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T. V. V. NARASIMHAM AND OTHERS vs THE STATE OF ORISSA On 1962-10-24

HEADNOTE

As regards the other villages,there was no evidence to show that the Government haddirected any enquiry into the titles of the said inams ordid any act dehors the enquiry to recognize their titles.The High Court took the view that mere inaction on the partof the Government amounted to recognition of the grants infavour of the inamdars and that the villages in questionwere recognized by the British Government within s. 3 (2)(d) of the Madras Estates Land Act.Held,that under s. 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act,1908, "recognition" meant an acknowledgement by theGovernment of the title of a grantee expressly or by someunequivocal act on its part.but it must be such as to lead to that inevitableconclusion, Mere inaction dehors such compellingcircumstances cannot amount to recognition within themeaning of the section.Inam Rules framed by the Government in 1859 providing foran enquiry and directing the confirmation of title on thebasis of possession, laid down only a procedure forascertaining the titles and did not proprio vigore confertitle on, or recognize the title of, any inamdar.Held, further, that the order of the Government datedNovember 1, 1919, amounted to a recognition of the inamdar'stitle, but that as regards the other inamdars in respect ofwhom no enquiry had been made, the High Court erred inholding that the Government had recognized their inams.Secretary of State f
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As regards the other villages,there was no evidence to show that the Government haddirected any enquiry into the titles of the said inams ordid any act dehors the enquiry to recognize their titles.The High Court took the view that mere inaction on the partof the Government amounted to recognition of the grants infavour of the inamdars and that the villages in questionwere recognized by the British Government within s. 3 (2)(d) of the Madras Estates Land Act.Held,that under s. 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act,1908, "recognition" meant an acknowledgement by theGovernment of the title of a grantee expressly or by someunequivocal act on its part.but it must be such as to lead to that inevitableconclusion, Mere inaction dehors such compellingcircumstances cannot amount to recognition within themeaning of the section.Inam Rules framed by the Government in 1859 providing foran enquiry and directing the confirmation of title on thebasis of possession, laid down only a procedure forascertaining the titles and did not proprio vigore confertitle on, or recognize the title of, any inamdar.Held, further, that the order of the Government datedNovember 1, 1919, amounted to a recognition of the inamdar'stitle, but that as regards the other inamdars in respect ofwhom no enquiry had been made, the High Court erred inholding that the Government had recognized their inams.Secretary of State for India v. Bhavamurthy, (1912) 24 M.L.J.Land Act, at p. 51.It would be seen from the history that when the Act of 1908was passed there were five classes of grants of whole inamvillages, namely, (i) villages granted by the BritishGovernment; (ii) villages granted by the previous rulers orpersons under their authority; (iii) villages in thepossession of unauthorized alienees whose titles had beenascertained and confirmed by the British Government; (iv)villages in the possession of unauthorised alienees whosetitles were recognized by the said Government ; and (v)villages in the possession of unauthorized alienees whosetitles were not recognized by the British Government eitherbecause no inquiry in regard to titles was made or becauseeven if such an inquiry was made the Government, for onereason or other, did not choose to recognize them.In this context what is the appropriate connotation of theword "recognized" in s. 3(2)(d) of the Madras Act.759Then the learned judges proceeded to state "If the learned judge intended to lay down that the facts that the land was originally service inam, that it was excluded from the assets of the zamindar in 1802, and that subsequently the Government took service from the karnam and allowed him to the property, would not enable a Court one law to draw the inference that there has been a continuance of the grant within s. 17 of Act 2 of 1894, we are unable to agree with him.At the time of the inam settlement there appears to have been a controversy as to whether the reversionary right in regard to the inam vested in the Government or in the zamindar, and Government specifically directed the exclusion of this village from the inam enquiry, passing an order in the course of which they stated : "That they resolved to instruct the Inam Commissioner not to interfere with these villages and to waive their claim to them on the ground of expediency and grace,"-the right which they waived being their reversionary right to the inam."
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SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT

1 of 10 PETITIONER: T. V. V. NARASIMHAM AND OTHERS Vs.RESPONDENT: THE STATE OF ORISSA DATE OFJUDGMENT: 24/10/1962 BENCH: SUBBARAO, K.BENCH:SUBBARAO, K.DAS, S.K.AYYANGAR, N. RAJAGOPALA CITATION: 1963 AIR 1227 1963 SCR Supl. (1) 750 ACT: Estates Abolition-Estates recognised by the Government-"Recognition", meaning of-Mere inaction, if amounts torecognition-Madras Estates Land Act, 1908 (1 of 1908), s.3(2)(d). HEADNOTE: The Government of Orissa, treating the villages in questionas estates, issued notifications under the provisions of theOrissa Estates Abolition Act, 1952, declaring that the saidestates became vested in the State free from allencumbrances from the dates specified therein. The inamdarof the respective villages challenged the legality of the,notifications by filing. petitions in the High Court ofOrissa under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India on theground that the said inams were not estates within themeaning of s., 3(2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act,1908, as they were excluded from the assets 751of the Jeypore Zamindari or Kotpad Paragana at the time ofthe settlements, that they were neither confirmed nor re-cognised by the British Government, and that, therefore,they were not liable to be abolished under the OrissaEstates Abolition Act. In respect of the villages heldwithin the geographical limits of the Jeypore Zamindari, anenquiry was made by the Government as to whet
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PETITIONER: T. V. V. NARASIMHAM AND OTHERS Vs.
RESPONDENT: THE STATE OF ORISSA
DATE OF
JUDGMENT: 24/10/1962
BENCH:
SUBBARAO, K.
BENCH:
SUBBARAO, K.DAS, S.K.AYYANGAR, N. RAJAGOPALA
CITATION:
1963 AIR 1227 1963 SCR Supl. (1) 750
ACT:
Estates Abolition-Estates recognised by the Government-"Recognition", meaning of-Mere inaction, if amounts torecognition-Madras Estates Land Act, 1908 (1 of 1908), s.3(2)(d).
HEADNOTE:
The Government of Orissa, treating the villages in questionas estates, issued notifications under the provisions of theOrissa Estates Abolition Act, 1952, declaring that the saidestates became vested in the State free from allencumbrances from the dates specified therein. The inamdarof the respective villages challenged the legality of the,notifications by filing. petitions in the High Court ofOrissa under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India on theground that the said inams were not estates within themeaning of s., 3(2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act,1908, as they were excluded from the assets 751of the Jeypore Zamindari or Kotpad Paragana at the time ofthe settlements, that they were neither confirmed nor re-cognised by the British Government, and that, therefore,they were not liable to be abolished under the OrissaEstates Abolition Act. In respect of the villages heldwithin the geographical limits of the Jeypore Zamindari, anenquiry was made by the Government as to whether they shouldbe enfranchised but, on objections raised by the Zamindar,the Government passed an order on November 1, 1919, decidingnot to take further action. As regards the other villages,there was no evidence to show that the Government haddirected any enquiry into the titles of the said inams ordid any act dehors the enquiry to recognize their titles.The High Court took the view that mere inaction on the partof the Government amounted to recognition of the grants infavour of the inamdars and that the villages in questionwere recognized by the British Government within s. 3 (2)(d) of the Madras Estates Land Act.Held,that under s. 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Estates Land Act,1908, "recognition" meant an acknowledgement by theGovernment of the title of a grantee expressly or by someunequivocal act on its part. Acquiescence in the context of

Page 2 of 10 certain surrounding circumstances may amount to recognition. but it must be such as to lead to that inevitableconclusion, Mere inaction dehors such compellingcircumstances cannot amount to recognition within
The judgement of the court was delivered by
SUBBA RAO, J.-These appeals raise the same point, namely,the true interpretation of the expression "recognised" in s.3(2)(d) of the Madras Estates Land Act (1 of 1908),hereinafter called the Madras Act, and they can be disposedof together.The facts giving rise to the said appeals may be brieflystated. The Government of Orissa treating the villages,which are the subject-matter of these appeals, as "estates"issued notifications declaring that the said estates becamevested in the State free from all encumbrances from thedates specified therein. The inamdars of the respectivevillages filed petitions in the High Court of Orissa underArt. 226 of the Constitution for the issue of an appropriatewrit for canceling the said notifications and for ordersprohibit-Inc,, the State from taking possession of the saidvillages.The said villages can be placed in three groups, namely, (i)villages covered by Appeals Nos. 150, 151 and 155 which areadmittedly within the geographical limits of jeyporeZamindari which was settled in the year 1803 ; (ii) villagescovered by Appeals Nos. 149, 154 and 157 which are withinthe geographical 753limits of Kotpad Paragana as settled in 1863, but the ten=whereof were subsequently modified in 1901-the Kotpad

Page 3 of 10 Paragana, though it had separate existence at the time of the permanent settlement of the jeypore Zamindari in 1803,had become part of the said Zamindari by subsequent events,the details whereof do not concern us at this stage ; (iii)villages covered by Appeals Nos. 147, 148, 152, 153 and 156of 1962 in regard to which there is a dispute whether thesevillages formed part of Kotpad Paragana or of the JeyporeZamindari as originally settled in 1803.The case of the appellants is that the said villages. whichformed part of the original jeypore Zamindari, are pre-settlement inams which were excluded from the permanentsettlement ; and, as they were neither confirmed norrecognized by the British Government, they were not"estates" within the meaning of s. 3(2)(d) of the MadrasAct and there,fore not liable to be abolished under theOrissa Estates Abolition Act, 1952, hereinafter called theOrissa Act. Their contention in regard to the villagesforming part of Kotpad Paragana is the same, namely, thatthe villages forming part of the said Paragana were grantsmade before the said Paragana was permanently settled in1863, and, as they were not confirmed or recognized by theBritish Government, they were also not "'estates" within themeaning of the said section. The State pleaded that thesaid villages, whether they formed part of the originaljeypore Zamindari or of Kotpad Paragana, were included inthe assets of the said Zamindari or the, Paragana at thetime of their respective settlements and,, therefore, theywere "'estates" within the meaning of either s. 3(2)(a) or3(2)(e) of the Madras Act and were rightly abolished by theState. They further contended that the third group ofvillages formed part of the original jeypore Zamindari, andthat if the said villages formed part of Kotpad Paragana itwould not make any difference in the legal position,754as the permanent settlement of that Paragana was not madeunder Regulation XXV of 1802, and as such no land wasexcluded from its assets at the time of the settlement. Toput it differently, their case is that in the settlement ofKotpad Paragana, the said villages were included in itsassets.The High Court did not give the decision 'on disputed factsbut assumed the correctness of ,the appellants' case,namely, that the first group. of villages were pre-settlement inams within the geographical limits of jeyporeZamindari, as originally settled in 1803, and that thesecond and third groups of villages were pre-settlementinams situated in Kotpad Paragana as settled in 1863, andheld that, as the said villages were recognized by theBritish Government within the meaning of s. 3(2)(d) of theMadras Act, they were "'estates" liable to be abolishedunder the Orissa Act. On that finding the High Courtdismissed the petitions filed by the appellants. Hence theappeals.Section 3(2) of the Madras Act reads"Estate" means- (d) any inam village of which the grant has been made, confirmed or recognised by the British Government, notwithstanding that subsequent to the grant, the village has been partitioned among the grantees on the succes- sors in title of the grantee or grantees.Mr. A. V. Viswanatha Sastri, learned counsel for theappellants, contends that the expression "confirmed" in thesaid cl. (d) of s. 3(2) refers to those inams which wereconfirmed by the Inam Commissioner, after investigation of

Page 4 of 10 titles, giving up the reversionary rights of the Government and issuing free-hold title deeds to the inamdars; and theexpression " recognized", to those cases of inams whosetides were investigated by the Government but the 755Government, for one reason or other, did not choose to issuetitle deeds but recognised the titles by some overt act. Inother words, the expression "recognised" would only apply tosuch an inam the grantees' titles or possession whereofcould be traced to some act of the Government done pursuantto the inam inquiry held in respect of the said titles.Learned counsel for the State Mr. Sanyal, agrees with Mr.Viswanatha Sastri in regard to the meaning of the word"'confirmed". but advances the contention that in regard topre-settlement inams, even the inaction of the Governmentunder certain circumstances amounts to "recognition" of thesaid inams.A brief historical account of classes of inams covered bycl. (d) of s. 3(2) of the Madras Act may be useful inappreciating its scope. The British Government wasconfronted with three classes of grants, namely, (i) thosegrants made by Hindu or Muslim Kings or under theirauthority, (ii) grants made by British Government, and (iii)unauthorised alienations, i.e., those made by persons whohad no authority to make grants. For the purpose of ascer-taining the title of unauthorised alienees Regulation XXXIof 1802 was passed whereunder rules were made forinvestigating into the titles of such alienees and forfixing the assessment thereon. The preamble to theRegulation expressly recognized the Badshahi grants i.e.,grants made by kings. Section 2 of the said Regulationexempted from its operation grants made in certain districtsbefore specified dates. The Regulation authorised theCollectors to take suitable steps for resuming such lands,but, for one reason or other, the said Regulation was notimplemented in the manner conceived by its authors. In 1859another serious attempt was made by the Government by issu-ing Inam Rules for investigating the titles of variousinamdars. Under these rules an Inam commissioner wasappointed who made an investigation in regard to the756various inams in the State and issued title deeds.' But someareas were not covered by the enquiry and no enquiry wasmade in regard to the inams in these areas ; even in theareas covered by the enquiry though titles were ascertained,the Government did not enfranchise some inams, but indicatedits intention to continue them. A lucid and precise exposi-tion of this history is found in the valuable commentary ofVedantachari on the Madras Estates. Land Act, at p. 51.It would be seen from the history that when the Act of 1908was passed there were five classes of grants of whole inamvillages, namely, (i) villages granted by the BritishGovernment; (ii) villages granted by the previous rulers orpersons under their authority; (iii) villages in thepossession of unauthorized alienees whose titles had beenascertained and confirmed by the British Government; (iv)villages in the possession of unauthorised alienees whosetitles were recognized by the said Government ; and (v)villages in the possession of unauthorized alienees whosetitles were not recognized by the British Government eitherbecause no inquiry in regard to titles was made or becauseeven if such an inquiry was made the Government, for onereason or other, did not choose to recognize them.In this context what is the appropriate connotation of theword "recognized" in s. 3(2)(d) of the Madras Act. The

Page 5 of 10 decisions cited at the Bar throw some light on the meaning of the said word. In Secretary of State for India v.Bhanamurthy (1), a division Bench of the Madras High Courthad to consider the scope of the word "continued" in s. 17of the Madras Act II of 1894. Under that section theGovernment had the right of resumption of a Karnam ServiceInam if the said inam was granted or continued by the State.Though the word ,,recognized" was not in the section, someof the(1) (1912) 24 M.L.J. 538, 540. 757observations in the judgment can usefully be extracted. In1860 when the inam inquiry was held, though the village wasconfirmed, to the Agraharamdar, the Government did notinterfere with the rights of the persons holding the KarnamService Inams situated in that Agraharam. The SpecialAssistant stated in his, report that the Government did notinterfere with the subordinate tenures though the right ofthe holder to them was unquestionable and must be respectedby the Agraharamdar, but he did not consider it necessary todecide that question. Sundara Aiyar, J., speaking for theCourt, observed : "The result is that in 1860 the Government merely left the rights of the Karnams, if they had any, undisturbed. We cannot hold that there was any act done by Government which could be relied on by the Karnams as a recog- nition or confirmation of their rights". Later on, the learned judge proceeded to state "The principle adopted appears to me to be that in order that Government may have the right of resumption, the right to the land must either have in the first instance emanated from Government or the continuance of the. right must have been due to an act of Government. At any rate there must have been recognition by Government of the right which could be set up by the holder in support of his possession."This decision is an authority for the position that mereinactivity or even leaving open the question for futuredecision by Government does not amount to a recognition ofthe right of an inamdar to hold possession. Anotherdivision Bench of the Madras High Court in Sam v. RamalingaMudaliar (1), though it was concerned with theinterpretation of the expression ire unsettled jaghirs" ins. 3(2)(c) of the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, made someuseful observations on the meaning of the word"'recognized".(1)[1916] I.L.R. 40 Mad. 664,670.758Srinivasa Ayyangar, J., observed: "It is difficult to assign a precise meaning to the word "recognized"' whether mere acquiescence is enough or whether something more is required is not clear. I should be inclined to think that recognition implies something more than mere acquiescence, something done by the Government, as, for instance, by acceptance of service, jodi, etc."This decision also insists upon an overt act by theGovernment in recognition of an inamdar's title. Thedecision in Pitchaya v. Secretary of State (1) does notsupport the contention of the respondent. That was also a

Page 6 of 10 case under s. 17 of the Madras Proprietary Estates Village Services Act (2 of 1894). There, lands at the inception ofthe grant were village service inams. Under s. 4 ofRegulation XXV of 1802 they were excluded from the assets ofthe zamindari at the time of permanent settlement.Regulation XXIX of 1802 enabled the Government to obtaindirectly the services from the karnams who were previouslyunder the control of the zamindars. Act 2 of 1894 enabledthe Government to fix wages for the said office. Assalaries were fixed for the kamams who were enjoying theland in lieu of their services, the Government directed theenfranchisement of the said lands. On the said facts theCourt held that as the Government continued the said inamswithin the meaning of s. 17, it could enfranchise them.Strong reliance was placed upon the following observationsmade by the learned judges in considering the decision inSecretary of State v. Chinnapragada Bhanumurty (2) : "He (Sundara Aiyar, J.) seems to have been inclined to the view that some overt act must be shown to have been done by the Government continuing the land in enjoyment of the office holder as remuneration for doing the; services. "(1) A.I.R. 1920 Mad. 748, 479.(2) (1912) 24 M.L.J. 538, 540. 759Then the learned judges proceeded to state "If the learned judge intended to lay down that the facts that the land was originally service inam, that it was excluded from the assets of the zamindar in 1802, and that subsequently the Government took service from the karnam and allowed him to the property, would not enable a Court one law to draw the inference that there has been a continuance of the grant within s. 17 of Act 2 of 1894, we are unable to agree with him."It will be seen that this case did not lay down that mereinaction would amount to recognition or continuance; but onthe facts, as there was a clear overt act on the part of theGovernment in accepting the services of the karnams, thelearned judges held that there was such a continuance. InRamalinga Mudati v. Ramaswami Ayyar (1), a division Bench ofthe same High Court held that a particular inam must betaken to have been recognized by the Government in view ofRegulation 31 of 1802. Venkatasubba Rao J., observed at p.543 that the grant was not a grant made by a previous zamin-dar but was a royal or badshahi grant and that by the pream-ble to Madras Regulation 31. of 1802 all royal grants mustbe deemed to have been recognized. A perusal of that pream-ble clearly shows that such grants were expressly recognizedby the Government. This is a case where there was an ex-press statutory recognitionsIn that case apart from any inaction there was an admissionmade by a Committee appointed by the State of the holders'title to the inam, but the court preferred to base itsdecision on the Madras Regulation 31 of 1802. We have notbeen able to discover, nor the learned counsel for therespondent has been able to point out, any observations inthe judgments of either of the two learned judges either(1) A.I. R. 1929 Mad. 529.760expressly stating or even indicating their preference to theview that mere inaction would amount to recognition. A fullBench of the Madras High Court had to consider in Mantravadi

Page 7 of 10 Bhavanarayana v. Merugu Venkatadu (1) an altogether different question, namely, whether the existence of minorinams already granted before the grant of the village wouldmake it anytheless of a grant of the whole village. In thecourse of the Judgment, one of the learned judges,Venkatarama Ayyar, J., incidentally observed : "It will be noticed that for purposes of the section, recognition of the grant of an entire village inam stands on the same footing as its confirmation; and there is authority that some recognition could be implied from conduct and even from inaction: vide Ramalinga Mudali v. Ramaswami Ayyar (2)".But, as we have pointed out, this passage does not find anysupport in that judgment. A division Bench of the OrissaHigh Court in P. V. Narayana Rao v. State of Orissa (3), ona consideration of the case law on the subject came to theconclusion that mere inaction or acquiescence on the part ofthe Government would constitute recognition within themeaning of s. 3 (2) (d) of the Madras Act. But the facts ofthat case disclose that the Government expressly recognizedthe title of the inamdar. Indeed, this Court in appealagainst that judgment based its conclusion on that fact.The said judgment of this Court was given in Civil AppealsNos. 47 and 48 of 1960 on November 20,1961. Therein thisCourt observed "it cannot however be disputed that confirmation by the Inam Commissioner and the issue of an inam title-deed is not the only method by which a pre-British grant would be(1) I L. R. 1954 Mad 116,152 (2) A. 1. R, 1929 Mad. 529.(3) I. L. R. [ 1956] Cuttack 348.761 "confirmed" or "recognised". In the present case the reason for the exclusion of this village from the scope of the Inam enquiry is apparent from the records produced. At the time of the inam settlement there appears to have been a controversy as to whether the reversionary right in regard to the inam vested in the Government or in the zamindar, and Government specifically directed the exclusion of this village from the inam enquiry, passing an order in the course of which they stated : "That they resolved to instruct the Inam Commissioner not to interfere with these villages and to waive their claim to them on the ground of expediency and grace,"-the right which they waived being their reversionary right to the inam." "We consider this a sufficient "recognition" of the grant as to bring this village within the definition of an "estate" within s.3(2)(d) of the Estates Land Act."It would be seen from the said passage that the Governmentinitiated an Inam enquiry in respect of the title of theinamdar, but, in view of the dispute raised by the zamindar,clearly waived its right to the said reversion; by so doing,it expressly recognized the title of the Inamdar to holdunder the zamindar. This Court in that case has notexpressed any opinion on the wide proposition accepted bythe High Court, but has preferred to base its judgment on anexpress recognition of the title of the Inamdar. Another

Page 8 of 10 judgment of a division Bench of the Orissa High Court has been brought to our notice and it is said that the saiddecision expressed a contrary view, but the later decisionhad not even adverted to it. In that case the only evidencein support of the762contention of recognition adduced was that the Collectorrealized cess from the zamindar in respect of the inams inquestion; there was no other evidence in support of that"recognition". The Court held that there was absolutely noevidence to show that the main grant was recognised by theBritish Government. This decision, though it did notexpressly say that inaction could not amount to recognitionlmpliedly it did not accept such a contention or otherwiseit would have held- that there was recognition of the inamby the Government within the meaning of that section. Thisdecision does not carry the matter further.The foregoing discussion leads us to the followingconclusion; recognition signifies an admission or anacknowledgment of something existing before. To recognizeis to take congnizance of a fact. It implies an overt acton the part of the person taking such cognizance."Recognition" is, therefore, an acknowledgment by theGovernment of the title of a grantee expressly or by someunequevocal act on its part. Acquiescence in the context ofcertain surrounding circumstances may amount to recognition,but it must be such as to lead to that inevitableconclusion. Mere inaction dehors such compellingcircumstances cannot amount to recognition within the meaning of the section.Now coming to the merits of the case, we shall first dealwith the group of villages admittedly lying within thegeographical limits of jeypore zamindari, Inam Commissionappointed. by the Government in 1862 called for and obtainedfrom the zamindar a statement of pre-settlement and post-settlement inams within the geographical limits of thezamindari; but it did not make any inquiry in regardthereto. But in they car 1907 the Government of Madrasdirected an inquiry of the inams in the jeypore zamindari by 763a Special Deputy Collector by name Meenakshisundaram Pillai.In the inquiry held by him the zamindar did not put forwardhis claim. His report was not full or complete as it shouldbe and it was simply recorded by the Government in its orderdated February 25, 1910.' The Government again by its orderdated November 16, 1910, directed another officer namedBurkitt to make a further or detailed inquiry into the inamsof jeypore zamindari, and he submitted his report to theGovernment which was recorded by it in its order dated May19, 1914. On the basis of the said report the Governmentgave notice to the Maharaja of jeypore to show cause why thesaid villages found to be pre-settlement inams by Burkittshould not be enfranchised. The Maharaja submitted hisobjections claiming that all the said villages formed partof his zamindari and the Government had no right ofreversion therein. On November 1, 1919, the Governmentissued the following order No. 2489: "The Board of Revenue is informed that the Government have on re-consideration decided to take no further action in connection with the question of the settlement of pre-settlement inams in the jeypore Zamindary."In this context the relevant records, namely the reports ofMeenakshisundaram Pillai and Burkitt and the objectionsfiled by the Maharaja were not filed in the High Court. If

Page 9 of 10 they had been produced, as they should have been, the High Court and this Court would have been in a better position toappreciate the situation. But the aforesaid facts weregiven in the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the Statein O.J.C. No. 68 of 1954 and the correctness of those factsare not disputed before us. From the foregoing narration,the factual and legal position was this : The inamdars wereholding the 'said inams under grants made by the jeyporeMaharaja prior to 1803.764The Government claimed reversionary rights therein on thebasis that these were pre-settlement inams not included inthe assets of the zamindari at the time of the permanentsettlement. The Maharaja claimed that the said villageswere part of his zamindari i.e., they were included in theassets of the zamindari at the time of the permanentsettlement. The Government presumably accepted that claimby deciding not to take further action in connection withthe settlement of the pre-settlement inams of the Jeyporezamindari. It is not possible to accept the contention thatthere was only inaction on the part of the Government in theaforesaid circumstances. As there were conflicting claimsbetween the Maharaja and the Government, and by withdrawingfurther action, the Government accepted the claim of theMaharaja, namely, that the Inamdars were holding the inamsas under-tenure holders under the zamindar. This was aclear recognition of the Inamdars' title to hold under thezamindar. We agree with the High Court that the Government"recognized" the said grants within the meaning of s. 3(2)of the Madras Act. As regards the second and the third group of villagesthere is nothing on the record which discloses anyrecognition by the Government of the grants of the said inamvillages. It does not appear that the Government haddirected any inquiry into the titles of the said inams ordid any act dehors the inquiry to recognize the said title.We find it very dimrult to agree with the High Court thatmere inaction on the part of the Government amounts torecognition of the grants in favour of the Inamdars. Butthe learned Additional Solicitor-General contends that theInam Rules framed by the Government providing for aninquiry, and particularly the rule directing theconfirmation of title on the basis of possession, wouldamount to recognition within the meaning of s.3(2)(d) of theMadras Act. We cannot accept this contention. Inam Ruleswere framed by the Government 765in 1859 for investigating into the titles of variousinamdars and for enfranchising inams. These rules propriovigore did not confer title on, or recognize title of, anyinamdar. They lay down only a procedure for ascertainingthe titles in those areas where an inquiry was held for thepurposes of investigation of titles and confirmationthereof. In this case no such inquiry appears to have beenheld in respect of Korpad Paragana. These rules do nottherefore help the State. In our view the High Court wentwrong in holding that the British Government recognized thesaid inams.Lastly the learned Additional Solicitior-General contendedthat a grant of pre-settlement inam villages which did notfall within the definition of an "estate" in s. 3(2)(d) ofthe Madras Act would be an 'estate' within the definition ofthat expression in s. 2(g) of the Orissa Act and thereforethe Government Validity issued the notifications under s.3(1) of the Orissa Act abolishing the aforesaid villages not

Page 10 of 10 recognized by the Government. This contention has been raised for the first time before us. The contention raisedis not a pure question of law, but depends upon the proof ofthe conditions laid down in the said cl.(g) of s.2 of theOrissa Act. We do not think we are justified in allowingthe respondent to raise a plea of mixed question of fact andlaw for the first time before us. There must have been verygood reasons for the State not raising this extremecontention in the High Court. We should not be understoodto have expressed our opinion one way or the other on thisquestion.In the result the Appeals Nos. 150, 151 and 155 aredismissed with costs, (one hearing fee); but unfortunatelythe rest of the appeals cannot now be finally disposed of aswe have already indicated, the High Court did not give anyfindings on disputed questions of fact. We cannot butobserve that these766appeals belong to that class of cases where the High Courtshould have given definite findings on all the issues, forthat would have prevented the unnecessary prolongation ofthis litigation and would have also enabled us to dispose ofthese appeals finally and more satisfactorily. But in theevents that have happened we have no option but to set asidethe judgment of the High Court and remand the said appealsto it for disposal on the other questions of fact and lawraised therein. Costs of the said appeals will abide theresult of the proceedings in the High Court.Appeals Nos. 147 to 149, 152 to 154, 156 and 157 remanded.Appeals Nos. 150, 151 and 155 dismissed.

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Judgement Profile

Case Number Appeal (civil) 147 of 1962

Judgment Date 24-10-1962

Bench

CITED SECTIONS

  • Section.2 of of the Madras Estates Land Act 1 of 1908
  • Section.3 of of the Madras Estates Land Act 1 of 1908
  • Section.2 of if amounts torecognitionMadras Estates Land Act 1908
  • Section.3 of if amounts torecognitionMadras Estates Land Act 1908

CITED KEYWORDS