1. The suits were for ejectment under Section153 of the Madras Estates Land Act.
2. Section 153 of the Madras Estates Land Act applies only to non-occupancy ryots, and the question for decision is whether the respondents (defendants) are non-occupancy ryots.
3. They are ryots who were in possession of their holdings at the commencement of the Act and are, therefore, occupancy ryots, unless they come within some provision of the Act to the contrary, It is contended by Mr. L. A. Govinda Raghava Iyer that the defendants are tenants who were let into possession in 1907 under leases for a definite period of one year and that, therefore, they are non-occupancy tenants, and he relies upon the proviso to Section 153 to the effect that nothing in that section shall affect the liability of a non-oconpancy ryot to be ejected on the ground of the expiry of the term, of a lease granted before that Act.
4. Sections 151 and 152 of the Madras Estates Land Act refer to suits for ejectment of occupancy ryots. Section 153 and the proviso refer to suits for ejectment of those who are non-occupancy ryots under the Act, It is only when it is shown that a person is a non-occupancy ryot that the Section 153 can be applied. It cannot be invoked to cut down the provisions of the section which defines occupancy ryots. Mr. Govinda Raghava Iyer contends that the proviso could have, in contemplation, only ryots like the defendants in these cases, because the only other class of cases of non-occupancy ryots contemplated by the Act are ryots holding old waste' and their case is provided for in Section 157 which, we may point out, refers to non-occupancy tenants. We are not satisfied, that ryots holding old waste' are the only non-occupancy ryots contemplated by the Act. There may be others. See Section 6, clauses 5 and 6 of the Madras Estates Land Act. Even otherwise, as already pointed out, it is not permissible to cut down the occupancy rights conferred by Section 6 by inferences drawn from another section which deals exclusively with the ejectment suits of non-occupancy ryots.
5. We allow this contention and dismiss the Letters Patent Appeal No. 241 of 1912 with costs and the other Letters Patent Appeals without costs.