Decided on February 17,1972



M.Krishna Rao, J. - (1.) These two appeals arise out of proceedings instituted before the Assistant Settlement Officer, Anakapalli under section 56 of the Estates Abolition Act in which the appellant and the respondents claimed to be lawful ryots entitled to a ryotwari patta under the Act. The Assi tant Settlement Officer held that the land in question is not a Darmila Inam, and accordingly rejected the claims of the respondents. On appeal the Estates Abolition Tribunal (District Judge), Visakhapatnam, allowed the appeals filed by present respondents and held that the land is Darmila Inam and that, therefore, the respondents are the lawful ryots. Aggrieved by this judgment the appellant filed two writ petitions in this Court (Writ Petitions Nos.3741 and 4494 of 1969). The writ petitions were dismissed by a learned single Judge of this Court and hence the above appeals.
(2.) The case of the appellant is that the land ir question is not a Darmila Inam land, but a ryoti land and that he is the ryot in possession. On the other hard the respondents contend that the land is a Darmila Inam land, that the appellant is the Darmila Inamdar and that they are the lawful ryots inducted into possession by him.
(3.) The first and main point for corsideration is whether the land is a Darmila Inam land. Theee is no direct evidence about the grant of Darmila Inam by the Zamindar. The sole document on which the case rests is Exhibit R-22, dated 17th April, 1912 under which the appellant Muddanasetti Suryanarayana purchased the property from one Dantuluri Sitarama Raju. There is a clear recital in the said document that the property was obtained by Sitarama Raju free of tax from the Zamindar in 1874 in exchange for some other inam land taken by the Zamindar from Sitarama Raju. The document, therefore, contains a clear indication that Sitarama Raju got the same as Inam from the Zamindar. In the opening part of the document also it is stated that the land is a "Vipari Inam" i.e., a land in mam got in exchange for some other land. The Tribunal placed strong reliance upon this document and we hive also no reason to take a different view. Apart from this document, there is a judgment of the District Munsiff, Chodavaram in O.S.No. 208 of 1952, dated 15th October, 1954(Exhibit P-2) which was a suit for ejectment and for rent filed by Muddanasetti Suryanarayana against Raja Modinaidu, respondent in Writ Appeal NO. 229 of 1971. The District Munsiff held that the land is a Darmila Inam and that the suit should be filed before the Revenue Court and not a civil Court. That judgment was reversed in appeal in C.M.A. No. 33 of 1955, Subordinate Judge's Court, Visakhapatnam. But when the matter was taken up to the High Court it C.R.P.No. 87 of 1957 (Exhibit P-3), this Court confirmed the finding of the District Munsiff that the land is a Darmila Inam. Hence, so far as the respondent in Writ Appeal No. 229 of 1971 is concerned, the judgment operates as res judicata in his favour. It is however submitted by the learned Counsel for the appellant that the provisions of section 64-A (2) of the Estates Abolition Act, which lay down the principle of res judicata are not attracted ir this case. According to section 64-A (2) "the decision of a civil Court (not being the Court of a District Munsiff or a Court of Small Causes) on any matter falling within its jurisdiction shall be binding on the parties thereto and persons elating under their in any proceeding under this Act tefore a Tribunal or Special Tribunal, or a Judge of the High Court under section 51 (2), in so far as such matter is in issue between the parties or persons aforesaid in such proceeding." The point raised by th" appellant's learned Counsel is that the judgment Exhibit P-2 was rendered only by a District Munsiff and that though it was confirmed by the High Court, the provisior s of section 64-A (2) exclude the judgment of the District Munsiff from consideratior. We are unable to agree with this contention. Though for the purpose of detemining 'the Court of first instance' under section 11 of the Civil Procedure Code relating to the rule of res judicata the said principle cannot be incorporated into this section by way of analogy. The obvious intention of the Legislature is that the judgment of a District Munsiff or a Court of Small Causes should be excluded if the decision became final only before the said Court. But if the decision was taken up to a higher Court, it is the decision of the higher Court that governs the matter. This was also the view takfr by Basi Reddy, J., in Lakshminarasimham v. Subbayya. Herce we uphold the contention that the lard is a Darmila Inam. The learned Counsel for the appellant cited Ramiyya v. Ramanna, but we do not derive any assistance from the said judgrrent.;

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