Decided on March 25,1963



- (1.) These Writ Petitions have been filed by the archakas of certain temples, challenging the orders of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Markapuram, rejecting the appeals preferred by them under section 7 (2) of the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act (hereinafter referred to as " the Act " ), as not maintainable, in view of the earlier decision under section 3 (3) of the Act by the Inams Deputy Tahsildar holding that the lands concerned in each case were held by the particular religious institution, which decision had become final and binding by virtue of the provisions of sub-sections (5) and (7) of section 3 of the Act. As this is the sole and common question which falls for determination in these writ petitions and as the facts in all these cases are almost identical, it will suffice if the facts in one of these cases, namely, W.P. No. 1236 of 1961 are set out.
(2.) In exercise of the powers vested in him under section 3(1) of the Act, the Inams Deputy Tahsildar, Nandyal, instituted a suo motu enquiry, after following the procedure prescribed by sub-section (2) of section 3 and publishing in the village where the inam lands are situate, a notice calling upon every person or institution claiming an interest in the inam lands in question to file before him, a statement with the requisite particulars. It would appear that the petitioner made a written representation on 17th November, 1958 claiming interest in the lands in question but his petition was returned on 18th November, 1958 calling for particulars of the lands involved. Those particulars were however not furnished by him and so the Deputy Tahsildar proceeded with the enquiry and gave his decision under sub-section (3) of section 3 on 10th December, 1958 holding that the lands in question are inam lands ; that they are in a ryotwari village and that they are held by the institution, viz., Sri Chenna. Malleswaraswami temple. This decision was not communicated to the petitioner, but on an application made by the petitioner on 15th December, 1959 he was informed on the next day how the matter had been disposed of. Thereupon, the petitioner filed an appeal before the Revenue Divisional Officer, Markapuram, on 8th January, 1960 under sub-section (4) of section 3. The appeal was, however, rejected by the Revenue Divisional Officer as time-barred by an order, dated 30th June, 1960. No steps were taken by the petitioner to question the correctness of the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer.
(3.) Thereafter, the Inams Deputy Tahsildar, Markapuram, after due enquiry under section 7(1) of the Act, issued a ryotwari patta in respect of the lands to the temple on 17th October, 1960 in accordance with the decision of the Inams Deputy Tahsildar, Nandyal, under section 3 (3) of the Act.;

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