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Peatap NaraIn Mukerjee Vs. Secretary of State for India - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1906)ILR33Cal390
AppellantPeatap NaraIn Mukerjee
RespondentSecretary of State for India
Excerpt:
chaukidari chakran land, settlement of - person entitled to settlement--estate or tenure within which lands are situate--bengal act vi of 1870, section 48. - .....the ground that he and his co-sharers, defendants nos. 5 to 8, were entitled to have the disputed lands transferred to, and settled with them. the object of the action is to have it declared that the transfers to defendants nos. 2 to 4 of the lands in question were illegal and that the plaintiff, either alone or with defendants nos. 5 to 8, is entitled to have them settled with him, with a prayer for consequential relief.2. the subordinate judge of midnapore has dismissed the suit with costs and the plaintiff has appealed. the principal defendant is defendant no. 2. he pleads limitation and also that the transfer to himself is perfectly valid. the only question argued before us is whether the plaintiff either with or without defendants nos. 5 to 8 is entitled to have a settlement of.....
Judgment:

Francis W. Maclean, K.C.I.E., C.J.

1. This is a suit in respect of some 323 bighas-of resumed chaukidari chakran land situate in 13 mauzas, which, are mentioned in the schedule B annexed to the plaint. The plaintiff is a proprietor of more than 14 annas share of lot Agore, within which the disputed lands are alleged to be and the remaining share of the estate belongs to defendants Nos. 5 to 8. The Collector, in pursuance of Bengal Act VI of 1870, has transferred to, and settled the disputed lands with, defendants Nos. 2 to 4. The plaintiff challenges that action of the Collector on the ground that he and his co-sharers, defendants Nos. 5 to 8, were entitled to have the disputed lands transferred to, and settled with them. The object of the action is to have it declared that the transfers to defendants Nos. 2 to 4 of the lands in question were illegal and that the plaintiff, either alone or with defendants Nos. 5 to 8, is entitled to have them settled with him, with a prayer for consequential relief.

2. The Subordinate Judge of Midnapore has dismissed the suit with costs and the plaintiff has appealed. The principal defendant is defendant No. 2. He pleads limitation and also that the transfer to himself is perfectly valid. The only question argued before us is whether the plaintiff either with or without defendants Nos. 5 to 8 is entitled to have a settlement of these disputed lands, or whether the transfer to defendant No. 2 is valid.

3. There is practically no dispute of fact in the case. The plaintiff's case is that these disputed chaukidarl ehakran lands are situate within the mauzas referred to in the schedule B annexed to the plaint and appertain to his estate lot Agore.

4. The defendant says that whether these lands are geographically situate within mauza lot Agore or not, they do not appertain to the plaintiff's estate. There can, we think, be no question upon the evidence, oral and documentary, that the whole of the chaukidari chakran lands of pargana Chandrakona, although perhaps they are scattered over several mauzas, were allotted, so far back as the year 1794, to lot Jhankra, which then belonged to the predecessors in title of defendant No. 2. At that time, the pargana was divided into 11 different estates, each with a distinct towji number, and revenue to the extent of Rs. 505 odd was assessed on such chakran lands which was consolidated with the revenue payable in respect of the other lands of estate Jhankra. This allotment appears to us to have been effected in pursuance of, and in accordance with, the provisions of Section 41 of Regulation VIII of 1793. Since 1794 these lands have been dealt with by the predecessors in title of defendant No. 2 and by defendant No. 2 himself upon the footing of this allotment. It is conterded for the plaintiff that the disputed lands themselves were not allotted, but that only the dusturi, which means only the payments attributable to the chakran lands, were allotted in 1794, and reliance is placed upon the fact that, in the latbundi of the year 1284, the expression 'chakran dusturi' is used, which is inconsistent with the land itself having passed. But we think, looking, at this document and seeing that the 'chakran dusturi' is treated as one mauza with a revenue attributable to these chakran lands of Rs. 505, that the view contended for by the plaintiff cannot be maintained, especially having regard to the manner in which the property has been dealt with, and seeing that since 1794 the land itself has been dealt with as chakran land allotted to the predecessors in title of defendant No. 2. It would appear from the report of the Commissioner, who was appointed in this case, that only plcts 25 to 31 and 74 of the disputed lands are situate within the ambits of rnauza lot Agore and appertain to that lot. It may well be that even as regards these plots they were what is called pitalgola lands and the evidence seems to point to this conclusion. The plaintiff, therefore, has not substantiated that these disputed lands appertain to his estate.

5. Then it is said that having regard to Section 48 of Bengal Act VI of 1870 the Collector had no power to transfer these disputed lands to defendant No. 2, as he was not the zamindar of the estate or tenure, within which such lands were situate. Even if this were so, as I have pointed out, the plaintiff has not satisfactorily shown that the disputed lands are situate within the ambits of mauza lot Agore, and in that case it would be difficult for him to claim from the Collector a transfer of these lands. But I do not think that the construction of the section; for which the appellant contends can be properly supported. His contention is that the chaukidari chakran lands must be transferred to the zamindar of the village, within which the lands are situate Now under that section the transfer is to be made 'to the zamindar of the estate within which may be situate such, lands.' Here the lards are situated within the estate of defendant No. 2, and I think the Subordinate Judge has put it very well and I adopt his language, where he says:

It is not the geographical situation of the land that is to be looked into, but the transfer is to be made to the proprietor of the estate within which such lands may be situated, and this means that the transfer is to be made to the zamindar of the estate to which the lands appertain and of which they form a part and parcel.

6. It must be borne in mind in this case that Rs. 505 odd was assessed as revenue upon this chakran dusturi land so far back as 1794 and was consolidated with the other lands of the estate Jhankra and that the defendant No. 2 and his predecessors in title have been paying the revenue for these lands, so far as one can see, ever since 1794. The defendant No. 2 and his predecessors have, for a very large number of years, received the rent of the disputed lands from various faridars and chaukidars, whereas there is nothing to show that during this period the plaintiff or his predecessors had ever had anything to do with the disputed lands.

7. We think the points we have dealt with are sufficient to dispose of the appeal, but that it is not to be taken, because we have not specifically referred to them, that we are not in accord with the other points dealt with by the Subordinate Judge, and with his leasonings for the conclusions that he has arrived at. On the contrary we think that, if it had been necessary, to do so, we should have agreed with them. The appeal must-therefore, be dismissed with costs, including the costs of the Secretary of State.

8. Geidt J. I am of the same opinion.


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