STATE OF ANDHRA Vs. GATHALA ABHISHEKAM
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
STATE OF ANDHRA
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Ekbote, J. -
(1.) This Letters Patent Appeal is preferred by the 1st defendant, the State of Andhra Pradesh, from a judgment of our learned brother, Sanjeeva Row Nayudu, J., given on I4th November, 1960, whereby he dismissed the appeal of the 1st defendant and allowed that of the plaintiffs decreeing their suit. Briefly stated the relevant facts are that the plaintiffs and defendants 3 to 18 are the member of Schedule castes, and that they were assigned the suit lands which are about Acs. 94-56 cents in extent situate in Doddanapudi by the Government in or about 1920 according to the plaintiffs. Defendants 3 to IS subsequently transferred the area of land which was allotted to them, to the plaintiffs. The usual pattas were granted relating to the assignments. The plaintiffs therefore claimed themselves to be in possession either as original grantees or pattadars or as transferees from the original grantees. The District Collector, West Godavari, Eluru, passed an order of resumption on 25th June, 1948, According to that order, the plaintiffs were stated to have violated two conditions of the assignment: (1) that they have transferred the suit lands in favour of the 2nd defendant who does not belong to the depressed classes and (2) that the plaintiffs committed a default in the payment of cist for 1356 Fasli on the due date. It was alleged in the plaint that this order of resumption was subsequently cancelled by the Board of Revenue on 30th June, 1948. Before that order was passed, the Tahsildar, Bhimavaram, submitted a report that he had taken possession of the lands on 5-7-1948. In spite of that the Board of Revenue on 27-7-1948 affirmed the previous order of cancellation and held that the re-entry was ineffective and directed the Collector to issue notice to the plaintiffs and after hearing them decide about the resumption. The plaintiffs thereupon issued notices on 6-7-1948 to the Collector, the Revenue Divisional Officer and the Tahsildar asserting that they are still in possession of the land. The plaintiffs also filed an application before the Government on 5-7-1948 requesting the Government to investigate into the matter. The Government granted stay of resumption on 7-7-1948. The Collector also addressed a letter to the Plaintiffs' Advocate on 12-7-1948, but as the plaintiffs could not appear before the Collector nothing was subsequently done. The Government however issued a G. O. on 3-91949 ratifying the resumption order passed by the Collector on 25-6-1948 and vacating the stay granted earlier. The plaintiffs therefore laid this suit for declaration that the plaintiffs are absolutely entitled to the plaint schedule lands and for the grant of a permanent injunction restraining the 1st defendant from interfering with their possession, and for refund of the suit money,
(2.) The 1st defendant raised the defence that the suit lands were not assigned to the plaintiffs and defendants 3 to 18, in or about 1920, but they were granted subsequent to G. O. No- 57 dated 7th June, 1922. These assignments were subject therefore to two conditions, firstly that the assignees will not be entitled to transfer in any manner the land in favour of caste Hindus and secondly that the land revenue must be paid on the due dates. In violation of any one of the two conditions the Government was entitled to resume the grant and re-enter into possession. It was alleged by the 1st defendant that the plaintiffs have violated both the conditions and that the Collector therefore rightly passed an order of resumption on 25-6-1948 in pursuance of which the Tahsildar, Bhimavaram, reentered into possession of the suit lands. As the plaintiffs subsequently claimed themselves to be in possession, appropriate action treating the plaintiffs as encroachers was started. It was claimed by the 1st defendant that the resumption order does not suffer from any infirmity. Defendants 2 to 18 remained ex parte.
(3.) Upon these pleadings the Subordinate Judge, Narasapur, framed appropriate issues and after recording the evidence of the parties dismissed the plaintiffs' suit in regard to all the items of the plaint schedule property except twelve acres in R S. Nos. and in regard to the extent of area mentioned in the decree. The leaned Subordinate Judge held that the suit lauds were assigned subsequent to G. O. No. 57 dated 7-6-1922 (Ex. B.30), that the plaintiffs have failed to pay the cist for 1356 and 1357 Faslis on the prescribed dates and that they have, therefore, committed a default in the payment of land revenue. It was however found by the Subordinate Judge that the plaintiffs have not in any manner transferred the suit lands to the 2nd defendant. It cannot therefore be said that the other condition has been violated. The trial Court also found that no notice before resumption was necessary and that the order of resumption passed by the Collector was perfectly valid.;
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