1. In 1899 the Government resumed 34 bighas odd lands as chowkidari chakran lands and transferred them to the Maharaja of Burdwan subject to the payment of a certain sum as revenue. There was a patni under the Maharaja in respect of this estate which was then held by one Anath, Bandhu. Subsequent to the transfer to the Maharaja of the chakran lands-Anath Bandhu executed a patni lease in favour of the Maharaja in respect of' these lands under which he undertook: to pay on behalf of the Maharaja Rs. 25 odd as the Government revenue and the balance Rs. 13 odd to the Maharaja as rent. That was in 1905. Anath's patni was sold and purchased by the plaintiffs. in 1916. In 1918 this suit was brought by the plaintiffs for a declaration that out of the lands which were resumed by the Government as chakran, a portion, was mal land of the original patni. In, that suit they made the Maharaja of Burdwan a defendant and the defendants. 1 to 6 were said to be the previous purchasers of this patni relating to the resumed chakran lands from the last patnidar. They also made the Secretary of State a party to the suit in which they prayed for a declaration that the. Secretary of State was not entitled to the revenue of Rs. 25 odd, but only to-Es. 9 odd. The suit was decreed by the learned Subordinate Judge against all the defendants. The Secretary of State thereupon appealed and the then. District Judge, Mr. P. E. Cammiade, held that under the law the Subordinate. Judge had no jurisdiction to question the validity of the resumption of the' chowkidari charkran lands under the Bengal Act 6 of 1870 and dismissed the plaintiff's suit against the Secretary of State.
2. There was further a second appeal to this Court by the plaintiff's, being second Appeal No. 884 of 1923, which was heard by a Bench which was of opinion that the view taken by the learned Judge in * the Court of appeal below, that a civil Court had no jurisdiction to determine the question relating to resumption under Act 6 of 1870, was not correct and remanded the case to the lower appellate Court for the purpose of rehearing 'the appeal on the findings-of fact arrived at by the Subordinate Judge. The case then came on for hearing before Mr. B. K. Basu and he held that there was no. irregularity or illegality in the proceedings taken under the Chowkidari Act and that therefore the plaintiffs were not entitled to maintain the suit and dismissed it as against the Secretary of State. It is to be noted that the other defendants, the Maharaja and defendants 1 to 6, had not appealed against the decision of the Subordinate Judge. The plaintiffs have again appealed from the decision of Mr. Basu and it is argued on their behalf that the view taken by the lower appellate Court is not correct in law.
3. The first objection is that no notice was served on the patnidar at the time of the resumption in 1899. We agree with the learned District Judge that there is no provision in Act 6 of 1870 which requires a notice to be served upon the patnidars or the subordinate tenure-holdars. We have been referred to Section 60 of the Act which invests a Chakran Commissioner with all the powers conferred by Regn. 7 of 1822; but it does not make the procedure laid down in the regulation applicable to the proceedings under the Chowkidari Act.
4. The position of the Secretary of State is peculiar. There is no direct engagement between the patnidar and the Secretary of State. The Patnidar pays revenue to the Secretary of State under a contract with his landlord, according to which he has taken upon himself to pay a portion of the revenue direct to the Government. That doe3 not create any relationship between the Government and the patnidar. The patnidar has therefore no cause of action against the Secretary of State for variation of the revenue payable by the zamindar. Such an action would lie at the instance of the zamindar who is liable to the (Secretary of State. Apart from any other questions it seems to us that there is no cause of action against the Secretary of State and the suit as against him has been rightly dismissed. We do not also see how the plaintiffs can get over the plea of limitation that arose from the facts of the case in their suit against the Secretary of State. It appears that the objection on the ground of limitation was raised at the trial but why it was not pressed in the Court of appeal below is unintelligible to us. The Secretary of State resumed the lands in suit in 1899. If any mal land within the patni was included in the chakran resumed by the Government, the cause of action arose from the date of resumption. But the present suit was brought about 20 years after that date.
5. The appeal in the lower appellate Court was by the Secretary of State alone. The other defendants did not prefer any appeal before the District Judge and therefore they are bound by the decree of the Subordinate Judge.
6. The result therefore is that we dismiss the appeal with costs and agree with the learned District Judge in dismissing the suit against the Secretary of State with costs throughout.
7. The learned advocate who appears for respondents 2 and 3 claims his costs against the appellant, as he contends that his clients are not necessary parties to this appeal, and we think that his contention is right. The appellant must pay one gold mohur as costs to respondents 2 and 3.