1. In Original Suit No. 426 of 1919, on the file of the Court of the District Munsif of Tiruvallur, plaintiff sued for Rs. 210 alleging that he held a lease of a blacksmith's inam from the previous holder which had been continued by the present holders, defendants 1 and 2. The other defendants 3 to 8 denied that these holders had title. The District Munsif and District Judge on appeal have held that the jurisdiction vested in the Revenue Court, and plaintiff seeks to revise the order and judgment of the District Court.
2. This is an unenfranchised inam and a point directly in issue is whether defendants 1 and 2 have any claim to succeed to the office, and whether plaintiff as lessee can recover the emoluments of the office. Section 21, Act III of 1895, would seem therefore to apply. But it has long been settled that Section 21 must be read with Section 18. In spite of the generality of the language of Section 21 the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is taken away only in those cases in which it is conferred on the Revenue Court by Section 13 : Muvvula Seetham Naidu v. Doddi Ram Naidu I.L.R., (1910) Mad., 208. Under Section 13 any person may sue before the Collector for a village office or for its emoluments on the ground that he is entitled to hold such office and enjoy such emoluments. The section is clearly confined to persons suing in their own right as holders. On behalf of respondents it is urged that if this be so a holder has only to lease the emoluments and leave it to the lessee to sue on his title in order to carry the suit away from the jurisdiction of the Revenue Courts. The short answer is that he can do this if he so pleases. The question of jurisdiction is merely technical and involves no equities. If a holder wants to sue, the legislature has provided the 'Revenue Court as his forum; if any other person is suing it has provided the ordinary Civil Courts.
3. The defence has exhibited a certified copy of judgment in an unreported case of this Court. I deprecate the practice. Courts should depend upon reported cases for guidance. In this exhibit it has been ruled that, although the plaintiff is not a holder of the office and is a mere alienee from the office-holder, the suit is still governed by Section 21, Act III of 1895, on the authority of Palamalai Padayachi v. Shanmuga Ausari I.L.R., (1894) Mad.,302 and Veerabadran Achari v. Suppiah Achari I.L.R., (1910) Mad., 488 In Palamalai Padayachi v. Shanmuga Ausari I.L.R., (1894) Mad.,302 plaintiff sued on the ground that he was the village carpenter and as such entitled to the lands attached to that office. The question for determination was whether the suit was barred by Section 3, Regulation VI of 1831, and a Full Bench found it to be so barred. In Veeraladran Achari v. Suppiah Achari I.L.R., (1910) Mad., 488 plaintiff sued as holder of the office of carpenter, and it was found that the office in this case was not one covered by the special Acts. No reported case has been brought to my notice in which it has been ruled that a mere alienee is barred under Section 21, Act III of 1895, and as at present advised I do not see how it could be so ruled.
4. I must therefore allow this petition, and reverse the judgment and order of the lower Appellate Court. The District Munsif of Tiruvallur has jurisdiction and must proceed with the suit.