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Madras High Court
Mavoulu Seetharam Naidu vs Doddi Rami Naidu on 22 October, 1909
Equivalent citations: 5 Ind Cas 137
Bench: R Benson, K Aiyar


1. The question is whether a suit for a village officer’s inam land on the expiry of a lease to the defendant granted by the plaintiff is cognizable by a Civil Court. The Courts below have decided against the plaintiff. The Subordinate Judge relies on the decision in Kesaram Narasimhulu v. Narasimhulu Patnaidu (sic). Far from supporting his view, the observations in that case of Miller, J., at page 131, are in favour of the plaintiff, and the other learned Judges do not dissent from his remarks. Indeed it may be said that the ratio decidendi of that case supports the appellant’s argument. Both the learned Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Miller say that Sections 13 and 21 of Act III of 1895 should be read together. Section 13 confers jurisdiction on the Revenue Court and defines the class of suits oil which a revenue Court may take cognizance. Section 21 specifies the class of suits of which the Civil Court shall not take cognizance. It is reasonable to hold, notwithstanding the apparent generality of the language of Section 21, that the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is not taken away in those, cases in which it is conferred on the Revenue Court by Section 13. Moreover, it is a general principle of law that every presumption shall be made in favour of the jurisdiction of a Civil Court and that it shall not be taken away except by express, words or by necessary implication. We are, therefore, inclined to hold that the Civil Court has jurisdiction in this case. The express words of Section 13 make it impossible to bring such, a suit as the present within them. The case, put by Mr. Justice Sub-(sic)ramaniya Iyer in Kesaram Narasimhulu v. Vuddanda Roa Narasimhulu (sic), is, we think, right. He says, suppose an office holder in possession of an inam land, which is admittedly inam land, lets it out to a tenant for cultivation for a year, and that that tenant at (sic) expiry of the term refuses to quit(sic) ding to the general law the land-(sic) eject the tenant without showing more than the letting and the expiry of the term, as he is not called upon to allege or prove his right to the land or the office, the tenant being estopped in such a case from raising any question as to the title of the party &c.”

2. Mr. Justice Boddam has taken the same, view in Civil Revision Petition No. 3 of 1903.

3. The decision in Basappa v. Venkatappa 4 M.H.C.R. 70, was under Regulation VI of 1831 and the language of Section 4 of that Regulation, which corresponds to Section 13 of Act III of 1895 is very different.

4. We must reverse the decrees of the Courts below and remand the suit to the District Munsif for disposal according to law. The plaintiff will not be entitled to base his suit on his title to the inam.

5. The costs of this and the lower appellate Court will be provided for in the revised decree.

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