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Government of Tamil Nadu Versus Ahobila Matam

Civil Appeal No. 446 of 1973 - Dated:- 17-11-1986 - REDDY, O. CHINNAPPA AND OZA, G.L. JJ. M.M. Abdul Khader and A.V. Rangam for the Appellant. K. Ram Kumar and Mrs. J. Ramachandran for the Respondent. JUDGMENT: The Judgment of the Court was delivered by CHINNAPPA REDDY, J. This appeal is by a certificate granted by the Madras High Court under Art. 133(1)(c) of the Constitution. The appellant is the State of Tamil Nadu. The respondent is the Ahobila Matam, a well known religious institution. The .....

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a in Council, acknowledged the title of the Ahobila Matam to "a religious endowment or a Matam Inam consisting of the right to the Government Revenue on land claimed to be acres 28.11 cents of dry, 58.38 acres of wet and 6.83 acres of garden and situated in the whole village of Narasimhapuram besides Poramboke in the taluk of Kumbakonam District of Tanjore and held for the support of the Ahobila Matam" and confirmed the Inam to the Manager for the time being of the Ahobila Matam and hi .....

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the Inam Commissioner in Column 22 was that the title deed should be issued in the name of the priest for the time being of the Ahobila Matam. It was in pursuance of this recommendation that Inam Title Deed No. 22 14 was issued. Consequent on the enactment of the Madras Inams(Assessment) Act, 1956, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kumbakonam made an order on February. 28, 1963 levying full assessment on the lands. The levy of the assessment was questioned by the Ahobila Matam by a Writ Petition .....

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able, and the inamdar shall be liable to pay only the quit-rent, Jodi, Kattubadi or other amount of a like nature, if any, which he has been paying before the commencement of this Act." The question for consideration, therefore, is whether the Inam was granted on 'service tenure'. The High Court took the view that the expression 'service tenure' was not to be restricted to a service inam and that it would include any grant for the support of a religious or charitable institu .....

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religious or charitable institution or for the maintenance of irrigation works or other works of public utility; were not enjoyed without the terms of the grant being fulfilled. Religious and charitable inams were further classified and in the first category we get inams granted for the support or maintenance of Hindu religious institutions, inams granted for the performance of a charity or service connected with Hindu religious institutions and inams granted for any other Hindu charitable trus .....

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in ignoring the well under- stood meaning given to the expressions 'service inams' and 'service tenure' over decades of years. We must not also forget that the object of Madras Inams Assessment Act was to impose full assessment on Inam lands hitherto wholly or partly exempt from levy of land revenue. As far back as 1934, the Madras High Court in Subramania v. Kailasanatha AIR 1934 Madras 258 (Venkata Subba Rao, J.), pointed out that there were three possible views that might be .....

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ular office or by naming the individual grantee and burdening the grant with service, the named individual being the holder of an office, for the time being. In Hindu Religious Endowments Board, Madras v. Thadikonda Koteswara Rao, AIR 1937 Madras 852, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court considered a number of grants bearing these distinctions in mind. Where the grant was "for the worship of the idol in the pagoda" or "for the nithya naivedya deeparathana" or "for t .....

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