1.The plaintiff as an auction-purchaser at a sale for arrears of Government revenue of what is known as a Sunderbunds estate sues to eject defendant as holding without any valid title.
2. Defendant states that he obtained a moursi mokurari jungleburi lease from plaintiff's predecessor, which plaintiff cannot avoid.
3. The first objection raised is that, inasmuch as there has been no permanent settlement of the lands sold to plaintiff, it cannot be regarded as an estate. The definition of the word 'estate' is given in Beng. Act VII of 1868, and that Act declares that this shall be applied to the Revenue Sale Law of 1859. The property purchased by plaintiff clearly falls within that definition.
4. The next objection raised by defendant is that the plaintiff is a purchaser within the terms of Section 52. Act XI of 1859, and that he (the defendant) is accordingly protected because be holds under a lease 'of lands whereon plantations have been made 'We have no doubt that no plantations have, in the proper interpretation of that word, been made by defendant, for it is admitted that the land was obtained for the cultivation of paddy after clearing away the jungle. We are unable to hold that such cultivation can be regarded as making a plantation.
5. The main point for decision in this case is whether the plaintiff is a purchaser within the terms of Section 37 or of Section 52 of the Revenue Sale Law, that is to say, whether he is the purchaser of an 'estate in the permanently-settled districts of Bengal, Behar and Orissa,' or of an 'estate in a district not permanently-settled.' If the plaintiff is a purchaser of the former description, he might be entitled to eject the defendant; whereas in the other contingency he would be entitled only to a decree annulling the defendant's tenure, and to demand rent at a higher rate under certain specified conditions.
6. There is no special definition of the term 'district' applicable to the Revenue Sale Law. The District Judge has held that 'the local jurisdiction of a Collector in the regulation districts of Bengal is a district for revenue purposes;' but although the land in suit falls within the district of the 24-Pergunnahs, a permanently-settled district 'for civil, criminal, and fiscal purposes,' the District Judge holds that the jurisdiction of the Collector, and therefore the district itself, 'for revenue purposes,' does not include the Sunderbunds and the lands in suit, because it was under Reg. IX of 1816 'formed into a separate jurisdiction for settlement purposes under an officer styled the Commissioner of the Sun-derbucds, who is subject to the direct control of the Board of Revenue and is independent of the Collector.' Hr consequently holds that the plaintiff is a purchaser of an estate in a district not permanently settled, that is, under Section 52, because it falls within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of the Sunderbunds, within which no permanent settlement of the revenue has been made.
7. It is immaterial for us to determine whether the term 'district' is used with reference to the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts or the Revenue Collector, and whether it is merely the English equivalent of the term 'zillah' used in the older. Regulations, because, in our opinion, the plaintiff's estate falls within the district of the 24-Pergunnabs with reference to both of these jurisdictions. We observe that the validity of the sale under which plaintiff's title has been acquired has never been questioned, and that this sale was held by the Collector of the 24-Pergunnahs and not by the Commissioner of the Sunderbunds. We accordingly take it that it was within the jurisdiction of the Collector to hold this sale. It is not disputed that the estate is borne on the general register of revenue-paying estates in the Collectorate of the 24-Pergunnahs, so that it is clear that the estate must be deemed to be within that Collec-torate in regard to the provisions of Section 10, Beng. Act VII of 1868. Under such circumstances the position of the estate within the district of the 24-Pergunnabs seems clear, and we think that this has not been affected by Reg. IX of 1816, and the appointment of an officer, the Commissioner of the Sunderbunds, specially invested with the powers of the Collector within a certain portion of that district. The Regulation does not provide that the Sunderbunds tracts should form a separate district, but it declares that it 'has appeared advisable' to the Government 'to appoint an officer for the performance of certain duties connected with the public resources in the tract of country ordinarily called the Sunderbunds.' Consequently, even if the term 'district' be interpreted to mean the jurisdiction of the Collector, it would in the present case put the land in suit within the jurisdiction of the Collector of the 24-Pergunnahs; and if the term 'district' be regarded as the jurisdiction of the Civil Court--that of the District Judge--there is even less doubt on this point.
8. It is not disputed that the district of the 24-Pergunnahs is a permanently-settled district, and this has been found by both the lower Courts, and it is also admitted that the estate in suit like all lands within the Sunderbunds is only temporarily settled. But the fact that a portion of a district is not permanently-settled would not affect the general character of the district itself. We think therefore that the plaintiff is within the terms of Section 37 the purchaser of an entire estate in the permanently-settled district of the 24-Pergunnahs, and that, unless defendant can bring himself under one of the exceptions to that section, he must be ejected. We have already held that he does not come within the fourth exception, as be does not hold a lease of lands whereon plantations have been made. That is the only exception pleaded by the defendant, and as he has failed to establish that ground, plaintiff's suit must be decreed with costs in all the Courts, the orders of the lower Courts being set aside.