SAMANTULA SUBBA REDDY Vs. SRI JWALAMUKHI AMMA VARU
LAWS(SC)-1990-12-68
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on December 06,1990

Samantula Subba Reddy Appellant
VERSUS
Sri Jwalamukhi Amma Varu Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

HINDU RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENTS BOARD V. KOTESWARA RAO [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF TAMIL NADU VS. RAMALINGA SAMIGAL MADAM:K L M RAMAMURTHY [REFERRED TO]
GOVERNMEN OF TAMIL NADU VS. AHOBILA MATAM [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This appeal by certificate is from the Judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad dismissing the appeal and rejecting the appellant's claim to occupancy rights in the suit land. Admittedly, the suit land belongs to Shri Jwalamukhi Amma Veru temple. Originally, it formed part of the Inam granted to the temple. After abolition of the Inam there was dispute between the present appellant and the temple as to whom the Patta should be issued. The Assistant Settlement Officer acting under Sec. 15 of the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Estates Abolition Act, 1948, hereinafter referred to as the Abolition Act, albeit on concession by the appellant, granted the Patta to the temple. Having received the Patta, the temple sued the appellant for declaration of its rights and for possession by eviction of the appellant from the land. the appellant's objection having been over-ruled by the courts below, the High Court confirmed the same but granted the certificate.
(2.)Mr. K. Ramkumar, learned counsel for the appellant, frankly states that in,respect of only two plots the appellant earlier conceded the right of the temple to obtain Patta, but submits that in respect of other plots in the suit property, there could be no such concession. Learned counsel submits that the origin of the 'Devadayam' Inam land having not been known, it could not be categorised as service inam and as such the land would be ryoti land under Sec. 3(16) of the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Estates Land Act, 1908, and if that be so, the appellant as tenant would have the right to continue as tenant as also the right to be treated as occupancy tenant for the purpose of prescription of his right towards ownership.
(3.)Counsel then argues that the land having been given by way of grant to the temple, it must be regarded as an absolute grant and not subject to resumption on failure to perform, any service and in that view of the matter, the assertion on the part of the temple that the land had always been utilised for the performance of Sahasrala Santarpanam at the time of Tantlu for the deity, and that the land as such could be regarded as a service inam, was not tenable. The learned counsel relies on Government of Tamil Nadu Vs. Ahobila Matam, (1987) 1 SCC 38 and State of Tamil Nadu Vs. Ramalinga Samigal Madam, (1985) 4 SCC 10 . In the Ahobila , Matam's case under the Tamil Nadu Inam Assessments Act on the question whether the service tenure exemption was available to land held by the religious institution; O. Chinnappa Reddy,' J. speaking for the court, on the facts of that case and referring to Hindu Religious Endowments Board Vs. Koteswara Rao, AIR 1937 Madras 852 , held that the proviso to Sec. 3(l) was inapplicable to lands held by religious institutions, and, therefore, the lands in that case were liable to full assessment. On that basis, it has been argued that the inam could be either to the temple; or to an officer to an individual and that while in case of Inam to an officer or to an individual, there could be a service inam, in case of inam to a temple, there could never be any possibility of a service inam.
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