MANTRAVADI BHAVANARAYANA Vs. MERUGU VENKATADU
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
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Govinda Menon, J. -
(1.) Letters Patent Appeal No. 61 of 1949 is against the judgment of Panchapagesa Sastri J. in C.M.A. No. 648 of 1946 and Letters Patent Appeal No. 62 of 1949 is against the judgment of the same Judge in C.M.A. No. 649 of 1946. C.R.P. No. 66 of 1946 is against the order of the Subordinate Judge of Masulipatam in S.C.S. No. 62 of 1943 on his file. The two civil miscellaneous appeals and the revision petition were heard together by the learned Judge who pronounced judgment in the civil miscellaneous appeals which is reported in --'Suryanarayana v. Venkatadu', AIR 1949 Mad 770 (A). The common judgment shows that the civil miscellaneous appeals were dismissed with costs, whereas the revision petition was adjourned for final orders to a later date. Before final orders were passed in the revision petition, the Letters Patent Appeals were filed against the judgment in those civil miscellaneous appeals and all the three have been heard together. By an order dated 31st October 1952, the learned Chief Justice and Venkatarama Aiyar J. have referred the matter to a Full Bench and that is now these appeals have come up before the Full Bench as constituted. As the facts have been set forth in full in the judgment of Panchapagesa Sastri J. no useful purpose will be served by once more repeating them here. The main question which has been referred to us for consideration is whether the suit lands which lie within the ambit of the village of Cherichintala in Krishna District are situated in an "estate" as defined in Section 3(2)(d) of the Madras Estates Land Act. If that is so, then the civil courts will have no Jurisdiction to entertain the suits by the plaintiff and the orders of the lower court returning the plaints for presentation to the propef court must therefore be correct. The decision depends upon the true and proper construction to be put upon Section 3(2)(d) as well as Explanation 1 to that section. When the Madras Estates Land Act was enacted for the first time in 1908, Section 3(2)(d) was as follows:
"Any village of which the land revenue alone has been granted in inam to a person not owning the kudivaram thereof, provided that the grant has been made, confirmed, or recognised by the British Government or_ any separated part of such village." Owing to a variety of reasons, which it is unnecessary to mention at present, there was an amendment to this section by which Clause (d) as it originally stood was removed and a fresh clause substituted by Section 2(1) of the Madras Estates Land (Third Amendment) Act, 1936 (Madras Act XVIII of 1936). Clause (d) as it stands was the result of Madras Act XVIII of 1936 and it runs as follows :
"Any inam village of which the grant has been made, confirmed or recognised toy the 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." The old explanations (1) and (2) were renumbered as Explanations (2) and (3) respectively and a new explanation was inserted as Explanation (1) by Section 2 (1) of the Madras Estates Land (Amendment) Act, 1945 (Madras Act II of 1945). This explanation is now as follows:
"Where a grant as an inam is expressed to be Of a named village, the area which forms the subject matter of the grant shall be deemed to be an estate notwithstanding that it did not include certain lands in the village of that name which have already been granted on service or other tenure or been reserved for communal purposes." It will therefore be seen that the present Clause (d) arid Explanation (1) were the result of subsequent amendment to the original section by the Acts of 1936 and 1945.
(2.) Two points of- law were raised before the learned Judges of which, in their opinion, the second one had no substance whatever. The contention was that since it is shown from the Inam Fair Register, Ex. P. 1, that from the ayacut of the village, 44 acres 96 cents were deducted as poromboke, It should be held that the grant was not of a named village. As stated by the learned Judges it is impossible to say that the poromboke lands were excluded from the grant at all. The details mentioned in columns 4 and 5 of the Inam Fair Register, extract Ex. P. 1, are intended to find out the exact extent of the cultivable lands which remained in the possession of the grantee in order that the loam commissioner might fix the quit rent. There is no question of the grantee not being entitled to the poromboke lands as a result of this grant. The question as to how far the so-called exclusion of poromboke or waste land in computing the area of the inam grant would make the grant only of a part of the village, was considered by their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in -' Krishnaswami v. Perumal', AIR 1950 PC 105 (B), and the observations at page 108 snow that the words in the specification "deduct poromboke" do not mean that poromboke. was excluded from the grant, but should be understood as showing that the poromboke, or waste land, was deducted in ascertaining the assessment since such land could not be assessed. It is therefore clear that when in columns 4 & 5 of Ex. P. 1 we find a deduction of poromboke land of the extent of 44 acres 96 cents it was intended only for the ascertainment of the assessment but that the poromboke land should be understood as being included in the land as well. The observations of the Judicial Committee are direct authority for negativing the contention that the exclusion of poromboke would detract from the nature of the grant of a whole village as inam, if otherwise the conditions contained in Section 3(2)(d) of the Act are complied with. We therefore agree with the conclusion arrived at in the order of reference regarding this point.
(3.) The substantial question which has been argued at considerable length is what exactly is the nature of the grant; whether it is a whole inam village coming within the definition of Section 3(2)(d) or only a part of a village.;
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