K. SOMASUNDARAM Vs. STATE OF MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
STATE OF MADRAS
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KRISHNASWAMI NAYUDU, J. -
(1.) C .M.P. No. 2615 of 1951 and 13245 of 1950: These petitions are for issue of writs of certiorari and they arise out of proceedings taken under the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act 26 of 1948. In C.M.P. No. 2615 of 1951 the village of Sudiyur in the Paramakudi taluk of the Ramanathapuram District has been declared to be an Inam Estate under Act 26 of 1948. The contention of the petitioners is that it is not an inam estate and the Government has no jurisdiction to apply the provisions of the Act to the said village. From the Inam Fair Register (Ex. A. 1) it will be seen that the entire village of Sudiyur was granted originally as Dharmasanam inam in 1774. In 1794 one Marudu Servakaran the then Dewan of Sivaganga purchased a portion, that is, 11 1/2 vritties, and granted it for the support of Sudiyur chatram. A portion of the village was therefore owned as Dharmasanam and the remaining extent was owned by the chatram. At the time of the Inam settlement, two title deeds were issued one for the Dharmasanam portion and the other for the chatram portion to two different persons and for two different purposes. The total extent of the village being 723 -63 acres, an extent of 210 -56 acres was reserved for communal purposes and a further extent of 4 -16 acres was already granted as minor service inam. The remaining extent of 503 -94 acres was originally granted as Dharmasanam inam. At the time of the confirmation in view of the subsequent purchase and re -grant to the Sudiyur chatram, out of 508 -94 acres, 398 -48 acres was confirmed as belonging to Dharmasanam inamdars, 76 -85 acres for the chatram and the balance of 33 -61 acres was shown as belonging to the chatram, but enjoyed as Dharmasanam. On these facts, both the Inam Settlement Officer and the Estates Abolition Tribunal held that theoriginal grant being of a whole village, the confirmation when it recognised the title of the Dharmasanamdars to the portion owned by them, was of the whole village and that therefore it was an inam estate.
(2.) IN C.M.P. No. 13245 of 1950, the entire village of Perungarai, Paramakudi taluk was granted as Dharinasanam. From the Inam Pair Register, which refers to the copper plate patta of the village, it is found that the Mahajanams said at the time of the Inam. Settlement that the Zamindar had arbitrarily resumed a portion of the inam, kept it in his possession, granted a part of the resumed portion in support of the Sudiyur chatram and granted the remaining portion to one Muthukakkan as personal inam. The Inam Commissioner found at the time of the inam settlement that the portion held by the chatram was three shares and that the remaining two shares continued as Dharmasanam. In the extract from the inam register, it is found in column 14 that the extent of the Dharmasanam was 512 -99 acres and of the chatram was 21 -00 acres. It may be noted that in arriving at 512 -99 acres it is mentioned as Dharmasanam Perungarai area minus chatram lands, and while arriving at 21 acres, it is mentioned Sudiyur chatram minus Dharmasanam lands. In columns 15, 17, 18 and 19 the names of 41 individuals are mentioned as shareholders and the members of the different families, who are entitled to the Dharmasanam, are given. In columns 21 and 22 separate quit rents for the Dharmasanam and the chatram are fixed.
In this case, the Settlement Officer held that the original grant being of a whole village, two title deeds were issued at the time of the Inam Settlement only because subsequent to the original grant two portions of the village were granted for different enjoyment one by the Dharmasanam and the other by the chatram, and that the grant was of a named village as inam and of the whole village and therefore It was an estate. But on a further contention of the Inamdars that both the warams were granted as inam, the Settlement Officer held in their favour declaring that the village was not an estate under Section 2, Clause (7) of the Act 26 of 1948. Though the order of the Settlement Officer is in favour of the petitioners in this petition, it is stated that notwithstanding the said declaration, the revenue officials insist on collection of rents from the ryots, and it is contended that they have no jurisdiction to interfere with the collection as it is not an inam estate.
(3.) IT is therefore for determination whether the Dharmasanam grants of Sudiyur and Perungarai villages are inam estates as denned in Section 2 Clause (7) of Act 26 of 1948. 'Inam estate' is defined in the said Act 'as an estate within the meaning of Section 3 Clause (2) (d) of the Estates Land Act, taut does not include an inam village which became an estate by virtue of the Madras Estates Land (Third Amendment) Act, 1936.' Section 3, Clause (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act comprises within the term 'estate'.
'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 does not therefore become an estate under the Act unless the grant of the village has been made, confirmed or recognised by the British Government. Therefore, in a case where there has already been a grant by a sovereign other than the British Government the inam village granted becomes an estate only on confirmation or recognition by the British Government. Sudiyur village was granted as Dharmasanam to one Ganapathi Battar and from Ex. A. 1, the extract from the Fair Inam Register, it is seen that the Dharmasanam grant was confirmed on 12 -6 -1867 and title deed No. 1918 was issued, while the chatram portion of the said village of Sudiyur was confirmed earlier on 15 -2 -1865 and a title deed No. 1806 was granted and a separate jodi was fixed for the chatram portion. Both the Dharmasanam portion and the chatram portion are portions of the village of Sudiyur. The original grant was of both the portions in 1774 but in 1794 there was a purchase by the Dewan of Sivaganga and a grant of the chatram with the result that in effect the grantee of the village of Sudiyur alienated a portion to the representatives of the grantor, who in turn granted it to the Chatram. It may be taken in so far as Sudiyur is concerned that the original grant was of the whole village of Sudiyur. In the case of Perungarai also, it was a grant as Dharmasanam by the Zamindar of Sivaganga and it was a hereditary grant. It appears from the copper plate referred to in the Inam Fair register that the entire village was granted as Dharmasanam. There was a subsequent resumption of a portion and a re -grant to the Sudiyur chatram. In the case of Perungarai, the original grant was of the whole village. But could It be said in view of the resumption of the portion of the grant that the grant by Sivaganga Zamindar to Dharmasanam was of the entire village? There is no alienation in this case by the grantee, but a resumption and regrant resulting in the grant reducing itself to the portion of the village and not to the whole village. ;
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