GANGADHARRAO NARAYANRAO MUJLIMDAR TRIMBAK LAXMAN DABIR LAXMAN HARISHASTRI GARGE BABUBHAI GULABBHAI NAGARSHETH SARDAR MANSINHJI BHASAHEB SHRI LAXMINARAYAN DEVASTHAN Vs. STATE OF BOMBAY
LAWS(SC)-1960-10-14
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
Decided on October 03,1960

GANGADHARRAO NARAYANRAO MUJLIMDAR,TRIMBAK LAXMAN DABIR,LAXMAN HARISHASTRI GARGE,BABUBHAI GULABBHAI NAGARSHETH,SARDAR MANSINHJI BHASAHEB,LAXMINARAYAN DEVASTHAN Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF BOMBAY Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Wanchoo, J. - (1.)These six appeals on a certificate granted by the Bombay High Court raise a common question as to the constitutionality of the Bombay Personal Inams Abolition Act, No XLII of 1953, (hereinafter called the Act) and will be disposed of by this judgment. The appellants hold personal inams which are covered by Bombay Acts Nos. II and VII of 1863. The Act was attacked on a number of grounds in the High Court of which only two have been urged before us, namely, (i) that the property which has been dealt with under the Act is not an estate and (ii) that no compensation has been provided in the Act for taking away the property of the appellants. The writ petitions were opposed by the State of Bombay and the main contention on its behalf was that the Act was protected under Art. 31-A of the Constitution.
(2.)Before we deal with the two points raised before us, we should like briefly to refer to the rights which holders of personal inams had by virtue of Bombay Acts Nos. II and VII of 1863. Act No II extended to certain parts of the Presidency of Bombay and dealt with holders of lands in those parts who were holding lands wholly or partially exempt from the payment of government land-revenue. The Act provided for the cases of holders of such lands whose title to exemption had not till then been formally adjudicated. It laid down that if such holders of lands consented to submit to the terms and conditions prescribed in the Act in preference to being obliged to prove their title to the exemption enjoyed by them, the Provincial Government would be prepared to finally authorise and guarantee the continuance, in perpetuity, of the said land to the said holders, their heirs and assigns upon the said terms and subject to the said conditions. The main provision of the Act in this respect was that such holders or land would be entitled to keep their lands in perpetuity subject to payment of (i) a fixed annual payment as nazrana in commutation of all claims of the Crown in respect of succession and transfer which shall be calculated at the rate of one anna for each rupee of assessment and (ii) a quit-rent equal to one-further of the assessment. There were other provisions in the Act for those cases where the holders of such land were not prepared to abide by the conditions of the Act and wanted their claims to be adjudicated; but we are not concerned with those provisions for present purposes. Thus the main right which the holders of lands got by Act II was that they held their lands on payment of one-forth of the assessment instead of full assessment plus further one-sixteenth of the assessment; thus they paid in all five annas in the rupee of the full assessment and retained eleven annas in the rupee for themselves.
(3.)Act No. VII dealt with similar holders of lands in the remaining parts of the Presidency of Bombay, and made similar provisions with this difference that such holders of lands were to pay two annas for each rupee of the assessment as quit-rent under S. 6. Thus those who came under Act VII paid only two annas in the rupee of the assessment and retained fourteen annas in the rupee for themselves.
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