BURULA PAPAYYA Vs. BRUNDAVANA CHANDRA SWAMY
LAWS(APH)-1971-4-14
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on April 02,1971

BURULA PAPAYYA Appellant
VERSUS
SRI BRUNDAVANA CHANDRA SWAMY, BY HEREDITARY TRUSTEE MAHANT PADMACHARANA DAS GOSWAMY, PANCHA DEVALAYA MUTT, DISCIPLE OF LATE MAHANT, SRI BALAMUKUNDA DAS GOSWAMY OF BERHAMPORE, GANJAM DIST. AT BERHAMPORE Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) The defendants in the several suits out of which the Second Appeals arise are the appellants. The plaintiff- respondent is Sri Brundavana Chandra Swamy represented by its hereditary trustee. The suits were filed for recovery of rents from the several defendants in the suits for faslies 1371 to 1373. The case of the plaintiff in each of the suits was that the plaintiff was the ryotwari pattadar in respect of an extent of Ac. 65-90- cents of land in Nagarampalli village, having been granted a ryotwari patta by the Assistant Settlement Officer, Tekkali in a proceeding under the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Estates Abolition Act XXVI of 1948. The plaintiff's further case was that the -defendant in each suit was inducted into possession of a small parcel of land on condition of the defendant paying the plaintiff half the gross produce of the paddy crop raised by the defendant. "The suits were instituted on the failure of the defendants to pay the plaintiff its share of the produce. The suits were contested by the defendants who contended that the several suit lands were Dharmila Inam lands forming part of the Patha Tekkeli Estate. The plaintiff was the Dharmila Inamdar of the suit lands and as such a landholder within the meaning of the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Estates Abolition Act. On the taking over of the estate under the Estates Abolition Act the plaintiff ceased to have any rights in the land and there was no longer any relationship of landlord and tenant between the plaintiff and the defendants. The defendants also claimed that even before the taking over of the estate, they were ryots entitled to occupancy rights. They claimed that after the taking over the estate, they were no longer tenants of the plaintiff and they were not liable to pay any rent to the plaintiff. They denied the allegation of the plaintiff that they were inducted into possession of the several parcels of the land on condition of their paying half the gross profits. They also stated that they were not aware of the grant of patta to the plaintiff. They stated that the patta, if any granted to the plaintiff, was without notice to them and was not binding on them. The learned District Munsif held that the lands were Dharmila Inam lands and that the plaintiff was the landholder. The learned District Munsif held that the case of the plaintiff that the defendants were inducted into possession in 1953 or thereabout was not true. The learned District Munsif also held that after the taking over of the estate under the Estate Abolition Act, the relationship of landlord and tenant between the plaintiff and the defendants was extinguished and the plaintiff had no right to recover rent from the defendants. On those findings the learned District Munsif dismissed the suit. On appeal by the plaintiff, the learned District Judge confirmed almost all the findings. He held that the lands were Dharmila Inam lands and that the plaintiff was the Dharmila Inamder of the suit lands. He also held that the version of the plaintiff that the defendants were inducted into possession as tenants subsequent to the grant of ryotwari patta in favour of the plaintiff under the Estates Abolition Act on condition of the defendants paying a half share of the gross produce was not true. He, however, held that since the defendants Were admittedly tenants prior to the taking over of the estate, they were estopped from contending that they had ceased to be tenants of the plaintiff after the estate was taken over. According to the learned District Judge the taking over of the estate by the Government was subject to the rights and liabilities of the plaintiff on the one hand and the rights and liabilities of the defendants on the other with regard to the suit lands. The learned District Judge was of the view that there might have been a suspension of the relationship of landlord and tenant between the plaintiff and the defendants when the estate was taken over, but that such relationship revived as soon as a ryotwari patta was granted in favour of the plaintiff. He, therefore, granted a dec ree in favour of the plaintiff in each of the suits on the basis of the rent prevailing before the estate was taken over under the Estates Abolition Act.
(2.) It is obvious that the judgment of the learned District Judge is based on a complete misunderstanding of the provisions of the Estates Land Act and the Estates Abolition Act. Section 2 (8) of the Estates Abolition Act defines a landholder as including "a Dharmila Inamdar." Section 3 (b) of the Act provides that with effect on and from the notified date the entire estate including minor inams (post settlement or presettlement) included in the assets of the Zamindari estate etc., shall stand transferred to the Government and vest in them, free of all encumbrances. Section 3 (e) provides that the principal or any other landholder and any other person Whose rights stand transferred under clause (b) shall be entitled only to compensation from the Government as provided in the Act. Section 3 (f) provides that the relationship of landholder and ryot shall as between them be extinguished. Section 11 enables a "ryot in an estate to obtain a ryotwari patta in respect of ryoti lands and certain tanka lands. Section 12 enables the landholder, in the case of a Zamindari estate, to obtain a ryotwari patta in respect of private lands, ryoti lands acquired by the landholder and lands abandoned or relinquished by a ryot or which have never been in the occupation of a ryot provided that such lands were cultivated by the landholder himself, by his own servants or by hired labour from 1st July, 1939. The plaintiff in the present case was admittedly a Dharmila Jnamdar and therefore a land holder, within the meaning of section 2 (8) of the Estates Abolition Act. The lands are not alleged to be the private lands of the plaintiff-landholder. Ryotwari patta was granted to the plaintiff by the Assistant Settlement Officer on the representation that the lands were ryoti lands which were never in the occupation of a ryot, but which were under the cultivation of the plaintiff from 1st july, 1939. This appears from Exhibit A-6, the order of the Assistant Settlement Officer. It was on that basis that present suits were filed with the allegation that the defendants were inducted into possession on condition of their paying half the gross produce towards rent. Though the plaint did not mention the date of induction into possession, the plaintiff stated in his evidence that Muchilikas were executed about 15 years prior to the date of his giving evidence in Court. That, as pointed out by the learned District Judge, would be in the neighbourhood of the year 1953. This case of the plaintiff that the defendants were inducted into possession in 1953 subsequent to the grant of a ryotwari patta in favour of the plaintiff was found to be untrue by both the lower Courts. The express case with which the plaintiff had come forward having been found to be untrue, the lower appellate Court should have dismissed the suit on that ground alone. However, the lower appellate Court thought that the fact that the defendants admitted that they were the tenants of the plaintiff before the estate was taken, over was sufficient to hold that the relationship of landlord and tenant persisted even after the taking over of the estate under the Estates Abolition Act. The position as stated by the learned District Judge is wholly incorrect. Once an estate is taken over, the relationship of landholder and tenant is extinguished and the tenant holding under a landholder ceases to be the tenant of the landholder. The position may be different if the land was a private land of the landholder and not ryoti land. In the case of ryoti land of which a tenant was in possession before the taking over of the estate it is impossible to agree that the relationship of landlord and tenant will continue to subsist between the land holder and tenant even after the taking over of the estate. This position cannot be altered by the fact that the landholder obtains or manages to obtain a ryotwari patta under section 12 (V) (iii) of the Estates Abolition Act on the basis that the land was never in the occupation of a ryot. By getting such a ryotwari patta the erstwhile landholder cannot revive or create a relationship of landlord and tenant between himself and the ryot in occupation of the land. The plaintiff was conscious of the true legal position and that was why he came forward with the case that the defendants were inducted into possession as tenants after the grant of ryotwari patta to the plaintiffs. If the ryotwari patta obtained by him confers any right on him to obtain possession of the land, it is open to him to seek possession in an appropriate proceeding. He certainly cannot treat the person in occupation whose relationship to him was extinguished by section 3 (f) of the Estates Abolition Act as his tenant and claim to recover rent from him. Sri N.V. Ranganadham, learned Counsel for the respondent invited my attention to the decisions in Someswaraswamy Varu v. Srirajitam, (1971) 1 An.W.R. 14. and Chinni Papi Setty and another v. Attuluri Venkatasubbaiah, Unreported decision in C.R.P. Nos. 923 and 924 of 1968, dated 3rd July, 1969. The first case was a case in which the learned Judges held that a Dharmila Inamdar who has not obtained a ryotwari patta is not entitled to dispossess the ryot in occupation of the inam land. In the second case it was held that the relationship of landlord and tenant between a landholder and tenant in respect of private land of the landholder is not extinguished by the estate being taken over under the Estates Abolition Act. It is clear that neither of these cases has any application to the present case. In the present case it is unnecessary to go into the question Whether the Civil Court can go into the question whether a ryotwari patta has been properly granted or not. The question here is whether there is a relationship of landholder and tenant between the plaintiff and the defendants. There is only one answer to the question and it is that the defendants are not the tenants of the plaintiff. Sri N.V. Ranga- nadham urged that in any case the plaintiff is entitled to the award of damages for use and occupation. I do not think it will be proper for me to convert the suits for rent into suits for damages for use and occupation at this last stage.
(3.) The second appeals are therefore allowed with costs and the suits are dismissed. Advocate's fee Rs. 35 in each second appeal. No leave. Second Appeal allowed; Suits dismissed.;


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