V VENKATA RAO Vs. STATE OF MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
STATE OF MADRAS
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(1.)This Civil Revision Petition raises an interesting question of law.
The petitioner herein filed a suit on the file of the District Munsif's Court,
Vizianagaram, for a declaration that the notification published by the Government
declaring Rollavaka Village as an under-tenure estate under the provisions of Madras
Rent Reduction Act (XXX of 1947), is wholly without jurisidction and void
and for an injunction restraining the Government from enforcing the notification.
Issue i was framed in the following terms :-
"Is Rollavaka Village not an estate within the meaning of section 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act and hence the Rent Reduction Notification No. 2729 published in the Fort St. George Gazette,
dated 9th May, 1950, Part I, at page 1302, in respect of
Rollavaka Village is void and without jurisdiction?"
(2.)The petitioner applied in L. A. No. 976 of 1952 for recasting the issue and throwing the
burden on the Government. His contention was that the burden of proof lay on the
person who contends that Rollavaka was an estate and that the Civil Court had no
jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The District Munisif rejected his application and
the Civil Revision Petition has been consequently filed in this Court against the said
(3.)The simple question that arises for decision is : Who has to prove that Rollavaka
is an estate and that the notification is a valid one. The provisions of Madras Act
(XXX of 1947) apply to all estates as defined in section 3 (2) of the Madras Estates
Land Act of 1908 [vide section I (2)]. There is no provision in the Act itself under
which any special tribunal is appointed to decide the dispute as to
whether a particular property is or is not an estate within the meaning of
the Act. Section 2 (i) of the
Act empowers the Provincial Government to appoint a Special Officer in any estate
or estates for the purpose of recommending fair and equitable rates of rent for the
ryoti lands in such estate cr estates. It was therefore held by a Bench of the Madras
High Court in Chandra v. The Madras State, (1952) 1 M.L.J. 206, 207.
that " It is obvious that if a particular property is not an estate,
such property would not be governed
by the provisions of the Act and any order published by the
Government under section 3 (2) of the
Act would not be of any legal consequence or force."
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