Madhavan Nair, J.
1. The plaintiff is the appellant. His auit is to recover possession of B. Class lands, relinquished by the Railway Company and included in Survey Nos. 65-B-1 and 65-B-3 of Azhiyur Amsom.
2. These lands were first sold to the defendant by the Tahsildar and possession was given to him. Afterwards, on an objection raised by the present plaintiff, the sale to the defendant was cancelled and the plaintiff was given these properties, with right to recover them from the defendant. The questions for determination are: (1) whether the defendant has obtained a valid assignment of the plaint properties; and (2) what is the legal effect of the subsequent assignment of these properties to the plaintiff. If the defendant has got a valid assignment of the plaint properties, it follows that the subsequent assignment of the same properties to the plaintiff can give him no right to recover possession. Both the Courts below found that there was a valid assignment of the plaint properties to the defendant and have dismissed the plaintiff's suit.
3. Mr. Menon for the plaintiff-appellant has argued that the Tahsildar, who sold these properties to the defendant, had no authority given to him by the Collector, to sell them to the defendant; (2) that even if he had the authority, the Collector, who was the agent of the Government for effecting the sale of the relinquished Railway lands, under the Board's Standing Order No. 90, Clauses (4) and (5), had no power to delegate his function to the Tahsildar and therefore the sale by the Tahsildar is invalid: and (3) that since, in conducting the sale, the Tahsildar contravened some of the special rules, under the Board's Standing Order, the sale to the defendant of these lands is invalid.
4. Exhibits I, II and III are the proceedings relating to the sale of these lands. As regards the first point, a perusal of Ex. II makes it quite clear that the Tahsildar had power given to him by the Collector to sell them.
5. The next point for consideration is whether the Collector could validly delegate this duty of selling the lands to the Tahsildar. In my opinion, this is not a case strictly speaking of delegation at all. It is admitted that the Collector has the power to effect the sale himself. The Collector having decided to sell these lands has entrusted the purely ministerial work of carrying out the sale to the Tahsildar. I think this in law he is entitled to do.
6. It is next argued that the Tahsildar, when he carried out the sale, did not observe some of the Rules relating to the sale. It was stated that he did not sell these lands by public auction, as he is bound to do, under the Rules and that at best with regard to one of the Survey numbers, via., 65 B-3, he did not sell it to the adjoining land-owner, that is to say, that the defendant is not the adjoining land-owner to whom he ought to have sold it. I am not quite sure whether 65 B/3 is not contiguous to the defendant's land, because it was stated at the bar that it does not seem to touch it at one point. However, I do not think that the non-ob' servitor of these Rules can make the sale to the defendant absolutely void. It is admitted that the sale was not affected by fraud, or misrepresentation, or mutual mistake. Exibit II shows that the Tahsildar acted strictly within the scope of his authority. In my opinion the Rules violated are nothing more than instructions to the officer disposing of Railway B class land. They do not in any way, define the soope of the authority of the officer concerned in making the sale. As pointed out, by their Lordship in Sappani Asari v. The Collector of Coimbatore (1903) 26 Mad. 742.
Unless the distinction between so much of the tales as is really in the nature of a power-of-attorney defining the scope of the authority of Dharkhast Officers and the rest which. ace really in the nature only of instructions to such officers, while exercising the power conferred upon them, is fully recognised and enforced, the entire body of Dharkhast Rules will become unworkable in Civil Courts.7. In The Secretary of State for India v. Bundeppa of Konakondla (1909) 32 Mad. 300, it was held that a grant of land on dharkhast by an authority competent to make such grant, cannot, where no fraud has been practiced in obtaining such grant, be set aside, on the ground that it was not made in the manner prescribed by the Board's Standing Order. The offer of the defendant in this case, was accepted by a duly authorised officer and that acceptance was communicated to him and he was also put in possession of the properties. In view of these authorities, I do not think that the sale to the defendant can be said to be vitiated by the non-observance of these rules.
8. It follows therefore that the defendant has obtained a valid assignment of the plaint properties and that the subsequent assignment of them to the plaintiff is invalid; in any event, in view of Exhibits C and C-1, the assignment of 65 B-1 to the defendant will stand. I dismiss the second appeal with costs.