Rani Inder Kumari Vs. State of
Rajasthan & ANR  INSC 46 (25 February 1975)
MATHEW, KUTTYIL KURIEN UNTWALIA, N.L.
CITATION: 1975 AIR 1058 1975 SCR (3) 878 1976
SCC (1) 377
Rajasthan Cash Jagirs Abolition Act, 1958--S.
3 Constitutional validity of--Delay in approaching the Court--Effect of.
By s. 3 of the Rajasthan Cash Jagirs
Abolition Act, 1958 all cash jagirs .sanctioned to the former princes were
abolished. Sub-s. (2) of s. 3 provided for payment of compensation. The
petitioners received compensation from 1958 to 1970. In 1970, however, they
questioned the validity of s. 3 on the ground that it is violative of articles
31 and 19(1)(f) of the Constitution.
Dismissing the petitions.
HELD : The petitioners have approached the
court after inordinate delay and even then after enjoying the full benefit
under the Act. The petitioners cannot be allowed to blow hot and cold in the
same breath. Right to the compensation, of whatever nature or content. flowed from
the abolition of the cash jagirs under the Act and acceptance of compensation
gave a quietus to the claim to have the Act adjudged as ultra vires. The
foundation of the compensation was the abolition of cash jagirs. [707G; F]
State of Madhya Pradesh v. Ranojirao Shinde & Anr.  3 S.C.R. 489,
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION : Writ Petitions Nos.
610 to 614 of 1970.
Petition% under Art. 32 of the Constitution
Mohan Behari Lal, for the petitioners.
L. M. Singhvi and S. M. Jain, for the
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
GOSWAMI, J.-By the above Writ Petitions the constitutional validity of the
Rajasthan Cash Jagirs Abolition Act, 1958 (Act No. 29 of 1958) is challenged as
violative of the petitioners, fundamental rights under articles 14, 19(1) (f)
and 31 of the Constitution.
The facts of Writ Petition No. 610 of 1970
may alone be sufficient. The petitioner states that in view of the near
relationship as well as in lieu of her husband's share in the parental Jagir of
Riri the Maharaja of Bikaner sanctioned a separate cash grant to her husband,
Maharaj Chander Singh ji, of Rs. 1200/per annum on May 23, 1942.
This amount was continuously paid to her
husband by the State of Bikaner and was later raised to Rs. 2400/per annum with
effect from February 2, 1943. This grant of Rs. 2400/with an addition of Rs.
600/as dearness allowance was shared between her and her husband under the
order of the Prime Minister of Bikaner State dated September 18, 1942. This
payment of Rs. 1500/per annum was continued to be received by the petitioner
through Bikaner Treasury upto the, formation of the State of Rajasthan, on
April 7, 1949.
After the death of her husband on May 6,
1951, the payment 706 of her grant was continued. The State of Rajasthan being
the successor to the former Bikaner State recognised this grant and continued
to make payment to the petitioner. It appears that after the death of her
husband it was decided in December 1953 that no payment should be made to her
thereafter and the regular payments received by. her after the death of her
husband would not be recovered. On the petitioner's representation, however,
the grant was restored and was allowed to continue till its discontinuance by
the act of the legislature. Annexure 'C to the petition shows the order of the
Accountant General of Rajasthan to the Treasury Officer, Bikaner, conveying the
sanction of the Governor for the continuance of the grant of Rs. 125/per month
to the petitioner from the date the same had been discontinued "till the
cash jagirs are resumed". 'Ms order is dated June 5, 1958.
The Rajasthan Cash Jagirs Abolition Act, 1958
(briefly the Act) received the assent of the President on July 13, 1958.
Section 2 (a) of the Act defines cash jagir
to mean "any grant of money by way of jagir or otherwise, made or
recognised to have been made by the Government in any part of the State or by
the Ruler of a convenanting State without any consideration or in lieu of jagir
resumed or abolished otherwise than under the Rajasthan Land Reforms and
Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952....... " Section 3 which provides for
abolition of cash jagirs reads thus 3(2) "Notwithstanding anything to the
contrary contained in any law, sanad, order, custom or usage in force in any
part of the State, all payments of money on account of cash jagirs to which
this Act applies, that were being made or enforced at the commencement of this
Act, shall be discontinued on and from the 1st day of April, 1958 and all such
cash jagirs shall stand abolished as from that day.
(2)Notwithstanding such discontinuance and
abolition the State Government shall continue to make payments by way of
compensation in accordance with scale laid down in the Second Schedule, and the
provisions of the Rajasthan Pensions Act, 1958, shall apply to such
The Second Schedule shows, inter alia, that
if the monthly rate of the grant exceeds Rs. 50/but does not exceed Rs.
250/the grantee will be paid the compensation
for a period of twelve years from the 1st day of April, 1958.
Section 6(2), which is also under attack,
provides that "nothing in this Act or in the rules made thereunder shall
affect such other grants of money as the State Government may, from time to
time, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be exempt from the
provisions of this Act, and the provisions of the Rajasthan Pensions Act, 1958,
shall apply to such exempted grants of money".
707 It is contended on behalf of the
petitioners that section 3 of 'he Act is violative of articles 31 and 19(1) (f)
of the Constitution and section 6(2) is violative of article 14 of the
Constitution. According. to, the petitioners their cases are covered by a
decision of this Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Ranojirao Shinde &
Anr.,(1) where this Court held the Madhya Pradesh Abolition of Cash. Grants
Act, 1963, to be violative of article 31 (2) or in the alternative of article
19 (I) (f) of the Constitution.
Before we proceed further we have to state
that the petitioners. have an insurmountable obstacle to got over in these
petitions. In Nadhya Pradesh case (supra) the petitioners therein approached
the High Court soon after the promulgation of the particular Act in 1963. and
the High Court accepted their contention that the Act was ultra vires. of
article 19(1)(f) of the Constitution and was not saved by sub-article (5)
thereof. The State of Madhya Pradesh appeared to this Court by a certificate
obtained from the High Court under article 133(1)(c) and this Court in the
above mentioned decision dismissed the State's appeals. In the present case the
petitioners took advantage of the provisions of the Act, particularly
sub-section (2) of section 3 by which payments by way of compensation were
allowed not with standing the abolition of the grant under sub-section (1) of
section 3. So far as the abolition of the cash jagirs was concerned it was.
complete on and from the 1st day of April, 1958 under sub-section (1) of
section 3 of the Act. The petitioners had been in enjoyment of the compensation
in accordance with the scale laid down in the Second Schedule from the
inception of the Act which abolished the cash jagirs on and from 1st April,
1958, till 31st March, 1970, and approached this Court under article 32 of the
Constitution on October 12, 1970, when under subsection (2) of section 3 the
compensation was discontinued.
The petitioners cannot be allowed to blow hot
and cold in the same breath. Right to the compensation, of whatever nature or
content, flowed from the abolition of the cash jagirs under the Act. Acceptance
of the compensation under the Act for the full length of the period of twelve
years completely negatives the scope of attack upon the abolition of the grant.
The foundation of the compensation .is the abolition of the cash jagirs.
Section 3(2) under which the compensation is available is integrally connected
with section 3(1) which has abolished the cash jagirs from a specified date and
it is only on such abolition that compensation is rendered possible. Acceptance
of compensation, therefore, gives a quietus to the claim to have the Act
adjudged as ultra vires. The petitioners cannot eat a cake and have it. At any
rate the petitioners have approached the court after inordinate delay and even
then after enjoying the full benefit under the Act. The petitions, therefore, cannot
The petitioners also contend that section
6(2) of the Act is discriminatory and is violative of the equality clause under
article 14 of the Constitution. Section 6 is a saving provision. The case of
the, (1)  3 S.C. R. 489.
708 petitioners is that a good number of
persons have been exempted from the operation of the abolition of the grant.
It is submitted that while under section 6(1)
there is guidance, with regard to the exemption, there, is none whatsoever
under section 6(2). Whatever the merit ,of this submission, the petitioners are
not going to be benefited by striking down section 6(2) of the Act. Assuming it
is ultra vires, section 6(2) is clearly severable from the rest of the
provisions. On the other hand, depending upon this provision, the petitioners
may be able to receive appropriate, consideration from the Government to be
included in the list of exemptees. Indeed,, Dr. Singhvi, the learned Advocate
General, gave us to understand that he would himself recommend the case of
three of the petitioners as deserving consideration under section 6(2). We do
not know whether the other two petitioners may also be able to convince the
Government about the merit of their case for equal consideration. We assume
that under these provisions the Government has certain principles on which it
acts to give relief to the needy. It is, therefore, idle for the petitioners to
have a decision from this Court to strike down a provision which may ultimately
be to their aid. We are not, there for, inclined to pass on this submission
advanced by the petitioners. In the result the petitions fail and are
dismissed, but in the entire circumstances of the case the parties will bear
their own costs.