Decided on October 23,1970

K. Palaniswamy Respondents


Venkataraman, J. - (1.) This petition has been filed under Article 226 of the constitution by one O. Palaniswamy Gounder for a writ of certiorari There was a vacancy in the office of the Village Headman of Ramapatnam village in Coimbatore district consequent on the resignation of the previous office holder. The Assistant Collector, Pollachi invited application and appointed the petitioner in his proceedings, dated 26th September 1964. One of the unsuccessful candidates, K. Palaniswamy (the first respondent herein), filed a petition to the Joint Collector, Coimbatore (the second respondent) The Joint Collector by his proceedings dated 26th April 1965 set aside the order of the Assistant Collector and appointed K. Palaniswamy (first respondent). The petitioner filed an appeal to the Board of Revenue (the third respondent). The Board of Revenue by proceedings dated 14th February 1966 dismissed the appeal. This petition has been filed to quash the order of the Board of Revenue. The only point urged before us is that the Joint Collector had no jurisdiction to set aside the order of the Assistant Collector. The argument runs thus. The post of the Village Headman was previously governed by the provisions of The Madras Hereditary Village Offices Act (Madras Act III of 1895). Under Sec. 10(2) of the Act the succession shall devolve on a single heir according to the general custom and rule of primogeniture. The Supreme Court held in Gazula Dasaraiharama Rao v/s. State of Andhra Pradesh ( : A.I.R. 1961 S.C. 564) that the hereditary principle would offend Article 16(2) of the Constitution and would be void. Nevertheless, according to the petitioner, the remaining provisions of the Act would apply and under those provisions there was no right of appeal to the Joint Collector against the order passed by the Assistant Collector in this case. The Act was a self -contained one and, if no appeal was provided under that Act, there was no other provision by which the Joint Collector could act.
(2.) It is not disputed before us by the respondents that under the provisions of Act no appeal lay to the Joint Collector against the order of the Assistant Collector in this case, but it is urged that the Joint Collector had power under Regulation VII of 1828 to revise the order of the Assistant Collector. It is further urged that the position has been settled by more than one decision of Court, namely by a Division Bench in Srinivasa Ayyangar v/s. Jagannatha Ayyangar ( : (1938) 2 M.L.J. 488) by another Division Bench (Rajamannar, C.J. and Verkatarama Ayyar, J.) in Seshagiri Sarma v/s. State of Madras ( : (1952) 2 M.L.J. 462) by the observations of the Full Bench (Rajagopalan, Balakrishna Ayyar, and Rajagopala Ayyangar, JJ.) in Nagarathnammal v/s. Ibrahim. Sahib ( : I.L.R. [1955] Mad. 460 (F.B.)) and by the recent decision of the Full Bench (Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan and Ramamurti JJ.) in Sivasankarasubramania v/s. Revenue Divisional Officer (I.L.R. [1962] 2 Mad. 12 (F.B.)).
(3.) It seems to me that the contention urged by Thiru Ramalingam, the learned Counsel for the first respondent, and by the learned Government Pleader for respondents 2 to 4, on the above lines is supported by the decisions and observations relied on by them and must, therefore, be accepted.;

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