Rathod Bhimjibhai Masrubhai Rajput
& ANR Vs. The State of Bombay & Ors  INSC 148 (7 December 1959)
CITATION: 1960 AIR 438 1960 SCR (2) 393
Taluqdari Tenure-Abolition of-" Lal-liti
" lands-Liability for land revenue-Taluqdari lands--Taluqdari
Estate-Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879 (Bom. V of 1879), s. 136(1)-Gujrat
Taluqdars' Act, 1888 (Bom. VI of 1888), ss. 4, 5, 22, 31Bombay Taluqdari Tenure
Abolition Act, 1949 (Bom. LXII of 1949), ss.2(3), (4), 3, 5(1)(a),(b), 5(2)(a)
The appellants who were holders of certain
lands known as Lal-liti " lands were assessed to land revenue under the
provisions of the Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879, after the Bombay Taluqdari
Tenure Abolition Act, 3 1949, came into force. "Lal-liti " lands were
granted originally by Taluqdars in Gujrat to cadets, widows of the family and
relations for maintenance and to village servants and others, either in reward
for past services or as remuneration for services to be performed. Before the
establishment of British rule, Taluqdars had the position of semi-independent
chiefs, but subsequent to the establishment of British rule they became mere
owners of proprietary estates holding lands directly from Government, and in
respect of such estates the Gujrat Taluq dars' Act, 1888, was passed providing
for their revenue administration. The appellants claimed that these lands had
been enjoyed without payment of any " jama " since pre-British times
and that the exemption from payment of land revenue was not affected by the
Bombay Taluqdari Tenure Abolition Act, 1949. The High Court took the view that
the lands were liable to be assessed under s. 5 of that Act. It was contended
for the appellants, inter alia, that no liability for payment of land revenue
in respect of " Lal-liti " lands could arise under s. 5 of the Act,
because (1) the Taluqdar retained no interest in such lands after the grant
and, consequently, such lands were not taluqdari lands within the meaning of s.
2(3) of the Act, (2) clause (a) of S. 5(1) of the Act was merely declaratory,
394 while cl. (b) was the operative clause by which the only persons liable for
payment of land revenue were (i) a taluqdar holding any taluqdari land and (ii)
a cadet of a taluqdari family holding any taluqdari land for maintenance, and
(3) even assuming thatcl. (a) made taluqdari lands liable to the payment of
land revenue Code, a " Lal-liti " holder could not be made liable,
because he was not an occupant of unalienated land within the meaning of s.
136(1) of the Code.
Held:(1) that having regard to the history of
" Lalliti lands and the provisions of the Gujrat Taluqdar's Act, 1888,
such lands are lands which form part of a taluqdari estate, even though no
" jama " was actually paid to the taluqdar or to Government, and are,
therefore, taluqdari lands within the meaning of s. 2(3) of the Bombay
Taluqdari Abolition Act, 1949;
(2)that cl. (a) of S. 5(1) of the Bombay
Taluqdari Abolition Act was a general provision and applied the Bombay Land
Revenue Code to all taluqdari lands, while cl. (b) was a particular deeming
Provision with regard to the taluqdar and his cadet and (3)that whatever might
have been the position of a " Lalliti " holder earlier, on the
abolition of the Taluqdari tenure by the Bombay Taluqdari Abolition Act, he
became a holder in actual possession of land in respect of which the Government
had not transferred its rights to the payment of revenue, wholly or
partially,to the ownership of any person.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
No.327 of 1955.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated January 31,1955, of the Bombay High Court, in Special Civil
Application No. 1100 of 1954.
V. M. Limaye, S. N. Andley, J. B. Dadachanji and
Rameshwar Nath, for the appellants.
N. P. Nathwani, K. L. Hathi and R. H. Dhebar,
for the respondent.
1959.December 7. The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by S. E. Das J. S. K. DAS J.-This is an appeal by special leave
from a decision of the High Court of Bombay, dated January 31, 1955, by which
it dismissed with costs a writ application (No. 1100 of 1954) made by the
petitioners therein, who are now appellants before us. It raises for
consideration and decision a land revenue 395 problem of some complexity, which
resulted from the enactment of the Bombay Taluqdari Tenure Abolition Act, 1949,
(Bombay Act LXII of 1949), hereinafter referred to as the Abolition Act. The
problem is if the appellants, holders of certain lands known as "Lalliti
" lands, are liable to the State Government concerned for payment of land
revenue under the provisions of the Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879 (Bombay Act
V of 1879), hereinafter referred to as the Revenue Code' after the enforcement
of the provisions of the Abolition Act.
The problem has to be considered in the
light. of certain incidents of taluqdari tenures in the Ahmedabad district of
Gujrat, with special reference to the changes through which those tenures had
gone in the past by legislation or otherwise. For the purposes of this appeal
it is not necessary to give a full history of taluqdari estates in Gujrat; but
it is necessary to explain what is meant by " Lal-liti lands. We get from
such books as Baden-Powell's Land-systems of British India " and Dandekar's
" The law of Land Tenure in the Bombay Presidency ", from both of
which learned counsel for the parties have extensively quoted before us, a
short history of the Taluqdars of Gujrat and of their estates. Shortly stated,
the history is this:
Taluqdars of Gujrat (they were not known as
Taluqdars then, because the name was given much later) originally occupied the
position of Chiefs or Rulers. This was before the Mahomedan rule in Gujrat.
When the Mahomedans invaded Gujrat, they found the country partitioned out into
estates of large or small Chiefs, whom they forcibly deprived of all but
one-fourth of their possess ions, and the portion thus left took the name of
'wanta' (divided). Some 'wantas' were free of payment of pent or revenue; other
'wanta' estates paid a tribute in the shape of an " udhad jama "
(fixed sum). After the Moguls came the Marathas. The accession and domination
of the Marathas made no substantial difference to the position of these
semi-independent chiefs, except that the annual payments varied under the
Maratha rule. Then came the British, who for sometime continued 396 to realise
annual payments according to past years;
but very soon a significant change took place
and the nature of the payment was altered, and instead of tribute, the Government
assumed it to be rent or revenue.
The rent or revenue was also increased by
about 50 per cent.
and the result was that the holders of these
lands fell into pecuniary embarrassment and became impoverished and needy. A
system of annual leases was then introduced: this remedy, however, proved worse
than the disease, and it was sought to improve the'position of the Taluqdars by
legislation it is not necessary for our purpose to refer to the details of that
legislation till we come to the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888 (Bombay Act VI of
f888), -which was a landmark in the history of Taluqdari tenures. We shall have
occasion later to refer to some of the provisions of this Act. It is sufficient
to state here that by the time the aforesaid Act was passed the Taluqdars of
certain districts of Gujrat including Ahmedabad had really become mere owners
of proprietary estates, who held lands directly from Government,and the Act
provided, inter alia, for the revenue administration of their estates. Under
the provisions of the Act, the Settlement Registers were prepared for each
village, which served the purpose of the Record of Rights in those estates. In
these estates, large areas of lands were granted presumably by the Taluqdars to
cadets, widows of the family, and relations for maintenance, and to village
servants and others, either in reward for past services or as remuneration for
services to be performed. The holders of these transferred lands paid no
revenue either to the Taluqdar or to Government generally. These grants fell
into three categories: (i) those made prior to British rule ;
(ii) those made between 1818 and 1888, that
is, after the introduction of British rule and before the passing of the Gujrat
Taluqdars' Act, 1888 ; and (iii) those made after 1888. The lands thus
transferred were called " Lal-liti " lands because they were recorded
inred ink in the old 'faisal patrakas' and in the Settlement Registers also,
they were recorded in red ink but were shown as subject to " jama (land
revenue) 397 liabilities of varying character. The pre-British transfers were
recognised by Mr. Peile (later Sir James Peile) who was the Taluqdari
Settlement Officer 1866, and the holders of these lands generally paid no
" jama ". The 1818-1888 transfers were those which were not so
recognised by prescription, and when these lands reverted to the Taluqdar, they
became his ordinary lands liable to payment of full." jama ". The
post Act grants were covered by s. 31 of the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888 (see
in this connection " The Land Problems of Re-organised Bombay State by Dr.
G. D. Patel, pp. 174-175).
Such, in brief, is the history of Taluqdari
estates and " Lal-liti " lands, so far as that history has a bearing
on the problem before us. It is necessary now to state the facts which have
given rise to the present appeal. In their writ petition to the High Court, the
appellants said that they were holders of " Lal-liti " lands in
villages Kharad and Rajka of the Dhanduka taluq of Ahmedabad district and were
enjoying the lands without payment of any " jama " (land revenue)
since the pre-British rule, though the circumstances in which their
predecessors originally got the lands are lost in antiquity. They said inter
alia that the exemption from payment of land revenue which they had all along
enjoyed was not affected by the Abolition Act or by any later legislation like
the Bombay Personal Inams Abolition Act, 1952 (Bombay Act LXII of 1953), and
that the demand for payment of land revenue made by the State Government of
Bombay for 1950-1953 was not authorised by law. In the alternative, they also
said that they were not liable to any assessment of land revenue till August,
Accordingly, they prayed for appropriate
writs (a) quashing the demands for payment of land revenue and (b) directing
the State of Bombay, the Collector of Ahmedabad and the Revenue Officer of
Dhanduka (who are now respondents before us), to forbear from taking any steps
to enforce payment of land revenue for the " Lal-liti " lands held by
them. A number of similar applications, presumably filed by other holders of
"Lal-liti" lands, were also pending in the High Court, 51 398 So far
as we can gather from the record before us, there were three sets of such
applications. The High court delivered its leading judgment on writ application
No. 1098 of 1954 and the application of the appellants herein (No. 1100 of
1954) was dismissed with costs on the grounds given in the leading judgment.
The High Court held in effect that the holders of " Lal-liti " lands
were liable to payment of land revenue under s. 5 of the Abolition Act, read
with the provisions of the Revenue Code, and the objections raised thereto, on
their behalf were not legally valid. Having been unsuccessful in their
application for a certificate under Article 133(1)(c) of the Constitution, the
appellants applied for and obtained special leave from this Court on June 29,
1955. They then preferred the present appeal.
Learned counsel for the appellants has
challenged the correctness of the decision of the High Court on various
grounds. It will be convenient to take these one by one.
The first point urged is that the relevant
provisions of the Abolition Act do not apply to " Lal-liti " lands,
which are not " taluqdari lands " within the meaning of the Abolition
Act, and, therefore, no liability for payment of land revenue in respect of
" Lal-liti " lands can arise under s. 5 thereof. At this stage, we
must read the relevant provisions of the Abolition Act. The expressions "
Taluqdari land " and " Taluqdari tenure " are defined in s. 2,
clauses (3) and (4):
Section 2 :...............................
" (1 )..........................
(3) ' Taluqdari land' means land forming part
of a taluqdari estate and includes land forming part of such estate and held by
a cadet of a taluqdar's family for the purpose of maintenance;
(4) ' Taluqdari tenure' means land tenure on
which the taluqdari land is held Section 3 states:
" With effect from the date on which
this Act comes into force 399 (i)the taluqdari tenure shall wherever it
prevails be deemed to have been abolished;
(ii)save as expressly provided by or under
the provisions of this Act, all the incidents of the said tenure attaching to
any land comprised in a taluqidari estate shall be deemed to have been
extinguished " Section 5, which is of great importance for the purpose of
this appeal, read as follows before it was amended in 1953.
Section 5 (1) " Subject to the
provisions of subsection (2), (a)all taluqdari lands are and shall be liable to
the payment of land revenue in accordance with the provisions of the Code and
the rules made thereunder, and (b)a taluqdar holding any taluqdari land or a
cadet of a taluqdari family any taluqdari land hereditarily for the purpose of
maintenance immediately before the coming into force of this Act, shall be
deemed to be an occupant within the meaning of the Code or any other law for
the time being in force.
(2)Nothing in sub-section (1) shall be deemed
to affect(a)the right of any person to hold any taluqdari land wholly or
partially exempt from payment of land revenue under special contract or any law
for the time being in force;
(b)the right of any person to pay Jama under
any agreement or settlement recognised under section 23 or under a declaration
made under section 22 of the Taluqdars' Act so long as such agreement,
settlement or declaration remains in force under the provisions of this
Act." Now, the argument on behalf of the appellants has proceeded on the
following lines; learned counsel for them has submitted that the expression
" Taluqdari land " is defined as land forming part of a taluqdari
estate; but the expression " taluqdari estate" is not defined, though
the expression " Taluqdari tenure " is defined; therefore, taluqdari
estate can only mean, 400 such land or estate in which the taluqdar has some
subsisting interest; but in " Lal-liti " lands, at least of the
taluqdar retains no interest after the grant, and, therefore, " Lal-liti
" land is not taluqdari land within the meaning of s. 5 of the Abolition
Act. We have now to consider the soundness of this line of argument.
In the High Court as also before us an
attempt was made on behalf of the respondents to establish that the taluqdar
retained a reversionary right to " Lalliti " lands in case the holder
died without any heir. The High Court said rightly in our opinion, that on the
materials placed before it, it could not be said that the respondents had
established that position. The High Court then considered the meaning of the
expression ' taluqdari estate' and said that it was used in a descriptive sense
and was not equivalent to the expression 'Taluqdar'sestate'. Said the High
" Therefore, the expression "
Taluqdari estate " is a comprehensive expression including all lands which
at one time belonged to the Taluqdar. In the eye of the law, although the lands
might have been alienated by the Taluqdar, they still form part of the estate.
Therefore, the expression is more an expression indicating a particular tenure
rather than a particular interest enjoyed by the Taluqdar .
............... Therefore, if the lands, the
subject matter of the petition did at any time belong to the Taluqdar which he
subsequently alienated, they would be covered by the definition in the Act of
1949, notwithstanding the fact that when the Act was passed the Taluqdar had no
interst in those lands." We are in agreement with the view thus expressed
by the High Court. Having regard to the history of the gig Lal-liti "
lands to which we have earlier adverted and the provisions of the Gujrat
Taluqdars' Act, 1888, it is manifestly clear that " Lal-liti " lands
are lands which form part of a taluqdari estate, even though no ' jama' was
actually paid for such lands to the taluqdar or to Government. It is necessary
to refer here 401 to ss. 4, 5 and 22 of the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888.
Section 4 empowers the Government to direct a
revenue survey of any Taluqdari estate; section 5 lays down what particulars
the Settlement Registers prepared by the Survey Officer in respect of a taluqdari
estate shall contain. One of such particulars is " the name and
description and the nature and extent of interest of every alienee and of every
incumbrancer of the estate or any portion thereof together with a specification
of (i) the aggregate area over which such interest extends; (ii) the amount and
nature of rent or land revenue, if any, payable or receivable by such alienee
and incumbrancer, etc.". It is not disputed before us, and the High Court
has referred to it, that in the Settlement Registers prepared in respect of the
two villages in question under s. 5 of the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888, the
interest of the appellants in the " Lal-liti " lands held by them was
shown as comprised within the Dhanduka Taluqdari estate. This clearly showed
that these " Lal-liti " lands formed part of a taluqdari estate,
apart altogether from the question what interest, if any, the taluqdar retained
in them after the alienation. Section 22 of the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888,
also points the same way. It lays down how the " jama " of a
taluqdar's estate is to be calculated: it says that the aggregate of the survey
assessments of the lands composing such estate, minus such deduction, if any,
as the Government shall in each case direct, shall be the " jama ".
Along with their petition, the appellants filed an annexure marked A":
that annexure, besides showing the lands of the appellants within a taluqdari
estate, also showed the "Jama " payable for each plot of land. This
again showed that whether the "jama " be actually paid or not, the
" Lal-liti " lands held by the appellants formed part of a taluqdari
estate. We accordingly hold that learned counsel for the appellants is not
right in his contention that " Lal-liti " lands are not part of a taluqdari
estate and, therefore, are not 'taluqdari lands' within the meaning of the
Learned counsel for the appellants referred
us to certain decisions of the Bombay High Court as to the 402 meaning of the
expression " Taluqdar's estate " in s. 31 of the Gujrat Taluqdars'
Act, 1888, and contended that it meant an estate held by the Taluqdar as a
Taluqdar and on the same analogy, he urged that land forming part of a
taluqdari estate must also mean land in which the taluqdar has some interest as
a taluqdar (Khoda Bhai v. Chaganlal (1), Bichesbha Mansangji v. Vela Dhanji
Patel (2) and Taluqdari Settlement Officer v. Chhagan Lal Dwarkadas (3) ).
We do not think that those decisions are of
any help to the appellants for the simple reason that the analogy does not
apply; we are concerned here not with the meaning of the expression "
taluqdar's estate " occurring in s. 31 of the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888,
but with the meaning of a different expression, viz. " taluqdari estate
" in s. 2(3) of the Abolition Act. Moreover, in some of the decisions
relied on by the learned counsel, it was recognised that there was a
distinction between taluqdar's estate' and 'taluqdari estate.
We were also addressed at some length on the
effect of the relinquishment of his land by the taluqdar in favour of the
Collector (Nathuram Hiraram Thakur v. The Secretary of State for India(4)) or
the effect of an attachment of the village under s. 144 of the Revenue Code on
failure of the taluqdar to pay the assessment (Tulla Sobharam Pandya v. The Collector
of Kaira (5)). We do not think that it is necessary in the present case to
consider those questions.
We now go to the second point urged on behalf
of the appellants. This point was not urged before, nor considered by, the High
Court in the writ application in which it gave its leading judgment. The
appellants wished to urge the point in the High Court on their own application,
but were told that if the decision of the High Court in Writ Application No.
1098 of 1954 was wrong, it could be corrected only by this Court. The argument
on this point is based on s. 5(1) of the Abolition Act, which we have quoted
earlier, and is in two parts: firstly, it is contended that if clauses (a) (1)
(1907) 9 Bom. L.R. 1122.
(2) (1909) 11 Bom. L.R. 736.
(3) (191O) 12 Bom. L.R. 903.
(4) (1929) 32 Bom. L.R. 907.
(5) (1918) 20 Bom. L.R. 748.
403 and (b) of sub-section (1) of s. 5 are
read together, the only reasonable conclusion is that clause (a) is merely
declaratory and clause (b) is the operative clause and according to that
operative clause, the persons who become liable for payment of land revenue are
only two in number, namely, (1) a taluqdar holding any taluqdari land and (2) a
cadet of a taluqdari family holding any taluqdari land with hereditary rights
for the purpose of maintenance immediately before the coming into force of the
Abolition Act, and, therefore, the holder of " Lal-liti " lands,
assuming them to be taluqdari lands, has no liability under s. 5(1);
secondly, it is contended that even if
clauses (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of s. 5 are read distributively the
holder of Lal-liti " lands has still no liability, because cl. (a) makes
taluqdari lands liable to the payment of land revenue in accordance with the
provisions of the Revenue Code and there is no provision in that Code under
which a " Lal-liti " holder can be made liable to the payment of land
We take the first part of the argument first.
How should we read clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (1) of s. 5 of the
Abolition Act ? Learned counsel for the appellants states that if clause (a) is
also read as a clause which operates to charge all taluqdari lands with
liability for payment of land revenue, then clause (b) becomes a wholly
unnecessary surplusage. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents
points out that if the intention was to fasten liability on two categories of
persons only, taluqdars and cadets, then clause (a) was really unnecessary. We
think that both the clauses have a meaning and purpose. Clause (a) makes all
taluqdari lands liable to the payment of land revenue in accordance with the
provisions of the Revenue Code. Section 3 of the Abolition Act abolishes
taluqdari tenure and extinguishes all its incidents. If there was only
abolition of taluqdari tenures without anything more, there would have been a
void. Obviously enough, it was necessary to say what would happen to taluqdari
lands after abolition of the taluqdari tenure. Therefore, clause (a) states
that all taluqdari lands shall be liable, 404 to the payment of land revenue in
accordance with the provisions of the Revenue Code. What then is the meaning of
clause (b)? It is a deeming provision by which the taluqdar and his cadet shall
be deemed to be an occupant within the meaning of the Revenue Code; and I
occupant' under the Revenue Code means a holder in actual possession of
unalienated land'.The word 'alienated' has also a special meaning in the
Revenue Code; it means I transferred in so far as the rights of Government to
payment of rent or land revenue are concerned, wholly or partially, to the
ownership of any person'. Clause (b) merely clarifies the position of the
taluqdar and his cadet under the Abolition Act; it does not in any way derogate
from clause (a); nor does it cut down the width of amplitude of clause (a). We
are of the view that clauses (a) and (b) should be read together, but not in
the sense suggested by the learned counsel for the appellants. Clause (b)
clarifies the position as respects two categories of persons; but that does not
mean that if a third category of persons properly come under clause (a), they
will not be liable to payment of land revenue on a specious and unwarranted
assumption that clause (b) as the operating clause cuts down the amplitude of
clause (a). The true view is that clause (a) is a general provision and applies
the Revenue Code to all taluqdari lands, while clause (b) is a particular
deeming provision with regard to the taluqdar and his cadet.
Now, as to the second part of the argument.
It is necessary to read here s. 136(1) of the Revenue Code:
" Section 136 (1): In the case of
unalienated land the occupant, and in the case of alienated land or taluqdari
land, the superior holder, shall be primarily liable to the State Government
for the payment of the land revenue,, including all arrears of land revenue,
due in respect of the land. Joint occupants and joint holders who are primarily
liable under this section shall be jointly and severally liable." The
question is if the holder of " Lal-liti " lands is, after the
Abolition Act, an occupant of unalienated 405 land within the meaning of s.
136; if he is, then he is liable to the payment of land revenue under s.
5(1)(a) of the Abolition Act read with s. 136 of the Revenue Code. In dealing
with this question, which has caused us some anxiety, we must remember the
meaning of the expressions ' occupant' and 'alienated' used in the Revenue
Code. The argument on behalf of the appellants is that a " Lal-liti "
holder is not an occupant of unalienated land; the respondents contend that he
is, after the enforcement of the Abolition Act. On a careful consideration of
the question we have come to the conclusion that the contention of the
respondents is correct.
In respect of " Lal-liti " lands,
Government made no ,separate settlement with the holder of such lands; the
settlement was made with the taluqdar, within which settlement " Lal-liti
" lands were included. The right of Government to payment of land revenue
was never transferred to the holder of " Lal-liti " lands though it
is true that some of the taluqdars got a deduction under s. 22 of the Gujrat
Taluqdars' Act, 1888, for the " Lal-liti " lands. We have been
addressed at some length as to what was the position of taluqdars and "
Lal-liti " holders previous to the Abolition Act. On behalf of the
respondents it has been submitted that one characteristic of the taluqdari
tenure was that the taluqdari estate was neither alienated nor unalienated
within the meaning of the Revenue Code; because the taluqdars were not grantees
of the British but enjoyed proprietary rights in their estates even before the
advent of British rule. As to " Lal-liti " lands, they were not
generally taken into account at the time of calculating the " jama "
payable by the taluqdars to Government; and as a result, they were not covered
by the Settlement guarantee operating in favour of the taluqdar. Therefore, so
the argument on behalf of the respondents has proceeded, holders of
"Lal-liti" lands became liable to payment of full assessment on the
footing that they became occupants 52 406 of unalienated land, with effect from
the date on which the Abolition Act came into force. Learned counsel for the
respondents has also drawn our attention to the list of amendments in the
Revenue Code made by Schedule 1 of the Abolition Act in support of his
contention that the taluqdars and all taluqdari lands have been brought into
the scheme of the Revenue Code by the necessary amendments of s. 136 and other
sections of the Revenue Code.
The narrow question before us is, as we have
stated earlier, whether a " Lal-liti " holder is an 'occupant' of
"unalienated land' within the meaning of the Revenue Code.
We are of the view that whatever may have
been his position earlier, on the abolition of the taluqdari tenure by the
Abolition Act he became a holder in actual possession of land in respect of
which the Government had not transferred its rights to the payment of revenue,
wholly or partially to the ownership of any person.
Therefore, the second point urged on behalf
of the appellants fails in both parts.
We need notice very briefly three other
points urged on behalf of the appellants; because we are in such complete
agreement with the High Court with regard to them, that it is unnecessary to
re-state in detail the reasons which the High Court has already given.
(1) As to the saving clause (c) of s. 17 of
the Abolition Act, the High Court has rightly pointed out that it is the usual
saving clause which says in effect that the repeal of the Gujrat ' Taluqdars'
Act, 1888, shall not be deemed to effect any declaration made or any agreement
or settlement recognised etc. under the provisions of the repealed Act.
The aforesaid saving clause affords, no
protection against the liability imposed by s. 5 of the Abolition Act.
(2) Learned counsel also relied on s. 5(2)(a)
of the Abolition Act, before its repeal by the Bombay Personal Inams Abolition
Act, 1952 (Bombay Act 42 of 1953), and based his alternative claim thereon.
Here again, the High Court rightly pointed out that there was no special
contract in favour of the appellants as to exemption from payment of land
revenue 407 nor was there any law for the time being in force (after the
Abolition Act) which granted the holder of " Lal -liti" lands
exemption, wholly or partially, from payment of land revenue; therefore, the
appellants were entitled to no protection under s. 5(2)(a) of the Abolition Act
till August 1, 1953.
(3) Lastly, it was submitted that there was a
settlement for thirty years with the taluqdari estate in question in 1925-26
and in the absence of any fresh settlement under the provisions of the Revenue
Code, a "Lal-liti" holder was not liable to pay land revenue within
that period. This point is completely answered by s. 4 of the Abolition Act
which in terms says that all revenue surveys or revised revenue surveys of
taluqdari estates under s. 4 of the Gujrat Taluqdars' Act, 1888, and all
settlement made shall be deemed to have been made under Chapters VIII and VIIIA
of the Revenue Code and the settlement registers and other records prepared at
such surveys shall be deemed to have been prepared under the corresponding
provisions of the Revenue Code. We know that the "Lal-liti" lands of
this case were shown in the Settlement Registers prepared under the Gujrat
Taluqdars' Act, 1888. In view of the provisions of s. 4 of the Abolition Act,
no fresh settlement was necessary.
For the reasons given above, we hold that the
appellants have failed to show that the decision of the High Court is wrong.
The appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.