Vs. State of T.N  INSC 533 (17 December 1993)
R.M. (J) SAHAI, R.M. (J) ANAND, A.S. (J) CITATION:
1994 AIR 1062 1994 SCC (1) 643 JT 1993 Supl. 316 1993 SCALE (4)699
Judgment of the Court was delivered by R.M. SAHAI, J.- The short question that
arises for consideration in this appeal is if the land in dispute is 'minor inam'
as defined in sub-section (9) of Section 2 of the Tamil Nadu Minor Inams
(Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1963 (Act 30 of 1963) (hereinafter
referred to as 'Act 30 of 1963')or it is 'new inam estate' under Act 26 of
commenced on an application filed under Section 5 of Act 30of 1963 by the Devasthanam
landholder- respondent for declaration that the land in dispute of Title Deed
No. 837 situated in Village Annapettai + From the Judgment and Order dated June
16, 1980 of the Madras High Court in C.R.P. No. 2865 of 1978 644 was minor inam
as defined in Act 30 of 1963. The claim was contested both by the tenants-appellants
and the State Government. The application was allowed by the Settlement
Officer. It was found that even though the original grant had not been made
available by the respondents nor extracts from Inam Fair Register were filed,
yet there was material available on the record for arriving- at a decision
about the nature of the land. It was held that the original grant for Title
Deed Nos. 836, 838 and 839 were available. Since these grants established that
the land carved out of the village had been given to these institutions it was
clear that the grant in favour of the respondents was not of the whole village.
And the provisions of Section 3(2)(d) of Act 1 of 1908 were not attracted. It
was also held that land covered by Title Deed No. 837 did not form part of an
existing inam estate. The Settlement Officer further found that the land was
neither a part village inam estate nor a minor inam, as from Exhibits P-5 and
P-6 it was clear that even though suit lands were situated in a compact block
they did not conform with a homogenous area within the village as there was
mixture of other inam or ryotwari lands in its midst. In appeal the order was
upheld. The appellate authority found that neither party led any oral evidence
and the claim of the parties was to be decided on basis of certain documents
which had been filed by the respondents.
held that there was nothing to show that the land covered by four title deeds
formed part of the single grant originally and that the grant was subsequently
divided into four parts. Nor did it find any merit in the submission that
Exhibits P-2 and P-3 indicated that the grant was of a named village. The
appellate authority agreed with the Settlement Officer that the summary map,
Exhibit P-5 and Exhibit P-6 map indicated that the suit land was situated along
with other inam or ryotwari lands. In further revision to the High Court it was
held that the question about the nature of the lands was pre-eminently a
question of fact and the finding being based on the evidence on record was not
liable to interference. Even then it examined the submission advanced on behalf
of appellants that the land constituted 'new main estate' failing under Section
2(9) of Act 26 of 1963. The High Court found that a perusal of the three
grants, namely Title Deed Nos. 836, 838 and 839 indicated that it was made only
with reference to the acreage and cawnies and with reference to paimaish
numbers. The High Court agreed with the appellate authority and the Settlement
Officer that the evidence clearly established that the grant in favour of all
the three other institutions comprised lands which were interspersed with
fields which were not the subject-matter of the grant.
a clear inference arose that the rest and the residue of the lands of the
village should also have been in terms of acreage and cawnies and not as recognisable
part or as a factional share of the village as such. The High Court found that
this inference was strengthened by the survey maps as well as the original paimaish
register filed by the respondent. It did not find any merit in the submission
advanced on behalf of appellant founded on the final assessment list published
in the District Gazette for the inam lands in the Thiruthuraipoondi Taluk. The
reason for this was that the definition in Act 40 of 1956 clearly indicated
that 645 full assessment of inam lands covered not merely the whole village inams
or inam village failing within the definition of the expression estate' under
the Estates Land Act, but also any land the grant of which was made as an inam
and confirmed or recognised by the Government as such. The High Court found
that since the definition in Act 40 of 1956 covered both the whole inam estate
and minor inam estate, therefore, an order passed under Act 40 of 1956 levying
full assessment on inam land would cover not only inam estates but also minor inams.
Inam' under sub-section (9) of Section 2 of Act 30 of 1963 means, "(i) any
inam which is not- (a) ... ;
new inam estate as defined in clause (9) of Section 2 of the Inam Estates
Abolition Act; or (c)......
language of sub-section (9) clearly indicates that minor inam is something like
a residuary clause. In other words what is not inam as defined in various
sub-sections shall be deemed to be minor inam. Since it was claimed in the High
Court that the land in dispute was not minor inam only because it was a new inam
estate as defined in sub-section (9) of Section 2 of Act 30 of 1963 it is not
necessary to extract other sub-sections of this section. 'New Inam Estate'
under sub-section (9) of Section 2 of Act 26 of 1963 means a part village inam
estate or a Pudukkottai inam estate. What is meant by part village inam estate
is defined by sub-section (1 1) as under:
'Part village inam estate' means a part of a village .. the grant of which part
has been made, confirmed, or recognised by the Government notwithstanding that
subsequent to the grant, such part has been partitioned among the grantees or
the successors-in-title of the grantee or grantees.
I.- (a) Where the grant of a part of a village as an inam is expressed to be a
specified fraction of, or a specified number of shares in, a village, such part
shall be deemed to be a part village inam estate notwithstanding that such
grant refers also to the extent of such part in terms of acreage or cawnies, or
of other local equivalent.
a grant as an inam is expressed to be only in terms of acreage or cawnies, or
of other local equivalent, the area which forms the subject-matter of the grant
shall not be deemed to be a part village inam estate.
II.- A part of a village granted in inam shall be deemed to be a part village inam
estate notwithstanding that different parts of such part village were granted,
confirmed or recognised on different dates or by different title deeds or in favour
of different persons." 646 Clause (b) to the Explanation 1 explains the
meaning of 'part village inam estate'. It excludes all those grants which are
in terms of acreage of cawnies. It has been found by the High Court on
appreciation of evidence that the grant was in terms of acreage or cawnies.
Since this is a finding of fact which cannot be assailed and in fact has not
been assailed the land in, dispute could not be part village inam estate and
consequently could not be new inam estate within meaning of sub-section (9) of
Section 2 of Act 26 of 1963.
view of this it is not necessary to examine other aspects on which the High
Court decided in favour of the respondent.
appeal consequently fails and is dismissed. But there shall be no order as to