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Ramachandra Mardaraj Deo Garu, Zamindar of Kallikota Vs. Tumbanatha Behara and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1924Mad480
AppellantRamachandra Mardaraj Deo Garu, Zamindar of Kallikota
RespondentTumbanatha Behara and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....not, really affect the validity of the munsif's finding in these cases they only show that the zemindar's claim was calculated at a 1/4th share in the years 1816 and 1817. we find however, in exhibit a(4) a return submitted,. by the then zemindar in 1861 and signed; by him a statement that, the kattuladi was rs, 400. it is manifestly not a 1/4th share of the income which is stated to have been rs. 1,517. the present taluk officer of the kallikotta estate p.w. no. 1 has,admitted in evidence that the same, amount of rs. 400 had been collected as kattubadi from the defendants for. all the 16 years that he had been in service and that when can attempt was made in fasli 1324 (1914) to introduce an "asamiwar irusal" or ''individua was" account the defendants promptly objected and in spite.....
Judgment:

Krishnan, J.

1. These are revision petitions arising from a mister of small cause suits filed by the zemindar of Kail kotta against various Inamdars holding lands in the zemin village of Mardakota, for kaitubadi and land Cess alleged to be due. The Zemindar's case is that the inams were granted for Paik's service by one of his predecessors-in-title with a condition attached that each inamdar was to pay to the zemindar a kattnb,idi equal to 1/4 of the Rajabhogam or the total income of the inamdars from the lands. The defendants in the various suits pleaded inter alia that they were not liable to pay kattubadi separately as claimed but were only liable as a body to pay a lump sum of Rs. 53 for it every fasli. They, also pleaded that the grant was absolute and not burdened with any service; but that question did not arise for decision in these suits'. There is also no question raised before me about, the liability for land cess. The District Munsif. found on the' evidence that the inamdars were net individually liable to pay any kaitubadi but that they were only liable collectively to pay fixed sum of Rs. 400 every fasli to the zemindar and not Rs. 53 as they pleaded. As no claim was made in these suits to enforce this joint liability, he dismissed them except as regards the claims for land cess and interes on them which were decreed. The zemindar has applied to this Court to reviset is judgment.

2. One of the suits brought by the zemindar had to be tried as an original suit as the value of the claim was beyond the small cause jurisdiction of the Munsif. These Small Cause Suits and that suit were, however, all tried together at the request of parties and the judgment given is a common one for all the suits. The decree in the original suit is, now under appeal before the Subordinate Judge and it was urged by the learned, Advocate-General that the hearing, of these revision petitions should be stayed till the disposal of that appeal as different' findings of fact may be arrived at by that learned Judge. This suggestion was strongly opposed by the learned. Vakil for, the. inamdars. As pointed out by him, any finding of fact that the Subordinaite Judge may come to, different from the Munsif's, will be of no avail in the disposal of these petitions as the parties here are different, from the parties in the appeal, the zemindar being the only common factor. These pet:tioas have already been on this Court's file for nearly four years. I, therefore, declined to grant the prayer for further adjournment.

3. The finding that the defendants are liable only as a body to pay a Kattubadi of Rs. 400 per fasli to the zemindar is a finding of fact from the oral and, documentary evidence in the case and as such it should be accepted in, revision, I hit it is contended by the learned Advocate-General that in coming to that finding, the District Munsif misconstrued Inhibits A and A (1) and misunderstood their nature and thus failed to attach due weight to them. Now, Exhibits A and A(1) are" Kham Bhogattas " of Fasljs 1225 and 1226 (18x6 and 1817)., They, refer to the Rajah being, paid at 4-annas per. rupee or 1/4th share of the total income;,"as per the yearly mamool." The District Munsif instead of ascertaining the meaning of the term "Kham, Bhogatta,'' from some recognised glossary" of such terms entered upon a philological speculation of his own as to what its meaning might be and came to the conclusion that it meant an account prepared for "his own information " by the karnam. He, therefore, treated it as of little value and preferred. Exhibits, A(2), and A(4). which were returns made to the Collector. No doubt he was not strictly correct in the meaning he, attached, to the, expression "Kham Bhogatta." Bhogatta is a Telugu word admittedly meaning " information." Now the word "Kham" which is a Persian word means, according to Wilson's Glossary, "gross, immature," "Kham Chitta" which evidently corresponds to Kham Bhogatta is said to mean a rough statements or account, "Kham Wossool" is stated to Mean gross receipts of revenre and also a settlement made with the cultivators direct without the intervention of a third person as a, farmer or zemindar. From the various meanings given above to, expressions containing, the word "Kham' the, phrase " Kham Bhogatta "would seem to, mean a rough account of the revenue due, prepared for information.

4. Even though Exhibits A and A(1) are only rough, accounts they are entitled to considerable weight as documents of a very early date and there is no doubt a reference in, them to the zemindar's, share being a quarter, I am however, of opinion that the, weight to be given to these documents does not, really affect the validity of the Munsif's finding in these cases They only show that the zemindar's claim was calculated at a 1/4th share in the years 1816 and 1817. we find however, in Exhibit A(4) a return submitted,. by the then zemindar in 1861 and signed; by him a statement that, the kattuladi was Rs, 400. It is manifestly not a 1/4th share of the income which is stated to have been Rs. 1,517. The present Taluk Officer of the Kallikotta estate P.W. No. 1 has,admitted in evidence that the same, amount of Rs. 400 had been collected as kattubadi from the defendants for. all the 16 years that he had been in service and that when can attempt was made in Fasli 1324 (1914) to introduce an "asamiwar irusal" or ''individua was" account the defendants promptly objected and in spite of criminal and other coercive proceedings it has been found impossible to, enforce it. We must, there, fore, take it, as the District Munsif has found, that for 50 or 60 years now the same lump, sum of Rs. 400 a year has been paid by the inamdars, as a body as hattubadi to the zemindar What ever, therefore, might have. been the zemindar's original claim the facts, here are, sufficient to justify the inference that there is an implied contract between the zemindar and the inamdars that the latter are to pay only a sum of Rs. 400 a year jointly. The zemindar is not entitled now to go back on such an arrangement, the fact that though from time to time, holdings of heirless Paika were resumed by the, zemindar the total amount, of kattubadi, was left in fact at Rs. 400 and,the fact that, the increase in the number of, inamdars on the other, ha.n,d also did not affect the amount payable strongly corroborate' the inference that the 'liability of the inamdars was a joint one to pay a fixed sum.

5. In these circumstances, I do not think it necessary to call for a revised finding from the District Munsif on the ground of his having given an inaccurate meaning to the expression "Kham Bhogatta" which is the only ground urged in support of the claim for it. 4. It was lastly urged that as the inamdars were all jointly liable to pay Kattubadi at the rate of Rs. 400 a year decrees should have been given against one or more' of the defendants for a sum or sums not exceeding Rs. 400 on the whole. It was urged that it was open to the zemindar to claim the whole amount from any one of the persons jointly liable leaving it to the latter to claim contribution from' his co-obligers. Now such a claim was not. made in the lower Court, in this Court the Advocate-General asks that a decree may be given against the defendant in Small Cause Suit No. 846 of 1918 for the amount claimed against him in that Suit for the three faslis As that amount is less than Rs. 400 per fasli a decree will be so given. The decree in that suit will be modified by giving the plaintiff a decree for the full amount Rs. 190-14-9 including the land cess already decreed. In that case the parties will bear their costs. The other Civil Revision Petitions are all dismissed with costs in cases in which the respondents are represented. Vakil's fee at Rs. 10 each but not exceeding the regulation fee in any single case.

6. And this case having been posted to be spoken to and coming on for bearing again this 25th day of April 1923 the Court made the following

7. The order as to costs is revised by giving a fee of Rs. 5 in each case irrespective of the regulation fee.


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