Decided on July 19,1955

Sri Raja Vatsavaya Venkata Suryanarayana Gajapathi Raju Bahadur Appellant
Namagiri Venkataratnachari Respondents


SATYANARAYANA RAO,J. - (1.)Defendant is the appellant in this Second Appeal. The suit was for recovery of a sum of Rs. 500/- with interest thereon from 21-12-1946 at 6% per annum and the plaintiff also claimed a charge over certain lands. In the defendant's estate, there was a land bearing patta No. 29 and which was in the cultivation of a tenant of the extent of 177 acres comprised in that patta. The tenant defaulted payment of rent and the holding was brought to sale and was purchased by the estate. A portion of that land was leased to one N. Suryanarayana in 1932. He raised a mango garden in a portion of the land and relinquished the rest of it of the extent of 66 acres which bears patta No. 29-A and which was also assessed to rent in the estate accounts and classified as ryoti land in the occupation of tenants. After the surrender of the 66 acres by the tenant Suryanarayana the estate wanted to sell the occupancy rights in the lands by public auction. On 18-12-1946 the auction was held and the auction list is Ex. B-1 dt 18-12-1946. The land put up for auction was described as 66 acres situated in Atikavanipalem village which is comprised in patta No. 29 which was surrendered by N. Suryanarayana. The proportionate cist fixed on this land was Rs. 105-3-0. The plaintiff and one Alugolu Satyanarayana became the joint bidders for this land for a premium of Rs. 4,050/- and each of them paid a sum of Rs. 500/- towards that amount as advance, as evidenced by the receipts which also describe the land as comprised in patta No. 29-A. On 8-1-1947 on behalf of the estate the Tanedar issued a notice, Ex. A-3, intimating to them that their bid was accepted by the estate and that the balance of the amount should be paid in one week from the date of the receipt of the notice. To this, a reply was sent by the plaintiff on 16-1-1947 (Ex. B-2) in which he requested the estate for further time. He did not pay the amount but on 12-3-1947 sent a registered notice to the estate wherein he alleged after describing the land as jeroyati dry land of 66 acres comprised in patta No. 29-A, that from a publication in a Newspaper he came to know that the land being bunjar or waste land containing shrubs as the land was not cultivated for the past 14 years, the zamindar was prohibited from alienating the land and therefore demanded refund of the advance of Rs. 500/- which he paid for his share. To this, the estate gave a reply on 19-3-1947, Ex. A-8, in which they stated that the land was jeroyati and not waste or bunjar land and that he should pay the balance of the amount and in default of which the land would be re-sold and damages would be recovered from him. He sent a reply Ex. A-9 taking his stand under the provisions of Act XVIII of 1946. As the amount was not returned by the estate to the plaintiff, the plaintiff filed the suit for recovery of the amount.
(2.)In the trial court the question was raised whether the land was a ryoti land or waste land and was the plaintiff entitled to repudiate the sale and recover the advance? In view of the evidence adduced in the case, the learned District Munsif came to the conclusion that the land was ryoti land and was not waste land and that the plaintiff was not entitled to repudiate the sale and get refund of the advance paid. In the result he dismissed the plaintiff's suit. There was an appeal to the Subordinate Judge who in his judgment had mostly discussed the law without recording any finding regarding the nature of the land and arrived at the conclusion that the contract was void under the Act and the plaintiff was entitled to recover the amount. He decreed the suit.
(3.)In the Second Appeal, it was contended on behalf of the appellants that the learned Judge misconstrued the provisions of the Act and was wrong in holding that the land was waste land within the meaning of the Act. It will be necessary to refer to the provisions of the Act XIV of 1947 which replaced a previous Ordinance. The learned Subordinate Judge referred to the provisions of the Madras Preservation of Private Forest Act of 1946 (XVIII of 1946).

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