SRI RAJAH UPPALAPATI SURYANARAYANAESWARA JOGI Vs. THE STATE OF ANDHRA
LAWS(APH)-1955-9-39
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on September 01,1955

Sri Rajah Uppalapati Suryanarayanaeswara Jogi Appellant
VERSUS
The State Of Andhra Respondents

JUDGEMENT

UMAMAHESWARAM,J. - (1.)This is an application to issue a writ of certiorari or other appropriate writ calling for the records of the case from the Assistant manager of the abolished zamindari of Palivela at Amalapuram, East Godavari District and to quash the proceedings issued in respect of their holdings in the villages of Gopalapuram, Ganti, Ganti-Pedapudi, Udumudi, Bellampudi and Podagatlapalli, Kothapeta sub-taluk, East Godavari District. The case of the petitioners is that in respect of the several holdings in their personal cultivation, they were called upon to pay a sum of Rs. 18,000 by way of land revenue and that the demand was not warranted by the provisions of section 23 of Madras Act XXVI of 1948. It was further contended that, even assuming they were liable to pay land revenue in respect of those holdings, the amount demanded was excessive.
(2.)For the purpose of appreciating the two contentions, it is necessary to set out the terms of section 23 of the Act which runs as follows:-
"The land revenue payable to the Government with effect on any from the notified date shall until a ryotwari settlement effected in pursuance of section 22 has been brought into force in the estate, be calculated as follows:-

(a) In respect of any land held for the purpose of agriculture, being private land, the land revenue shall be -

(i) Where the rent payable to the landholder immediately before the notified date has been determined under the Madras Estates land (Reduction of Rent) Act, 1947, the rent so determined; or

(ii) Where the rent has been so determined, the rent which would have been payable to the landholder in respect of the fasli year in which the estate is notified; or

(iii) Where no rent was payable, the rent which would have been payable to the landholder immediately before the notified date, by a ryot holding similar land with similar advantages, in the neighbourhood :

Provided that in cases falling under sub-clauses (1) and (ii), the land revenue in respect of the fasli year in which the estate is notified shall be the rent due to the landholder less any payment made to him before the notified date and authenticated in the prescribed manner :

Provided further that in cases falling under sub-clause (ii), where after the rent has been determined under the Madras Estates land (Reduction of Rent) Act, 1947, it is found that the land revenue paid exceeds the rent so determined, such excess shall be adjusted towards the land revenue payable in the subsequent fasli year or years.

(b) In respect of other lands, the land revenue payable shall be calculated at such rate or rates as the Government may, by general or special order, determine."

(3.)The learned advocate for the petitioners stated at the outset that as a result of the decision of the Estates Abolition Tribunal at Vizianagaram in A.S. No. 383 of 1954, it must be assumed for the purpose of this application that the lands forming the subject-matter of the writ are private lands, as the Estates Abolition Tribunal, on enquiry, refused to issue a ryotwari patta under section 12, of the Act. His contention was that the terms of section 23 do apply to a case where the landholder is in possession of ryoti lands as no rent is paid by any ryot to the landholder in respect of those lands. According to him, sect on 23 applies only to cases where the ryoti lands are in possession of ryots. He referred to the preamble of the Madras Estates Land (Reduction of Rent) Act (XXX of 1947) for the purpose of construing the provisions of section 23 of the Abolition Act. The preamble is as follows:-
"Whereas the rents now payable by ryots in estates governed by the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, are in many cases substantially higher than the assessments levied on lands in ryotwari areas in the neighbourhood :

And whereas it is expedient to provide for the reduction of such rents approximately to the level of the ryotwari assessments in the neighbourhood; (and for the collection of such rents exclusively by the State Government)."

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