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Madras High Court
Ramalinga Mudaliar And Anr. vs T.S. Ramaswami Iyer on 27 February, 1929
Equivalent citations: 119 Ind Cas 595
Author: V Rao
Bench: Ramesam, V Rao


Venkatasubba Rao, J.

1. The defendants apply for a certificate of leave to appeal to the King in council. One of the questions raised in the suit was, whether the village in which the suit lands are situate, is an estate or not within the meaning of the Estates Lund Act. It was inter alia contended for the defence that the village in question is an unsettled jagir under Section 3(2)(c). We have held that the grant was not a jagir grant but an inam grant which falls within Sub-clause (d). We have further held that, under the Exception to Section 8 the inamdar acquired the kudivaram interest and the plots in question have, therefore, ceased to be parts of an estate. The contention of the defendants that they are entitled to occupancy rights has also been rejected.

2. The judgment of this Court is a confirming judgment. The plaintiff sought to recover in the suit possession of three Gidangadis or betel plots known as Veerapan, Kadapetham and Baker Gidangadis. The learned District Judge disallowed the plaintiff’s claim in so far as it relates to the Brat plot on the ground that the suit was premature. He passed a decree in respect of the second and third plots. We confirmed the judgment of the lower Court in its entirety. The defendants desire to prefer an appeal to the Privy Council. So far as Kadapetham is concerned, it was not even argued for the defence that the decision of the lower Court was wrong and, giving effect to a plea of res judicata we held that the defendants were bound to deliver up possession of that plot. Then remains the only other item, Baker Gidangadi, which alone can form the subject-matter of. appeal to the Privy Council. It is admitted that its value is far below Es. 10,000, The first paragraph of Section 110 has, therefore, clearly no application.

3. Then comes the question can the petitioners rely upon the second paragraph? It refers to cases where the decree involves directly or indirectly some claim or question to or respecting property of the requisite value. To what kind of cases this paragraph applies, is indicated in the following passage, in the judgment of the Judicial Committee in Radhakrishna Ayyar v. Sundaraswamier 74 Ind. Cas. 584 : 45 M. 475 at p. 481 : 36 C.L.J. 450 : 16 L.W. 18 : 31 M.L.T. 31 : 43 M.L.J. 323 : 27 C.W.N. 1 : A.I.R. 1922 P.C. 257 : 20 A.L.J. 937 : 49 I.A. 211 (P.C.).

In the first place, the sum of money actually at stake may not represent the true value. The proceeding may, in many cases, such as a suit for an instalment of rent or under a contract, raise the entire question of the contract relations between the parties and that question may, settled one way or the other, affect a much greater value, and its determination may govern rights and liabilities of a value beyond the limit Banarsi Prasad v. Kashi Krishna Narain 28 I.A. 11 : 23 A. 227 : 8 Sar. P.C.J. 447 : 11 M.L.J. 56 : 3 Bom. L.R. 134 : 5 C.W.N. 193 : 7 Sar. P.C.J. 825 (P.C.). The Courts below may accordingly with propriety, as was done in this case, make the necessary certificate.

4. It is alleged that there are other cases pending between the same parties, relating to similar holdings, in the suit village and that the total value of the lands concerned is upwards of Rs. 10,000. Prima facie, then, this paragraph applies, but a certain circumstance excludes its application. It is not disputed that these various suits were filed, unlike the present suit in the District Munsif’s Court. In a previous case between the same parties reported as Sam v. Ramalinga Mudaliar 34 Ind. Cas. 803 : 40 M. 664 : 39 M.L.J. 600, it was held that the grant in question was not a jagir grant and that the decision operates as res judicata between the parties. That is the view taken by the District Munsif in the suits to which I have referred and the correctness of that view cannot be disputed. In these circumstances, it is futile for the defence to urge that there are other suits pending (it is true appeals are pending against the Munsif’s decisions) which relate to lands which are of the requisite value. How can the decree in this case affect in these circumstances any question respecting property the subject matter of the other suits? It is no longer open to the defence to raise in those suits the plea that the grant is a jagir grant. That is the only question of law that can be raised before the Privy Council in the present case and whatever view may ultimately prevail on this point, the defendants can derive no advantage so far as the other suits are concerned. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the second paragraph cannot avail the defendants.

5. It is lastly urged that the petitioners are entitled to a certificate under Section 109(c). It is said that the question, whether the grant was a jagir giant or not, affects besides the defendants a large number of tenants under the plaintiff. In the first place, it cannot be said that the class of persons interested in this question is numerically large. The villages comprised in the grant do not exceed in area two square miles. Moreover we must be satisfied that, having regard to the circumstances of the case, this is a fit one for appeal to His Majesty in Council. The history of this litigation shows that there is no merit or substance in the defendants’ contention. So far as they are concerned, it was held so long ago as in 1908 that the grant is not a jagir grant and that even otherwise the defendants had no occupancy rights. That ruling would have been a complete answer to the plea now repeated again in this suit but for the accident that the suit out of which the appeal arose, was filed not in the Munsif’s but in the District Court. Then, again the decree in Sam v. Ramalinga Mudaliar 34 Ind. Cas. 803 : 40 M. 664 : 39 M.L.J. 600, was executed by the plaintiff, defendants had to give up possession of the plots then in question and it was only in virtue of a subsequent arrangement made in 1921, that they came to occupy the suit plots. The mere fact that the point raised in this appeal affects third parties, is no ground for enabling the present defendants, whose case is devoid of merit to further agitate the question. Under Section 109(c), we must be satisfied that the case is a fit one for appeal; that means, we must be satisfied that having regard to all the circumstances of the case it is right and proper to grant a certificate of leave. I am not so satisfied. The petition is dismissed with costs.

Ramesam, J.

6. I agree.

7. It follows that the other two petitions stand dismissed. No costs.

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