Decided on March 10,1955

K.A. JOSEPH Respondents


- (1.) The only question referred to us for decision in this case is whether Proclamation XVI of 1122, a Proclamation of His Highness the Maharaja of Cochin, dated 14.2.1947, offends the Constitution of India and is void for that reason. The arguments in the case were heard along with those in C.R.P. Nos. 39 and 40 of 1954 ( 1955 KLT 406 ) and the contention, as in those petitions, was that the Proclamation concerned offended Art.14, 19(1)(f) and 31 of the Constitution.
(2.) The general aspects of the case have been dealt with by us in our consolidated order on those petitions and we do not consider it necessary to cover the ground afresh. A copy of that order is hereto appended and will form part of our answer to the reference made to us.
(3.) Proclamation XVI of 1122 read as follows: Whereas pending decision of the question whether fixity of tenure is to be extended to Verumpattomdars of holdings within the limits of the Municipalities, it is deemed expedient to prevent the eviction from his holding of a Verumpattomdar who has a house of his own in the holding and who or the members of whose family are residing therein: We are hereby pleased to command that until such time as Our Government may, by notification in the Cochin Government Gazette, deem fit to withdraw this Proclamation, no suit for eviction shall be instituted against a Verumpattomdar of a holding situate within the limits of the Municipalities if he has in the holding a residential building of his own in which he or any member of his family or tarwad or tavazhi is residing and all suits, appeals, reviews, revisions, decrees and applications in execution for the eviction of such a Verumpattomdar from such holding which are pending in Our Courts are hereby stayed: Provided that the above prohibition shall not preclude Our Courts from granting relief for arrears of rent due in respect of the holding. Explanation:- The wife or husband and the children of the Verumpattomdar shall be deemed to be members of his family for the purposes of this Proclamation. and as the preamble makes it quite clear that the Proclamation was intended to be operative only until such time as a decision is taken and passed into law we are not prepared to hold that the stay directed violates Art.19(1)(f) of the Constitution. The delay which has, as a matter of fact, occurred cannot as stated in our order on C.R.P. Nos. 39 and 40 of 1954 ( 1955 KLT 406 ) in connection with Proclamation VI of 1124 colour our judgment or affect the issue as to whether the restrictions were reasonable as on the crucial date, viz., the 26th January 1950.;

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