumal A.I.R. 1950 P.C. 105, it was held by the Privy Council that the words in the specification deduct poromboke 273-5-4 (which are taken from the inam settlement) do not mean that the poromboke was excluded from the grant, but merely that it was deducted in ascertaining the assessment, since waste land is not assessed. As already stated, though the inclusion of poromboke in a land would clearly indicate that the grant was in respect of both the warams, the exclusion of poromboke would not necessarily lead to the inference that the inam actually granted was only in respect of the melwaram.

10. The appellants relied on several alienations such as Exhibits A-16, A-17, A-26, A-32 to A-39, A-49 to 59 A-61 to A-67, A-69 and A-72 to show that the original holders of properties and their heirs had been exercising the right of ownership of kudiwaram interest in the properties covered by the inam without any objection by the devasthanam, or the Government. In some of the alienations there are recitals reserving payment of the melwaram theerva by the alienees. These alienations are not binding on the Government as they are not parties to the transactions. Even if some of the trustees of the devasthanam had acquiesced in some of these alienations by issuing pattas, or receiving jodi, their action would not be binding on the subsequent trustees of the devasthanam, if really the inam was in respect of both the warams. On the other hand, we have already referred to the conduct of the devasthanam in asserting their rights to remove the office-bearers, to appoint others in their places and to allow them to enjoy the manibam lands, as evidenced by Exhibits B-2, 3, 11, etc. The subsequent conduct of the parties in dealing with the inam properties can only be relevant to find out what the original grant must have comprised.

11. The appellants strongly relied on the certified copy of the affidavit, Exhibit A-75, filed by the then trustee of the temple in Original Petition No. 61 of 1925, on the file of the Sub-Court, Ramanathapuram in connection with the land acquisition proceedings in which certain lands comprised in the inam title deed No. 503 were acquired by the Government for the construction of Virudhunagar-Tenkasi railway. One Venkatakrishna Iyer, who was admittedly one of the inamdars, claimed compensation for the kudiwaram right and this claim was conceded by the trustee in his affidavit and it is also referred to in the certified copy of the judgment Exhibit A-11. Jagadisan, J., has pointed out that the right of resumption is vested only in the State and that the admission made by the devasthanam represented by the trustee cannot bind the Government and that the act or statement made by one trustee cannot perpetually bind the temple. In Sundareswarar Devasthanam v. Shanmugasundara : (1957)2MLJ218 , it has been held by a Bench of this Court that the interest of the devasthanam in a service inam is not an interest in the property itself, but is only in the performance of the services for which the inams were granted and that the 'devasthanam cannot claim the compensation, or any portion of it on the ground that it has an interest in the continuance of the service for the performance of which the inams had been originally granted and subsequently confirmed. Thus the fact that the compensation for the kudiwaram right was paid to the inamdar Venkatakrishna Iyer, who was actually doing service at that time, cannot lead to the inference that the inam comprised only the melwaram.

12. The learned Advocate for the appellants relied on the orders of the Sub-'Collectors and Collector in the resumption proceedings marked as Exhibits A-7, A-13 and A-14 in support of his contention that the inam comprised of the melwaram alone. He referred to the decision in Narayanaswami v. Balasundaram : AIR1953Mad750 , where it was held that though the defendant alone, among the parties, was involved in a previous litigation and the plaintiff was not a party thereto the judgment in the previous litigation declaring that certain trust was a private trust has abundant evidentiary value that the Court in the subsequent litigation when considering the character of the trust must pay attention to it. There can be no doubt that this decision is correct as such evidence will be admissible under Section 13 of the Evidence Act, though the reference to Section 42 of the Evidence Act, in the head-note is inappropriate as it could not be said that the judgment related to a matter of public nature. Thus in Ramaswami v. Appavu I.L.R. (1887) Mad. 9, it was held in a suit brought by the trustees of a temple to recover from the owners of certain lands in certain villages money claimed as due to the temple that the judgments in other suits against other-persons in which claims under the same right had been decreed in favour of the trustees of the temple were relevant under Section 13 of the Evidence Act as being' evidence of instances in which the right claimed had been asserted. In that decision it was also held that the said judgments were relevant under Section 42 of the said Act. as relating to matters of a public nature and this could be supported on the facts of that case as the plaintiffs in that case based their right to collect what the District Judge called the tax upon custom.

13. But so far as the orders on the resumption proceedings are concerned, they do-not stand on the same footing as the orders in land acquisition proceedings. The rights of the parties have to be determined on the strength of the inam title deed. It is appropriate to refer to the observations of the Privy Council in the Secretary of State for India v. Srinivasachariar , in which it was held that upon the true construction of the grant the full right to the quarries and minerals did not pass to the grantee, that having regard to Madras Act VIII of 1869, the inam title deed could not vest in the inamdars a subject-matter not vested in them by grant and that consequently the Government was entitled to impose royalties on stone quarried in the village. Their Lordships of the Privy Council observed that the land acquisition proceedings relied on by the shrotriyamdars in that case did not carry matters any further, for even without any title to the quarries it might well have been thought expedient, especially in the view then held, to proceed under the Act for the purpose of acquiring such interest as the shrotriyamdars might have in the surface. The further observation at page 431 that is pertinent to this case is this:.at most these proceedings can amount to no more than action taken under a misapprehension of the Government's legal rights, and this could not make the law one way or the other, nor could it affect the Government's title.

14. The further contention of the learned Advocate for the appellants that the resumption orders particularly the one in Exhibit A-7, operates as res judicata will be separately dealt with as the third and main point argued in these appeals.

15. Thus, on a proper construction of the relevant entries in the inam extract, the inam settlement and the several pieces of evidence referred to above, we agree with the conclusions of Jagadisan J., and the Courts below that the inam comprised of both the warams.

16. The main and the last question to be considered is whether the prior proceedings under Section 44-B of the Madras Act II of 1927 operated as a statutory bar against the devasthanam from contending that the inam comprised of both the warams. Section 35 of the Madras Act XIX of 1951 contains substantially the same provisions as Section 44-B of the old Act. As pointed out by Jagadisan, J., the only noticeable difference between the two provisions is the explanation found in the new enactment with regard to the cases where only a part of the inam is affected, to give notice to not only the holders of such part, but also the holder or holders of the other part or parts. Section 4,4-B of Madras Act II of 1927 lays the procedure to be followed by the Collector in resuming and regranting inams granted for the performance of any charity or service connected with a mutt or temple in case of alienation of the inam or of failure to perform the charity or service. Before passing an order of resumption, the Collector should give notice not only to the concerned inamdar in cases where only a part of the inam is affected, but also to the holder or holders of the other part or parts. We agree with the observation of Jagadisan, J., that the idea of giving notice to all the persons interested in the inam even though their holdings are not sought to be resumed is to have a thorough investigation of the subject-matter of the inam and to make the enquiry as full and exhaustive as possible. But the person whose holding is affected by the resumption proceedings can alone be considered a party to the proceedings. The other inamdars or holders of the inam property to whom notice is given under Section 44-B (2) (b) cannot by any stretch of imagination be deemed to be parties to the resumption proceedings. Any party aggrieved' by an order of the Collector is given a right of appeal to the District Collector and the order of the District Collector on such appeal becomes final unless a suit is filed within six months in a civil Court for determining whether the inam comprises both the melwaram and the kudiwaram, or only the melwaram. Thus the finality of order of the Collector is only to the resumption of the inam and the only matter that could be agitated in a civil Court is with regard to the question whether the inam comprises both the melwaram and the kudiwaram or only the melwaram. We have already pointed out that it is only the inamdar whose holding is resumed who is a party to the resumption proceedings and the other inamdars to whom notice is ordered cannot be deemed to be parties to the resumption proceedings and hence they cannot file a suit in a civil Court as they could not be considered a party and much less a party aggrieved. Jagadisan, J., has referred to the observation of Lord Esher In re Lamb, Ex parte Board of trade L.R. (1894) 2 Q.B. 805, that the meaning of the term person aggrieved is any person who makes an application to a Court for decision, or any person who is brought before a Court to submit to a decision, if the decision goes against him. The other inamdars whose properties are not affected by the resumption proceedings cannot be said to be affected by the decision of the Collector. The learned Advocate for the appellants relied on the decision in Nadar Transports v. State of Madras : AIR1953Mad1 , as to how the words any person aggrieved in Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act have been construed. It was held in that decision that there may be a person who while applying for the grant of a permit to himself has also objected to the grant of a permit to another and that in such a case if the permit is refused to him. he would fulfil the conditions of Sub-sections (a) and (b) of Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act as a. person aggrieved by the order of the Regional Transport Authority. It was also held therein that there may be a person who though he had not applied for a permit to himself was a person who provided transport facilities and opposed the grant of a permit to another, and if the permit is granted to the other, then notwithstanding that he did not apply for a permit he would be entitled to prefer an appeal against the order under Sub-section (f) of Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act as a person who-having opposed the grant of permit is a person aggrieved thereof, though he would not answer the description in Sub-section (a) as a person aggrieved by the refusal of the Regional Transport Authority to grant a permit. The interpretation of the words person aggrieved in Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act can be easily understood having regard to the nature of the proceedings and the interests of the several persons who appear before the Regional Transport Authority. It could not be said that the owner of a part of the inam whose holding is not in any way affected by the resumption proceedings is a party aggrieved so as to entitle him to file a suit against the order of the Collector resuming part of the inam in which he is not interested. The rule of res judicata or estoppel by judgment can govern only persons who are parties or their privies in the proceedings invoked as a bar.

17. We shall, however, proceed to consider the nature and scope of the resumption proceedings to find out whether the principles of res judicata or constructive res judicata can be legitimately invoked by the appellants. In Ganapathi Pandaram v. Collector of Coimbatore : (1960)1MLJ247 , a Bench decision of this Court has held that the proceedings before the Collector under Section 44-B (2) of Madras Act II of 1927 or under Section 35 (2) of Act XIX of 1951 are not in the nature of a suit to which the provisions of articles 130 and 149 and Section 28 of the Limitation Act can be applied. It should be noted that the resumption proceedings evidenced by Exhibits A-7, A-13 and A-14 did not culminate in a suit, though they became final so far as the parties were concerned by virtue of Section 44-B, sub-section 2 (d) (ii) of Madras Act II of 1927. It is true the doctrine of res judicata is not confined to decisions in suits, but applies even to decisions rendered in proceedings which are not suits if substantial rights of parties are effectively determined. Thus in Balakotayya v. Nagayya : (1946)1MLJ200 , it was held that the decision of a District Court under Section 84 (2) of the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act II of 1927 upholding an order of the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board under Section 84 (1) of the said Act operates as res judicata in a subsequent suit by the defeated trustee. The proceedings before the District Court were by way of original petition and not by way of a suit. Further, there was no appeal provided against the order of the District Court. It was held that the question of res judicata does not depend upon the appealability or otherwise of the decision which is put forward as constituting res judicata. The principles in this decision is that though the proceeding under Section 84 (2) of Act II of 1927 are started as an original petition, the petition has all the characteristics of the suit. Reliance was placed in that decision upon the decision of Judicial Committee in Ramachandra Rao v. Ramachandra Rao , where it was held that when a Court acting on a reference under 'section 31 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act decided the question of title between the parties, it would operate as res judicata in subsequent proceedings between the same parties, though the decision was rendered in an original proceeding and not in a suit. But the proceedings before the Collector under Section 44-B of the Madras Act II of 1927 cannot be considered on a par with the proceedings of the District Court under Section 84 (2) of Madras Act II of 1927, or the proceedings of a civil 'Court under Section 31 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act.

18. We shall proceed to consider the scope of the finality of the resumption order by virtue of Section 44-B (2) (d) (ii) of Madras Act II of 1927. The learned Advocate for the appellants relied on the decision in Muthammal v. The Secretary of State for India : AIR1915Mad106 , where it was held that the decision of the Bombay Settlement Officer under Section 24 of the Boundaries Act XXVIII of 1860 that certain lands did not belong to a mittadar but to the Government would operate as res judicata in a subsequent suit by the mittadar to recover the lands as forming part of the mitta. Seshagiri Ayyar, J., has expressed the opinion on the strength of the principles of res judicata laid down in English cases that the plea of res judicata or estoppel is available not only as regards the final conclusion of the Court or officer, but also regarding all findings necessary for arriving at that conclusion whether they are given on formal issues raised in the case or are referable to points which must have been the basis of the final determination. This observation appears to be too wide. In M. Narasiah v. E.A. Tribunal A.I.R. 1957 AP 903. It has been held that having regard to the language of Section 64-A (2) of the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, the word decision covers only matters actually decided and net matters constructively decided by civil Courts. It was pointed out in that decision that there is a distinction between the meaning of the two words decision and judgment, and that the word judgment unlike the word decision would include the reasons or grounds for a decision and that if the Legislature had intended that the reasons or grounds on which a decision proceeded should be binding, it is reasonable to suppose that the word judgment would have been used instead of the word decision. The Madras Survey and Boundaries Act (IV of 1897), was repealed by Madras Survey and Boundaries Act (VIII of 1923). In Sivaprasad v. Narasimhamurthy : AIR1940Mad187 , another Full Bench of the Madras High Court had to consider the finality of the decision of the Survey Officer under Section 11 of the Madras Survey and Boundaries Act VIII of 1923. It was held in that decision that the rule of res judicata could not be applied to the decision of a survey authority under the Madras Survey and Boundaries Act. The earlier Full Bench decision in Muthmmal v. The Secretary of State for India : AIR1915Mad106 , was considered in this decision and distinguished. Leach, C.J., referred to the decision of the Privy Council in Radhakrishna Ayyar v. Sundaraswamier , a case arising under the Madras Estates Land Act of 1908, to the effect that the doctrine of res judicata did not apply to a suit under that Act, although the Board recognised that a statute might embody a special rule which operated as a bar to the same question being reagitated in subsequent proceedings, and observed that the decision of the Full Bench in Muthammal v. The Secretary of State for India : AIR1915Mad106 , might have to be reconsidered in the light of the said ruling of the Privy Council.

19. The finality referred to in Section 44-B (2) (d) (ii) the Madras Act II of 1927 is analogous to the finality of claim orders under Order 21, Rule 63, Civil Procedure Code. In Ashna Bibi v. Awaljadi Bibi I.L.R. (1916) Cal. 698, it was held that an order in a claim case is conclusive only as regards the particular property in dispute. It is pointed out in that decision that the order in the claim case on the question of the validity of wakf is not conclusive, the property in dispute not being that which was the subject of the claim case. In Durga Dei v. Sadananda : AIR1952Ori182 , it is pointed out that it is well settled that an order under Order 21, Rule 63, Civil Procedure Code is conclusive only as regards the particular property in dispute and not with reference to any of the grounds ?on which the said order has been passed. In Venkatarama v. Venkayya I.L.R. (1954) Mad. 715, it has been pointed out that it is only in respect of such disputes or matters as are covered by the suits or applications specified in Section 189 (1) of the Madras Estates Land Act that the Revenue Court can be said to have exclusive jurisdiction. It has been held in that case that a decision of a Revenue Court on a matter falling within its exclusive jurisdiction shall be binding on the parties and their representatives in any suit ?or proceeding in a civil Court and that a decision of a Revenue Court incidentally on a particular matter which does not fall within its exclusive jurisdiction cannot be binding on the parties in a civil Court.

20. The exclusive jurisdiction of the Collector under Section 44-B of Act II of 1927 is only with regard to that part of the inam which forms the subject-matter of the resumption proceedings. The Collector has exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether the part of the inam is liable to resumption on account of the default of the particular service holder, and his order is final. The Collector has no exclusive Jurisdiction to determine the extent of the inam, namely, whether it includes the kudiwaram, and his decision in respect of the same cannot obviously be a bar to subsequent proceedings in a civil suit so as to preclude the devasthanam from raising an issue as to the true scope and nature of the inam grant.

21. For the foregoing reasons, we find that the orders of the Collector evidenced by 'Exhibits A-7, A-13 and A-14 cannot operate as a bar to the devasthanam putting forward a claim that the inam comprises both the warams.

22. The Judgment of Jagadisan, J., confirming the judgments of the Courts below is correct and it is confirmed and these Letters Patent Appeals are dismissed with costs.


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