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Kadiyala Baswayya Naidu Vs. Muniswami Reddi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1925Mad1155
AppellantKadiyala Baswayya Naidu
RespondentMuniswami Reddi and ors.
Cases ReferredNeti Anjaneyalu v. Venu Gopal Rice Mill Ltd. A.I.R.
Excerpt:
- .....j.1. this second appeal arises out of a suit instituted by the plaintiff for redemption of the suit lands held by the first defendant on a mortgage from defendants nos. 2 to 4. the lands are held by defendants nos. 2 to 4 as temple service inam lands for performing services as musicians in a temple. these lands were usufructuarily mortgaged by them to the first defendant and afterwards sold to the plaintiff. the first defendant resisted the suit mainly on the ground that the alienation in favour of the plaintiff of inam lands granted for services in connexion with the temple is invalid, as such alienation is opposed to public policy. the district munsif dismissed the plaintiff's suit. on appeal the learned subordinate judge reversed the decree for possession. against this decree the.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. This second appeal arises out of a suit instituted by the plaintiff for redemption of the suit lands held by the first defendant on a mortgage from Defendants Nos. 2 to 4. The lands are held by Defendants Nos. 2 to 4 as temple service inam lands for performing services as musicians in a temple. These lands were usufructuarily mortgaged by them to the first defendant and afterwards sold to the plaintiff. The first defendant resisted the suit mainly on the ground that the alienation in favour of the plaintiff of inam lands granted for services in connexion with the temple is invalid, as such alienation is opposed to public policy. The District Munsif dismissed the plaintiff's suit. On appeal the learned Subordinate Judge reversed the decree for possession. Against this decree the first defendant has preferred this second appeal and his learned vakil has again urged before us the plea that the alienation of the suit lands is invalid as being opposed to public policy.

2. The question for decision is whether the suit lands, being temple service inam lands, could be validly sold to the plaintiff by Defendants Nos. 2 to 4; in other words, whether the alienation in question is invalid as contrary to public policy. The lands have been admittedly granted for the purpose of a service of a public nature and the alienation is not sought to be supported on the ground that it is justified by custom. The main contention of the respondent is that the inamdars can alienate the suit lands for their lifetime, and during that period the validity of the alienation cannot be challenged by the plaintiff.

3. The observations of the learned Chief Justice in Neti Anjaneyalu v. Venu Gopal Rice Mill Ltd. A.I.R. 1922 Mad. 197 strongly support the contention put forward on behalf of the appellant. In that case it was held that lands held on swasthivachakam service tenure are not subject to attachment in execution of a decree, as the sale of such lands is opposed to public policy and the nature of the interest affected. It is true that the question whether an inamdar could alienate his land burdened with the service of a public nature during his life time, while he rendered service did not directly arise for decision in that case, but as it was argued that the execution creditor would have a right, if such land is alienable for such period, to sell for that period, the learned Chief Justice after considering on the question, expressed his opinion that an inamdar is not entitled to sell out and out for the period of the time during which he lives and renders services 'because such alienation would be quite contrary to public policy.' The reasons are thus mentioned in an earlier part of the judgment. 'The right to enjoy the property is as long as the inamdar renders services in the performance of which the public have an interest. If the inamdar gold the property it is obvious that he would in all probability no longer perform the services; and further, it is quite opposed to the nature of his interest and duty (namely, that he should enjoy the produce of the land as salary for the public services he has to render) that he should sell it or alienate it, leaving himself without the means of subsistence and without further interest in the place or in the performance of the services.' This view has also been accepted by the other members of the Full Bench. According to this view, though it is legal for the inamdar to alienate lands burdened with public services temporarily by way of lease for a period, be cannot effect a valid sale of the inam property.

4. The important cases cited by the learned vakil for the respondent in support of the argument, that a sale by an inamdar of lands burdened with the public service is valid during his lifetime, have all been considered in the Full Bench case just now referred to. The decision in Pakkiam Pillay v. Seetharama Vadhyar : (1904)14MLJ134 which held that any alienation of land which is held by a person as emoluments attached to a spiritual office in a village is void as against the rightful holder, does not deal with the question raised in this case and is not opposed to the view that is now urged on behalf of the appellant. The same remark may be made with regard to the decision in Minakshisundaram Pillay v. Chokkalinga Royar : (1905)15MLJ10 . In Subraya Kakramaya v. Subraya Padayya (1910) 8 M.L.T. 325 it was held by Sankaran Nair, J. and Krishnaswamy Aiyer, J. that the alienation of the hereditary office by a mother-in-law in favour of her son-in-law conveyed the right as manager to the son-in-law during: her lifetime. But it is to be observed that the learned Judges point out that she could not perform the ceremonies and carry out the other duties of the office. The decision in Vusa Chandrakantam v. Vusa Subbarayudu (1914) 16 M.L.T. 347 has been distinguished by the learned Chief Justice on the ground that it means only that the inamdar can let the property during the time that he is rendering the services. The same remark may be made about the decision in Kupprazu Venkatasubbiah v. Murugula Shaik Silar Sahib (1916) 19 M.L.T. 144 : see the remarks of Coutts Trotter, J. The decision in Midnapore Zamindari Co. v. Malayandi Appaswami Naicker (1918) 41 Mad. 749 dealt with a case of military service inam. The learned vakil for the appellant has also referred to the observations of Srinivasa Iyengar, J. in Suppa Bhattar v. Sappu Sakkaya (1915) 29 M.L.J. 558 to the effect that 'the weight of authority is against the view that no custom of alienability of a religious office should be recognized.' This cannot help the appellant as the alienation in this case, as already pointed out, is not sought So be supported on the ground of custom. The question arising for decision in this case has not been considered in any one of the cases brought to our notice by the learned vakil for the respondent.

5. For the reasons mentioned by the learned Chief Justice in Neti Anjaneyalu v. Venu Gopal Rice Mill Ltd. A.I.R. 1922 Mad. 197 with which we respectfully agree, we hold that in this case the sale of the suit lands by Defendants Nos. 2 to 4 in favour of the plaintiff is invalid and that it is not valid. We, therefore, set aside the decree of the lower Court and dismiss the plaintiff's suit with costs-throughout.

Devadoss, J.

6. I agree.


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