V. SRINIVASA AYYANGAR Vs. STATE OF MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
V. Srinivasa Ayyangar
STATE OF MADRAS
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(1.) THIS is an application for issuing a writ of certiorari, and for quashing the proceedings taken by the respondents under the Madras Acts 30 of 1947 and 26 of 1943 with regard to the petitioner's village, Karuppur.
(2.) THE said village is situated in Rajasinga -mangalam Zamin taluk, Ramnad gamindari. It is an ancient pre -settlement Dharasanam granted in A. p. 1757 by the then ruler of the country, Muthuvijaya Raghunatha Sethupathi, to the original grantees. 1/10th part of the village was resumed by the Raja before the permanent settlement and added to the zamindari. At the time of the permanent settlement this l/16th part was included in the assets of the zamindari. At the time of the Inam Commission enquiry, the Inam Commissioner confirmed only 15/16th portion of the village on 31st December 1863 subject to a payment of jodi of Rs. 142 -14 -4 and a quit rent of Rs. 24, and title deed No. 404 -was issued for the said portion. The State of Madras issued a notification G. O. Ms. 2169 Revenue, dated 22nd August 1949 under Madras Act 26 o 1948 notifying part of the village included in the assets of the zamindari as an undertenure estate. On 20th June 1950, they had also issued a notification in Fort St. George Gazette fixing rates of rent under "Madras Act 30 of 1947 in regard to the two parts of the -village. The petitioner says that the notifications are ultra vires and void. In regard to the 15/16th portion of the village confirmed by the Government, it was argued that that part would not be an estate, as the Government did not confirm the entire village originally granted. Alternatively it was argued that though the original grant was of the entire village, the grantor himself resumed l/16th part of the village, and therefore the effective grant was only of a part of the village.
The governing provision is Sections 3(2)(d) of the Madras Estates Land Act. It reads: " "Estate" means - (d) any inam village of which the grant has been made, confirmed, or recognised by the British Government, notwithstanding that subsequent to the grant, the village has been partitioned among the grantees or the successors in title of the grantee or grantees."
An inam village would come under the definition of an "estate" if it was granted, confirmed or recognised by the British Government.. The previous rulers made grants of villages and parts of villages. After the British Government became the ruling power, they recognised or confirmed some of those inams. The definition of "estate" apparently was intended to take, in those villages, whether granted by the British Government, or though granted by some other ruling power were continued or recognised by the British Government. If so construed, the confirmation by the British Government must be in respect of the whole village. Explanation (2) provides for an exception where a portion of the inam village is resumed by the Government. It says:
"Where a portion of an inam village is resumed by the Government, such portion shall cease to be part of the estate, but the rest of the village shall be deemed to be an inam village for the purposes of this sub -clause. If the portion so resumed or any part thereof is subsequently re -granted by the Government as an inam, such portion or part shall, from the date of such re -grant, be regarded as forming part of the inam village for the purposes of this sub -clause."
This Explanation also shows that the Legislature was dealing with the grant or confirmation of whole inam villages. Otherwise there was no need to provide for the exception.
(3.) UNDER Sub -clause (d) minor inams or grants of parts of a village are excluded from the definition of an "estate". The whole inam villages granted by the British Government or subsequently confirmed by them are estates. Though' a whole inam village was granted by some ruling power, after the British Government became the ruling power, that grant would not bind the British Government unless confirmed or recognised by them. The grantees would not have any legal title, till it was conferred on them by the British Government. The validity of the grant would necessarily depend upon the confirmation. If so, if the sub -, clause is read as the Government Pleader asks ' us to read, it will mean that if the entire village was granted originally by a grantor other than the British Government, confirmation by the British Government of any part thereof would amount to validating grants of whole village, though the entire grant was not recognised by the Government; if the entire village is not 'confirmed or recognised by the British Government, there cannot legally be an entire inam village, the existence of which is a necessary condition for bringing the grant within the definition.;
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