IN RE: N.H.M. PANDIAN Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
In Re: N.H.M. Pandian
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Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J. -
(1.) THE petitioner in this criminal revision case has been convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/ - and in default of payment of the fine to undergo rigorous Imprisonment for six months, under Section 409 I. P. C. by the learned Sessions Judge of Tirunelveli division, who confirmed the conviction and sentence by the learned District Magistrate of Tirunelveli.
(2.) THE petitioner the present Zamindar of Uthumalai estate, is said to be a premier citizen of the District of Tirunelveli, The said zamindar is the trustee of Navaneetha Krishnaswami temple at Veerekeralampudur. Before him, his father was the trustee for a short time. The latter was shot dead on 18 -9 -1942. Before his death, the grand -father of the present petitioner, one Subbiah Thevar, was the zamindar. The said grandfather of the present petitioner died on "1 -1 -1941. The said Subbiah Thevar was the brother of Rani Meenakshisundara Nachiar, who was the zamindarini for a long time till her death on 4 -7 -1921. From 1902 upto 1922 the estate as well as the Devasth attain were under the management of the Court of Wards. During this period and immediately on the death of the Zamindarini, there were three claimants who filed O. S. NOs. 1, 2 and 3 of 1922 on the file of the District Court of Tirunelveli. Subbiah Thevar, the paternal grandfather of the present petitioner, filed O. S. No. 3 of 1922. His suit was for a declaration of his title to succeed in preference to the other claimants who had filed O. S. Nos. 1 and 2 of 1922. On 3 -1 -1929, the District Court decided and decreed the suit brought by the paternal grandfather of the present petitioner and dismissed the other two suits. His title was also upheld by the High Court on 2 -4 -1935 in appeals preferred by the parties, slightly modifying the decree of the District Court with regard to the personal property of the zamindarini. The matter went up to the Privy Council on appeal from the decrees of the High Court. The Privy Council affirmed the decrees of the High Court on 3 -12 -1937. The grandfather of the present petitioner had been appointed receiver by the District Court during the pendency of the suits in the District Court to manage the estate and the Devasthanam. The order of appointment was dated 10 -11 -1930 and his possession as receiver became possession in his own right when the appeal was finally disposed of by the Privy Council. During her management as a limited owner of the Uthumalai zamin, the Zamindarini, Rani Meenakshisundara Nichiar, had alienated seven villages of the estate in favour of the Navaneetha Krishnaswami temple, with the permission of the then Collector of Tirunelveli. This was under a deed dated 15 -6 -1921, and during the period the Court of Wards was in management, these villages were formally got transferred in the name of the said temple and an inam title was issued by the Government to the temple of the villages. Accumulations of income during the receivership of the grandfather of the present petitioner and also the surplus income derived during the management of the Devastanam by the Court of Wards, had all been invested by the District Court in Government securities and these amounted to a sum of Rs. 6,12,100. The securities of the face value of the said amount stood in the name of the District Judge. There was also a balance of Rs. 30,882 -0 -4 which remained in cash.
(3.) THE grandfather of the present petitioner, after he ceased to be the receiver, filed an application before the District Court (Ex. P -89) on 3 -3 -1939 in which, after setting out the facts, he had prayed to the District Court to tax and ascertain from the accounts and registers maintained in the District Court in O. S. Nos. 1 to 3 of 1922, the amounts invested in Government securities and cash in deposit in the Imperial Bank at Tirunelveli belonging to the Devasthanams appertaining to the Uthumalai Estate, to deliver the said Government securities to the petitioner therein (the grandfather of the present petitioner) or his advocate Sri A.S. Narayanaswami Iyer or to assign them to the petitioner, to order the payment of the cash balance amount belonging to the Devasthanams of the Utthumalai estate by cheque on the Imperial Bank of India, Tirunelveli in the name of his advocate Sri A.S. Narayanaswami Aiyar and to make or pass such other orders as the District Court might seem fit and proper. After this application had gone through various stages, the District Court addressed the Reserve Bank of India, Madras, for assignment of the bonds of the face value of Rs. 78,300 bearing interest at 4 per cent, Rs. 5300 bearing interest at 4 1/2 Per cent and Rs. 5000 bearing interest at 5 per cent, and the bonds were actually endorsed and delivered over to the advocate for the petitioner (subhiah Thevar) on 19 -1 -1940. The advocate received the said Government bonds for the value of Rs. 88,600 and filed a stamped receipt to that effect on the 27th January 1940. On the death of the said Subbiah Thevar, his son, the father of the present petitioner, put in an application in the District Court, Tirunelveli, in O. S. No. 3 of 1922, as may be seen from Ex. P. 90 (a) praying to the Court that the endorsements made by the District Judge on the three Government securities should be amended as pointed out in the petition, Ex. P. 90. The amendment prayed for was ordered by the District Judge on 5 -9 -1941.;
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