SRI NARASIMHASUR SRICHANDANA DEO Vs. YERUKOLA ALIAS PENTA SUBADRAMMA
LAWS(APH)-1955-9-5
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on September 02,1955

SRI NARASIMHASUR SRICHANDANA DEO Appellant
VERSUS
YERUKOLA ALIAS PENTA SUBADRAMMA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Bhimasankaram, J. - (1.)This is an appeal against the order of the Estates Abolition Tribunal, Vizianagaram, which allowed the claim filed by the 1st respondent under section 42 of Madras Act XXVI of 1948. The 2nd respondent was the proprietor of Tarla, which was an impartible estate. The appellant was one of the maintenance holders entitled to be paid maintenance out of the said estate. The appellant and his deceased elder brother executed a promissory note dated 18th June, 1944 in favour of the 1st respondent for a sum of Rs. 9,000. By 8th June, 1953, a sum of Rs. 13, 494 was due under that promissory note. The estate of Tarla was notified by the State under the Act and the State had deposited before the Tribunal on 30th June, 1951 as advance compensation a sum of Rs. 97, 131.
(2.)The 2nd respondent filed a claim petition before the Tribunal as principal land-holder to withdraw the compensation. The appellant filed two claim petitions for recovery of arrears of maintenance and future maintenance from out of that amount. The 1st respondent, a creditor of the appellant, filed a claim before the Tribunal for recovery of a sum of Rs. 13,494 alleged to be due to her under the aforesaid promissory note. The appellant contended before the Tri- bunal that the creditor of a maintenance holder cannot apply under section 42 of the Act for being paid his debt out of the compensation deposited by the State. This contention was rejected by the Tribunal. The Tribunal by its order allowed the claim to the extent of Rs. 1,200 without prejudice to the 1st respondent's right to recover the balance in future. Hence, the appeal.
(3.)Mr. Reddi Pantulu, learned Counsel for the appellant, contends that Madras Act XXVI of 1948 does not enable a creditor, of a maintenance holder to claim to be paid out of the compensation. To appreciate his argument, it is necessary to read the following provisions disclosing the Scheme of the Act :
"Section 2.---In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context (1) All expressions defined in the Estates Land Act shall have the same respective meaning as in that Act with the modifications, if any, made by this Act. (8) Land-holder includes (i) a joint Hindu family, where the right to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of the estate vests in such family and (ii) a darmila inamdar. (12) Principal land-holder means the person who held the estate immediately before the notified date. Section 3.-With effect on and from the notified date and save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act :- (b) the entire estate (including all communal lands and poramboke ; other non-ryoti lands waste lands ; pasture lands ; lanka lands ; forests, mines and minerals ; quarries, rivers and stream tanks and irrigation works ; fisheries and ferries), shall stand transferred to the Government an vest in them, free of all encumbrances ; and the Madras Revenue Recovery Act, 1864, the Madras Irri gation Cess Act, 1865 and all other enactments applicable to ryotwari areas shall apply to the estate; (c) all rights and interests created in or over the estate before the notified date by the principal or any other land-holder shall as against the Government cease and determine. (e) the principal or any other land-holder and any other person whose rights stand transferred under clause (b) or cease and determine under clause (e) shall be entitled only to compensation from the Government as provided in this Act. Section 41.-(1) The Government shall deposit in the office of the Tribunal, the compensation in respect of each estate as finally determined under section 39 in such form and manner and at such time or times and in one or more instalments, as may be prescribed by rules made under section 40: Provided that the Government shall be entitled to deduct from the amount to be deposited all moneys, if any, due to them (i) in respect of peshkash or (i) in respect of any claim which was secured immediately before the notified date by a mortgage of, or a charge on, the estate or any portion thereof. (2) On the making of such deposit the Government shall be deemed to have been completely discharged in respect of all claims to, or enforceable against the compensation aforesaid. Section 42.-(1) Every person claiming the compensation so deposited or any portion thereog including the principal or any other land-holder, members of his family claiming any portion of such compensation, whether by way of a share or by way of maintenance or otherwise.and creditors, whether their debts are secured or not, shall apply to the Tribunal within six months from the date on which the amount was so deposited or within such further time as the Tribunal may in its discretion allow, Section 44.--(1) As a preliminary to such determination, the Tribunal shall apportion the campensation among the principal land-holder and any other persons whose rights or interests in the estate stand transferred to the Government under section 3, clause (b) or cease and determine under section 3, clause (c) including persons who are entitled to be maintained from the estate and its income, as far as possible, in accordance with the value of their respective interests in the estate. (2) The value of those interests shall be ascertained. (a) in the case of the impartible estates referred to in section 45,in accordance with the provisions contained in that section and in such rules, not inconsistent with that section, as may be made by the Government in this behalf; and (b) in the case of other estates, in accordance with such rules are may be made by the Government in this behalf. Section 45.--(1) In the case of an impartible estate which had to be regarded as the property of a joint Hindu family for the purpose of ascertaining the succession thereto immediately before the noticed date, the following provisions shall apply : (2) The Tribunal shall determine the aggregate compensation payable to all the following persons, considered as a single group :- (a) the principal land-holder and his legitimate sons, grand-sons and great grand-sons in the male line living or in the womb on the notified date including sons, grand-sons and great-grand-sons adopted before such date (who are hereinafter called sharers) and (b) other persons who, immediately before the notified date were entitled to maintenance out of the estate and its income either under section 9 or 12 of the Madras Impartible Estates Act, 1904, or under any decree or order of a Court, award or other instrument in writing or contract or family atrangement which is binding on the principal land-holder (who are hereinafter called maintenance holders). (3) The Tribunal shall next determine which creditors, if any, are lawfully entitled to have their debts paid from and out of the assets of the impartible estate and the amount to which each of them is so entitled ; and only the remainder of the aggregate compensation shall be divisible among the sharers and maintenance holders as hereinafter provided. (4) The portion of the aggregate compensation aforesaid payable to the maintenance-holders shall be determined by the Tribunal and notwithstanding any arrangement already made in respect of maintenance whether by a decree or order of a Court, award or other instrument in writing or contract or family arrangement, such portion shall not exceed one-fifth of the remainder referred to in sub-section 3 except in the case referred to in the second proviso to section 47, sub-section 2, (6) The balance of the aggregate compensation shall be divided among the sharers as if they owned such balance as a joint Hindu family and a partition thereof had been effected among them on the notified date. Section 46.--After the compensation has been apportioned among the persons referred to in section 44, sub-section (i) or where it is more convenient so to do pending such apportionment the Tribunal shall take into consideration the applications of the creditors other than those dealt with in section 45, sub-section (3), and decide the amount to which each such creditor is entitled and the person or persons out of whose share or shares of the compensation such amount should be paid. Section 59.-No claim or liability enforceable immediately before the notified date against the principal or any other land-holder of an estate, or against any other persons whose rights stand transferred to the Government in pursuance of section 3, clause (A), shall, on or after that date, be enforceable against the interest he has in the estate ; and all such claims and liabilities shall (after the date on which the deposit in pursuance of section 54-A is made) be enforceable. (a) against the interim payments or the compensation or other sums paid or payable to him under this Act, to the same extent to which such claims and liabilities were enforceable against his interest in the estate immediately before the notified date ; and (b) against his other property, if any, to the same extent to which such claims and liabilities were enforceable against such property immediately before the notified date."
The gist of the aforesaid provisions may be stated thus : On the notificed date the entire estate stands transferred to the Government and vests in them free of all encumbrances. All rights created by the landholders in or over the estate shall, as against the Government, cease and determine, and the principal landholder or any other person whose rights are determined would be entitled only to compensation from the Government. After the Government deposits in the office of the Tribunal the compensation calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Act, it will be deemed to have been discharged in respect of all the claims to or enforceable against the compensation. After the date of the notification, no claim or liability enforceable immediately before the notified date against the principal or any other landholder of an estate or against any other person whose rights stand transferred to the Government can be enforced against the interest he had in the estate and it is enforceable only against the compensation, deposited with the Tribunal. After the compensation is deposited by the Government and after the claims are made, the Tribunal will apportion the compensation between the principal landholder and any other person whose rights or interests in the estate Stand transferred to the Government under section 3 (b) or cease and determine under section 3 (c) including persons who are entitled to be maintained out of the escate. In the case of an impartible estate which has to be regarded as the property of the joint Hindu family, it will determine the aggregate compensation payable to two groups, (1) the principal landholder, his sons, grandsons and great grandsons in the male line and (2) other members of his family, who are entitled to maintenance out of the estate and its income, this group including persons entitled to maintenance under any decree of Court or order, etc., binding on the principal landholder. (The first group is compendiously called the 'sharers' and the second 'maintenance-holders'). It will then determine the debts payable from and out of the estate and thereafter the maintenance payable to the maintenance-holders and the balance will be divided among the sharers. Thereafter, or if convenient even earlier it will take into consideration the applications of the creditors other than those who are entitled to have their debts paid from and out of the assets and decide the amount to which each such creditor is entitled and the person or persons out of whose share or shares of the compensation such amount should be paid. Now, this classification of maintenance-holders seems to be with reference to the estate as well as with reference to the principal landholder. The terms of section 42 are not very clear and it is difficult to say whether the phrase 'members of his family' refers only to the principal or to both 'the principal or any other landholder'. But section 45 (2) (b) seems to be clearer and relates, the maintenance-holders either to the estate and its income or to the principal landholder. It seems to us, therefore, that the term 'creditors' mentioned in section 42 (1) must also be related similarly either to the estate or to the principal landholder. They must be creditors either lawfully entitled to have their debts paid from and out of the assets of the impartible estaie as laid down in clause 3 of section 45 or other creditors referred to in section 46, who have a claim perscnally against the principal landholder (or landholders) only. The Act makes no provision for persons entitled to maintenance against darmila inamdars or sharers other than those coming within the description of 'the principal landholder'. Similarly it does not deal with the creditors of such landholders or maintenance-holders from among members of the families of such landholders. This conclusic n seems also to be supported by the use of the word 'share' in section 46. It may be objected that the clause 'person or persons out of whose shares of the compensation such amount should be paid' will be rendered nugatory if the creditors of the principal landholder are considered to be the only creditors contemplated by the Act. It seems to us that there is no substance in such an objection, for the clause covers cases where there are several principal landholders with reference to a given estate as e.g., at: estate owned by a Hindu joint family. Where there are creditors of each of such principal landholders, provision is made for the payment to the creditor of every landholder out of his individual share. We cannot think that the Legislature intended that the creditors of any one of the numerous persons who may be entitled to an apportionment of the compensation money under a claim by way of a share or by way of maintenance are intended to be covered by the expression 'creditors' in section 42.
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