IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED: 30.03.2010 CORAM: THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE K.CHANDRU W.P.No.28719 of 2007, W.P.No.24142 of 2008 and Connected Mps and C.R.P.No.2239 of 2009 and M.P.No.1 of 2009 W.P.No.28719/2007 Church of South India Trust Association, Rep. By its Power of Attorney, Mr.Benjamin Franklin Property Officer. ... Petitioner Vs 1.The District Revenue Officer, Collectorate, Salem. 2.The Revenue Divisional Officer, Salem. 3.The Record Officer and Tahsildar Salem. 4.K.Selvamani 5.Rev.Joshua Karamchander ... Respondents
W.P.No.24142/2008 K.Selvamani ... Petitioner Vs
1.The District Revenue Officer, Collectorate, Salem.
2.The Revenue Divisional Officer, Salem.
3.The Record Officer and Tahsildar Salem.
4.The Farm Manager, CSI (Farm) Hasthampatti, Salem 636 007.
6.Church of South India Trust Association, Rep. By its Power of Attorney Mr.Benjamin Franklin Property Officer. ... Respondents C.R.P.No.2239 of 2009
1.Kuppan @ Kuppusamy
2. K.Selvamani ...Petitioners Vs
1.Church of South India Trust Association, Rt.Rev.Dr.M.Dorai
2.The Farm Manager, CSI (Farm) Hasthampatti, Salem 636 007. ...Respondents W.P.No.28719 of 2007 PRAYER:-Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of a Writ of certiorarified mandamus, to call for the records and quash the entire proceedings of the 1st respondent culminating in his order dated 16.5.2007 in Na.Ka.No.23628/2006/P1 of the 1st respondent including the order dated 7.9.2006 and directing the 1st respondent to rehear the case after giving an opportunity of being heard to this petitioner.
W.P.No.24142 of 2008 PRAYER:-Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of a Writ of Certiorarified mandamus, calling for the entire records leading to the issue of Na.Ka.No.21915/2003(A9) dated 18.12.2007 on the file of the 3rd Respondent herein Tahsildar and Record Officer Salem and quash the same and direct the 3rd respondent to receive the rents due from the petitioner/cultivating tenant in respect of 8.20 acres of land in Ward B, Block I T.S.No.9/2A and 10 of Hasthampatti Village and record the same in the tenancy register as per law.
C.R.P.No.2239 of 2009 Petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India against the order and decreetal order in C.M.A.No.33 of 2007 on the file of the Principal Subordinate Judge, Salem dated 04.08.2008 in confirming the order and decreetal order made in I.A.No.1215 of 2007 in O.S.No.1005 of 2007 on the file of the Principal District Munsif Salem dated 26.10.2007 and prays the same be set aside.
For petitioners in W.P.No.28719/07 : Mr.K.S.Natarajan W.P.No.24142/08 &CRP 2239/09 :Mr.Yashod Varadhan,Senior Counsel for M/s.K.Sridhar Associates For Respondents in W.P.No.24142/08 :Mr.R.Neelakantan,G.A. For R1 to R3 :Mr.A.Immanuel for R4 and R6 :Mr.S.Sivakumar for R5 W.P.No.28719/07:Mr.R.Neelakantan,G.A. For R2 to R3 Mr.Yashod Vardhan, S.C.
For M/s.K.Sridhar Associates for R4 Mr.S.Sivakumar for R5 CRP.2239/09 :Mr.A.Immanuel C O M M O N O R D E R All these matters came to be posted before this Court on being specially ordered by the Honble Chief Justice vide order dated 28.10.2009.
2. Heard both sides.
3. The petitioner in the first writ petition (W.P.No.28719/2007) is the Church of South India Trust Association (for short CSITA) represented by its Power of Attorney, who is the Property Officer of the Trust. In that writ petition, they had challenged the order of the District Revenue Officer, Salem dated 07.09.2006. By the impugned order, the Revisional Authority, namely, the first respondent dismissed the miscellaneous petition filed by the petitioner in the revision petition presented by the fifth respondent dated 28.03.2006.
4. In the said writ petition, notice of motion was ordered on 30.08.2007.
5. Subsequently, the fourth respondent in that writ petition i.e,,K.Selvamani S/o Kuppan filed W.P.No.24142 of 2008, challenging the order of the third respondent Tahsildar, Salem dated 18.12.2007 and after setting aside the same, he sought for a direction to receive rents due from the petitioner as a cultivating tenant in respect of 8.20 acres of land in Ward B, Block I, T.S.No.9/2A and 10 of Hasthampatti Village and also to record it in the tenancy register as per law. In that writ petition, the petitioner in the first writ petition was shown as 6th respondent.
6. When the second writ petition came up on 02.09.2009, it was directed to be posted along with the first writ petition and C.R.P.No.2239/2009 pending before this Court.
7. The Civil Revision Petition was filed by Kuppan @ Kuppusamy and K.Selvamani against the order of Principal District Munsif, Salem in CMA No.33 of 2007 on the file of Principal Subordinate Judge, Salem which in turn was challenging the order passed by the Principal District Munsif, Salem in I.A.No.1215 of 2007 in O.S.No.1005 of 2007.
8. It was the claim of the revision petitioner that while staying in the C.S.I Compound Hasthampatti, he entered into an agreement with the Project and Farm Manager of the C.S.I. Self Employment Project, Salem represented by Rev.Joshua Karamchande. The said agreement dated 16.02.1998 granted a lease of the land belonging to the Church of South India for growing crops in the land and for that purpose, the revision petitioner was to pay Rs.20,000/- as lease amount for one year from 01.08.1998 to 31.07.1999.
9. Subsequent to the said lease, another agreement dated May 2000 was signed between the same parties granting lease for the period from 01.07.2000 to 31.07.2001 and this time an enhanced lease amount of Rs.8000/- was directed to be paid. The revision petitioner had paid the said amount and got the receipt from the C.S.I. Farm, Hasthampatti belonging to Coimbatore Diocese of the Church of South India.
10. Thereafter, he filed a suit in O.S.No.613 of 2003 before the Principal District Munsif Court, Salem. The Church of South India was a party to the suit. In that suit, a Commissioner was appointed in I.A.No.1297 of 2003. The Commissioner inspected the property and filed a report dated 11.06.2003. In his inspection, he noted the physical features and the type of crops found therein. He also found the family members of the revision petitioner present in the property.
11. In the mean while, the Church of South India issued a notice dated 31.12.2005 to the revision petitioners claiming that the CSITA is the owner of 8.20 acres of the property together with a roof structure situated in the compound at Hasthampatti and they were directed to vacate the premises. Their agreement with the Joshua Karamchand, the then Project Officer of CSITA was not valid as he was not a competent authority to enter into an agreement on behalf of CSITA. It was also stated that the CSITA was planning to construct additional institution in their property and therefore, there tenancy was terminated for their use, occupation, demolition and reconstruction.
12.The second revision petitioner K.Selvamani in the mean while filed a petition before the Tahsildar, Salem for recording his name as a tenant of the property. Since the Tahsildar Salem by his order in T.R.1/2003 dated 20.10.2003 rejected his request as against the rejection the second revision petitioner moved the Revenue Divisional Officer, Salem by way of an appeal dated 12.11.2003. His appeal was taken on file and notice was issued to the parties.
13. In the appellate order dated 09.03.2006, it was held that the revision petitioner was entitled to be registered as a tenant in the land belonging to CSI in respect of S.No.9/2A and 10 to the extent of 8.20 acres and the Tahsildar was directed to record their name in the register.
14. As against the said order dated 09.03.2006, the CSITA through its Property Officer filed W.P.No.18331 of 2006 before this Court. This Court while dismissing the writ petition directed the CSITA to move the appropriate forum for an appropriate order. The DRO, Salem by his order dated 16.05.2007 confirmed the order of the RDO. During the course of his revision application, it also rejected the impleadment petition filed by the CSITA through its Property Officer. This was on the ground that they have not produced any proper and acceptable documentary evidence and their coming on record was an after thought and right from the beginning of the case, they were aware of the proceedings and that this Court also dismissed their writ petition in W.P.No.18331 of 2006. It is against the interim order, W.P.No.28719 of 2007 was filed by them as noted already.
15.The petitioner in W.P.No.24142/2008 viz., K.Selvamani also filed an application before the Tahsildar, Salem stating that the rent for the period from 2004-05 and 2005-06 was received by the landlord and therefore, to avoid any future eviction on the ground of non-payment of rent, he moved an application under Section 3(3)(a) of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955. He also forwarded a pay order for Rs.24,000/- to be kept in credit. But however, the Tahsildar, Salem by an order dated 18.12.2007 refused to receive the amount and directed him to seek relief before the appropriate Court. It is against that order of the Tahsildar, the second writ petition W.P.No.24142 of 2008 was filed by K.Selvamani as noted already.
16. In the meanwhile, the revision petitioners filed O.S.No.1005/2007 before the District Court, Salem seeking for an injunction against the land owners from evicting them by force except by due process of law. Pending the suit they also filed I.A.No.1215 of 2007, seeking for an ad-interim injunction restraining the defendants from evicting them from the property in question. A counter statement was filed by the defendants- Church of South India and the Farm Manager,C.S.I. Farm. The learned Principal District Munsif, Salem by an order dated 26.10.2007 dismissed the application for injunction. The learned Munsif came to the conclusion that the revision petitioners are residing in the said land as Coolie workers and not as tenant in the suit tiled house. He also stated that the order of the DRO was passed without having a proper party before him and it was the CSI, who is the owner of the property. In page 11 of the order, he had observed as follows:-
"...The High Court, is to decide whether the tenancy order passed by the Tenancy Record Officers are correct or not. After passing an order by the High Court then only there will be a clear picture would be given as to the tenancy of the petitioners..."
17. As against the order of the learned Munsif, the revision petitioners filed C.M.A.No.33 of 2007 challenging the interlocutory order. The said CMA came to be dismissed by an order dated 04.08.2008. The finding of the lower appellate Court was that for the purpose of showing possession, they should have filed Adangal Extract and other revenue records to show their cultivation. But no single piece of evidence was filed to prove their possession and considered that unlawful encroachment cannot be allowed by abusing the process of the Court. The CMA was dismissed with costs. It is as against these two orders, the Civil Revision Petition came to be filed. The respondents have filed a caveat and notice was taken by the learned counsel for the respondents.
18. In view of the interconnectivity between the three cases, they were grouped together and a common order is passed.
19. The ground raised in the CRP was that the second respondent Farm Manager was receiving the lease rents on behalf of the first respondent CSITA and the RDO Salem had upheld the claim of the revision petitioner that he is the cultivating tenant in that land and that was filed as Ex.A25. The Lease deeds were also filed as EXs.A10 and A11 and these were not analysed by both the Courts below. It was also stated that the Competent Authority had recorded the petitioner as cultivating tenant under Section 4(1)(a) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Lands (Record of Tenancy Rights) Act, 1969 and as against the same, the first respondent had filed a writ petition. In view of the fact that no stay was granted, the order is still in force.
20. In view of the provisions of the Cultivating Tenants Act, the civil Court has no jurisdiction to decide the validity of the order passed by the Competent Authority recording a person as the cultivating tenant. The jurisdiction of the civil Court in such circumstances is ousted. Since a valid order has been passed which has not been assailed by any Court, civil Courts are bound by the order. Though the revision petitioners were in the land for more than 30 years and had been recorded as a cultivating tenant, yet, erroneously the Courts have took the stand contrary to the interest of the petitioners.
21. Pending the CRP, this Court granted an order of status quo which was also subsequently extended.
22. The respondents CSI had filed a counter affidavit in the CRP to contend that the suit property was owned by the CSITA, which is a religious and charitable Ttrust and also registered under Section 25 of the Indian Companies Act, 1956. Therefore, the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955, Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants (Payment of Fair Rent) Act, 1956 and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Lands (Record of Tenancy Rights) Act, 1969 will have no application. By virtue of Section 62 of the Tamil Nadu Public Trusts (Regulation of Administration of Agricultural Lands) Act, 1961) when the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955 stood repealed in so far as the trust properties are concerned.
23. Mr.Yashod Vardhan, learned Senior Counsel representing M/s.Sridhar Associates, for the revision petitioner and the petitioner in W.P.No.24142 of 2008 contended that the Munsif Court and the lower Appellate Court failed to note under Section 16-A of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Lands (Record of Tenancy Rights) Act, 1969, where the jurisdiction of the civil courts are barred. When once entries are made in the approved record of tenancy right, any entry shall be presumed to be true and correct until the contrary is proved and a new entry is lawfully substituted there of.
24.In the present case, the revision petitioners had got an order from the RDO Salem which was confirmed by the DRO, Salem. Until it is assailed, the petitioners will have to be presumed to the tenants of the property and once they are tenants, as against all other parties they are entitled to have an injunction until they are edged out by due process.
25. A reference was made to the judgment of this Court in Pankajam and others v. Chinnaswamy Naidu reported in AIR 1984 Mad 235. Reliance was placed upon the following passages found in paragraphs 5 and 6,which is as follows:-
"5. Before proceeding to consider these rival submissions, it is necessary to state that no attempt was made by the learned counsel for the respondent to challenge the conclusion arrived at by the Court below that Section 16-A of the Act would prohibit the Civil Court from granting a declaration as prayed for by the respondent in this case. The controversy, therefore, is limited with reference to the entitlement of the relief of injunction by the respondent. If the question of the status of the respondent as a cultivating tenant could not be adjudicated upon by a Civil Court, even as found by the lower appellate Court, and that was the main relief prayed for the by respondent in the suit, then it does not appear on what basis the respondent can claim the relief of injunction. In the decision of the Full Bench in Periathambi Gounder v. District Revenue Officer, Coimbatore, 1980-2 Mad LJ 89: (AIR 1980 Mad 180), the relative scope of the jurisdiction of the authorities constituted under the Act and the Civil Court having regard to the introduction of S.16-A in that Act was exhaustively considered. Holding that Section 16-A of the Act was not intended to affect any suit instituted prior to its introduction, it was pointed out by the Full Bench that where the controversy is as to whether a particular piece of land has been let for cultivation by a tenant or not is one constituting the jurisdictional issue which has to be decided before the Record Officer can determine other matters under the Act and that if such a controversy arises, that controversy cannot be said to be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the authorities functioning under the Act. The determination of that controversy by the authorities, according to the Full Bench, can be said to be incidental to the assumption of jurisdiction by the authorities under the Act and subject to that qualification, when once the Record Officer has come to the conclusion that the land had been let for cultivation the matters provided for in S.3(2) of the Act have to be determined by the Record Officer or other authority functioning under the Act and to that extent, the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred under S.16-A of the Act. It was further laid down by the Full Bench that matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the authorities constituted under the Act are limited by the provisions contained in S.3(2) of the Act, because those are the particulars which are directed to be included in the approved records to be prepared under the Act. While laying down the aforesaid principles, the Full Bench, in para 40 of its judgment, illustrated the position with reference to the several categories of cases that may arise where this question would assume importance. One such case dealt with by the Full Bench was whether a cultivating tenant can claim the relief of injunction while the primary relief of declaration of his status as a cultivating tenant cannot be granted by the Cvil Court. At page 105 (of Mad LJ): (at p.193 of AIR), the Full Bench observed thus:
"Similarly, if the cultivating tenant files a suit for declaration that he is the cultivating tenant of the land in question and as a consequential relief prays for recovery of possession from the landowner-defendant or for an injunction, the primary relief being one of declaration of his status as a cultivating tenant, the other reliefs being consequential, the Civil Court may not have jurisdiction to decide the controversy with reference to which the primary relief is prayed for."
The observations are apposite and would govern this case. As seen earlier, the lower appellate Court had declined to grant the relief of declaration in favour of the respondent that he has right to enjoy the properties as a cultivating tenant. Though the relief is couched in the form of declaration, it really involves an adjudication and recognition of the rights projected by the respondent as a cultivating tenant and declaring such rights in favour of the respondent. Admittedly, in this case, proceedings had been taken under the Act and at the earliest point of time the respondent was registered as a cultivating tenant, but without notice to the appellants and as a result of an appeal preferred by the appellant, that order came to be set aside and the matter was remitted. Though subsequent to the remit order, the respondent claimed that he was recorded as a cultivating tenant, yet, that order has not attained finality. In this case, the very letting of the suit properties to the respondent for cultivation had been disputed and though it may be that the authorities have to decide that question as a jurisdictional fact before considering the other matters which would be relevant under Section 3(2) of the Act, yet, those are all matters over which the Record Officer or the other authority functioning under the Act alone will have jurisdiction and the Civil Court cannot go into those questions. If the Civil Court cannot proceed to investigate whether the respondent is a cultivating tenant or not, then equally it cannot declare that he has such rights. The lower appellate Court was, therefore, quite justified in holding that having regard to the provisions of the Act, the relief of declaration could not be granted in favour of the respondent. The consequential relief of injunction, if at all, could be granted only upon a finding that the respondent is a cultivating tenant. If the Court cannot go into that question, then it does not appear as to how the Court can proceed to protect the alleged possession of the respondent as a tenant against the appellants 2 and 3, who are the real owners of the properties. The consequential relief of injunction depends upon the adjudication with reference to the status of the respondent and when that cannot be done by the Civil Court even according to its own finding, then the consequential relief also cannot be granted. It has to be remembered that the relief prayed for by the respondent in the suit was not for a bare injunction as was the case before Ramanujam,J in Palanisami v. Ramaswami Gounder, 1977-1 Mad LJ (short notes) 5. The considerations adverted to by the learned Judge in the course of his judgment do not apply to the instant case where the suit is not one for a bare injunction. The illustration given in the judgment of the Full Bench already extracted and the decision in Ponnusami v. District Revenue Officer, North Arcot, (1982) 95 Mad LW 647: (AIR 1983 NOC 60), would cover this case.
6 ....While examining and explaining the scope of the jurisdiction of the authorities constituted under the Act as well as that of the Civil Court, the Full Bench, after laying down the scope of the provisions of the Act and the jurisdiction of the authorities constituted under the Act and the ambit of the jurisdiction of the Civil Court, illustrated the effect of the principles laid down on cases normally likely to arise and the passage referred to dealt with one such case. To characterise the observations, while illustrating the applicability of the principles laid down, to a particular situation as obiter, does not appear to me to be correct, though the difference in the reliefs prayed for in the present suit as well as the one that came to be considered in Rama Padayachi v. Krishna Padayachi, (1981) 94 Mad LW 738, would suffice to exclude the applicability of that decision to the present case. Besides, there is no knowing now whether the respondent is at all a cultivating tenant, as admittedly that matter remains to be adjudicated upon by the authorities constituted under the Act and who are also seized of the same. In such a situation, while holding that the Civil Court cannot decide the question whether the respondent is a tenant or not, the lower appellate Court was not in order in assuming that the respondent is such a cultivating tenant (which, according to the lower appellate Court, could not be decided by it) and in further assuming that the respondent's possession was that of a tenant, which required or even deserved to be protected by an order of injunction. Having regard to these considerations, the lower appellate Court was in error in having maintained the relief of injunction granted in favour of the respondent by the trial Court. The result is, O.S.No.191 of 1975 instituted by the respondent herein will stand dismissed in toto. The second appeal is allowed with costs."
26. The learned Senior Counsel also referred to the order of the learned Munsif stating that the Trial Court has abdicated its power from deciding the issue relating to injunction. When a matter is brought to the Court for a specific purpose, the Court will have to decide the issue on the basis of pleadings of the parties. There can only be a situation either for grant of injunction or the refusal of injunction based on the records. But on the contrary, the learned Munsif from the passage extracted above virtually abandoned his role as a Court by not rendering a finding. Though it may be true that ultimately the order passed under the Tenancy Act will have to be decided by this Court, but till such time, the Court will have to go by the orders which are already on record and it will not be interdicted by any Court.
27. Mr.A.Immanuel, learned counsel appearing for respondents 4 and 6 contended that the revision petitioners have no right whatsoever. He took pains to contend that since the Tamil Nadu Public Trusts (Regulation of Administration of Agricultural Lands) Act, 1961) is applied, the proceedings under the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Lands Record of Tenancy Rights Act is invalid. For this purpose he relied upon the judgment of this Court in Arulmighu Swaminathaswamy Devasthanam at Swamimalai represented by its Assistant Commissioner/ Executive Officer v. Jagannathan reported in (2001) 2 M.L.J. 39
28. He also relied upon the judgment of this Court in Siluvai Fernando, Power-of-Attorney Agent of Savarimuthu Fernando v. Pancros Leon reported in 1958 M.L.J. 394 to contend that there should be a relationship between the landlord and tenant between the parties. Mere possession of land and cultivating it under an agreement with someone else, who had no title to the land will not enable him to apply for restoration of possession.
29. He further relied upon a judgment of this Court in K.Ramanuja Reddiar and another v. Kamalammal (died and others reported in 1962 M.L.J. 336 for contending that a wilful denial of title of the landlord can be inferred even in the case where a tenant while saying that he has not denying the title, but effectively prevents the landlord from enjoying the right appurtenant to the title.
30. He further placed reliance upon a judgment of this Court in Sathu Konar v. Duraiamy reported in 1967 II M.L.J. 473 to contend that it is for the party who alleges that he is a cultivating tenant and he must prove the same by acceptable evidence. Proof of jural relationship of landlord and tenant is essential so as to vest the jurisdiction in the Revenue Court to deal with a petition. If such a jurisdictional fact did not exist, the Revenue Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the application.
31. He also relied upon a judgment of this Court in A.Jagannathan Padayachi v. Arulmighu Swaminathaswamy Devasthanam, Swamimalai, represented by its Executive Officer reported in (2003) 2 M.L.J. 430 to contend that that properties of the public trusts are exempted from the purview of the Cultivating Tenants Protection Act.
32. Therefore, in this view of the matter, he sought for the dismissal of the CRP.
33. Per contra, reference was made to the judgment of a full bench of this Court in Periathambi Goundan v. The District Revenue Officer, Coimbatore reported in (1980) 2 M.L.J. 89 to contend that once the Record Officer or any other authority functioning under the Act if come to the conclusion that the land has been let out for cultivation by tenant, the matters provided for under Section 3(2) have to be determined by the Record Officer and to that extent the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred under Section 16-A of the Act. It is this order of the Full Bench which was referred to in the judgment in Pankajam's case referred to above.
34. In the light of the rival pleadings, it has to be seen whether the CRP deserves to be entertained. In the present case, the revision petitions have filed two agreements as well as receipts from the Farm Officer. Even the commissioners report filed in O.S.No.613 of 2003 shows the crops in the land and also the physical possession of the petitioners. It must also be noted that the RDO Salem had passed a detailed order holding that the revision petitioners are the cultivating tenants in the lands and he had given a direction to record their names. This order had also been upheld by the DRO. When these proceedings were pending, the Church of CSI never came on record.
35. On the contrary when they tried to implead before the DRO and the same was rejected, they moved this Court. Their writ petition W.P.No.18331 of 2006 was dismissed by an order dated 18.06.2006. It was for the first time in the legal notice dated 31.12.2005 issued by the counsel for the Church of CSI, they attempted to state that the revision petitioners were only gardeners and not cultivating tenants. By the very same notice, they had admitted the physical possession of the revision petitioners. Though it was contended that the earlier suit in O.S.No.613 of 2003 for the very same relief was rejected but it was not on merits and it was dismissed for default. Further the trial Court did not even decide the issue but abdicated the same by stating that the petitioners will have to move the High court for an appropriate relief. This is not expected from a civil court which is fully empowered to decide the issue on merits. Therefore,the order of the Trial Court in C.M.A.No.33 of 2007 confirming the order in I.A.No.1215 of 2007 in O.S.No.1005 of 2007 is hereby set aside and the petitioners are entitled for injunction as prayed for pending disposal of the suit in O.S.No.1005 of 2007. It is open to the parties to move the Trial Court for an expeditious disposal of the suit.
36. In W.P.No.24142 of 2008, the prayer of the petitioner is to set aside the order passed by the Tahsildar dated 18.12.2007. By the said order, the Tahsildar refused to receive the rent sent by the revision petitioners and directed them to approach the appropriate relief from the Courts. So long as the order of the RDO, Salem confirmed by the order of the DRO, Salem holding that the petitioners are cultivating tenants in the property in question, he is bound to receive the rents submitted by them. Therefore the impugned order is set aside; W.P.No.24142 of 2008 stand allowed. However receiving of rents by the Tahsildar, Salem will be without prejudice to the rights of parties and subject to the outcome of the order passed by the DRO.
37. In W.P.No.28179 of 2007, CSITA had filed an application for impleadment before the DRO. The 5th respondent had only filed a revision application before the first respondent DRO, Salem and that was rejected on 16.05.2007. There has been no challenge by the Farm Manger against that order. On the contrary, even in that writ petition, the challenge is only to the order refusing to implead them dated 16.05.2007 as well as the order refusing to entertain their impleading application. The authorities was right in stating that since 5th respondent had represented before the RDO as a respondent and he alone filed a revision that they cannot on the last minute to make them as a party respondent. In the absence of any materials showing their interest, there was no necessity to implead them. Aggrieved party, namely, the 5th respondent had not come forward to file any Revision Petition. But on the contrary having rejected their impleadment application, they cannot file a writ petition challenging the order of revision passed by the DRO, Salem. Hence the writ petition W.P.No.28719 of 2007 is misconceived. Accordingly, W.P.No.28719 of 2007 stands dismissed.
38. It is well open to the petitioner CSITA to institute appropriate suit and establish their title to the properties. They cannot resort to these proceedings and set at naught the order passed by the DRO confirming the order by the RDO, Salem. Infact even in the suit filed by the contesting respondents, they only wanted eviction to be done through due process. If that is so, nothing prevented the CSITA in instituting appropriate suit establishing their title including the fact that the contesting respondents were not cultivating tenants. To that extent they can take advantage of the Full Bench judgment in Periathambi Goundan's case (cited supra).
39. In the result, W.P.No.24142 of 2008 and C.R.P.No.2239 of 2009 will stand allowed. W.P.No.28719 of 2007 stands dismissed. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.
1.The District Revenue Officer, Collectorate, Salem.
2.The Revenue Divisional Officer, Salem.
3.The Record Officer and Tahsildar Salem.
4.The Farm Manager, CSI (Farm), Hasthampatti, Salem 636 007.
5.The Power of Attorney Mr.Benjamin Franklin Church of South India Trust Association, Property Officer