Decided on September 15,1953



Subba Rao, J. - (1.) These civil revision petitions arise out of the judgment of the learned District Judge in a batch of civil miscellaneous appeals confirming the two judgments of the District Munsif made in two batches of suits. The first batch of eleven suits was filed by seven sets of inamdars against different sets of defendants for ejectment and recovery of arrears of rent in respect of certain lands in Kirla village. The other batch consisting of 23 suits was filed by other inamdars against the defendants therein for ejectment and recovery o rent in regard to some lands in Alamanda village. Among other contentions, the defendants in both the batcnes of suits pleaded that the said two villages were estates within the meaning of Section 3(2)(e) of the Madras Estates Land Act (hereafter called the Act), and that in any view they being parts of permanently settled zamindari, the plaintiffs were landholders within the meaning of the Act. On those pleas, they contended that the civil courts had no jurisdiction to entertain the suits. The District Munsif, and on appeal the District Judge, accepted their contentions and returned the plaints for presentation to the proper court. Hence the above revisions.
(2.) The facts admitted or found may be briefly stated. The lands in question formed parts of 316 acres comprised in title deed No. 1178 of Kirla village and title deed No. 1351 of Alamanda village Kakarlapudi Appalaraju, the predecessor-in-interest of the plaintiffs in both the batch of suits, owned a pre-settlement inam of approximately 28 acres in the village of Alamanda granted to him by the Raja of Vizianagaram. In 1808 the then Rajah of Vizianagaram granted the whole inam villages of Alamanda, Kirla and Sirikipalem on Mukhasa tenure to the plaintiffs' predecessor-in-interest. In December 1813 the Raja took away the pre-settlement inam and granted to the inamdar an extent of 316 acres in exchange. Out of the said extent, 286 acres were situated in Alamanda village and 30 acres in Kirla village. One of the questions of fact raised was whether these 316 acres of land were part of the mukhesa villages granted in 1808. Both the courts found that they were carved out only out of the villages already granted in inam. The prevailing impression then was that the Raja could resume the lands at his pleasure. Indeed, whenever a Raja died and a successor stepped in, the inams were resumed and restored to the inamdars. This was effected by a kind of attachment. At the time of the inam settlement, in spite of the strong opposition offered by the Zamindar, the said extent of 316 acres was treated as a pre-settlement inam and was confirmed to the inamdars on a quit rent of Rs. 127. Since that time, the inamdars were paying the said quit rent to Government and also a kattubadi of Rs. 300 to the Zamindar. It does not appear that there was any reduction in the kattubadi payable to the zamindar in view of the fact that the said extent of 316 acres was treated as pre-settlement. Presumably no such deduction was made and the entire kattubadi was being paid to the Zamindar.
(3.) On those facts the courts below held that the grant of the year 1808 was that of whole inam villages and therefore were estates within the meaning of Section 3(2) (d) of the Act. They found that the enfranchisement proceedings and issue of title deeds by the Inam Commissioner in respect of the said extent of 316 acres would not change the character of the said extent. As they formed part of the estate, the learned Judges held that notwithstanding the issue of title deeds by the Inam Commissioner, they continued to be part of the estate. They further held that the said extent being a part of a permanently settled zamindari, the plaintiffs would be landholders within the meaning of the Act, In the result they came to the conclusion that the civil court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suits.;

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