Decided on August 05,1971



- (1.)This writ petition has been brought for quashing the order dated 28-11-1969 of the Revenue Divisional Officer, order of the Tahsildar, Repalle dated 7/03/1969 in A. T. P. No. 2/68.
(2.)The matter arises under the Andhra Tenancy Act. it is alleged by the petitioner that he is the inamdar in respect of an extent of land of 5 acres and 84 cents in Parisipadu Agraharam, which is an inam estate. The land is claimed to be the private land of the inamdar. The petitioner and his predecessors have been asserting and acting on the footing that they were the absolute owners of the land. They were either cultivating the land by themselves or leasing them under short term leases to tenants. Likewise, for the year 1956-57 the land was given to the respondent on an oral lease for one year at the rate of 141/4 bags of paddy per acre. The respondent agreed to vacate the land on 31-3-1957. Having taken the lease, the respondent filed the petition under the provisions of the Andhra Tenancy Act, 1956 in A. T. P. No. 317/56 for fixation of fair rent before the Tahsildar, Repalle. The respondent was however unsuccessful and there was no appeal against the order of the Tahsildar dismissing it. The respondent paid only 52 bags of paddy and defaulted to pay the balance of 30 bags of paddy. On the ground of his default, the petitioner filed A. T. P. No. 157/56 for eviction of the respondent under Sec. 13 of the Andhra Tenancy Act before the Tahsildar, Repalle. This petition and some other eviction petitions filed against the respondent and other tenants of other land-holders on similar grounds went on for a long time and A. T. P. No. 157/57 came to be renumbered as A. T. P. 68/58 and later as A. T. P. 2/68. In 1968, the respondent filed an application to dismiss the eviction petition on the ground of want of jurisdiction of the Tahsildar to entertain the petition under Section 13 of the Andhra Tenancy Act, since the estate, was notified and abolished under the provisions of the Estates Abolition Act, 1948. Since the respondent and other tenants were never ready for enquiry, the Tahsildar set them ex parte and proceeded with the enquiry and passed orders of eviction. Against the order of eviction, the respondent preferred an appeal before the Revenue Divisional Officer which was allowed and later it was remanded bank to the Tahsildar for fresh disposal. In the meanwhile, the petitioner had taken possession should not be disturbed. In the meanwhile, the petitioner filed a petition under Section 15 of the Abolition Act for a ryotwari patta before the Assistant Settlement Officer, Eluru. The respondent and some others also filed similar petitions under Section II of the said act. The Assistant Settlement Officer rejected the petitioners petition and allowed the petitions of the respondent and others and directed grant of ryotwari pattas in their favour. The petitioner carried the matter in appeal T. A. S. No. 9/67 before the Estates Abolition Tribunal, Guntur.
(3.)The respondent preferred an appeal to the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tenali in A. T. A. 8/69 against the order of the Tahsildar, Repalle, dated 7-3-1969 dismissing his application, A. T. P. No. 2/68 for rejecting the eviction petition on the ground that the estates had been notified and taken over. The Revenue Divisional Officer, allowed the appeal and held that the Tahsildar had no jurisdiction to entertain and proceed with the petition for eviction after the estate was notified. This is the order that is challenged in the present writ petition. l To complete the narration of facts it may be stated here that the Estates Abolition Tribunal allowed T. A. S. No. 9/67 preferred by the petitioner against the order of the Assistant Settlement Officer refusing to grant him ryotwari patta in respect of the land. While doing so the Tribunal followed the Full Bench decision of this Court in P. Neelakanteswararaju v. J. Mangamma, Air 1970 Andh Pra 1 (FB). Since certain matters were pending in the Civil Court, wherein the question whether the lands are private lands or not was in issue, the Tribunal observed that the parties have no await the decision of the Civil Court before they can approach the Assistant Settlement Officer, that the petitions filed by both the parties for patta were premature; and that the only course open to the Assistant Settlement Officer was to retain the petition, so that whoever succeeded in the Civil Court as regards the question whether the lands are private lands of the petitioner or whether the respondents have got occupancy rights may apply to the Assistant Settlement Officer on the strength of the decision given by the Civil Court.

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