Sikander Jehan Begum & ANR Vs.
Andhra Pradesh State Government  INSC 360 (20 December 1961)
SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.(CJ) WANCHOO, K.N.
CITATION: 1962 AIR 996 1962 SCR Supl. (2) 226
Succession-Jagir-Enactment providing for
finality of order-Denial of jurisdiction to civil court-Constitutional
validity-Hyderabad Atiyat Enquiries Act, 1952 (10 of 1952) s. 13(2)-
Constitution of India, Arts. 14, 19(1)(f).
This writ petition on also the appeal raised
the common question as to the constitutional validity of s. 13(2) of the
Hyderabad Atiyat Enquiries Act, 1952. The petitioners who were also the
appellants claimed succession to the properties, including Atiyat jagirs of
their brother, a Nawab of Hydrabad, who died in 1944. By a Firman of the Nizam
his estate was taken over by the Government into its supervision till his
successors could be declared. In 1948, after the Police action had taken place,
the Nizam on the advice of the Military Governor issued a Firman appointing a
tribunal to enquire into the question of succession. The Tribunal reported
naming the successors, but the petitioners were not amongst them. Thereafter
the Nizam delegated all his authority to the Military Governor and in due
course the Chief Minister took the place of the Military Governor and in 1950
the Constitution came into force. The Chief Minister confirmed the report of
the Tribunal on April 3, 1950. Two of the widows of the Nawab challenged the
validity of the Chief Minister's order by a writ petition in the High Court but
to no effect. In the meantime the impugned Act had come into force on March 14
1952 and s. 13(2) provided as follows,- (2) The orders passed in cases relating
to Atiyat Grants including Jagirs on or after the 19th September, 1948 and
before the commencement of this Act by the Military Governor, the Chief Civil
Administrator or the Chief Minister of Hyderabad or by the Revenue Minister by
virtue of powers given or purporting to be given to him by the Chief Minister
shall be deemed to be the final orders validly passed by a competent authority
under the law in force at the time when the order was passed and shall not be
questioned in any court of law." The petitioners moved this court under
32 of the Constitution and also preferred an
appeal by special leave 227 against the order of the High Court. Reliance was
placed on the decision of this Court in Ammeerunnissa Begum v. Mahboob Begum,
 S. C. R. 404, and it was urged on their behalf that the impugned
provision denied the petitioners the right to convass questions relating to
succession in a civil court and thus infringed Art. 14 of the Constitution.
^ Held, that the contention must be
The object of the Legislature in enacting the
impugned provision clearly was to validate orders passed between the
commencement of the Police action and the date when the Act came into force and
forbid their reopening either before the Atiyat courts or the Civil courts.
During that period historical events took place in the State of Hyderabad and
if the Legislature treated the orders passed during that period as constituting
a class by themselves; no objection could be taken under Art. 14 of the
Constitution on the ground of discrimination, and the decision relied on could
Further, s. 13(2) did not validate merely the
orders passed in the present case, but validated all orders passed during that
specified period and applied only to Atiyat Jagir property to which the
personal law of the parties could have no application.
There could be no doubt that in Hyderabad a
Jagir was not heritable on the death of the jagirdar and in theory its
devolution was always a case of resumption and re-grant by the Government and
consequently, no person claiming succession to a jagir had the right to sue in
a civil court and whoever got the estate as a result of the decision of the
Chief Minister got it by way of re-grant made by the state.
Ammerrunnissa Begum v. Mahboob, Begum-(1953)
S. C. R. 404. distinguished and held inapplicable.
Regard being had to the special character of
the property in question it could not also be said that the impugned provision
19(1)(f) of the Constitution.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal
No. 279 of 1960.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated the June 30, 1952, of the former Hyderabad High Court in Writ
Application No. 13 of 1950.
PETITION NO. 197 of 1956.
228 Petition under Art. 32 of the Constitution
of India for enforcement of fundamental rights.
M. C. Setalvad, Attorney-General of India, J.
B. Dadachanji, S. N. Andley, Rameshwar Nath
and P. L. Vohra for the appellants and petitioners.
A. V. Viswanatha Sastri, T. V. R. Tatachari
and T. M. Sen, for respondents Nos. 1 to 4.
Daniel A. Latifi and Sardar Babadur, for
respondents Nos. 8 to 13 (in the appeal) and 6 to 11 (in the petition).
1961. December. 20-The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by GAJENDRAGADKAR, J.-Writ Petition No. 197 of 1956 and Civil
Appeal by Special Leave No. 279 of 1960 arise between the same parties and they
raise a short question about the validity of section 13, sub-section 2 of the
Hyderabad Atiyat Enquiries Act, 1952 (No. X of 1952) (hereinafter called the Act).
The decision of this question lies within a narrow compass but the facts
leading up to the Civil Appeal and the Writ Petition are somewhat complicated
and they must be stated at the outset in order that the background of the
dispute may be properly appreciated.
Sikander Jehan Begum and Khurshid Jehan
Teleyawar Begum are the petitioners in the Writ Petition and the appellants in
the Civil Appeal they are the legitimate sisters of Nawab Kamal Yar Jung who
died on January 26, 1944. According to the petition, the said Nawab left behind
him three legitimate wives and two legitimate sisters but no legitimate
children. He had, however, a number of Khawases (concubines) and three
illegitimate sons and an illegitimate daughter. These are respondents Nos. 6-9
in the Writ Petition. The said illegitimate children were the issues of
respondent Nos. 10 & 11 who were the concubines of the Nawab. Respondent
Nos. 6-11, however, claimed 229 to be the legitimate heirs of the said Nawab
because according to them, respondent Nos. 10 & 11 were the legitimate
wives of the Nawab. A dispute as to succession to the estate of the said Nawab
has given rise to the present controversy.
The said Nawab belonged to a leading family
of Nobles in the Hyderabad State and was possessed of large Jagir and non-Jagir
properties. Soon after his death, the Nizam appointed a Commission of Enquiry
to hold a regular enquiry into the Virasat of the late Nawab Kamal Yar Jung on
February 8, 1944. By the Firman issued by the Nizam in that behalf a direction
was given that the Government should take the estate of the late Nawab under
its supervision so that after the declaration of the successor, arrangements
may be made about its delivery to the proper person. It appears that the
Government accordingly took possession of the properties of the Nawab and
continued in possession thereafter.
On September 17, 1948, Police action
commenced and it ended on the 26th September on which date the Military
Governor took charge of the administration of the Hyderabad State. On November
9, 1948, the Commission of Enquiry which had been appointed by the Nizam made
The report showed that according to the
Commission, Husain Khan, Tahawar Husain Khan, Sadiq Husain, Khatija Begum were
the legitimate and lawful sons and daughter of the late Nawab, with the result
that except for Riyasatunnisa Begum, Lal Bee and Azizunnisa Begum who were the
wives of the late Nawab, none else could be held entitled to succeed to his
estate. It appears that the report thus submitted by the Enquiry Commission did
not receive the sanction or approval of the Nizam.
Subsequently, on November 22, 1948, the Nizam
issued a Firman whereby a new special Tribunal 230 was constituted according to
the opinion of the Military Governor and it was asked to hear the Virasat
enquiry of the late Nawab. The Tribunal was given authority to record fresh
evidence, if necessary. This Tribunal made its report on April 3, 1949. The
majority of this Tribunal took the view that the three widows of the late Nawab
were his legitimate wives and ought to get together As.-/12/- share. They also
expressed the opinion that Sheerin Bua and Parichehra Bua were the Mutha wives
and their sons Syed Mohd., Hussain Khan Syed Tahawar Hussain Khan and Syed
Sadiq Hussain Khan were the legitimate sons of the late Nawab and so they
should all together get As.-/12/- share. The remaining As.-/2/- share should go
to Khedja Begum who, in the opinion of the majority, was the legitimate
daughter of the late Nawab.
It appears that after the Military Governor
was put in charge of the administration of the State of Hyderabad, the Nizam
issued a Firman on September 19, 1948, delegating to the Military Governor all
the authority for the administration of the State. Subsequently, by another Firman
he made it clear that the authority delegated to the Military Governor included
and shall always be deemed to have included authority to make Regulations. This
latter Firman was issued on August 7, 1949. In due course, the Chief Minister
took the place of the Military Governor and the Nizam issued a Firman on
December 1, 1949, whereby all the powers of administration delegated by him to
the Military Governor were as from the date of the notification terminated and
the said powers were delegated to the Chief Minister. That is how the Chief
Minister was vested with all the powers of administration which the Nizam
When the Military Governor was in charge of
the administration of Hyderabad State, he exercised his delegated powers of
legislation and 231 promulgated several Regulations. One of these was the
Hyderabad ( Abolition of Jagirs ) Regulation, 1358 F. This Regulation came into
force on August 15, 1949. Broadly stated, the effect of this Regulation was
that all Jagir lands were incorporated into State lands as from the appointed
day and their administration stood transferred to the Jagir Administrator who
was to be appointed by the Government. The Regulation made necessary provisions
for making cash payments out of the net income of the Jagirs to the Jagirdar or
Hissedars or maintenance holders. This arrangement was intended to serve as an
interim arrangement pending the final disposal of the question about the
commutation to be paid for the Jagirs. This Regulation was followed a few months
later by the Hyderabad Jagirs (Commutation) Regulation, 1359 F which came into
force on January 25, 1950. By this Regulation, provision was made for the
payment of compensation by way of the commuted value of the Jagir which had to
be determined by the Jagir Administrator in accordance with the relevant
provisions of the Regulation.
On January 26, 1950, the Constitution came
into force and on April 3, 1950, the report submitted by the second Commission
was confirmed by the Chief Minister. As a result of this confirmation, the
shares of three sons and daughter as well as the three widows of the late Nawab
were declared. Each son was recognised to be entitled to As. -/4/- share, the
daughter to As. - /2/- share and the three widows between them to As. -/2/- share.
It was also declared that Sheereen Bua, Parichehra Bua as the Mamtua wives of
the late Nawab were entitled to Guzara (maintenance) only. In substance, it is
the order thus passed by the Chief Minister which has given rise to the present
litigation between the parties.
The widows of the late Nawab-Ahmedunnisa
Begum and Azizunnisa Begum-challenged the 232 validity of the Government
decision recorded in the confirmatory order passed by the Chief Minister by a
Writ Petition before the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad on June 20,
1950. It was urged by them that the impugned decision of the Government was
ultra vires and null and void and they claimed a writ of Certiorari quashing
the said decision. As a consequential relief, they claimed appropriate orders
against the parties who were held entitled to shares in the property of the
late Nawab. The Writ Petition was first heard by a Division Bench of the
Hyderabad High Court.
The Bench found that the petition raised
several questions of constitutional importance and so on August 24, 1950, it
referred the petition for disposal before a Full Bench. Accordingly, a Full
Bench consisting of three Learned Judges of the High Court heard it on March
20, 1951. They held that the questions raised were of such a vital importance
that it would be appropriate that a larger Full Bench should deal with them.
That is how the questions formulated were referred to a larger Full Bench of
five learned Judges of the High Court. After these questions were answered by
the larger Full Bench, the matter was remitted to a Full Bench of three learned
Judges and in accordance with the answers given, the Writ Petition was finally
dismissed on June 30, 1952.
Meanwhile, on March 14, 1952, the Act had
come into force.
The two widows of the late Nawab then applied
for and obtained a certificate from the High Court to prefer an appeal to this
Court. On December 27, 1955, however, the said widows purported to compromise
their dispute with the opponents and expressed a desire not to prosecute the
appal before the Supreme Court any further. When the petitioners Sikander Jehan
Begum and Khurshid Jehan Begum came to know about these developments, they
immediately sent an application to this Court praying that their names should
be 233 transposed as appellants in the appeal pending before this Court, at the
instance of the said two widows; in this application, they undertook to deposit
the necessary security for costs as well as the printing charges. This
application was, however, returned to the petitioners on the ground that it did
not lie to this Court as the record had not been formally transmitted to it.
Thereupon, the petitioners made a similar
application before the High Court and the widows applied for permission to
withdraw their appeal.
Both the applications came on for hearing
before the High Court on August 16, 1955. The High Court rejected the
petitioners' application for transposition and allowed the widows' application
granting them leave to withdraw their appeal. On August 8, 1955, the
petitioners had made an independent application to the High Court for leave to
appeal to the Supreme Court against its judgment in the Writ Petition. This
application was dismissed by the High Court on March 20, 1956.
Petitioners then applied for special leave
and special leave was granted to them. That is how Civil Appeal No. 279 of 1960
has come to this Court by special leave. Long before this appeal came here, the
petitioners had filed a writ petition No. 197 of 1956. That in brief is the
background of the dispute between the parties before us. It is common ground
that our decision in the Writ Petition will govern the decision in the Civil
Appeal. Indeed, as we have already indicated both the proceedings raise the
same point of law.
Before dealing with the said question,
however, it is necessary to examine briefly the broad features of the Act. The
Act was passed to amend and consolidate the law regarding Atiyat grants in
respect of Atiyat enquiries, enquiries as to claims to succession to, or any right,
title or interest in Atiyat grants and matters ancillary thereto. As s. 15 of
the Act shows, it repealed all previous circulars 234 relating to this matter
except as provided by cls. (a) and (b) of the said section. Sections 3 to 7
contain general provisions as to Atiyat grants.
Under section 3, all Atiyat grants held
immediately before the commencement of the Act shall continue to be held by the
holders thereof and by their successors, subject to the conditions therein
specified. Section 4 deals with the inquiries as to Atiyat grants in Jagirs.
Section 5 prescribes the consequences of the breach of conditions of Muntakhab
or Vasiqa. By s. 6 alienations of the Atiyat grants are prohibited and
exemption from attachment by a Court is granted in respect from them. This
latter provision is, however, subject to the proviso that half the income of
the Atiyat grant shall be attachable in execution of a decree through the
Revenue Department. Section 7 provides that succession to Atiyat grants shall
in future be regulated by the personal law applicable to the last holder.
Sections 8 to 11 deal with the constitution of Atiyat Courts their jurisdiction
and procedure. Section 8 provides for hierarchy of four categories of Courts on
whom powers could be conferred by Government by means of a notification issued
under s. 9. Section 10 provides that the jurisdiction and procedure of the
Atiyat Courts shall be regulated in the manner specified in the schedule and it
adds that the time within which and the manner in which appeals may be filed
against the decisions of the said Courts shall be such as may be prescribed.
Section 11 deals with appeals. As a result of the provisions of s. 11, the
decision of the Board of Revenue shall be final. Then we have a group of five sections
dealing with miscellaneous matters. Section 14 confers on the Government the
power to make rules, s. 15 is the repealing section, and s. 16 provides that
the Act will cease to be applicable to any Inam to which at any time the
Hyderabad Enfranchised Inams Act, 1952 is made applicable.
That leave ss. 12 and 13 which requires
235 Section 12 provides that the final
decision of a Civil Court on questions of succession, legitimacy divorce or
other questions of personal law shall be given effect to by the Atiyat Court on
the said decision being brought to its notice by the party concerned or
otherwise irrespective of whether the decision of the Atiyat Court was given
before or after the decision of the Civil Court. It is thus clear that though
the Act has established a hierarchy of Atiyat Courts for dealing with the
question about the succession to Atiyat estates, s. 12 provided that the final
decision of the Civil Court on matters therein specified binds the parties and
has to be given effect to by the Atiyat Courts. Under this section, the final
decision of the Civil Court will have to be given effect to even if it was
pronounced after an Atiyat Court had decided the matter. That means the earlier
decision of the Atiyat Court, if it is inconsistent with the subsequent
decision of the Civil Court, will have to yield to the latter and the question
of succession shall be governed in the light of Civil Court's decision.
That takes us to s. 13. This section reads as
follows :- "13. (1) Except as provided in this Act, the decision of an
Atiyat Court shall be final and shall not be questioned in any Court of Law.
(2) The orders passed in cases relating to
Atiyat Grants including Jagirs on after the 18th September, 1948 and before the
commencement of this Act by the Military Governor, the Chief Civil
Administrator or the Chief Minister of Hyderabad or by the Revenue Minister by
virtue of powers given or purporting to be given to him by the Chief Minister
shall be deemed to be the final orders validly passed by a competent authority
under the law in force at the time when the order 236 was passed and shall not
be questioned in any court of law." It will be noticed that the result of
s. 13 (2) is to validate the orders of the authorities therein specified which
have been passed between September 18, 1948, and March 14, 1952. The first date
refers to the commencement of the Police action and the latter to the
commencement of the operation of the Act. The object of the Legislature clearly
is to validate orders passed between the said two dates so that the questions
determined by the relevant orders should not be reopened for enquiry either
before the Atiyat Courts or before the Civil Courts. It is not disputed that
between the commencement of the police action and the passing of the Act events
of historical importance took place in the State of Hyderabad and so treating
that period as of unusual significance is not open to any criticism.
Therefore, if the Legislature chose to deal
with the orders passed during this period as constituting a class by
themselves, that itself cannot be said to contravene Art. 14 of the
It is however, urged that the result of the
impugned provision is to deny the petitioners their right to have questions of
succession adjudicated upon by a Civil Court and that itself constitutes
discrimination which contravenes Art.
14. In support of this argument, reliance has
been placed on the decision of this Court in Ammeerunnissa Begum v. Mahboob
Begum(1). We are not impressed by this argument. In the case of Ammeerunnissa
Begum it was obvious that the Legislature had singled out two groups of persons
consisting of two ladies and their children out of those who claimed to be
related to the deceased Nawab Waliudowla and preventing them from establishing
their rights under the personal law which governed the community, in Courts of
Unconstitutional discrimination 237 was thus
writ large on the face of the Act impugned in that case. The position in the
present case is very much different. Section 13 (2) does not validate the
orders passed in the enquiry relating to the present case alone. It purports to
validate the orders passed between the two specified dates in respect of all
the enquiries which were then pending. That is one important point of
distinction. Besides, as we will point out later, the nature of the property in
respect of which the petitioners make a claim is fundamentally different from
that in the case of Ammeerunnissa Begum. The property in the latter case was
heritable property succession to which had to be determined under the
principles of the personal law applicable to the parties, while in the present
case, the succession to Atiyat property does not come as a matter of right to
the heirs of the last holder. Therefore, in our opinion, the argument based
upon the decision of the case Ammeerunnissa Begum cannot succeed.
The challenge to the validity of s. 13 (2)
has taken another form before us. It was argued that during the prescribed
period, a large number of case were pending orders by the authorities
concerned. By chance or accident, orders by the relevant authorities were
passed in the present case and may have been passed in some others. But there
may be other cases of a similar type on which orders may not have been passed
by the relevant authorities during the prescribed period and in singling out
cases in which orders have been passed the impugned provision has made a
classification which is irrational and offends against Art. 14. The accident
that orders were passed in some cases and were not passed in some others cannot
afford a rational basis for classifying the two sets of cases. During the
course of arguments, however, it turned out that no factual basis had 238 been
made out in the petition on which this argument could be based. It is not
alleged that there are any cases in which orders have not been passed and which
would, therefore, fall outside s. 13 (2). When this fact was put to the learned
Attorney-General who argued for the petitioners, he fairly conceded that in the
absence of the relevant material, the argument could not be sustained.
Therefore, we do not think it is necessary to examine the merits of this
argument, though we may add that, prima facie, classification made between
cases decided and those not decided may not be irrational or unreasonable.
The learned Attorney-General then contended
that in validating the orders passed by executive authority on the question of
succession, s. 13 (2) violates Art. 14 because it is the right of every citizen
to have questions of succession tried by a Civil Court. He argues that if the
petitioners wish to make a claim in regard to the succession to the estate in
question, they have a right to enforce their claim in a Court of Law and in so
far as the impugned provision denies them that right, that amounts to
discrimination against the petitioners which is violative of Art. 14. It would
be noticed that this argument is, in substance, similar to the contention
raised by the learned Attorney-General on the strength of the decision in the
case of Ammeerunnissa Begum. In examining the validity of this argument, it is
necessary to consider the nature of the property in respect of which the
petitioners seek to make a claim by way of succession.
The legal nature of the jagir estate has been
considered by the High Court in dealing with the Writ Petition filed by the
widows of the late Nawab. Several Firmans to which reference has been made by
the High Court indicate that on the death of the holder of the jagir, the
estate devolved upon the State and though it was usually re- granted to the
person who was found to be the successor on 239 enquiry, in theory, jagirs were
resumed on the death of the holder of the jagir and their heirs did not
automatically succeed to them. It is also clear that in their lifetime the
Jagirdars were not permitted to alienate the property and that it was not
necessary that on the death of the Jagirdar the estate should be granted to all
his heirs either. It also appears that no suit relating to jagir could be
instituted in the Civil Court without the prior special permission of the
Nizam. The Firman issued on December 16, 1901, to which the Judgment refers,
shows that the heirs of the deceased holders of Jagirs could not insist upon
their right to succeed to the estate because no Atiyat grant was heritable.
Another Firman issued on September 28, 1928, showed that the powers of the
grantor of the Jagir could not be curtailed by the rules framed for the
guidance of the Atiyat Courts and that the grantor had an absolute right either
to re-grant the state to the successor or not. There fore, the position appears
to be that "the jagir tenure consisted of no more than usufructuary rights
in land to which the revenue law of the State did not apply; that the Jagirs
were inalienable and terminable on the death of the grantee, each Jagirdar,
though an heir of the deceased holder, was deemed a fresh grantee of the
estate, the right to confer such an estate being uncontrolled, absolute and
beyond the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts.
It is true that on the death of a Jagirdar an
enquiry was held about the succession to the said Jagir either by the Atiyat
Courts or by a commission or Tribunal specially appointed in that behalf; and
it is also true that generally the property of the deceased Jagirdar was
granted to the person who was held by the Nizam to be the successor of the
deceased Jagirdar. But that does not affect the true legal character of the
240 This position is borne out by the
previous Firmans issued by the Nizam in regard to the enquiry of the Atiyat
estates. Circular No. 34 of 1341F prescribed rules for conducting enquiries and
passing decisions in cases of Inam. This circular was subsequently superseded
and in its place Circular No. 10 of 1338F was issued. The date of this latter
circular is June 13, 1929. Several rules are prescribed in the from of sections
for holding enquiries and passing decisions in Inam cases. It is not necessary
to refer to the sections of this Circular in detail. It may be enough to state
that three classes of officer are contemplated by the Circular for holding the
enquiry. They are given powers to hold the enquiry. The enquiries are intended
to be held generally in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Civil
Procedure Code. Appeals are provided against the decision of one officer to the
officer higher in rank, but the ultimate position appears to be clear; when the
Nizam-e- Atiyat expresses his opinion and submits it to the Hon'ble the Revenue
Member, the Revenue Member thereupon expresses his own opinion, and on
considering all the opinion expressed in the enquiry, "the Nizam is
graciously pleased to issue his Firman and the Firman thus issued will be
binding on the parties." Thus it appears that though formal provisions
were made in regard to the holding of the enquiry, the nature of the enquiry
was essentially consultative and the Nizam was not bound by the decisions
reached by the several officers authorised to hold the enquiry.
The fact that the Nizam usually accepted the
decision of the enquiry does not alter the legal position that the Nizam might
well have refused to accept the opinion and might even have refused to make a
grant of the estate to anyone among the several claimants. Therefore, even
under the Circulars issued by the Nizam for holding enquiries into the
questions of succession to Jagirs, the position appears to be 241 clear that
jagirs were not heritable and on the death of the Jagirdar, on principle and in
theory, it was always a case of resumption and re-grant.
If that be so, any person who claimed to be
the successor of the deceased Jagirdar had no right to come be a Civil court
for establishing that claim. In fact, there is no claim to succession at all,
the question of re-grant being always in the absolute discretion of the Nizam.
After the Rule of the Nizam came to an end,
the only change that occurred was that on the death of the Jagirdar, the
property vested in the State and could be re-granted to a successor in the
discretion of the State. Therefore, in our opinion, the argument that by
denying the petitioners the right to establish a claim in the Civil Court, the
impugned provision of s. 13 (2) offends against Art. 14 of the constitution,
cannot be sustained. The property in respect of which the claim is sought to be
made is not like the property in the case of Ameerunnissa at all.
In that case, the property was heritable and
succession to it was governed by the rules of personal law. In the present
case, there is no right to succession as such-whoever gets the estate as a
result of the decision of the Chief Minister gets it by way of re-grant made by
the State. That is why we are satisfied that the challenge to the validity of
s. 13 (2) on the ground that it contravenes Art. 14 cannot be sustained.
In view of the special character of the
property in question, it is obvious that the petitioners cannot challenge the
validity of s. 13 (2) on the ground that it contravenes Art. 19 (1) (f).
There is one more point which needs to be
considered and that relates to the non-Atiyat estate left by the estate
deceased Nawab Kamal Yar Jung. It appears that the Firman by which the Nizam
appointed the first commission of Enquiry refers to the 242 estate of the
deceased Nawab in general and is not apparently confined to his Atiyat estate.
similarly, the order passed by the Nizam that
the Government should take possession of the deceased Nawab's property appears
to have been implemented in regard to both Atiyat and non-Atiyat estates left
by the Nawab. The Chief Minister's order confirming the report of the special
tribunal subsequently appointed is likewise vague and may seem to cover both
the Atiyat and non-Atiyat estates. The petitioners contend that whatever may be
the position in regard to the Atiyat estate, the chief Minister had no right to
make an order in respect of non-Atiyat estate; indeed the Nizam himself could
not have appointed an Enquiry commission in respect of non-Atiyat estate and so
the dispute in regard to the succession to the said estate must be left to be
decided according to the personal law of the parties and it must be tried by
the ordinary Civil Courts. This position is not disputed either by Mr.
Viswanatha Sastri who appeared for the State or by Mr. Latifi who appeared for
the respondents before us.
Incidentally, we may add that it appears that
litigation is pending in respect of this property between some of the parties
in Civil Suit No. 139 of 1355F. Since it is common ground before us that the
non-Atiyat estate is not covered by the order passed by the chief Minister, all
that we wish to do in the present Writ Petition is to make it clear that the
that order does not relate to non- Atiyat estate and that questions of title in
respect of it will have to be tried in the Civil courts.
In the result, both the Writ Petition and the
Appeal fail and are dismissed with costs. One set of hearing costs.
Petition and Appeal dismissed.