GUMMALA ABRAHAM Vs. LANKAPALLI VENKADU AND ANOTHER
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Lankapalli Venkadu And Another
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BHIMASANKARAM, J. -
(1.)This Second Appeal and the connected Civil Revision Petition were directed to be posted before a Bench by the learned Chief Justice of the Madras High Court in order to reconsider the decision in Chinna Nagiah v Pullayya, AIR 1931 Madras 610, and to define the scope of Section 13 of the Madras Hereditary Village Offices Act. They have since been transferred to the Andhra High Court under the Andhra State Act.
(2.)The Second Appeal and the Civil Revision Petition arise out of two Original Suits Nos. 287 and 272 of 1947 respectively. They both relate to what is found to be Chamari service Inam land. The two plaintiffs in O. S. No. 287 of 1947 and the father of the sole plaintiff in O. S. No. 272 of 1947, while being holders of the office of Chamari service in the village of Arthamuru alienated the items covered in both the suits in favour of one Gummala Abraham who is the defendant in both the suits, under two separate usufructuary mortgage deeds of the same date, i. e., 30th October, 1927. The plaintiffs in both the suits question the validity of these alienations and seek to recover the property from the defendant on the ground that the alienations are void in law. The defendant disputed inter alia the jurisdiction of the Civil Court to entertain the suits.
The first Court found that the lands are inalienable and that the bonds are void but returned the plaints for presentation to the proper Court, being of the view that the suits were not maintainable in the Civil Court. Appeals were taken to the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Rajahmundry and numbered as C. M. A. Nos. 68 and 71 of 1948 respectively. The only question argued before the learned Subordinate Judge was whether the Civil Court had jurisdiction to entertain these suits in view of Sections 13 and 21 of the Madras Hereditary Village Offices Act (Act III of 1895). Both the appeals were allowed by the Subordinate Judge who held that the Civil Court had jurisdiction in the matter. S. A. No. 1183 of 1949 is against the decision of the Subordinate Judge in O. M. A. No. 71 of 1948 which arose out of O. S. No. 287 of 1947, while the Civil Revision Petition No. 1040 of 1949 is against the decision in C. M. A. No. 69 of 1948.
Because the other suit O. S. No. 272 of 1947 was remanded to the trial Court for the determination of certain issues of fact, a Civil Revision Petition has been filed against the order of remand.
(3.)The question for determination, therefore, in both these cases is whether the suits are maintainable in the Civil Court. The exact scops of Section 13 of the Act which confers an exclusive jurisdiction upon the Revenue Court in regard to certain matters and the effect of Section 21 which ousts the jurisdiction of the Civil Court in such matters has been the subject of several decisions of the Madras High Court. There are also two decisions of this Court, both rendered by one of us sitting alone reported in Krishna Reddy v. Venkatasubbaiah, 1954 Andh LT 47 and
Machayya v. Chintanna, 1954 Andh LT 101 . In the later of these two decisions, after a review of some of the Madras Rulings in point, the legal position was stated thus :
'To summarise Section 21 ousts the jurisdiction of Civil Courts only in regard to matters in respect whereof jurisdiction is conferred under Section 13 on the Revenue Court. A suit by a service-holder claiming a right to succeed or in actual possession of the office for recovery of emoluments is cognisable by the Revenue Court. The denial of the character of the property by the defendants does affect its jurisdiction. But the essential requisite is that the plaintiff shall allege and rely upon the fact that that the land is an emolument attached to the office and make that a foundation for the relief claimed.
But, if his cause of action and his right to possession do depend upon his title to the emoluments as a service-holder but on a collateral fact, Section 21 is a bar. If he is dispossessed by a trespasser, if his lessee refuses to deliver possession after the expiry of the term, if a person holding a derivative title under him does give possession after the termination of the derivative title either on the expiry of the term or otherwise, in. all these cases, his cause of action and his right to relief do depend upon his title as a service-holder to the emoluments but only on his right to possession."
We think that this passage sums up the position correctly. Now applying these principles to the present case, what is the position ? The defendant is a person in possession of the properties under deeds executed by the holders of a village office and those deeds being in respect of inalienable lands are void.
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