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Seetharama Naidu Vs. Govindasami Chettiar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in92Ind.Cas.976
AppellantSeetharama Naidu
RespondentGovindasami Chettiar and anr.
Cases ReferredIrulappan Serial v. Veerappan
Excerpt:
madras estates land act (i of 1908), sections 112, 189 - ryotwari holding--rent sale--suit by real owner, maintainability of. - .....lands, and that the registered holder rangaswami naidu was only a benamidar sued to have a rent sale held at the instance of the first defendant, at which the second defendant became the purchaser, set aside on various grounds. the district munsif found as a fact (1) that the notice ex. x did not specify the holding in respect of which the arrear was due; and (2) that a large number of fields and a larger extent than necessary were sold in contravention cf the provisions of section 126 of the estates land act. on these findings he held that the sale was invalid and gave the declaration asked for. the second defendant appealed and the appeal late court allowed the appeal on two grounds:--(1) plaintiff, not being the ryot who was liable to pay rent on the holding, could not maintain the.....
Judgment:

Viswanatha Sastri, J.

1. The question in this, second appeal is whether the real owner of a ryotwari holding can sue in a Civil Court for a declaration that certain lands belong to him and that a sale under the provisions of the Estates Land Act was 'fraudulent, illegal, invalid and not binding, on him '. Plaintiff who is the appellant in second appeal alleging that he was the real owner of the lands, and that the registered holder Rangaswami Naidu was only a benamidar sued to have a rent sale held at the instance of the first defendant, at which the second defendant became the purchaser, set aside on various grounds. The District Munsif found as a fact (1) that the notice Ex. X did not specify the holding in respect of which the arrear was due; and (2) that a large number of fields and a larger extent than necessary were sold in contravention cf the provisions of Section 126 of the Estates Land Act. On these findings he held that the sale was invalid and gave the declaration asked for. The second defendant appealed and the Appeal late Court allowed the appeal on two grounds:--(1) plaintiff, not being the ryot who was liable to pay rent on the holding, could not maintain the suit, and (2) no suit as contemplated by Section 112 of the Estates Land Act having been filed, the validity of the sale cannot be disputed.

2. Both the Courts have found that plaintiff had failed to get his name registered as a pattadar, and this finding has to be accepted. But the question is whether the circumstance prevents him from impeaching the sale in a Civil Court. That such a suit will lie in a Civil Court at the instance of a ryot (pattadar) has been held by a Full Bench of this Court in Raja of Ramnad v. Venkatarama Iyer A.I.R. 1923 Mad. 6 (F.B.). No case has been referred to in which it has been held that such a suit will not lie at the instance of a person who claims to be the ' real owner of a ryotwari holding. I am of opinion that such a suit is equally open to him.

3. The contention that Section 189 of the Estates Land Act barred the suit, is sought to be supported by the ruling in Irulappan Servai v. Veerappan 31 M.L.T. 71. In that case it is stated at page 115Page of 42 M.L.J--[Ed] that 'to allow a person who has not taken action under Section 146, to ignore a rent sale at the time it is held and subsequently to dispute its validity in a civil suit would run counter to both these principles. Section 189 does not seem to me to allow of such a construction.' If a ryot who has not instituted proceedings under Section 112, can come in with a suit in a Civil Court, as has been held in the Full Bench case above referred to, it is difficult to see why a person in the position of plaintiff cannot be allowed to do so. The case in Irulappan Serial v. Veerappan 69 Ind. Cas. 918 : 42 M.L.J. 113 does hot appear to have been brought to the notice of the learned Judges who decided the Full Bench case; but nevertheless it appears to me that the ground on which the decision proceeded is no longer tenable, having regard to the Full Bench ruling.

4. I would, therefore, allow the second appeal and remand the case to the lower Appellate Court for decision upon the other issues raised in the case. Appellant will get a refund of the Court-fee paid on the memorandum of appeal. Appellant will have the costs of the second appeal and the other costs will abide and follow the result.


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