Decided on July 25,1955



- (1.)THIS is an application for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the proceedings initiated by the Director of Settlements, Chepauk, Madras, in A-2/ 13 of 1951, dated 23rd February, 1951. The case of the petitioner is that the Miscellaneous Settlement Officer, Chittoor, held an enquiry under section 9 of Madras Act XXVI of 1948 and declared the village of Koorapalli in Chittoor District as being not an in am estate. The petitioner states that he received a notice F. No. 2005 of 1951 in the following terms :
"It is necessary you are to be present with all the records in your possession in connection with the revenue enquiry now pending with us (enquiry with regard to inam estate). So you are hereby summoned to be present in person on 20th April, 1951, at 11 A.M., and not to leave the place till you are permitted to do so."

(2.)THE notice is described as a copy of the summons issued under Madras Estates Act III of 1869. THE petitioner complains that as the Settlement Officer had passed a final order declaring the village of Koorapalli not to be an inam estate, no further enquiry in regard to its character was called for. THE Assistant Secretary to the Board of Revenue has filed a counter-affidavit on behalf of the respondent. In paragraph 4 he sets out that the Director of Settlements, Madras, in his letter No. A-2, dated 23rd February, 1951, submitted to the Board of Revenue a copy of the aforesaid order of the Settlement Officer and requested him to issue instructions to the Collector, Chittoor, tc examine the exact tenure of the village further. He also states that the instructions were of a departmental nature to the Collector to examine the exact tenure of the village and that the said Settlement Officer's order under section 9 of the Act was no bar to the Government making the contemplated investigation in regard to the actual tenure of the village. I agree with the petitioner's advocate that as the notice or the summons stated that the enquiry was with regard to the inam estate pending with them he had to file a writ of prohibition. THE order passed by the Settlement Officer is final subject to the result of the appeal that might be filed under section (4). It is therefore not open to the ' 'Government to go behind the decision already arrived at by the Settlement Officer. THE petitioner, however, cannot have any objection to the Government investigating the exact tenure under which the village is held and what exactly Nowkarpeish means. Sri V. P. Sarathi, on behalf of the respondent, states that the enquiry was only to determine whether the village is held on an under-tenure. THE Government may issue a proper notice and hold an enquiry-if such an enquiry is provided for under Madras Act XXVI of 1948-whether the estate falls under section 3 (2) (e). But the notice that is issued to the petitioner is, however, not in proper form. With these observations, the Writ Petition is dismissed. No order as to costs. Petition dismissed.

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