15 April 1955
Supreme Court


Case number: Writ Petition (Civil) 354 of 1954






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 15/04/1955


CITATION:  1955 AIR  504            1955 SCR  (2) 303

ACT:        Rajasthan  Land Reforms and Resumption of  Jagirs  Act(Raja-        sthan  Act  VI  of  1952)-Validity-Rajpramukh-Competence  to        enact  the  law-Covenant of the United State  of  Rajasthan,        arts.  VII (3), X (3)-"Ordinance", meaning of-Bill,  whether        prepared by the Rajpramukh as required by the  Constitution-        Resumption  of jagir lands -Legislative competence-Pith  and        substance  of legislation-Acquisition  or  resumption-Jagir,        meaning  of-Legislative  practice-Implied  grant-Legislative        grants-Constitution  of India, Arts. 14,, 31-A, 31(2),  212-        A(2),  385, Sch.  VII, List II, entries 18,  36-Marwar  Land        Revenue  Act , (XL of 1949), s. 169-Mewar Government  Kanoon        Mal   Act   (V  of  1947),  s.   106-Bhomicharas,   Bhomias,        Tikanadars,   Subeguzars,  Mansubdars,  holders   of   other        tenures.

HEADNOTE:        The Bill which came to be enacted as the Rajasthan Land  Re-        forms  and  Resumption  of Jagirs Act was  prepared  in  the        Ministerial  Department of the Government of Rajasthan.   It        was approved by the Rajpramukh on 8-2-1952, and reserved for        the  consideration of the President, who gave his assent  to        it  on 13-2-1952.  By notification issued on 16-2-1952,  the        Act came into force on 18-2-1952.  In pursuance of s.  21(1)        of  the  Act, the State of  Rajasthan  issued  notifications        resuming  the jagirs specified therein, whereupon  petitions        under Art. 226 of the Constitution were filed by the persons        aggrieved  challenging  the validity of the Act  before  the        Rajasthan  High  Court.  The petitions  were  dismissed  and        thereupon  they  filed petitions before  the  Supreme  Court        under  Art. 32 of the Constitution of India,  impugning  the        Act.   They contended inter alia that the Rajpramukh had  no        competence to enact the law, that the Bill was not  prepared        by  the  Rajpramakh  as  required  by  Art.  212-A(2),  that        resumption  was  not  one  of  the  topics  of   legislation        enumerated  either  in the State List or in  the  Concurrent        List  in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution  and  that        the  Act was therefore ultra vires the powers of the  State,        that  the Act did not provide for adequate compensation  nor



      was there any public purpose involved in it and therefore it        contravened  Art. 31(2), and that as the Act  was  discrimi-        natory  it  contravened Art. 14.  There  were  some  special        contentions that the Act was not saved by Art. 31-A, because        the lands resumed were neither estates nor jagirs nor grants        similar  to  jagirs,  inams or muafi and that  some  of  the        properties  sought to be resumed were not jagirs as  defined        in  the Act and therefore the notifications under s.  21  of        the Act in so far as they related to them were illegal.        39        304        Held that, (1) the Rajpramukh was competent to enact the im-        pugned  law,  under  Art.  385,  as  he  was  the  authority        functioning  immediately  before  the  commencement  of  the        Constitution  as the legislature of Rajasthan under art.   X        (3)  of the Covenant of the United State of Rajasthan.   The        expression  "Ordinance" in art.  X (3) must be construed  as        meaning  "Law".   Article  VII  (3)  of  the  Covenant   has        reference  to  the executive power which the Rulers  had  to        resume  jagirs and does not operate as a restriction on  the        legislative  powers under art.  X (3).  The  Legislature  of        the corresponding State mentioned in Art. 385 refers not  to        the  legislature under the Constitution, but to the body  or        the  authority which was functioning as the  legislature  of        the  State before the commencement of the  Constitution  and        under  Art.   X (3) of the Covenant of the United  State  of        Rajasthan, that authority was the Rajpramukh.        Article 385 does not require that that authority should have        had absolute and unlimited powers of legislation.  If it was        functioning   as  the  legislative  authority   before   the        Constitution,  it  would, under the article,  have  all  the        powers conferred by the Constitution on the House or  Houses        of legislature of the States.        (ii) Article  212-A(2)  which provides that  the  Rajpramukh        should  prepare  the Bill, does not require that  he  should        himself draft it.  It is sufficient if he decides  questions        of  policy which are of the essence of the legislation.   It        is  open to the Rajpramukh to adopt a Bill prepared  by  his        ministers  and  the only matter that will have  to  be  con-        sidered is whether in fact he did so.  There is no provision        in Art. 212-A(2) for the Rajpramukh approving of a Bill  and        an  endorsement  of  approval on the Bill  prepared  in  the        ministerial  department must therefore signify its  adoption        by  him.  When the Bill is produced with an  endorsement  of        approval  under his signature, the question must be held  to        be   concluded   and  any  further  discussion   about   the        legislative  or  executive state of mind of  the  Rajpramukh        must be ruled out as inadmissible.        (iii)     The impugned Act is not ultra vires the powers  of        the   State  Legislature  as  the  subject-matter  of   the-        legislation  is  in  substance  acquisition  of   properties        falling  under entry 36 of List II of the Seventh  Schedule.        Resumption  and acquisition connote two different  concepts,        but  whether  the  impugned Act is one  for  acquisition  of        jagirs or for their resumption must be determined with  ref-        erence  to  the pith and substance of the  legislation,  the        name  given to it by the legislature not being  decisive  of        the  matter.  The resumption for which the Act  provides  is        not  in  enforcement of the rights which the Rulers  had  to        resume  jagirs in accordance with the terms of the grant  or        the  law applicable to it, but in exercise of the  sovereign        rights of eminent domain possessed by the State.  Under  the        circumstances, the taking of the properties is in  substance        acquisition   notwithstanding   that  it  is   labelled   as        resumption.



      The  payment of compensation to the Jagirdars is  consistent        only with the taking being an acquisition and not resumption        in                                    305        accordance with the terms of the grant or the law applicable        to it.  Though the legislation also falls under entry 18  of        List  II  of the Seventh Schedule, there being an  entry  36        dealing with acquisition, it must be held that the Act falls        under that entry and is valid.        (iv) The  word  ’jagir’ connoted originally grants  made  by        Rajput  Rulers  to  their  clansmen  for  military  services        rendered  or  to  be rendered.  Later  on  grants  made  for        religious  and charitable purposes and even  to  non-Rajputs        were  called  jagirs,  and both in  its  popular  sense  and        legislative  practice,  the word jagir came to  be  used  as        connoting all grants which conferred on the grantees  rights        in  respect of land revenue, and that is the sense in  which        the word jagir should be construed in Art. 31-A.        The  object of Art. 31-A was to save legislation  which  was        directed  to  the  abolition  of  intermediaries  so  as  to        establish  direct  relationship between the  State  and  the        tillers  of  the soil.  Construing the word  in  that  sense        which would achieve that object in full measure, it must  be        held  that jagir was meant to cover all grants  under  which        the grantees had only rights in respect of revenue and  were        not  tillers of the soil.  Maintenance grants in  favour  of        persons  who  were not cultivators such as  members  of  the        ruling family would be jagirs for purposes of Art. 31-A.        (v)  Bhomicharas.   The Bhomicharas are the  representatives        of Rajput Rulers who conquered the. country and  established        their sovereignty over it in the thirteenth century.   Later        on  the  Ruler of Jodhpur imposed his sovereignty  over  the        territory  but permitted the previous rulers to continue  in        possession  of the lands on payment of an annual  sum.   The        question was whether they held the lands as jagirs.        Held that, there could be a jagir only by grant by the  Rul-        ing  power  but that such a grant need not be  express,  and        could  be implied and when the Ruler of Jodhpur imposed  his        sovereignty  over  the  territory  of  the  Bhomicharas  but        recognised their possession of the lands, it is as if  there        was annexation by him and re-grant to them of these lands.        Vajesinghji Joravar Singji and Others v. Secretary of  State        [(1924)  L.R. 51 I.A. 357] and Secretary of State v.  Sardar        Bustam Khan [(1941) L.R. 68 I.A. 109], referred to.        Though  the Bhomicharas enjoyed large powers,  their  status        was  only that of subjects.  The status of a person must  be        either  that  of  a sovereign or a  subject.   There  is  no        tertium  quid.  The law does not recognise  an  intermediate        status  of  a person being partly a sovereign and  partly  a        subject.  And when once it is admitted that the  Bhomicharas        had  acknowledged the sovereignty of Jodhpur,  their  status        can only be that of a subject.        Even  if the Bhomicharas did not prior to the  enactment  of        the  Marwar  Land Revenue Act XL of 1949 hold the  lands  as        grantees        306        from  the  State, they must be deemed to  have  become  such        grantees  by force of s. 169 of the Act which provides  that        all  lands  in  the  State vest in  the  Maharajah  and  all        proprietary interests therein are deemed to be held under  a        grant  from  him.   The Bbomicharas bad by  long  usage  and        recognition  and  by the legislative practice of  the  State        come  to  be recognised as jagirdars and their tenure  is  a        jagir within the intendment of s. 169.        For  the purposes of Art. 31-A, it would make no  difference



      whether  the grant is made by the sovereign in the  exercise        of  his  prerogative  right or by  the  legislature  in  the        exercise  of  its  sovereign rights, Grants  which  are  the        creatures of statutes called legislative grants are  equally        within the operation of that article.        Bhomicharas  are, accordingly, within the operation of  Art.        31-A.        (vi) The position of Bhumias in Mewar is similar to that  of        Bhomicharas in Marwar and in addition it was a condition  of        the  terms on which their title to the lands was  recognised        by  the  rulers of Chittoor and Udaipur, that  they  had  to        render  military service when called upon and also pay  quit        rent.   Their  title  to the lands therefore  rested  on  an        implied  grant and their tenure would be jagir even  in  its        stricter sense.        Section  27  of the Mewar Government Kanoon Mal  Act  (V  of        1947) enacts that all lands belong to His Highness and  that        no  person  has authority to take possession  of  any  lands        unless  the right is granted by His Highness.   Section  106        (1) of the Act declares that a Tikanadar, Jagirdar, Muafidar        or  Bhumia shall have all such revenue rights in  the  lands        comprised  in his jagir, muafi, or Bhom under this  Act,  as        are  granted to him by His Highness".  The effect  of  these        provisions  was  to impress on the Bhom tenure  the  charac-        teristics of a grant.        Article 13, Clause (1) of the Constitution of Mewar provided        that,  "no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty  or        property without due process of law, nor shall any person be        denied  equality  before the law within the  territories  of        Mewar".   It  was  contended for the  petitioners  that  the        impugned Act was void as contravening the above  provisions.        Held  that, as the authority which enacted the  Constitution        of Mewar was His Highness, it could be repealed or  modified        by the same authority, and the impugned Act must be held  to        have repealed the Constitution to the extent that it was in-        consistent with it.        (vii)     The Tikanadars of Shekwati got into possession  of        lands as ijaradars or lessees and were subsequently  treated        as  jagirdars.   Their tenure was, if not jagirs,  at  least        other "similar grants" within Art. 31-A.  It is included  in        Schedule I to the impugned Act as item 6.        The  nature  of  the tenures of lands  held  by  Subeguzars,        Mansubdars,  maintenance holders (Lawazma and  Kothrikarch),        Tikanadars   and   of  Naqdirazan,  Sansan   grants,   etc.,        considered,                                    307        (viii)    The  Khandela  estate  was granted in  1836  on  a        permanent  lease.   The  definition  of  jagir  in  s.  2(h)        includes the tenures mentioned in Schedule I to the Act  and        Istimrari tenure is item 2 therein. The question was whether        the Istimrar-ijara was within item 2.        Held  that, the essential features of Istimrari  tenure  are        that the lands are assessed to a nominal quit rent, and that        it  is  permanent.   The  amount  of  Rs.  80,001  fixed  as        assessment  under  the  deed of 1836 cannot be  said  to  be        nominal.  The grant is, therefore, not an Istimrari  tenure,        but a permanent Izara.        (ix) Objections raised as to the validity of the Act on  the        ground that it did not provide for payment of  compensation,        that there was no public purpose involved in the  resumption        and  that  therefore it contravenes Art. 31(2) or  that  the        provisions  of  the Act offend Art. 14, are  barred  by  the        provisions of Art. 31-A of the Constitution.        Even apart from Art. 31-A, the impugned Act must be held  to        be  supported by public purpose and is not in  contravention



      of Art. 31(2).  Nor is there a contravention of Art. 14,  as        under the Act all jagirs are liable to be resumed, no  power        having been conferred on the Government to grant exemption.        State  of  Bihar v. Maharajadhiraja Sir Kameshwar  Singh  of        Darbhanga  and  Others ([1952] S.C.R.  889)  and  Biswambhar        Singh v. The State of Orissa and Others ([1954] S.C.R. 842),        referred to.        The true scope of the rule of ejusdem generis is that  words        of a general nature following specific and particular  words        should  be construed as limited to things which are  of  the        same  nature  as those specified and not its  reverse,  that        specific words ’which precede are controlled by the  general        words which follow.

JUDGMENT:        ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: Petitions Nos. 354 to 359, 362,   370        to 385, 387 to 469, 471 to 475, 477 to  479) 482   to   486,        488) 490, 491 , 493 to 497, 502, 503, 510,   511   to   521,        525,  527 to 529, 535 to 563, 570, 572 to 575, 577  to  584,        586 to 588, 592 to 595, 597, 600@ 602, 603, 606 to 610,  613        to  619, 624, 626 to 634, 637 to 645, 653, 654, 656 to  659,        661,  662, 668, 672, 675, 679, 684 to 688 of 1954 and  I  to        14, 17, 20, 21, 25 to 27, 35 to 37, 45, 47, 49, 52, 55 to 57        and 61 to 66 of 1955.        Petitions  under  Article  32 of the  Constitution  for  the        enforcement of fundamental rights.        Dr.   Bakshi Tek Chand, (O.  C. Chatterjee and K. L.  Mehta,        with  him)  for  ’the petitioners  in  Petitions  Nos.  354,        362,382 to 385, 511 to 516, 519, 537,        308        541, 543 to 547, 550, 553, 556, 558 to 562, 570, 573 to 575,        582 to 584, 587, 588, 593 to 595, 597, 602, 603, 607 to 609,        613, 614, 616 to 619, 626, 628, 631 to 633, 637, 640 to 642,        644, 645, 653, 657 to 659, 661, 662) 6795 684 to 688 of 1954        and  2 to 7, 9 to 14, 21, 25 to 27, 35, 37, 45, 47, 49,  52,        55) 57, 63 and 65 of 1955.        H.   L.  Mordia  and  K. L. Mehta  for  the  Petitioners  in        Petitions Nos. 55 and 65 of 1955.        Frank  Anthony  and  K. L. Mehta,  for  the  Petitioners  in        Petitions Nos. 56 and 64 of 1955.        U.   M.   Trivedi,  (K.   L.  Mehta,  with  him),  for   the        Petitioners in Petitions Nos. 615 of 1954 and 20 of 1955.        R.   K.  Rastogi  and  K. L. Mehta, for  the  Petitioner  in        Petition No. 634 of 1954.        K.   L.  Mehta,  for the Petitioner in Petition  No.  36  of        1955.        Dr.   Bakshi Tek Chand, (O.  C. Chatterjee and  Naunit  Lal,        with him), for the Petitioners in Petitions Nos. 356 to 359,        370, 372, 373, 374, 376 to 378, 380,, 389, 390, 393 to  400,        415, 4175 463, 469, 482, 484, 521, 563, 577, 578, 586,  592,        606, 610, 627 and 656 of 1954.        Achhru  Ram,  (Naunit Lal, with him) for the  Petitioner  in        Petition No. 391 of 1954.        Naunit Lal, for the Petitioners in Petitions Nos. 355,  371,        375,  379,  416, 455, 468, 483, 485, 488, 491, 493  to  497,        517, 525, 529, 538, 540, 542 and 551 of 1954.        Dr.   Bakshi  Tek  Chand, (Ganpat Rai, with  him),  for  the        Petitioners  in  Petitions Nos. 381, 387, 388, 402  to  410,        412, 413, 418 to 423; 425, 426, 428 to 454, 456 to 459,  464        to  466, 477, 478, 486, 503, 510, 520, 548, 552,  557,  572,        580, 600, 624, 639, 668 of 1954 and 8 and 17 of 1955.        N.   C. Chatterjee, (Ganpat Rai and S. K. Kapur,                                    309



      with  him), for the Petitioners in Petitions Nos. 462,  536,        549, 579, 630, 638 and 654 of 1954.        U.   M. Trivedi, (Ganpat Rai, with him), for the Petitioners        in Petitions Nos. 629, 643, 672 of 1954 and 66 of 1955.        Achhru  Ram, (Ganpat Rai, with him), for the  Petitioner  in        Petition No. 424 of 1954.        Frank  Anthony  and  Ganpat  Rai,  for  the  Petitioners  in        Petitions Nos. 401, 414) 460) 5023 518, 535 and 539 of 1954.        S.   K.  Kapur  and  Ganpat  Rai,  for  the  Petitioners  in        Petitions Nos. 411 and 675 of 1954.        R.   K.  Rastogi  and  Ganpat Rai, for  the  Petitioners  in        Petitions Nos. 427 and 461 of 1954.        O.   C.  Chatterji  and Ganpat Rai, for  the  Petitioner  in        Petition No. 62 of 1955.        J.   B. Dadachanji and Rajinder Narain, for the  Petitioners        in  Petitions Nos. 473, 479, 490, 527, 528, 554 and  581  of        1954 and Nos. 1 and 61 of 1955.        C.   L. Aggarwal and Rajinder Narain, for the Petitioners in        Petitions Nos: 471, 472, 474 and 475 of 1954.        K.   P. Gupta, for the Petitioners in Petitions Nos. 467 and        555 of 1954.        S.   C.   Isaacs,  (S.   D.  Sekhri,  with  him),  for   the        Petitioner in Petition No. 392 of 1954.        K.   S. Hajela, Advocate-General for the State of  Rajasthan        and  G. S. Pathak, (Daulat Ram Bhandari, Porus A. Mehta,  P.        G.  Gokhale  and Kan Singh, with them), for  the  Respondent        (State of Rajasthan) in all the petitions.        1955.  April 15.  The Judgment of the Court was delivered by        VENKATARAMA AYYAR J.-These are applications under Article 32        of the Constitution impugning the validity of the  Rajasthan        Land  Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act No. VI  of  1952,        hereinafter referred        310        to  as  the  Act.  The history of this  legislation  may  be        briefly  stated.   On  20-8-1949  the  Government  of  India        appointed a Committee presided over by Sri C. S. Venkatachar        to  examine and report on the jagirdari and land tenures  in        Rajputana  and Madhya Bharat, the object avowedly  being  to        effect  land reforms so as to establish direct  relationship        between  the  State  and  the tillers of  the  soil  and  to        eliminate  all intermediaries between them.  By  its  report        dated  18-12-1949 the Committee recommended inter  alia  the        resumption of jagirs and payment of rehabilitation grants in        certain  cases.  (Vide report, page 62).   The  question  of        legislation on the subject was taken up by the Government of        Rajasthan  in  1951,  and  eventually  a  Bill  called   the        Rajasthan  Land  Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs  Bill  was        prepared,   and  on  31-12-1951  it  was  approved  by   the        Rajpramukh  and  reserved  for  the  consideration  of   the        President.  On 21-1-1952 the President with held his  assent        from  the  Bill,  and in communicating  this  decision,  the        Deputy  Secretary  to the Government of India  informed  the        Rajasthan Government that if certain amendments were made in        the  Bill  as  presented and a  fresh  Bill  submitted,  the        President  would  be willing to reconsider the  matter.   In        accordance with these suggestions, a fresh Bill was prepared        in   the   Ministerial  Department   incorporating   certain        amendments,  and it was approved by the Rajpramukh  on  8-2-        1952,  and reserved for the consideration of the  President,        who  gave  his assent to it on 13-2-1952.   By  notification        issued  on 16-2-1952 the Act came into force  on  18-2-1952.        Section 21 (1) of the Act provides that:        "As  soon as may be after the commencement of this Act,  the        Government  may  by notification in the  Rajasthan  Gazette,        appoint  a  date for the resumption of any  class  of  jagir



      lands  and  different dates may be appointed  for  different        classes of jagir lands".        Acting  under this provision, the State of Rajasthan  issued        notifications   resuming  the  jagirs   specified   therein,        whereupon  petitions under Article 226 of  the  Constitution        were filed by the persons aggrieved challenging the validity        of the Act.  These petitions were                                    311        heard  by  a Full Bench of the Rajasthan High  Court,  which        held overruling the contentions of the petitioners, that the        Act was valid. (Vide Amarsingh v. State of Rajasthan(1).        The  present applications have been filed under  article  32        impugning the Act on the following grounds:        I.The Rajpramukh had no competence to enact law, and the Act        in question is therefore not a valid piece of legislation.        II.  The Bill was not prepared by the Rajpramukh as required        by article 212-A(2), and therefore the law   was not validly        enacted.        III.      Resumption is not one of the topics of legislation        enumerated  either  in the State list or in  the  Concurrent        List  in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution,  and  the        Act is therefore ultra vires the powers of the State.        IV.  The Act does not provide for adequate compensation; nor        is  there  any  public purpose involved in  it,  and  so  it        contravenes   article  31(2)  It  is   discriminatory,   and        therefore  contravenes article 14.  And the  legislation  is        not  saved  by article 31-A, because the lands  resumed  are        neither  estates  nor jagirs nor grants similar  to  jagirs,        inams  or  muafi This contention is special to some  of  the        petitioners,  and has reference to the  specific  properties        held by them.        V.   The  properties sought to be resumed are not jagirs  as        defined  in the Act, and the notifications under section  21        in so far as they relate to them are illegal.  This again is        a special contention urged in some of the petitions.        These contentions will now be considered seriatim.        1.   On  the  first  question as to the  competence  of  the        Rajpramukh  to enact the law, it is necessary to notice  the        events  which  led  up  to the formation  of  the  State  of        Rajasthan  and  the constitution of the  Rajpramukh  as  its        head.  During the 12th and 13th Centuries, the Rajput rulers        who were then reigning        (1)  A.I.R. 1954 Rajasthan 291.        40        312        over various parts of Hindusthan were compelled by  pressure        from  the victorious Muhammadan invaders to retreat  to  the        regions  to the southwest guarded by the Aravali  Hills  and        interspersed with deserts which if less hospitable were also        less  vulnerable, and there established several  independent        kingdoms.  The period which followed the foundation of these        States was marked by incessant wars, the powerful Sultans of        Delhi  making  determined efforts to  subjugate  the  Rajput        princes  and the latter offering stubborn and more  or  less        successful  resistance  thereto.  The  annals  of  Rajputana        especially  of this period, present a story of heroic  deeds        of  men  and  women and are among  the  most  inspiring  and        fascinating  chapters in the history of this  country.   The        Moghul  Emperors  who established themselves later  saw  the        wisdom  of  conciliating the Rajput rulers,  and  recognised        their position as Chiefs getting in return an acknowledgment        of their suzerainty from them, and a promise to send  troops        in support of the Imperial arms whenever required.  When the        power of the great Moghul waned and the British  established        themselves  as masters of this country, they in  their  turn



      recognised  the  Rajput princes as Sovereigns,  and  entered        into  treaties with them during the Period between  1803  to        1818.  (Vide  Aitchison’s Treaties, Volume III).   By  these        treaties,  the British Government accepted their  status  as        independent rulers reserving to themselves Defence, External        Relations and Communications and such other matters as might        be  agreed upon.  The relationship thus created was  one  of        "subordinate union" as it was termed by Mr. Lee Warner,  the        princes   being   recognised   as   Sovereigns   and    they        acknowledging the suzerainty of the British. (Vide Protected        Princes of India,, Chapter VI).        On  15-8-1947 India became independent, and the  paramountcy        of  the British Crown over the States ceased.  The  question        then  arose as to the status of the ruling Chiefs.   It  was        soon  realised by them that in the larger interests  of  the        country and in their own, they could not afford to keep  out        of  the  Indian Union and must throw in their lot  with  it.        The                                    313        problem  of fitting them within the framework of the  Indian        Constitution was beset with considerable difficulties.   The        number  of States which had been recognised  as  independent        prior to 15-8-1947 was 552 excluding Hyderabad, Junagadh and        Kashmir.  While a few of them were sufficiently large to  be        able  to function as separate States, many of them were  too        small  to be administered as distinct units.  While some  of        them had representative forms of Government others had  not,        the rulers being the sole authority: executive,  legislative        and  judicial.   The  solution  which  was  adopted  by  the        Government  of India was that while the bigger  States  were        continued  as  independent units of the Union,  the  smaller        States  were,  where they formed islets within  a  Province,        merged within that Province, and where they were contiguous,        integrated  together  so as to form a new State  called  the        Union.        One  of the Unions thus newly formed was  Rajasthan.   There        were  at  that time 18 independent rulers  functioning  over        different  parts  of  Rajasthan.  Nine of  them,  rulers  of        Banswara,  Bundi,  Dungarpur, Jhalawar,  Kishengarh,  Kotah,        Pratapgarh,  Shahpura and Tonk-entered into an agreement  in        March -1948 merging their States in a single unit called the        United  State of Rajasthan.  The ruler of Mewar joined  this        Union  on  18-4-1948,  and the rulers  of  Jaipur,  Jodhpur,        Bikaner  and Jaisalmere on 30-3-1949.  The rulers of  Alwar,        Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli who bad formed themselves  on        18-3-1948  as Matsya Union dissolved that Union and  acceded        to  the Rajasthan Union on 15-5-1949.  With that,  the  full        strength of the State of Rajasthan was made up.        The  constitution  of the United State of  Rajasthan  as  it        finally emerged is to be found in the Covenant entered  into        by  the  14 rulers on 30-3-1949.  As the  authority  of  the        Rajpramukh to enact the impugned legislation was founded  on        this  Covenant,  it is necessary to refer  to  the  material        provisions  thereof bearing on the question.  Under  Article        II,  the Covenanting States agreed "to unite  and  integrate        their  territories  in  one State with  a  common  executive        legisla-        314        ture  and  judiciary,  by the name of the  United  State  of        Rajasthan".   Article VI(2) provides that the ruler of  each        Covenanting State shall "make over the administration of his        State to the Rajpramukh, and thereupon all rights, authority        and  jurisdiction belonging to the ruler which appertain  or        are  incidental to the Government of the Covenanting  States        shall  vest in the United State and shall thereafter be  ex-



      ercisable  only  as  provided by this  Covenant  or  by  the        Constitution  to  be  framed thereunder.   Article  VII  (3)        provides:        "Unless   other  provision  is  made  by  the  Act  of   the        Legislature of the United State, the right to resume  Jagirs        or to recognise succession, according to law and custom,  to        the   rights  and  titles  of  the  jagirdars   shall   vest        exclusively  in  the Rajpramukh".  Them comes  article  X(3)        which is as follows:        "Until  a Constitution so framed comes into operation  after        receiving  the  assent of the  Rajpramukh,  the  legislative        authority of the United State shall vest in the  Rajpramukh,        who  may  make and promulgate Ordinances for the  peace  and        good  Government of the State or any part thereof,  and  any        Ordinance so made shall have the like force of law as an Act        passed by the legislature of the United State". Article X(3)        was  subsequently  modified by substituting  for  the  words        "Until  a Constitution so framed comes into operation  after        receiving  the assent of the Rajpramukh", the  words  "Until        the   Legislative  Assembly  of  Rajasthan  has  been   duly        constituted and summoned to meet for the first session under        the provisions of the Constitution of India".  This  modifi-        cation  was  necessitated  by  the fact  that  the  idea  of        convening a Constituent Assembly for framing a  Constitution        for the State as contemplated in article X (1) was  dropped,        and  the Constitution as enacted for the Union of India  was        adopted.  This amendment, however, is of a formal character,        and does not affect the substance of the matter.        Then,  there  is  article  XIX  under  which  the  Rajasthan        Government  was  to act "under the general  control  of  and        comply with such particular directions,                                    315        if any, as may from time to time, be given by the Government        of  India".   These  are  the  material  provisions  of  the        Constitution  which  was  in force in the  United  State  of        Rajasthan  before  the  Constitution  of  India  came   into        operation on 26-11-1950.        Article 385 of the Constitution enacts:        "Until  the  House or Houses of the Legislature of  a  State        specified  in Part B of the First Schedule has or have  been        duly constituted and summoned to meet for the first  session        under  the  provisions  of this Constitution,  the  body  or        authority functioning immediately before the commencement of        this  Constitution as the legislature of  the  corresponding        Indian  States  shall exercise the powers  and  perform  the        duties  conferred by the provisions of this Constitution  on        the  House  or  Houses of the Legislature of  the  State  so        specified".        It  is the contention of the respondent that the  Rajpramukh        was by reason of article X(3) of the Covenant "the authority        functioning  immediately  before  the  commencement  of  the        Constitution  as the Legislature" of Rajasthan, and that  he        could  under  article  385 exercise  the  powers  which  the        Legislature  of  the  State could.  It is  conceded  by  the        petitioners that at the time of the impugned legislation. no        House of Legislature had been constituted and summoned,  and        that  to  that extent the requirements of that  Article  are        satisfied;   but  their  contention  is  that  on   a   true        construction of the articles of the Covenant the  Rajpramukh        was  not an authority functioning as Legislature within  the        meaning  of article 385, and further that article VII(3)  of        the  Covenant imposed a prohibition on his power to enact  a        law   of  the  kind  now  under  challenge,  and  that   the        prohibition had not been abrogated by the Constitution.        The  question then is which was the body or authority  which



      was  functioning as the Legislature of the United  State  of        Rajasthan  under  the terms of the Covenant.   Article  X(3)        expressly  provides  that the legislative authority  of  the        State  shall  vest in the Rajpramukh.  The meaning  of  this        provision is clear and unambigu-        316        ous;  but it is argued for the petitioners that it  is  con-        trolled  and  cut  down by  the  expression  "Ordinance"  in        article  X(3)  and  by the terms of article  VII(3)  and  of        article  XIX.  It is contended by Mr. N. C. Chatterjee  that        the  legislative  authority of the Rajpramukh  was  only  to        "make  and promulgate Ordinance" that it is a limited  power        conferred  on  him  to be exercised  in  case  of  emergency        pending  the constitution of popular legislature,  and  that        accordingly  he  was not a "legislative authority"  for  the        purpose of article 385. But this is to import into the  word        "Ordinance" what    it  connotes  under  the  Government  of        India Act, 1935     or the Constitution of India.   Sections        42  and 88 of the Government of India Act conferred  on  the        Governor-General  and  the Governor  respectively  power  to        promulgate  ordinances  when  the  Legislature  was  not  in        session.   Similar power is conferred on the  President  and        the  Governors by articles 123 and 213 of the  Constitution.        That  is a legislative power exercisable by the head of  the        State,  when  it  is not possible  for  the  Legislature  to        exercise it.  But the United State of Rajasthan had then  no        Legislature, which had yet to be constituted, and  therefore        in its context, the word "Ordinance" in article X (3) cannot        bear the meaning which it has under the Government of  India        Act  or  the  Constitution.  It should  be  remembered  that        before  the formation of the United State,  the  Covenanting        rulers  enjoyed  sovereign rights of  legislation  in  their        respective  territories; and under article VI (2) (a),  they        agreed to surrender those rights and vest them in the United        State.  It was therefore plainly intended that the State  of        Rajasthan should have plenary. legislative authority such as        was  formerly  exercised  by the rulers; and  where  was  it        lodged, if not in the Rajpramukh?        If  we are to construe article X(3) in the manner  contended        for  by  the  petitioners, then the  anomalous  result  will        follow  that there was in that State no authority  in  which        the  legislative  power  was  vested.   This  anomaly  would        disappear if we are to construe "Ordinance" as meaning  law.        That  indeed is its etymological meaning.  According to  the        Concise Ox-                                    317        ford  Dictionary, "to ordain" means "to decree, enact";  and        "Ordinance"  would therefore mean "decree,  enactment".   In        Halsbury’s Laws of England, Volume XI, page 183, para 327 it        is  stated that when the Governor of a colony which  has  no        representative  assembly enacts legislation with the  advice        and consent of the State council, it is designated ordinance        or law.  That clearly is the sense in which the word is used        in  article  X(3), and that is placed beyond  doubt  by  the        words which follow, that the Ordinance is to have "the  like        force  of  law as an Act passed by the  Legislature  of  the        United State".        It  was next urged that under article VII(3) the  Rajpramukh        was given authority to resume jagirs only in accordance with        law and custom, that he had no authority to enact a law  for        the  resumption  of  jagirs  on  grounds  other  than  those        recognised  by  law and custom, that section 22 of  the  Act        provided   that   the   resumption  was   to   take   effect        notwithstanding  any jagir law which as defined  in  section        2(d)  includes  also custom, that such a  law  was  directly



      opposed  to what was authorised by article VII(3), that  the        legislative  powers  conferred under article X (3)  must  be        exercised subject to the restrictions under article  VII(3),        and that the Act was therefore beyond his competence.   This        contention  is,  in  our  opinion,  untenable.   The   words        "according to law and custom" cannot be held to qualify  the        words  "right to resume jagirs", because they are wedged  in        between  the words "right to recognise succession"  and  the        words  "to the rights and titles of Jagirdars", and must  be        construed  as  qualifying  only  "the  right  to   recognise        succession to the rights and titles of Jagirdars".  But this        may not, by itself, be of much consequence, as the power  to        resume  provided  in  this  article  is  what  the   grantor        possesses under law and custom.  The real difficulty in  the        way of the petitioners is that article VII(3) has  reference        to the power which rulers of States had as rulers to  resume        jagirs, and what it provides is that it should thereafter be        exercised  by  the  Rajpramukh.  That  power  is  purely  an        executive  one, and has nothing to do with  the  legislative        power of the ruler, which        318        is  specially  provided  for in article  X(3).   The  fields        covered  by the two articles are distinct and separate,  and        there  can be no question of article VII(3) operating  as  a        restriction  on  the legislative power under  article  X(3).        Indeed, article VII(3) expressly provides that it is subject        to  any legislation on the subject, whereas article X(3)  is        not made subject to article VII(3).        Even  if the petitioners are right in their contention  that        article  VII(3)  imposes a limitation on the powers  of  the        Rajpramukh, that would not, in view of article 385, derogate        from  the power of the Rajpramukh to enact the present  law.        The  scope  of that article is that the  body  or  authority        which was functioning before the commencement of the Consti-        tution  as  the  Legislature of the State has  first  to  be        ascertained,  and when once that has been done and the  body        or  authority identified, the Constitution confides to  that        body or authority all the powers conferred by the provisions        of the Constitution on the House or Houses of Legislature of        the  State.  These powers might be wider than what the  body        or authority previously possessed or they might be narrower.        But  they  are  the powers which are  allowed  to  it  under        article  385,  and the extent of the previous  authority  is        wholly   immaterial.   The  contention  that  the   Act   is        incompetent by reason of article VII(3) of the Covenant must        accordingly fail.        It  was next argued that the powers of the Rajpramukh  under        article  X(3)  were subject to the general  control  of  the        Government of India under article XIX, and that he could not        therefore  be  regarded  as legislative  authority  for  the        purpose of article 385.  We see no force in this contention.        Article  385  provides  that  the  authority  which  was  to        exercise legislative powers in the interim period under that        Article should be the authority which was functioning as the        Legislature  of  the State before the  commencement  of  the        Constitution.   It  does  not  further  require  that   that        authority  should  have  possessed  absolute  and  unlimited        powers  of  legislation.  It could not be, and it  was  not,        contended that the effect of article XIX        319        was  to vest the legislative authority of the State  in  the        Government  of India, and that being so, the Rajpramukh  was        the  legislative  authority  of  the  State,  whatever   the        limitations on that authority.        it was finally contended that article 385 has no application



      to   the  present  case,  because  under  article  168   the        Legislature  is to consist of both the Governor and  one  or        more Houses, that article 238(7) extends article 168 to Part        B  States  substituting the Rajpramukh in the place  of  the        Governor, that accordingly the Rajpramukh cannot by  himself        constitute the Legislature, and that when article 385 refers        to  the  body or authority functioning  as  Legislature,  it        could  only  refer  to both the  Rajpramukh  and  the  House        functioning in conjunction.  Support for this contention was        sought in the terms of article 212-A(1) of the  Constitution        (Removal  of Difficulties) Order No. 11, which  excluded  in        relation to Part B States only the first proviso to  article        200,  but not the body of it.  If this contention is  sound,        then article 385 must be treated as a dead letter as regards        such  of the Part B States as had no House  of  Legislature.        But,  in our opinion, this contention is untenable,  because        article   385   refers  not  to   Legislatures   under   the        Constitution  but  to  the  body  or  authority  which   was        functioning  as  the  Legislature of the  State  before  the        commencement  of the Constitution., and article  238(7)  is,        under the Constitution (Removal of Difficulties) Order  sub-        ject to article 385.  Nor can any argument be founded on the        exclusion of the first proviso to article 200 but not of the        body  of  that article under article 212-A (1),  because  it        lays down the procedure to be followed when a Bill has  been        passed by a Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a        State,  and is by its very terms inapplicable when there  is        no  House  of  Legislature.  The  contention  of  Mr.  Frank        Anthony  that the non-inclusion of the body of  article  200        among  the  articles  excluded from application  to  Part  B        States under article 212-A(1) imposes by implication a limi-        tation  on the power of the Rajpramukh to enact laws  unless        they are passed by Legislative Assemblies is        320        not  supported  by  anything in the  article,  and  must  be        rejected.  We must accordingly bold that the Rajpramukh  had        legislative competence to enact the law under     challenge.        II.The  second  contention  that has  been  pressed  by  the        petitioners   is  that  the  Rajasthan  Land   Reforms   and        Resumption of Jagirs Bill was not prepared by the Rajpramukh        as  required  by  article 212-A(2), and  that  the  Act  was        therefore  not validly enacted.  The facts material for  the        purpose  of  this  contention are that the  Bill  was  first        prepared  in the Ministerial Department in  accordance  with        the  rules framed under article 166(3) for  the  "convenient        transaction of the business of the State".  It was  approved        by  the Council of Ministers on 27-12-1951 and sent  to  the        Rajpramukh with the following note by the Secretary:        "The  Bill is submitted for gracious approval and  signature        and   for  reserving  it  for  the  consideration   of   the        President".        Then  there is firstly an endorsement "approved"  signed  by        the  Rajpramukh  and  dated  31-12-1951,  and  then  follows        another  endorsement,  "I hereby reserve this Bill  for  the        consideration of the President" similarly signed and  dated.        On 21-1-1952 the President endorsed on the Bill, "I withhold        my  assent  from the Bill".  Thereafter, a  fresh  Bill  was        prepared  and submitted to the Rajpramukh on  6-2-1952  with        the following note by the Chief Secretary:        "The  Bill  as  finally agreed to is now  submitted  to  His        Highness  the Rajpramukh for his approval and for  reserving        the same for the consideration of the President".        The  Rajpramukh  gave  his approval on 8-2-1952,  and  by  a        further order he reserved the Bill for the consideration  of        the  President  who gave his assent on 13-2-1952.  Now,  the



      question  is  whether  on these facts  the  requirements  of        article 212-A(2) have been complied with.        Article 212-A(2) was enacted by the Constitution (Removal of        Difficulties) Order No. 11, and is as follows:                                    321        "The   Rajpramukh   or  other   authority   exercising   the        legislative  powers  in any such State  as  aforesaid  under        article  385  shall  prepare such Bills  as  may  be  deemed        necessary, and the Rajpramukh shall declare as respects  any        Bill so prepared either that he assents to the Bill or  that        he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves it for the        consideration of the President".        The  contention of the petitioners is that as the  Bill  was        prepared  by the Ministers and not the  Rajpramukh,  article        212-A(2) had been contravened, and that, in consequence, the        law  had  not been properly enacted.  It  is  conceded  that        under  this article the Rajpramukh has not himself to  draft        the  Bill, and that be might delegate that work  to  others.        But  they insist-and in our opinion, rightly-that  questions        of policy which are of the essence of the legislation should        at least be decided by him, and that even that had not  been        done  in  the  present  case.  They  rely  strongly  on  the        statements  in  the  affidavit  of  Sri  Joshi,  the   Jagir        Commissioner,  that the Bill was drafted in the  Ministerial        Department in accordance with the rules framed under article        166(3), approved by the Council of Ministers and sent on  to        the Rajpramukh for his assent.  These allegations, they con-        tend,  preclude any supposition that the Rajpramukh had  any        part or lot in the settlement of the policies underlying the        Act,  and the Bill must be held therefore not to  have  been        prepared by him.        Taking it that such are the facts, what follows?  Only  that        at   the  inception  the  Bill  was  not  prepared  by   the        Rajpramukh.  But that does not conclude the question whether        there  bad been compliance with article 212-A(2), unless  we        hold that it was not open to the Rajpramukh to adopt a  Bill        prepared by the Ministers as his own, or if it was open,  he        did not, in fact, do so.  It cannot be disputed that whether        a  Bill is in the first instance prepared by the  Rajpramukh        or whether he adopts what had been prepared by the Ministers        as  his own, the position in law is the same.  That has  not        been disputed by the petitioners.  Their contention is  that        such adoption        322        should  be clearly and unequivocally established,  and  that        the  records do not establish it.  It was argued  that  when        the Bill was sent to the Rajpramukh, he was not called  upon        to apply his legislative mind to it but to merely assent  to        it on the executive side; that when the Rajpramukh  endorsed        his  approval  he  was, as admitted  by  Sri  Joshi,  merely        assenting  to it, that assent implied that the Act  assented        to was not that of the person assenting, and that  therefore        there  was  nothing  to indicate  that  the  Rajpramukh  had        adopted  the Bill prepared by the Ministers as his own.   It        was argued by Mr. Agarwala that when the word " approve" was        used  in  the Constitution as in articles 146  and  147,  it        signified that there were two authorities, one of which  was        authorised  to  confirm  or  sanction  what  the  other  had        authority to do, and that when the latter was not authorised        to  do  the  act, there could be no approval of  it  by  the        former;  and he also relied on the statement of the  law  in        Corpus  Juris, Volume I, page 1365 that the  word  ’approve’        does not mean the same thing as ’adopt’.        The  fallacy  in this argument lies in  isolating  the  word        "approved"   from  out  of  its  setting  and  context   and



      interpreting  it  narrowly.  It will be noticed  that  under        article  212-A  (2) the Rajpramukh has to  do  two  distinct        acts:  Firstly  he has to prepare the  Bill,  and  secondly-        leaving  out  of consideration the first  two  alternatives,        namely, assenting to, or with holding assent from, the  Bill        as not material for the present discussion-he has to reserve        it for the consideration of the President.  When he  himself        prepares  the Bill, he has, in order to comply with  article        212-A(2)  merely to reserve it for the consideration of  the        President.   In such a case, no question of approval to  the        Bill  by  him  can arise, but when the  Bill  has  not  been        prepared by him, he has firstly, if he thinks fit, to  adopt        it  before he could pass on to the second stage and  reserve        the  Bill  for the consideration of the President;  and  the        very purpose of his endorsing his approval on the Bill is to        show  that  he  has thought fit to adopt it.   There  is  no        provision  in article 212-A(2) for the Rajpramukh  approving        of a Bill, and in                                    323        the  context, therefore, an endorsement of approval  on  the        Bill  must  signify its adoption by him.  We are  unable  to        follow the subtle distinction sought to be made by Mr. Frank        Anthony  between the Legislative mind of the Rajpramukh  and        his  executive  mind.  If it is open to  the  Rajpramukh  to        adopt a Bill prepared by his Ministers, the only matter that        will  have to be considered is whether, in fact, he did  so.        And  when  the  Bill  is produced  with  an  endorsement  of        approval  under his signature, the question must be held  to        be   concluded,  and  any  further  discussion   about   the        legislative  or  executive state of mind of  the  Rajpramukh        must be ruled out as inadmissible.        It must be mentioned in this connection that Mr. Pathak  for        the respondent took up the position that the function of the        Rajpramukh  at  the  stage of preparation of  the  Bill  was        purely  executive, and that it became legislative only  when        he  had  to decide whether he would assent to  the  Bill  or        withhold  his  assent  therefrom,  or  reserve  it  for  the        consideration  of the President, and that by leaving  it  to        the  Ministers  to  prepare  the  Bill  there  had  been  no        violation of article 212-A(2).  We are unable to agree  with        this  contention.   When  a  Bill has  been  passed  by  the        Legislative Assembly of a State, article 200 enacts that  it        shall be presented to the Governor who is to declare whether        he  assents  to  it or withholds his  assent  therefrom,  or        reserves  it for the consideration of the  President.   When        there  is no Legislative Assembly in a State, the matter  is        governed by article 212-A(2), and there is substituted under        that article in the place of the passing of the Bill by  the        Legislature, the preparation thereof by the Rajpramukh,  and        then follows the provision that he has to declare whether he        assents to or withholds his assent from the Bill or reserves        it  for  the consideration of the President.   The  position        under  article  212-A(2) has thus been assimilated  to  that        under  article  200,  the preparation of  the  Bill  by  the        Rajpramukh  taking the place of the passing of the  Bill  by        the  Legislative  Assembly,  and  the  one  is  as  much   a        legislative function as the other.        One other contention attacking the Act on the        324        ground  of procedural defect may now be considered.  It  was        argued by Mr. Trivedi that under the proviso to article 201,        the  President  bad  no power to return  a  Money  Bill  for        further  consideration by a House of Legislature,  that  his        order  dated 21-1-1952 returning the Rajasthan Land  Reforms        and Resumption of Jagirs Bill for further consideration  was



      ultra  vires  as it was a Money Bill,  that  the  subsequent        presentation   of   the  Bill  to  him   on   8-2-1952   was        unauthorised,  and that the impugned Act had  therefore  not        been  duly  passed.   This argument  is  clearly  erroneous.        Under  article 212-A(1), the proviso to article 201  has  no        application to those Part B States where there was no  House        of the Legislature; and we are unable to follow the argument        of the learned counsel that even so, the limitation  imposed        by  the  proviso  is implicit in the  body  of  the  article        itself.   Moreover, the order of the President  dated  21-1-        1952 is not one returning the Bill for further consideration        by  the House but one refusing assent.  It is true that  the        Deputy  Secretary  sent  a communication  to  the  Rajasthan        Government  suggesting some amendments.  But this  does  not        alter  the  character of the order of the President  as  one        withholding   assent.   And  finally  the  Bill  which   was        submitted  again to the President for consideration on  6-2-        1952  was  a  fresh  Bill, the  previous  Bill  having  been        modified  as  regards  the  scales  of  compensation.    The        contention,  therefore,  that  the  Act  is  bad  for   non-        compliance  with  article 212-A(2) or for  other  procedural        defects must be rejected.        III.  We  may  now  consider the  third  contention  of  the        petitioners  that  the  Act in so far  as  it  provides  for        resumption  of jagir lands is ultra vires the powers of  the        State Legislature, as it is not one of the topics  mentioned        either in List II or List III of the Seventh Schedule to the        Constitution.  The contention of the respondent is that  the        Act  is in substance a law relating to acquisition,  and  is        covered  by  Entry No. 36 in the State List.  On  the  other        hand,  the petitioners maintain that the  subject-matter  of        the  legislation  is  what  it avows  itself  to  be,  viz.,        resumption  of  jagirs, that resumption is  in  law  totally        different from                                    325        acquisition,  and that the Act is therefore not  covered  by        Entry No. 36.        We   agree   with  the  petitioners  that   resumption   and        acquisition  connote  two different legal  concepts.   While        resumption  implies  that  the  person  or  authority  which        resumes  the  property  has  pre-existing  rights  over  it,        acquisition  carries  no such implication, and  in  general,        while  the  effect  of  resumption  is  to  extinguish   the        interests  of the person whose property is resumed, that  of        acquisition  is to vest that interest in the acquirer.   But        the  question still remains whether the impugned Act is  one        for  acquisition of jagirs or for their resumption;  and  to        determine  that, we must see what the pith and substance  of        the legislation is, the name given to it by the  Legislature        not being decisive of the matter.        The provisions of the Act relating to resumption may now  be        noticed.   Chapter V deals with resumption of  jagir  lands.        Section  21 authorises the State to issue notifications  for        resumption of jagirs, and section 22(1) enacts:        "As  from  the  date  of  resumption  of  any  jagir  lands,        notwithstanding  anything  contained in any  existing  jagir        legislation   applicable  thereto  but  save  as   otherwise        provided in this Act,-        (a)  the  right, title and interest of the jagirdar  and  of        every  other person claiming through him .... in  his  jagir        lands including forests, etc .... shall stand resumed to the        Government free from all encumbrances".        Section 22(1)(g) is as follows:        "the  right,  title  and interest of  the  jagirdar  in  all        buildings on jagir lands used for schools and hospitals  not



      within  residential compounds shall stand extinguished,  and        such  buildings shall be deemed to have been transferred  to        the Government".        Section 23 exempts certain properties from the operation  of        section 22, and provides that they are to continue to belong        to  the jagirdars or to be held by them.  Chapter  VI  deals        with compensation.  Section 26(1) enacts:        326        "Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Government        shall be liable to pay every jagirdar whose Jagir lands  are        resumed  under  section  21 such compensation  as  shall  be        determined  in accordance with the principles laid  down  in        the second schedule".        Chapter  VII prescribes the procedure for the  determination        of  compensation  and for payment of the same.   The  second        Schedule  to  the  Act  contains  the  principles  on  which        compensation is to be determined.  That was the scope of the        Act  as it was passed in 1952.  In 1954  certain  amendments        were introduced by Act No. XIII of 1954, the most  important        of  which  was the provision for payment  of  rehabilitation        grant in accordance with the principles enacted in  Schedule        III to the Act.        Now,  the  contention of the petitioners is that  the  basic        assumption on which the Act is framed is that jagirdars have        no right of property in the lands themselves, but that  they        possess some ancillary rights in relation thereto, that  the        State  is  therefore entitled to resume  the  lands  without        compensation,  and  that  it is sufficient to  pay  for  the        ancillary  rights.   These,  it is argued,  were  the  views        expressed by the Venkatachar Committee in its Report on Land        Tenures  in  Rajasthan,  and they formed the  basis  of  the        impugned  Act.  Thus, it is pointed out that  the  Committee        had held that "jagirs are not the property of the jagirdars"        (vide  page  47,  para 5), that ’-’if the  jagir  system  is        abolished,   jagirdars   would  not  be  entitled   to   any        compensation  on  the  ground of the  jagirs  being  private        property",  and  that  "even  though  jagirs  are  not  pro-        perty................ those rights which have in many  cases        been  enjoyed  for centuries have acquired  around  them  an        accretion  of rights by long custom and -prescription  which        are entitled to due recognition", and that a  rehabilitation        grant  might be given to the jagirdars. (Page 47,  para  6).        It  is  contended  that it is these  views  that  have  been        adopted  in section 22 of the Act, and that when section  22        (1)  (a) declares that the right, title and interest of  the        jagirdars shall stand resumed, it could not mean that  these        rights  are  acquired  by  the  State,  because  acquisition        implies that the        327        properties acquired belong to the person from whom they  are        acquired, whereas the basis of the legislation was that  the        jagirdars  bad no property in the lands, and there could  be        no acquisition of what did not belong to them.  Reference is        made by way of contrast to the language of section 22(1) (g)        under  which  certain  buildings  standing  on  jagir  lands        presumably constructed by jagirdars should stand transferred        to  the Government and not resumed as under section  22  (1)        (a).        This argument proceeds on an inadequate appreciation of  the        true  nature and scope of the right of resumption under  the        general  law  and  of  the  power  of  resumption  which  is        conferred on the State by the impugned Act.  Under the  law,        a  jagir could be resumed only under certain  circumstances.        It can be resumed for breach of the terms of the grant, such        as  failure  to render services or perform  the  obligations



      imposed  by the grant.  It can be resumed for  rebellion  or        disloyalty  or  for the commission of serious  crimes.   And        again,  jagir was originally only a life grant and when  the        holder  died., it reverted back to the State and  succession        to the estate was under a fresh grant from the State and not        by inheritance, even when the successor was the heir of  the        deceased  holder.   The right to resume  jagirs  within  the        limits  aforesaid  was  founded on grant  and  regulated  by        general  law.  To exercise that right, there was no need  to        enact any legislation.  It was a right which every ruler  of        the  Covenanting State had as a grantor, and that right  had        become vested in the Rajpramukh under article VII(3) of  the        Covenant.  The contention of the petitioners that resumption        was  not an acquisition would strictly be accurate,  if  the        resumption  was in exercise of the power conferred  by  that        article.        But  the resumption for which the Act provides is  something        different from the resumption which is authorised by article        VII(3).   It  was a resumption not in  accordance  with  the        terms  of  the  grant or the law applicable  to  jagirs  but        contrary   to   it,   or  in  the  words   of   section   21        "notwithstanding anything contained in        42        328        any  existing  jagir  law applicable  thereto".   It  was  a        resumption  made not in enforcement of the rights which  the        rulers  had  as grantors but in exercise  of  the  sovereign        rights of eminent domain possessed by the State.  The taking        of  properties  is under the  circumstances,  in  substance,        acquisition   notwithstanding   that  it  is   labelled   as        resumption.   And this conclusion becomes irresistible  when        regard is had to the provisions for payment of compensation.        Section  26(1) imposes on the Government a liability to  pay        compensation in accordance with the principles laid down  in        the  second Schedule, and as will be presently shown, it  is        not illusory.  The award of compensation is consistent  only        with the taking being- an acquisition and not with its being        a  resumption in accordance with the terms of the  grant  or        the  law  applicable to it, for in such cases, there  is  no        question of any liability to pay compensation.        It was argued for the petitioners that the provision for the        payment of rehabilitation grant was an indication that  what        was paid as compensation was in reality ex gratia.  But  the        rehabilitation  grant  was in addition to  the  compensation        amount, and it was provided by the amendment Act No. XIII of        1954.   Nor are we impressed by the contention that the  Act        had  adopted the findings of the Venkatachar Committee  that        the  jagirs  were not the properties of the  jagirdars,  and        that  no compensation need be paid for them.  Under  section        22(1)(a), what is resumed is expressly the right, title  and        interest  of the jagirdar in his jagir lands, and  provision        is made for payment of compensation therefor.  Moreover, the        opinions  in the report of the Venkatachar Committee on  the        rights  of  the jagirdars are clearly inadmissible  for  the        purpose  of  deciding  what the pith and  substance  of  the        impugned  legislation  is.   That  must  be  decided  on  an        interpretation  of the provisions of the statute,  and  that        decision  cannot  be controlled or guided  by  the  opinions        expressed in the report.  Reading the provisions of the  Act        as,  a whole, it is abundantly plain that what was meant  by        resumption  was  only  acquisition.   Indeed,  if  the   Act        purported to be one for                                    329        acquisition  of jagirs, its provisions could not  have  been        different from what they are.



      Such  being the true character of the legislation, not  much        significance  could  be  attached to the  use  of  the  word        "resumption"  in the Act.  It should be remembered that  the        State has a reversion in jagir lands, and when it takes them        back  in accordance with the terms of the grant or  the  law        applicable   thereto,   its  action   is   properly   termed        resumption.  When the statute enacted a law authorising  the        taking  of  jagir lands, it is natural that it  should  have        adopted the same term, though the resumption was not made on        any of the grounds previously recognised as valid.  In  view        of  the peculiar relationship between the jagirdar  and  the        State,  it  cannot  be said that the  word  "resumption"  is        inadmissible  to  signify  acquisition.   Section   22(1)(a)        further  enacts that the lands shall stand resumed  "to  the        Government",   which   words  are   more   appropriate   for        acquisition by the Government than resumption simpliciter.        It was also contended for the respondent that the Act is one        relating  to land and land tenures, and that it  would  fall        under Entry No. 18 in the State List:        "Land, that is to say, rights in or over land, land  tenures        including  the  relation  of landlord and  tenant,  and  the        collection of rents; transfer and alienation of agricultural        land;    land    improvement   and    agricultural    loans;        colonization".        It was argued that the heads of legislation mentioned in the        Entries  should  receive  a liberal  construction,  and  the        decision  in  The  United Provinces v.  Atiqa  Begum(1)  was        quoted in support of it.  The position -is well settled  and        in  accordance therewith, it could rightly be held that  the        legislation falls also under Entry No. 18.  But there  being        an  Entry No. 36 specifically dealing with acquisition,  and        in  view  of  our  conclusion  as  to  the  nature  of   the        legislation, we hold that it falls under that Entry.        IV.Now  we  come to the contentions special to some  of  the        petitioners that with reference to the        (1) [1940] F.C.R. 110, 134,        330        properties  held  by them the impugned Act is not  saved  by        article 31-A, and that it is void as being in  contravention        of  articles  14  and 31(2) of the  Constitution.   On  this        contention,  two questions arise for determination:  (A)  Is        the  impugned Act in so far as it relates to the  properties        of the petitioners within the protection afforded by article        31-A?  (B) And is the Act bad as infringing articles 14  and        31(2) of the Constitution?        IV(A).   On  the  first  question,  the  contention  of  the        petitioners is that the properties held by them are  neither        ‘estates’nor’Jagirs’  nor  ’other  similar  grants,’  within        article  31-A,  and that therefore the impugned  Act  falls,        quoad  hoc,  outside  the ambit of  that  article.   At  the        threshold  of  the discussion lies the question  as  to  the        precise  connotation  of the words "jagir or  other  similar        grant" in article 31-A, and to determine it, it is necessary        to  trace in broad outline the origin and evolution  of  the        jagir  tenure in Rajasthan.  It has been  already  mentioned        that during the period of the Muhammadan invasion the Rajput        princes of Hindusthan migrated to Rajputana and founded  new        kingdoms.   The  system of land tenure adopted by  them  was        that they divided the conquered territories into two  parts,        reserved  one  for themselves and distributed the  other  in        blocks  or estates among their followers.  In  general,  the        grantees were the leaders of the clan which had followed the        King and assisted him in the establishment of the kingdom or        his  Ministers.  Sometimes, the grant was made as  a  reward        for  past  services.  The lands reserved for the  King  were



      called  Khalsa, and the revenue therefrom was  collected  by        him  directly through his officials.  The lands  distributed        among  his  followers  were  called  jagirs  and  they  were        generally  granted  on  condition that  the  grantee  should        render  military service to the rulers such  as  maintaining        militia of the specified strength or guarding the passes  or        the  marches  and the like.  The extent of the  grant  would        depend  on  the  extent of the obligations  imposed  on  the        grantee, and it would be such as would enable the grantee to        maintain himself and the troops from out of the                                    331        revenues  from the jagir.  It was stated by Mr. Pathak  that        the  grants would in general specify the amount  of  revenue        that was expected to be received from the jagir, and that if        the  jagirdar received more, he was under an  obligation  to        account  to  the State for the excess.  And  he  quoted  the        following passage in BadenPowell on Land Systems of  British        India, Volume 1, page 257 as supporting him:        "While  a strict control lasted, the jagirdar was  bound  to        take  no more than the sum assigned; and if more  came  into        his hands, he had rigidly to account for the surplus to  the        State treasury".        This statement has value only as throwing light on the jural        relationship between the State and the jagirdar, for it does        not appear that it was ever observed in practice.  It may be        deduced  from the foregoing that all the lands of the  State        must  fall  within one or the other of the  two  categories,        Khalsa or jagir, and that the essential features of a  jagir        are  that it is held under a grant from the ruler, and  that        the grant is of the land revenue.        Some of the incidents of the jagir tenure have been  already        touched  upon.   It was a life grant and  succession  to  it        depended  on recognition by the ruler.  It  was  impartible,        and  inalienable.   But in course of time,  however,  grants        came  to  be made with incidents annexed to  them  different        from  those  of  the jagirs, Some of  them  were  heritable,        though  impartible;  a few of them were both  heritable  and        partible.   While originally the jagirs were granted to  the        Rajput  clansmen for military service the later grants  were        made  even to non-Rajputs and for religious  and  charitable        purposes.   These  grants were also known as  jagirs.   "The        term  ’jagir’ is used", it is observed in the Report of  the        Venia-tachar Committee, page 18, para 2, "both in a  generic        and  specific sense.  In its generic sense it  connotes  all        non-khalsa  area".   The stand taken by the  petitioners  in        their  argument  was also that the word ’jagir’ bad  both  a        wider and a narrower connotation.  Thus, after quoting  from        the Rajputana Gazetteer the passage that "the rest of        332        the territory is held on one of the following tenures,  viz,        Jagir, Jivka, Sansan, Doli, Bhum, Inam, Pasaita and  Nankar"        (Vide Erskine’s Rajputana Gazetteers, Volume III-A,  Chapter        XIII   Land  Revenue  and  Tenures),  Sri  Amar  Singh   who        -presented  the case of his father Zorawar Singh, a  leading        Bhoomichara  of  Mallani, with conspicuous  ability,  argued        that  jagir was used in the passage in its  specific  sense,        and  that  in its generic sense, it would comprise  all  the        other  tenures mentioned above.  In the impugned  Act  also,        jagir  land is defined in section 2(h) as meaning "any  land        in  which or in relation to which a jagirdar has  rights  in        respect  of land revenue or any other kind of  revenue  and-        includes  any land held on any of the tenures  specified  in        the First Schedule", and in the Schedule’ jagir is mentioned        as the first of the items.  It also appears that in the laws        enacted  in the States of Rajputana to which  our  attention



      has  been  drawn, the word ‘jagir’is generally used  in  its        extended  meaning.   Thus,  both in its  popular  sense  and        legislative practice, the word ’jagir’ is used as  connoting        State  grants  which conferred on the  grantees  rights  "in        respect of land revenue". (See section 2(h) of the Act.)        It was argued that though the extended definition of  jagirs        in  section 2(h) of the impugned Act might govern  questions        arising  under  that Act, the word ’jagir’ in  article  31-A        must  be  construed as limited to its original  and  primary        meaning of a grant made for military service rendered or  to        be  rendered,  and  that accordingly other  grants  such  as        maintenance  grants  made in favour of  near  relations  and        dependents  would not be covered by it.  We do not find  any        sufficient  ground for putting a restricted meaning  on  the        word ’jagir’ in article 31-A.  At the time of the  enactment        of that article, the word had acquired both in popular usage        and legislative practice a wide connotation, and it will  be        in  accord  with sound canons of interpretation  to  ascribe        that  -  connotation  to that word rather  than  an  archaic        meaning  to  be gathered from a study  of  ancient  tenures.        Moreover, the object of article 31-A was to save legislation        which was directed to the abolition of intermediaries so  as        to                                    333        establish  direct  relationship between the  State  and  the        tillers  of the soil, and construing the word in that  sense        which  would achieve that object in a full measure, we  must        hold that jagir was meant to cover all grant under which the        grantees bad only rights in respect of revenue and were  not        the  tillers of the soil.  Maintenance grants in  favour  of        persons  who  were not cultivators such as  members  of  the        ruling family would be jagirs for purposes of article 31-A.        We  may  now  proceed to consider  the  contentions  of  the        several   petitioners   with  reference  to   the   specific        properties  held by them, and they may be grouped under  two        categories:  (1) those relating to the tenures on which  the        properties  are held, and (2) those relating  to  particular        properties.  Under category (1) fall the estates held by (a)        Bhomicharas of Marwar, (b) Bhomats of Mewar, (c)  Tikanadars        of Shekhwati, and (d)    Subeguzars of Jaipur.        (1)(a) Bhomicharas: This is the subject-matter of  Petitions        Nos.  462,  579, 630, 638 and 654,of 1954.   The  Bhomichara        tenure is to be found in Jaisalmere, in Shekhawati in Jaipur        and  in Marwar. (Vide Report of the  Venkatachar  Committee,        page 19, para 13).  But we are concerned here only with  the        Bhomichara tenure in the State of Marwar.  Its history  goes        back  to the year 1212 A.D. when the clan of Rathors led  by        Rao  Siaji, grandson of King Jayachander of  Kanouj  invaded        Rajputana, subjugated the territories now known as  Mallani,        Yeshwantpura  and  Sanchora and  established  itself  there.        Some two centuries later, a section of the Rathors beaded by        Biram  Deo  who was the younger brother  of  Mallinath,  the        ruling   prince   of  Mallani,   expanded   eastwards,   and        established the kingdom of Jodhpur.  The elder branch  which        continued  in Mallani, Yeshwantpura and  Sanchora  gradually        sank  in  power.   The  descendants  of  Mallinath  went  on        partitioning  the  lands  treating them  as  their  personal        properties  and the principality thus came to be  broken  up        into  fragments, and its holders became weak and  disunited.        Their  internecine  disputes  led  to  the  intervention  of        Jodhpur which had grown to        334        be a powerful kingdom, and they were compelled to accept its        ruler as their suzerain and to pay him an annual tribute  of        Rs. 10,000 called "Foujbal".  Thereafter, they continued  to



      hold lands subject to the payment of this tribute, and  came        to  be  known  as Bhomicharas.  The  area  continued  to  be        distracted  by disputes and dissensions among  its  leaders,        and  -fell into so much anarchy and confusion that  in  1835        the British had to intervene to restore order.  It should be        remembered  that they had entered into a treaty of  alliance        with Jodhpur in 1818, and their intervention was  presumably        by   virtue   of  their  obligations   under   the   treaty.        Thereafter,  the  territory was put under the  charge  of  a        British  superintendent  and  latterly of  the  Resident  at        Jodhpur.   The  annual  tribute  was,  during  this  period,        collected  by  the British and paid to  the  Jodhpur  State.        Writing on the status of the Bhomicharas during this period,        Major Malcolm remarked in his report dated 1849 thus:        "......  though  the British Government  had  established  a        claim  to  the  District themselves,  consequent  on  having        reduced them to order and obedience, it was willing, out  of        kindness  and  consideration to His Highness, to  waive  its        just  rights and to acknowledge His Highness as entitled  to        sovereignty over those districts, and the tribute they might        yield......        In 1891 the British withdrew from the administration of  the        Province, and handed it over to the Maharajah of Jodhpur who        thereafter continued to govern it as part of his Dominions.        On these facts, it is contended by Mr. N. C. Chatterjee  and        Shri  Amar Singh that Bhomicharas are not holders of  jagirs        or other similar grants within the meaning of article  31-A,        because a jagir could be created only by grant by the ruler,        and  that the petitioners could not be said to hold under  a        grant from Jodhpur, because they had obtained the  territory        by  right  of conquest long before Jodhpur  established  its        suzerainty, and even prior to its foundation as a State, and        that  though  they lost their  political  independence  when        Jodhpur established its overlord-                                    335        ship, they had not lost their right to property, that  their        status  was that of semi-independent chiefs, not  jagirdars,        and  that "Foujbal" was paid by them not on account of  land        revenue but by way of tribute.        We  agree with the petitioners that a jagir can  be  created        only  by  a  grant,  and that  if  it  is  established  that        Bhomichara  tenure is not held under a grant, it  cannot  be        classed  as a jagir.  We do not base this conclusion on  the        ground  put forward by Mr. Achhru Ram that the word  ’jagir’        in  article 31-A should be read ejusdem generis with  ’other        similar  grants’  because  the true scope  of  the  rule  of        ejusdem generis is that words of a general nature  following        specific and particular words should be construed as limited        to  things which are of the same nature as  those  specified        and  not its reverse, that specific words which precede  are        controlled by the general words which follow.  But we are of        opinion that it is inherent in the very conception of  jagir        that  it should have been granted by the ruling  power,  and        that  where  there  is no grant, there could  be  no  jagir.        This, however, does not mean that the grant must be express.        It may be implied, and the question for decision is  whether        on the facts of this case a grant could be impiled.        What  then  are  the facts?  We start  with  this  that  the        ancestors of the petitioners acquired the lands in  question        by conquest and held them as sovereigns.        Then Jodhpur came on the scene, imposed its sovereignty over        them,and  exacted annual payments from them, what was  their        status thereafter?  In Vajesingji Joravar Singji and  others        v. Secretary of State(1) Lord Dunedin observed:        "When  a territory is acquired by a sovereign State for  the



      first time that is an act of State.  It matters not how  the        acquisition has been brought about.  It may be by  conquest,        it  may  be  by cession following on treaty, it  may  be  by        occupation of territory hitherto unoccupied by a  recognised        ruler.   In  all  cases  the,  result  is  the  same.    Any        inhabitant of        (1)  [1924] L.R. 51 I.A. 357, 360.        43        336        the  territory  can  make  good  in  the  municipal   Courts        established  by the new sovereign only such rights, as  that        sovereign has, through his officers recognised.  Such rights        as he had under the rule of predecessors avail him nothing".        Vide also the judgment of the Privy Council in Secretary  of        State  v. Sardar Rustam Khan(1).  Applying these  principles        when  Jodhpur as a sovereign State imposed  its  sovereignty        over the territory, and permitted the ex-rulers to  continue        in  possession of their lands on payment of an  annual  sum,        the position is that there was, in effect, a conquest of the        territory and a re-grant of the same to the ex-rulers, whose        title to the lands should thereafter be held to rest on  the        recognition of it by the ruler of Jodhpur.  It may be  noted        that  both  in  Vajesingji  Joravar  Singji  and  others  v.        Secretary  of  State(1)  and Secretary of  State  v.  Sardar        Rustam  Khan(1)  the question was whether a subject  of  the        former  State  could enforce against the new  sovereign  the        right which he had against the former ruler, and it was held        that  he  could  not.   But  here,  the  claimants  are  the        representatives  of  the former rulers  themselves,  and  as        against  them, the above conclusion must follow a  fortiori.        As  already  stated, it is as if the  Maharajah  of  Jodhpur        annexed  all  the  territories and re-granted  them  to  the        former  rulers.   They must accordingly be  held  to  derive        their title under an implied grant.        It  is argued that notwithstanding that the Bhomicharas  had        acknowledged  the sovereignty of the ruler of  Jodhpur,  his        hold  over the country was slight and ineffective, and  even        the  payment  of  "Foujbal"  was  irregular,  and  that   in        substance therefore they enjoyed semi-sovereign status,  and        that their relationship to the Jodhpur ruler resembled  that        of the rulers of Native States to the British Crown.  We are        unable to accept this argument.  The status of a person must        be  either  that of a sovereign or a subject.  There  is  no        tertium  quid.  The law does not recognise  an  intermediate        status of a person being partly a sovereign        (1)  [1941] L.R. 68 I.A. 109.        (2)  [1924] L.R. 51 I.A. 357,360.                                    337        and partly a subject, and when once it is admitted that  the        Bhomicharas  had  acknowledged the  sovereignty  of  Jodhpur        their status can only be that of a subject: A subject  might        occupy an exalted position and enjoy special privileges, but        he  is  nonetheless  a subject; and even if  the  status  of        Bhomicharas might be considered superior to that of ordinary        jagirdars, they were also subjects.  The contention that the        relationship between Bhomicharas and Jodhpur was of the same        kind  as that which subsisted between the rulers  of  Native        States  and the British Crown is untenable.   Whether  those        States could be recognised as sovereign on the well accepted        principles  of  international law was itself a  question  on        which juristic opinion was adverse to such recognition. (See        Mr.  Lee  Warner,  Protected Princes of  India,  1894  Edn.,        Chapter XIII, sec. 150, pages 373-376).  But those States at        least had each a distinct persona with a ruler who possessed        executive,  legislative  and judicial power of  a  sovereign



      character; but the Bhomicharas had ceased to have a distinct        person.  There was no State with a ruler acknowledged as its        head, but a number of persons holding lands independently of        each other.  This is what Major Malcolm remarked of them  in        his report in 1849:        "It  is uncertain how long the Rawats of Kher  continued  to        exercise  any control over the rest of the Chiefs, or to  be        considered as the head of a principality; but at the  period        when  we  first become acquainted with them, all  traces  of        such  power had long ceased and each Chief of the  principal        families  into  which the tribe is divided,  claimed  to  be        independent".        When  the  British  handed over the  administration  of  the        territory  to  the  State of -Jodhpur in  1891,  it  was  in        recognition  of its rights as sovereign, and on the  footing        that Bhomicharas were its subjects.  It is true that in  the        agreement   by   which   the   British   handed   over   the        administration   they   inserted  a   condition   that   the        appointment of the chief officers for Mallani and imposition        of  any new tax or cess other than Foujbal by the  State  of        Jodhpur should be made        338        with the approval of the Resident or Agent to the  Governor-        General of Rajputana, but that was a matter between the high        contracting  parties, and did not affect the status  of  the        Bhomicharas.   On  the other hand, it emphasises  that  they        were themselves without any semblance of independence.        That the status of the Bhomicharas was that of subjects will        also  be clear from the subsequent course of legislation  in        Marwar.   In 1922 an Excise Act was passed for the whole  of        Marwar including this area.  On 24-11-1922 "The Marwar Court        of  Wards  Act, 1923" was passed, and that  applied  to  the        estates  of Bhomicharas.  In 1937 rules were framed for  the        maintenance of the wives of jagirdars, and Bhomicharas  also        were  subject to that Act.  In 1938 the Marwar  Customs  Act        was passed, and that applied to these territories.  In  1947        rules  for assessment of rents on jagir estates were  passed        and they applied to lands held on Bhomichara tenure.   There        was again a Customs Act in 1948, and it applied to the whole        of  Marwar including this area.  In 1949 a Tenancy  Act  was        passed,  and  that applied to the Bhomicharas.  It  is  thus        plain   that  the  State  of  Marwar  was  exercising   full        legislative control over the Bhomichara area.  This alone is        sufficient to differentiate the position of the  petitioners        from  that of the rulers of the Native States.  The  British        Government never exercised legislative authority over  those        States.        In  the  argument  before us, Sri Amar  Singh  conceded  the        authority  of the State of Marwar to legislate for  Mallani.        But  he  contended  that  the  definition  of  jagirdars  as        including Bhomicharas in the several Acts .referred to above        was  only for the purpose of those Acts, and bad no  bearing        on their true status, and referred to the provisions of  the        Marwar Encumbered Estates Act, 1922, where the word  ’jagir’        is  defined as excluding Bhomicharas.  But the  question  is        not  whether the petitioners are jagirdars by force  of  the        definition  in those Acts, but whether their status is  that        of subjects of Jodhpur, and the only inference that could be        drawn  from the course of legislation above noticed is  that        their status Was that of                                    339        subjects,  and  if that is their position, and if  they  are        allowed  to  continue in possession of lands held  by  their        ancestors as sovereigns, it could only be on the basis of an        implied  grant,  and  that  is  sufficient  to  attract  the



      operation of article 31-A to their estates.        It was also contended for the respondent that even if on the        facts aforesaid a grant from the State could not be  implied        and the status of the petitioners was different from that of        jagirdars, that status had at least been modified by section        169 of the Marwar Land Revenue Act No. XL of 1949, which had        the  effect  of putting them in the same position  as  State        grantees,  and that therefore their tenure fell  within  the        operation of article 31-A either as a jagir or other similar        grant.  Section 169 runs as follows:        "The  ownership  of all land vests in His Highness  and  all        Jagirs,   Bhoms,  Sasans,  Dolis  or   similar   proprietary        interests are held and shall be deemed to be held as  grants        from His Highness".        Under  this  section,  all lands in the State  vest  in  the        Maharajah  and all proprietary interests therein are  deemed        to  be held under a grant from him.  It cannot  be  disputed        that  it is within the competence of the Legislature in  the        exercise of its sovereign powers to alter and abridge rights        of its subjects in such manner as it may decide, subject  of        course   to  any  constitutional  prohibition.   In   Thakur        Jagannath Baksh Singh v. United Provinces(1) which was cited        by  Mr. Pathak as authority in support of the  above  propo-        sition,  it was held by the Privy Council that a law of  the        State  curtailing the rights which a talukdar held  under  a        sanad  from  the Crown was intra vires.  This  decision  was        followed by this Court in Raja Suriya Pal Singh v. The State        of U. P. and Another(1).  But these cases are not exactly in        point,  because  the present contention  of  the  respondent        arises  only on the hypothesis that the petitioners did  not        hold  under  a  Crown grant express  or  implied.   But  the        proposition for which Mr. Pathak contends is itself not open        to exception, and it must be held that it was competent        (1) [1945] F.C.R, 111.        (2) [1952] S.C.R. 1056,        340        for the legislative authority of Marwar to define and  limit        the  rights  which the petitioners possessed  in  Bhomichara        lands.   It  was also contended by Mr. Pathak  that  if  the        effect  of the legislation was to impress on the tenure  the        character  of a grant, that would be sufficient  to  attract        article  31-A,  the  argument  being that  a  grant  like  a        contract  could  be not merely express or implied  but  also        constructive.  He quoted the following statement of the  law        in  Halsbury’s Laws of England, Volume VII, page  261,  para        361:        "Contracts  may  be either express or implied,  and  of  the        latter  there  are two broad divisions,  the  term  ’implied        contract’ in English law being applied not only to contracts        which are inferred from the conduct or presumed intention of        the parties, of which examples have already been given,  but        also  to  obligations imposed by implication of  law,  quite        apart  from and without regard to the probable intention  of        the  parties, and sometimes even in opposition to their  ex-        pressed  or  presumed  intention.   Strictly  speaking,  the        latter  class,  or  constructive  contracts,  as  they   are        sometimes  called, are not true contracts at all, since  the        element  of  consent  is absent, but by a  fiction  of  law,        invented for the purposes of pleading, they are regarded  as        contracts, and will be treated here as such".        It  must be observed that the Indian law does not  recognise        constructive  contracts,  and what are  classed  under  that        category  in the statement of the law in Halsbury’s Laws  of        England  would be known as quasicontracts under  the  Indian        Contract  Act.  It will be more appropriate to  term  grants



      which  are the creatures of statutes as legislative  grants.        We, however, agree with the respondent that for the  purpose        of  article 3 1 -A, it would make no difference Whether  the        grant  is  made  by the sovereign in  the  exercise  of  his        prerogative  right or by the Legislature in the exercise  of        its sovereign rights.  They were both of them equally within        the  operation  of  that article.   The  question  then  is,        assuming that the Bhomicharas did not prior to the enactment        of Marwar Act No. XL of                                    341        1949 hold the lands as grantees from the State, whether they        must be deemed to hold as State grantees by force of section        169  of that Act; and that will depend on whether they  fall        within  the  purview of that section.  The language  of  the        section, it will be admitted, is general and unqualified  in        its terms, and would in its natural sense include them.  But        it  is argued for the petitioners that they are outside  its        scope,  because ’jagir’ in that article must be  interpreted        in  a  specific  sense as otherwise there  was  no  need  to        mention  tenures like Bhom, Sasan and Dolis, which would  be        jagirs  in  a generic sense, and that  -further  Bhomicharas        could  not  be  brought  within  the  category  of   similar        proprietary  interests,  because  in  the  context  ’similar        interests’ must mean interests held under a grant.        Having considered the matter carefully, we are not satisfied        that  there is any ground for cutting down the scope of  the        section in the manner contended for by the petitioners.   We        are of opinion that by long usage and recognition and by the        legislative practice of the State Bhomicharas had come to be        regarded  as  jagirdars, and that their tenure  is  a  jagir        within  the intendment of section 169.  In the Gazetteer  of        Mallani  by Major Walter published prior to 1891 the  Bhomi-        charas are referred to as jagirdars. (Vide page 94).  In the        official  publication called Brief Account of  Mallani,  the        title given to the history of Bhomicharas is "Brief  history        of  the jagirdars".  In Sir Drake Brockman’s Report  of  the        Settlement  Operations,  1921  to 1924,  he  refers  to  the        Bhomichara jagir as "survival from a time antecedent to  the        establishment  of the Raj".  Turning next to legislation  in        Marwar, its general trend was to include Bhomicharas in  the        definition  of jagirdars.  Vide section 3(1) of  the  Marwar        Court of Wards Act, 1923; rule 4 of rules regulating  claims        for  maintenance by ladies against jagirdars, 1937.  In  the        Customs  Act, 1938, section 64 and Appendix E refer  to  the        Bhomicharas as jagirdars of Mallani.  In Marwar Tenancy  Act        No.  XXXIX  of  1949,  section  3(9)  defines  landlord   as        including a "Bhomichara jagirdai,", and in view of the  fact        that        342        both  this  Act  and  Act No. XL of  1949  were  part  of  a        comprehensive scheme of legislation, that both of them  came        into  force on 6-4-1949 and that section 4 (I 1) of Act  No.        XL  of  1949  enacts that the  words  and  expressions  used        therein are to have the same meaning as in Act No. XXXIX  of        1949,  it would be safe to assume that the word ’jagir’  was        used in section 169 as including Bhomichara tenures.        It  was argued that section 171 classifies jagirs as  listed        jagirs  and scheduled jagirs, that there is  an  enumeration        thereof in schedules I and 11 of the Act, and that no estate        held  on Bhomichara tenure was mentioned therein,  and  that        that  was  an  indication that it was  not  intended  to  be        included  in section 169.  But section 171 does not  exhaust        all  the  jagirs or similar  proprietary  interests  falling        within  section  169.   The scheme of the Act  is  that  for        purposes  of  succession and partition, jagirs  are  divided



      into three groups, scheduled jagirs, listed jagirs and other        jagirs.   Scheduled jagirs are those which are  governed  by        the  rule of primogeniture.  Section 188 and  the  following        sections  lay down the procedure for settling succession  to        them.   Listed jagirs are those which are held  by  co-heirs        but  are  impartible,  and section 131  provides  that  they        should  not  be partitioned but that  the  income  therefrom        should  be divided among the co-sharers.  Then there is  the        third  category of jagirs which devolve on heirs  under  the        ordinary  Hindu law, and are partible.  Section 172  applies        to  these  jagirs.  As the Bhomichara tenure  descends  like        personal property and is divisible among the heirs, it  will        be  governed by section 172, and cannot find a place in  the        schedule of listed or scheduled jagirs.        It  was  contended  that  the Act was  one  to  declare  and        consolidate  the  law, and that such an Act  should  not  be        construed  as altering the existing law; further that  clear        and  unambiguous  language was necessary  before  a  subject        could be deprived of his vested rights, and that in case  of        doubt the statute should be construed so as not to interfere        with  the  existing rights; and the statements of  law  from        Maxwell  on Interpretation of Statutes, 10th Edition,  pages        20 and 24                                    343        and  Craies on Statute Law, 5th Edition, pages 106, 107  and        Ill were quoted in support of the above propositions.  These        rules of construction are well settled, but recourse to them        would  be  necessary only when a statute is capable  of  two        interpretations.  But where, as here, the language is  clear        and the meaning plain, effect must be given to it.  It  must        also be added that the Act is one not merely to  consolidate        the  law  on  the  subject but also to  amend  it.   On  the        language  of  the  section, therefore,  we  must  hold  that        Bhomichara tenure is comprehended within the term ’jagir’ in        section 169.        We  are  also  of opinion that it will,  in  any  event,  be        "similar  proprietary interests" within the language of  the        section.   It  is  argued that the only  feature  common  to        jagirs,  Bhoms, Sasan and Dolis is that they are held  under        grant,  and that therefore "similar  proprietary  interests"        must mean interests acquired under a grant.  It is true that        Bhom,  Sasan and Doli are held under grant from  the  State.        (Vide Rajasthan Gazetteer, Volume III-A, Chapter XIII);  but        section  169 enacts that the proprietary interests to  which        it applies, shall be held or deemed to be held as grant from        His Highness.  The word "deemed" imports that in fact  there        was  no  grant,  and therefore  interests  which  were  held        otherwise  than under a grant were obviously intended to  be        included.    Therefore,  if  Bhomichara  is  a   proprietary        interest, it cannot be taken out of the section because  its        origin was not in grant.  In the result, it must be held  to        fall within section 169, and therefore within the  operation        of article 31-A.        The respondent further contended that Bhomichara tenure  was        also an estate as defined in section 4(iii) of Act No. XL of        1949  and  that  therefore it fell  within  the  purview  of        article 31-A.  Under section 4(iii), "estate" means a  mahal        or  mahals held by the same landlord.  Section 4(v)  defines        mahal  as any area not being a survey number which has  been        separately  assessed to land revenue; and ’land revenue’  is        defined in section 4(iv) as "any sum payable to the Govern-        44        344        ment  on account of an estate or survey number and  includes        rekh,  chakri  and bhombab".  It is common ground  that  the



      -annual  payment  which is made by the  Bhomicharas  to  the        estate  is  the  sum of Rs. 10,000  called  "Foujpal".   The        petitioners contend that this amount is really in the nature        of  tribute and not land tax.  If it is a military cess,  it        is  difficult to say that it is revenue paid on  account  of        land.  It is argued for the respondent that Bhomicharas  are        allowed  to  continue  in possession of  the  land  only  on        condition that they pay this amount annually and that it  is        therefore payment made in respect of lands held by them.  If        this contention is right, every tribute must per se be  held        to be land revenue, and that appears to us to be too wide  a        proposition.   Mr. Pathak relied on the description of  this        amount in the Administration Report of 1883-1884 in Hindi as        "Kar"  "Tax’ but that is not decisive of the true  character        of the payment.        The  petitioners  also  contend  that  even  if  Foujbal  is        revenue, there has been no separate assessment of the mahals        to  it, as what is paid is a consolidated sum of Rs.  10,000        for  an area of the extent of 36,000 sq. miles comprised  in        550 villages and held by different holders.  It appears from        the Gazetteer of Mallani by Major Walter at page 94 that the        Foujbal  amount  has  been  apportioned  among  the  several        holders, and it is contended for the respondent that as this        apportionment  has been communicated to the  Jodhpur  Durbar        and  accepted by it and acted upon, there has been  separate        assessment  of  revenue.   In  the view  taken  by  us  that        Bhomichara  is  a jagir or other similar  grant  within  the        meaning  of  article 31-A, we do not think it  necessary  to        express any opinion on the above contentions, especially  as        the  materials placed before us are meagre.  In the  result,        it must be held that the legislation in so far as it relates        to Bhomichara tenure is protected by article 31-A.        (1)(b) Bhomats: This tenure is to be found in Mewar, and  of        this,  the  Report  of the  Venkatachar  Committee  has  the        following:        "In Mewar those holding on the Bhom tenure                                    345        may be classed under two groups, namely, the Bhomats who pay        a small tribute to the State and are liable to be called for        local service and Bhumias who pay a normal quit-rent  (Bhum-        Barar) and perform such services as watch and ward of  their        villages, guarding the roads, etc." (vide page 19, para 10).        Earlier,  the Report had stated that Bbom tenure was  to  be        found in Jodhpur, Mewar and Bundi, and that its holders were        always Rajputs.  The origin of Bhom tenure is thus stated by        Tod in his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan:        "It is stated in the historical annals of this country  that        the ancient clans had ceased on the rising greatness of  the        subsequent new divisions of clans, to hold the higher grades        of rank; and had, in fact, merged into the general  military        landed proprietors of this country under the term bhumia,  a        most  expressive and comprehensive name, importing  absolute        identity  with the soil: bhum meaning ’land  These  Bhumias,        the  scions of the earliest princes, are to be met  with  in        various  parts of Mewar These, the allodial tenantry of  our        feudal  system, form a considerable body in many  districts,        armed  with  matchlock, sword, and shield  All  this  feudal        militia pay a quit-rent to the crown, and perform local  but        limited service on the frontier garrison; and upon invasion,        when  the Kher is called out, the whole are at the  disposal        of the prince on furnishing rations only.  They assert  that        they  ought  not to pay this quit-rent and  perform  service        also;  but this may be doubted, since the sum is so  small".        (Vol.  I, pp. 195-197).        It  would appear from this account that the position of  the



      Bhumias  in  Mewar is in many respects similar  to  that  of        Bhomicharas in Marwar.  They represent presumably a  section        which  had occupied the territory by conquest at an  earlier        stage  and  when later the rulers of  Chittoor  and  Udaipur        established their sovereignty over Mewar, they were  allowed        to continue in possession of their lands as subjects of  the        new State.  Their position is not even as strong as that  of        the Bhomicharas of Marwar, because it was a condition of the        tenure under which they held that        346        they  had  to render military service when called  upon  and        also  to  pay quit rent.  Their title to the lands  is  thus        referable  to  an implied grant from the  State,  and  their        tenure would be jagir even in its stricter connotation.        It was further contended by Mr. Pathak that whatever  status        the  Bhomats  might have had prior to the  Mewar  Government        Kanoon  Mal Act No. V of 1947, the effect of that  enactment        was  to  modify  it and to reduce them to  the  position  of        grantees  from  the State in respect of those  tenures,  and        that  article  31-A would accordingly apply.   The  relevant        provisions  of  this  Act  are sections  27,  106  and  116.        Section 27 enacts that all lands belong to His Highness, and        that  no  person  has authority to take  possession  of  any        land unless  the right is granted by His  Highness.  Section        106 (1) occurs in Chapter XI which is headed: "The rights of        jagirdars, Muafidar, and Bhumias   in  Tikana  jagir,  muafi        and  Bhom  lands", and enacts that  a  "Tikanadar  jagirdar,        muafidar or Bhumia shall have all such revenue rights in the        lands comprised in his jagir, muafi or Bhom under this  Act,        as  are  granted  to  him by  His  Highness".   Then  follow        provisions  relating  to succession and  transfer  of  their        tenures  by  jagirdars, muafidars or Bhumias.   Section  116        provides that the jagir or bhom is liable to be forfeited in        the   events  specified  therein.   The  argument   of   the        respondent  is that under these provisions the ownership  of        the  lands vests in the Maharajah and the tenures  mentioned        therein including the Bhom are held as grants under him.        It  was argued by Mr. Frank Anthony that under section  4(2)        of  the Act the lands are divided into two  categories,  one        category  comprising  jagirs, muafi and Bhom and  the  other        Khalsa lands, that section 27 applies only to Khalsa  lands,        and  that  section  106(1)  applies  to  grants  which   may        thereafter be made by the State, and that the rights of  the        persons who held jagirs, muafi or Bhom before this Act  were        unaffected  by  it.   We  are  unable  to  accede  to   this        contention.  No statute was needed to declare the rights  of        the sovereign over Khalsa lands, Nor was resort to legis-                                    347        lation necessary to define the rights of the future grantees        of  those  lands, because that could be  done  by  inserting        appropriate  terms  in  the grants.   The  language  of  the        enactment read as a whole leaves no doubt in our mind as  to        what the legislature intended to do.  It declared the  State        ownership  of  lands, both Khalsa and non-Khalsa  lands  and        defined  the rights of the holders of the non-Khalsa  lands;        and  the  result of that law was clearly to impress  on  the        Bhom  tenure the characteristics of grant.  It must  accord-        ingly  fall within the operation of article 31 -A either  as        jagir or as other similar grant.        It was next contended by the petitioners that the Kanoon Mal        Act  No.  V  of  1947  was  void,  because  on  23-5-1947  a        Constitution  had been established in Mewar  which  provided        that  "no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty,  or        property without due process of law, nor shall any person be        denied  equality  before the law within the  territories  of



      Mewar". (Article XIII, Clause 1), and that Act No. V of 1947        which  came  into  force on 15-11-1947  was  void  as  being        repugnant thereto.  Article 11(1) of the Constitution itself        provides  that  the Maharajah shall  exercise  "all  rights,        authority  and  jurisdiction  which  appertain  to  or   are        incidental  to such sovereignty except in so far as  may  be        otherwise  provided for by or under this Constitution or  as        may  be  otherwise be directed by Shriji", and  when  Shriji        (the Maharajah) enacted Act No. V of 1947, it must be  taken        that he had in the exercise of sovereign authority abrogated        the   Constitutional   provisions  enacted   earlier.    The        authority which enacted the Constitution on 23-5-1947  being        His  Highness  himself, any Act passed subsequently  by  the        same  authority must be taken to have repealed  or  modified        the earlier enactment to the extent that it is  inconsistent        with   the  later.   It  does  not  also  appear  that   the        Constitution  was  ever  put into force.  It  is  not  known        whether   any   Legislature  was   constituted   under   the        Constitution, or any other step taken pursuant thereto;  and        though  acquiescence is not a ground for giving effect to  a        law  which  is ultra vires, it is not  without  significance        that the validity of Act        348        No.  V of 1947 was not challenged on the ground that it  was        repugnant  to  the Constitution dated  23-5-1947  until  the        present petitions were filed.  There is no substance in this        belated contention, and it must be rejected.        Mr.   Frank  Anthony  appearing  for  some  of   the   Mewar        petitioners  contended that their status was that of  Chiefs        with  semi-sovereign powers, and that it could not  be  said        that  they held the lands under grants from the  State.   He        referred  to certain kowls and agreements brought  about  by        the  British  Government between their  ancestors  described        therein  as Chiefs and the Maharajah of  Udaipur,  providing        for  their jointly drawing up a code of law subject  to  ap-        proval  by  the Political Agent and for  the  settlement  in        future  of  all  civil  and  criminal  cases  in  accordance        therewith, (vide Aitchison’s Treaties, Vol.  III, pp. 33 and        35)  and for compensation being awarded to them  for  taking        over  their  right  to manufacture  salt  (vide  Aitchison’s        Treaties,  Vol.   III, pp. 38 to 42).  He  argued  that  the        payments  made  by them to the State were  not  revenue  but        their contribution for purposes of common defence, and  that        that  had  not  the  effect  of  reducing  their  status  as        feudatory  chiefs  to that of  subordinate  tenure  holders.        Certain  observations  in Biswambhar Singh v. The  State  of        Orissa  and  others(1)  were relied on  as  supporting  this        contention.        We  have  had  considerable  difficulty  in  following  this        argument,  as it was general in character and  unrelated  to        specific  tenures or the claims of  individual  petitioners.        The kowls which were relied on as showing that their  status        was  not  that  of subordinates are not  conclusive  of  the        matter,  because  the  value to be attached  to  them  would        depend  on the previous status of the Chiefs with whom  they        were entered into, and no materials have been placed  before        us  as to what that was.  Two hypotheses are possible:  they        were the successors, either of the conquerors who had  occu-        pied  the  territory  earlier than  the  foundation  of  the        Udaipur  Raj  in which case they would be  Bhoms  and  their        rights would be identical with those of        (1)  [1954] S C.R. 842,870.                                    349        Bhomats,  or of the Rajput clansmen who followed the  ruling        dynasty  of Mewar and obtained estates as rewards for  their



      service  in the establishment of the kingdom, in which  case        the  grants would clearly be jagirs.  The facts forming  the        background  of  the agreements as  narrated  in  Aitchison’s        Treaties, Vol. III, pp. 10 to 13 are that for sometime prior        to  the  treaty which was entered into by the  Maharajah  of        Udaipur  with  the  British in 1818, the  authority  of  the        Government of Mewar was rather low.  Taking advantage of it,        tile   neighbouring   States  had  occupied  most   of   its        territories,  and  the  Chiefs had also become  lax  in  the        performance of their obligations to the Durbar.  This led to        considerable  friction between the Maharajah and the  Chiefs        and  after  the  conclusion  of  the  treaty  in  1818,  the        Political  Agent  Mr.  Tod,  with a  view  to  restore  good        relationship between the Maharajah and his Chiefs, prevailed        upon them to settle their differences, and the kowls  relied        on  by  Mr. Anthony are the outcome of his  efforts.   These        kowls  read  in  the background of the  facts  stated  above        unmistakably  establish that the position of the Chiefs  had        previously been that of grantees from the State, subject  to        certain  obligations.  If so, the agreements did  not  bring        about a change in that status.  They merely provided for the        carrying out of the obligations arising out of that  status.        On  this basis, the properties held by them would be  jagirs        even  according  to the original and narrow  sense  of  that        word;  and in fact, they are so described in the very  kowls        relied on by Mr. Frank Anthony. (Vide Aitchison’s  Treaties,        Volume  III, page 35, article 29).  They are clearly  within        article  31-A.  The respondent also contended that the  pro-        perties  held by the Chiefs would be estates as  defined  in        article  31-A.  That would prima facie appear to be so;  but        it is unnecessary to express any opinion on the question, as        the  resumption  would be protected by article 31-A  on  the        ground that it related to jagirs or other similar grants.        (1)(c)  Tikanadars  of Shekhwati: The  northern  section  of        Jaipur  forming  the trans-Aravali region of  the  State  is        known as Shekhwati.  It consists of large        350        estates  known  as Panchpana Singhana,  Sikar,  Udaipurwati,        Khandela and others.  These estates are known as Tikanas and        their holders as Tikanadars.  The petitioner in Petition No.        424  of 1954 is one of them, his estate being the Tikana  of        Malsisar and Mandrela in Panchpana Singhana.  His contention        is  that  he is a ruler with semi-sovereign  status  subject        only to the obligation to render military service and to pay        tribute  called  Maumla to the State of Jaipur, that  be  is        accordingly  a Maumlaguzar and not jagirdar, and that he  is        not a grantee from the State.        The history of these estates is narrated in great detail  by        Mr.  Wills  in his report on "The Land Tenures  and  Special        Powers  of  Certain Tikanadars of Jaipur State,  1933".   To        state  it briefly, these estates originally formed  part  of        the Khalsa lands of the Moghuls. During the period of  their        decline,  King  Sawai Jai Singh who ruled over  Jaipur  from        1700-1743  with  great distinction acquired  them  from  the        Moghul  Emperors on izara, and in his turn granted  them  on        sub-leases or izaras to various persons mostly his clansmen,        on condition that in addition to the payment of izara amount        fixed  they  should render military service to  the  rulers.        Subject  to these obligations they were entitled to  collect        revenues  from  the  villages comprised  in  the  izara  and        maintain  themselves.  In course of time, when the  hold  of        the  Moghul Empire on the outlying territories became  weak,        the Jaipur rulers assumed practically sovereign powers  over        the  izara lands, which came to be regarded as part  of  the        royal domain.  There was a corresponding rise in the  status



      of the sub-lessees who continued in possession of the estate        as permanent grantees.  Towards the end of the 18th  Century        when  the power of Jaipur waned and its authority  weakened,        the holders of these estates in Shekhwati attempted in their        turn  to shake off their allegiance to Jaipur,  asserted  an        independent  status  in themselves, and began to  seize  the        territories  belonging  to  the State.   Before  their  plan        succeeded, Jaipur concluded a treaty with the British  which        recognised its position as sovereign of the whole State        351        including Shekhwati.  "The first duty urged on the  Maharaja        after the conclusion of the treaty was the resumption of the        lands usurped by the nobles, and the reduction of the nobles        to  their proper relation of subordination to the  Maharaja.        Through  the  mediation of Sir David  Ochterlony  Agreements        were entered into in 1819 similar to those made at  Udaipur.        The  usurped  lands were restored to the Maharajah  and  the        nobles  were  guaranteed  in  their  legitimate  rights  and        possession". (Aitchison’s Treaties, Vol. III, p. 55).        Even  after  the conclusion of the agreement of  1819  there        were  disputes  between  the Maharajah  and  the  Chiefs  in        respect  of various matters, such as the right of the  ruler        to revise the amount payable by the Tikanadars and the right        of  the latter to minerals and to customs; but this did  not        affect  the nature of the relationship  established  between        them  under the agreement of 1819.  Thus, the true  position        of  the Tikanadars is that they got into possession  of  the        properties as izaradars under the rulers of Jaipur, improved        that  position latterly and became permanent holders of  the        estates and were eventually recognised as chiefs subordinate        to  the  Maharajah.  They were not like the  Bhomicharas  of        Marwar  or the Bhumias of Mewar the previous conquerors  and        occupants  of the territory before they were  subjugated  by        Jaipur, as erroneously supposed by Col.  Tod; nor were  they        the  clansmen  of  the ruling dynasty who  assisted  in  the        establishment  of the Raj.  They derived their title to  the        properties  only under grants made by the rulers of  Jaipur,        and  even if their estates could not be considered, as  they        shaped themselves, as jagirs, they were at least "     other        similar  grants"  within article 31 _A.  That was  the  view        which  the State took of their position.  Section  4(15)  of        the  Jaipur  State-Grants  Land Tenures Act No.  I  of  1947        defines  "State  grant" as including a jagir,  muamla,  etc.        Muamla  is,  as already stated, the amount  payable  by  the        Tikanadars  of Shekhwati to the ruler of Jaipur.  Section  4        (7) defines an estate as meaning "land comprised in a  State        grant".        45        352        According  to  this definition, the properties  in  question        would  be  ’estate’  as  defined  in  article  31-A  of  the        Constitution.    The  Matmi  Rules  of  1945   provide   for        recognising  succession  to State grants, and  they  include        Muamlaguzars. (Vide Part III in Appendix A).  Describing the        tenures in the non-Khalsa area, the Administration Report of        Jaipur  1947-1948  states that "Muamla is the  grant  of  an        interest in land for which a fixed amount is payable under a        settlement arrived at with the State". (Vide page 35).   The        position taken up by the petitioner both in the petition and        in  the  opening  argument that his status  is  that  of  an        independent  Chieftain  holding the properties by  right  of        conquest and not under grant cannot therefore be maintained.        In his reply, however Mr. Achhru Ram shifted the ground, and        contended  that the ancestors of the petitioner having  come        in as izaradars, the impugned Act had no application to him,



      as  izara is not one of the tenures mentioned in  the  first        schedule  to the Act.  But Muamla is mentioned as item 6  in        the schedule, and that is the name under which the tenure of        the  petitioner is known.  It must accordingly be held  that        his lands are within the purview of article 31-A.        (1)  (d)  Subeguzars:  The  question as  to  the  status  of        subeguzar  is raised in Petitions Nos. 471, 472 and  473  of        1954.   The  petitioner in Petition No. 473 of 1954  is  the        holder of the estate of Isarda in Jaipur.  It is stated that        in   the  beginning  of  the  18th  Century   his   ancestor        Mohansinghji  migrated  from  Bagri, settled  in  the  hilly        regions   at  Sarsop,  built  a  fortress  at   Isarda   and        established an independent principality.  In 17-51 the ruler        of  Isarda  acknowledged the suzerainty of the  Maharaja  of        Jaipur  who,  in  turn,  "recognised  the  ancestor  of  the        petitioner  as  Subeguzar", subject to a  liability  to  pay        tribute every year to Jaipur. (Vide para 2 of the petition).        The  result  of  this arrangement was, as  in  the  case  of        Bhomicharas,  to  put  the Chieftain in the  position  of  a        grantee from the State, and that is also the position  under        the  Jaipur  State-Grants  Land Tenures Act No.  I  of  1947        Section 4(15) includes within the definition of ’grant                                    353        "  suba" tenure, and the Matmi Rules of 1945 also  apply  to        this tenure. (Vide Appendix A, Part III).  While the  tenure        is called ’Sube’, its holder is called not Subedar which has        a  different meaning but Subeguzar.  In  the  Administration        Report of Jaipur 1947-48, Sube is described as follows:        "Suba is a tenure peculiar to Nizamat Sawai Madhopur.  It is        analogous  to  the  istimrar tenure in other  parts  of  the        State.   The  subeguzars pay a fixed annual amount  for  the        grant held by them". (Vide p. 35).        The  position  therefore  is  that  the  petitioner  who  is        admittedly  a subeguzar holds under a grant from  the  State        and  falls  within  article 31-A.  It was  argued  that  the        family  of  the  petitioners had always  enjoyed  a  special        distinction  in  that the adoption of the  ruling  house  of        Jaipur  was  always  made from among  the  members  in  this        family.   That,  however,  would not affect  the  status  of        subeguzars who must be held to be grantees from the State.        A  special  contention  was  raised  with  reference  to  12        villages which are stated to have been purchased in 1730  by        Raja  Jaisingh  the then holder of Isarda for a sum  of  Rs.        20,000; and it was argued that these villages at least could        not  be treated as held under grant from the State.   Isarda        was  a new State founded by Mohansinghji, and its  area  was        extended  from  time  to  time  by  incorporation  of  fresh        villages,  and  when  in 1751  the  Chief  acknowledged  the        suzerainty of Jaipur and held the estate as subeguzar  under        him,  that  title  must have related to  the  entire  estate        including  these villages, and there is therefore no  ground        for  treating  them differently from the rest.  It  must  be        mentioned that this contention was raised only in the  reply        statement.  It must be overruled.        Petitions  Nos.  471  and 472 of  1954:  The  petitioner  in        Petition  No. 471 of ’1954 is the Tikanadar of  Jhalai.   In        para  2 he admits that he is styled as a subaguzar, and  for        the  reasons  given in Petition No. 473 of 1954  his  estate        must be held to fall within article 31-A.  But it is  argued        that the Tikana- consists of 18 villages, and that only  two        of them are held as ’Sube’.        354        But what is the case put forward in the petitions as regards        the  other villages?  The schedule to the petition  mentions        that four of them are held as maintenance grants, and two as



      muafi.   They are clearly within article 31-A.   As  regards        the others, there is no specific case put forward as to  the        nature of their tenure.  But it is admitted that the  Tikana        is a permanently settled estate paying a fixed annual  reve-        nue  of Rs. 1,681, and it is therefore an estate both  under        section 4(7) of the Jaipur State-Grants Land Tenures Act No.        I of 1947 and article 31-A.  This decision will also  govern        Petition  No. 472 of 1954 in which the petitioner  owns  the        village of Bagina as "subeguzar" and the village of Siras as        jagirdar.        (2)We  now come to the second category of cases wherein  the        contention  is  that the particular properties held  by  the        petitioners do not fall within the purview of article 31-A.        (a)Petitions  Nos. 391 and 417 of 1954: Petition No. 391  of        1954  relates to the estate of Yeshwantgarh in the State  of        Alwar.  It was settled on 11-8-1941 by its then ruler on his        son for maintenance.  The grant is described in the deed  as        jagir,   and  the  Gazette  Notification   dated   25-8-1941        publishing it states:        "We  are  also faced with the problem of arranging  for  our        second Maharaj Kumar, a Jagir, which, in the matter of  size        and  powers,  should be on a much higher  footing  than  the        existing Jagirs.  Accordingly with the object of creating  a        new Jagir for him, we have today gifted to him in perpetuity        and from generation to generation, all the villages included        in  the Thikana of Thana together with all other  properties        enjoyed  by  the deceased Raja Sahib  during  his  lifetime.        This  new Jagir shall remain free from liability  for  rates        and cesses for all time, and shall also never be required to        maintain any horses".        In 1944 some more villages were added to this grant, and the        resumption relates to all these properties.        The contention of Mr. Achhru Ram for the petitioner is  that        the  grant is not an estate under the law relating  to  land        tenures  in  Alwar,  and that it is  outside  article  31-A.        Under section 2(a) of the Alwar                                    355        State Revenue Code, ‘estate’ means "an area for which  there        is  a separate record of rights or which is treated as  such        under orders of His Highness’ Government".  It is stated  by        the  petitioners that there has been no separate  record  of        rights in the State of Alwar, and that therefore there could        not  be an estate as defined in the Code.   The  respondent,        however,  does  not admit this, and contends  that,  in  any        event,  the  grants  are jagirs  and  are  therefore  within        article 31-A.  The question is whether the grant is a jagir.        The  deed  dated 11-8-1941 describes it as a jagir,  and  so        does  the  Gazette Notification publishing it; and  that  is        also  how the estate is described by the petitioner  himself        Section  3(3) of the Alwar State Jagir Rules,  1939  defines        jagir as meaning "grant of land or money granted is such  by        His  Highness  or  recognised  as  such  by  His  Highness".        Section 2(k) of the Alwar Revenue Code defines "assignee  of        land revenue" as meaning "a Muafidar or a Jagirdar".   Thus,        all the requirements of a Jagir are satisfied, and the grant        would fall within the scope of article 31-A.        It was next argued that even if the grant was a jagir within        article  31-A, the rights of the petitioner in it could  not        be  resumed under section 22(1)(a) of the Act,  inasmuch  as        what  could be resumed under that section was not the  jagir        lands,  but the right, title and interest of  the  jagirdars        therein,  and  that  the petitioner was not  a  jagirdar  as        defined  in  section  2(g) of the Act, as be  had  not  been        recognised   as  a  jagirdar  as  required  therein.    This        contention  was  also  raised  by  the  petitioners,   whose



      properties would not be jagirs in the specific sense of  the        word, but would fall within the extended definition of  that        word  under  section 2(h) as including the  several  tenures        mentioned in the first schedule to the Act.  The  contention        is  that  while  their estates would be  jagirs  within  the        inclusive  portion of the definition, they themselves  would        not  be jagirdars as defined in the Act, because  they  were        recognised  not as jagirdars but as holders of the  specific        tenures  enumerated  in that schedule,  and  that  therefore        their interests could not be resumed under section 22(1) (a)        even        356        though their estates might be notified as jagirs.  In  other        words, for the section to apply, there must not merely be an        estate which is a jagir but also a holder who is a jagirdar.        It  is  conceded that this contention,  if  accepted,  would        render Chapter V providing for resumption inoperative except        as  regards  jagirs in the specific sense and  mentioned  as        item  I in the first schedule to the Act.  But it is  argued        that  it  is  a case of casus omissus, and that  it  is  not        within  the  province of this Court to supply it.   But  the        definition of jagir in section 2(h) is, as provided therein,        subject  to any contrary intention which the  context  might        disclose;  and  when section 22 (1) (a) enacts that  on  the        resumption of jagir lands the rights of the jagirdar in  the        lands  should  cease, it clearly means that the  holders  of        jagirs are jagirdars for the purpose of the section.   There        cannot  be jagirs without there being jagirdars, and  there-        fore the word ’jagirdar’ in section 22 (1) (a) must mean all        holders  of  jagirs including the tenures mentioned  in  the        schedule to the Act.  Section 20 exempts from the  operation        of  the  Chapter properties whose incomes are  utilised  for        religious  purposes.   Those  properties would  be  held  on        tenures  such  as  Sasan,  Doli  and  so  forth  which   are        enumerated in the schedule.  There was no need for exempting        them under section 20 if the Legislature did not  understand        them  as falling within the operation of  section  22(1)(a),        and  they  would fall under that section only  if  the  word        ’jagirdar’  is interpreted as meaning all persons  who  hold        properties  which are jagirs as defined in the Act.  In  the        result, the resumption must be held to be valid.        Petition No. 417 of 1954 relates to properties in Alwar, and        the contention raised therein is the same as in Petition No.        391 of 1954, that they are not an estate within article  31-        A.  But the petitioner describes himself in the petition  as        the "proprietor jagirdar of  the jagir known as Garhi",  and        states in para (9)  that  his  jagir is unsettled  and  pays        neither revenue nor tribute, and the prayer in para 21(3) is        that  the State should be restrained by an  injunction  from        interfering with the rights of the petitioner. as jagirdar.                                    357        In  view  of these allegations, it is idle for  him  now  to        contend that the properties do not fall within article 31-A.        (b)  Petitions Nos. 401, 414, 518, 535 and 539 of 1954:  The        properties comprised in these petitions are situated  wholly        or  in  part  in  the  former  State  of  Bikaner,  and  the        contention  raised with reference to them is that  they  are        not  estates  according  to  the law  of  Bikaner,  and  are        therefore outside article 31-A.  Section 3(1) of the Bikaner        State  Land Revenue Act No. IV of 1945 defines  ’estate’  as        meaning  an area (a) for which a separate record  of  rights        has been made, or (b) which has been separately assessed  to        land revenue or would have been assessed if the land revenue        bad not been released, compounded for or redeemed.   Section        28 of the Act provides for record of rights, and section  45



      enacts  that  "all land, to whatever  purposes  applied  and        wherever situated, is liable to the payment of land  revenue        to His Highness’ Government".  Then there are provisions for        assessment   of  land  revenue.   It  is  argued   for   the        petitioners  that  the record of rights as  contemplated  by        section  28 has not been made, and that the lands  have  not        been  assessed  to revenue, nor has it been  released,  com-        pounded  for or redeemed, and that therefore the  properties        are  not estates within section 3(1) of the Bikaner Act  No.        IV  of 1945.  The contention of the respondent is that  they        are,  at any rate, jagirs, and so fall within article  31-A.        The preamble to the Act proceeds on the basis that  whatever        is not Khalsa is jagir land.  In three of the Petitions Nos.        414, 518 and 535 of 1954 the properties are described in the        schedule  as  jagirs and the petitioners as  jagirdars.   In        Petitions  Nos.  401  and  539 of 1954  there  are  no  such        admissions, there being no schedules to the petitions.   But        in the petitions for stay of notification -filed in all  the        above petitions, it is alleged that "notification under  the        impugned  Act with respect to the jagir of  the  petitioners        has  not  yet been made". (Vide para 16). ID view  of  these        admissions,  we are unable to accept the contention  of  Mr.        Frank  Anthony  based on the narration in  Tod’s  Annals  of        Rajasthan,        358        Volume  II, pp. 25, 26, 140 and 141 that the  properties  of        the petitioners are not jagirs.        (c)Petition No. 634 of 1954: In this petition there are  192        petitioners, some of whom are from Kishangarh.  The  special        contention urged as regards the petitioners from  Kishangarh        is  that their properties are not estates according  to  the        law  of  Kishangarh,  and that they  are  therefore  outside        article  31-A.   Rule  4(1)  of  the  Jagir  Rules  for  the        Kishangarh State, 1945, defines a ’jagirdar’ as a person who        has been granted a village or land as jagir by the Durbar in        consideration  of his past and future services, and  Rule  5        classifies jagirdars into five categories.  The argument  of        the  petitioners  is that they have not been shown  to  fall        within  any  of  these  categories.   Not  merely  is   this        contention not distinctly raised in the petitions, but it is        admitted  in  para 1 that "the petitioners’  properties  are        known  as  Jagirs, Bhoms, Muafi, etc."  which  will  clearly        bring  them  within the operation of article 31-A.   In  the        schedule to the petition also, the petitioners are described        as  jagirdars, and the particular villages held by them  are        noted  as jagir villages.  The contention that they  do  not        fall  within  article 31-A must be rejected.  It  is  stated        that  the 128th petitioner, Pratap Singh, does not make  any        payment  in  respect  of his estate, and that it  is  not  a        jagir.   If  that  is so, then on  the  admission  extracted        above, it must be muafi, and will be within article 31-A.        (d)Petition No. 536 of 1954: The petitioner is the holder of        an  estate  in Mewar known as Bhaisrodgarh  Tikana,  and  he        alleges  that  there  was a  dispute  between  Rawat  Himmat        Singhji the then holder of the estate, and the Maharajah  of        Udaipur,  and that it was settled in March 1855 through  the        mediation  of  the  then Agent to  the  Government,  Sir  M.        Montgomery, and that under the terms of the settlement,  the        Tikana  was  recognised  as the exclusive  property  of  the        holder.  The agreement itself has not been produced, and  it        could not, even on the allegations in the petition, have had        the  effect of destroying the character of the estate  as  a        jagir grant.  Moreover,                                    359        this  estate  is mentioned as item 8 in the list  of  jagirs



      mentioned in the schedule under section 117 in Mewar Act No.        V  of  1947, and that by itself is sufficient  to  bring  it        within article 31-A.        (e)Petition  No.  672 of 1954: The petitioner  is  a  Bhumia        holding  an estate called "Jawas".  Its history is given  in        "Chiefs and Leading Families of Rajputana", page 36, and the        argument  of Mr, Trivedi based on it is that the  Chiefs  of        Jawas  occupied a special position as feudatories, and  that        they  could  not  be  considered  as  grantees.   But  their        position  is not different from that of the  other  Bhomats,        and  indeed  it is admitted in para 14 that  the  lands  are        comprised  in  the Bhomat area.  This  estate  is  expressly        included  in  the  schedule  under  section  117  in   Mewar        Government  Kanoon Mal Act No. V of 1947 being item  No.  25        and is within article 31-A.        (f)Petitions Nos. 483, 527, 528 and 675 of 1954 and 1 and 61        of  1955: The question that is raised in these petitions  is        whether  grants  made for maintenance are ’jagirs  or  other        similar grants’ falling within the purview of article  31-A.        In Petition No. 483 of 1954 the grant was made by the  ruler        of  Uniaara,  and in Petition No. 528 of 1954  by  the  then        ruler of Katauli before it was merged in the State of Kotah.        We  have  held  that  maintenance  grants  would  be  jagirs        according  to  their  extended  connotation,  and  they  are        therefore within article 31-A.        In Petition No. 527 of 1954 the grant was made in favour  of        certain members of the Ruling House of Jaipur.  According to        the respondent, they were illegitimate issue called  Laljis,        and the grants were made for Lawazma and Kothrikharch, which        expressions mean maintenance of paraphernalia and  household        expenses.  (Vide the Administration Report of  Jaipur  1947-        1948, page 36).  The grant in favour of the 33rd  petitioner        in  Petition  No.  I  of 1955 and  the  17th  petitioner  in        Petition  No.  61 of 1955 are similar in  character.   Apart        from the general contention that maintenance grants are  not        within article 31-A, the further argument of Mr.  Dadachanji        on behalf of these 46        860        petitioners is that Lawazma and Kothrikharch are tenures not        mentioned  in  the first schedule to the Act, and  that  the        resumption   of  these  lands  was  therefore  without   the        authority of law.  But these expressions meaning maintenance        expenses are indicative of the purpose of the grant and  are        not descriptive of the tenure.  A grant can both be a  jagir        and  a maintenance grant, and the fact that it  was  granted        for  Lawazma and Kothrikharch does not militate against  its        being  a jagir.  It was suggested that the question  whether        Lawazma  and Kothrikharch are tenures different  from  those        mentioned in the schedule to the Act might be left open  and        that  the  right  of  the  petitioners  to  establish  their        contention in other proceedings may be reserved.  That would        undoubtedly be the proper course to adopt when the point for        determination  is  not  whether the  Act  itself  is  uncon-        stitutional and void, but whether the action taken under  it        was  authorised by its provisions.  But then, there  are  no        allegations  in the petition that the properties  were  held        under  a tenure, which is outside the schedule to  the  Act.        On the other hand, some at least of the petitions proceed on        the footing that the estates are jagirs.        In  Petition No. 675 of 1954 the petitioner is the Raj  Mata        of the ruler of Tonk.  She was receiving a monthly allowance        of  Rs.  762/- for her maintenance and in lieu  of  it,  the        village of Bagri with its hamlets, Anwarpura and Ismailpura,        was  granted to her by resolution dated 6-3-1948.   Being  a        maintenance  grant  it  will be a jagir,  and  that  is  the



      footing  on which the petition is drafted.  Mr. S. K.  Kapur        who  appeared for the petitioner put forward a special  con-        tention  that the Government was estopped from resuming  the        lands.  The facts on which this plea is founded are that  on        28-11-1953  the  Secretary to the Government  wrote  to  the        Collector  of  Tonk  that  the  petitioner  was  not  to  be        disturbed  in her enjoyment of the jagir for  her  lifetime.        In   a  later  communication  dated   24-11-1954,   however,        addressed  to the petitioner, the Government  expressed  its        inability  to stay resumption, and the argument is that  the        res-        361        pondent  is  estopped from going back on the  assurance  and        undertaking  given in the letter dated 28-11-1953.   We  are        unable  on  these  facts  to see any basis  for  a  plea  of        estoppel.  The letter dated 28-11-1953 was not addressed  to        the  petitioner;  nor  does it amount  to  an  assurance  or        8undertaking  not  to resume the jagir.  And  even  if  such        assurance  had been given, it would certainly not have  been        binding on the Government, because its powers of  resumption        are  regulated  by  the statute, and must  be  exercised  in        accordance   with  its  provisions.   The  Act  confers   no        authority   on  the  Government  to  grant  exemption   from        resumption,  and  an  undertaking  not  to  resume  will  be        invalid, and there can be no estoppel against a statute.        One  other  contention  advanced  with  reference  to   this        petition  might be noticed.  It was argued that  under  rule        2(f)  in schedule II, no compensation is awarded in  respect        of  the abadi lands, which remain in the possession  of  the        jagirdar,  whereas,  if they are sold, the income  from  the        -sale proceeds is taken into account.  This, it was  argued,        is discriminatory.  The principle underlying this  provision        is  that  compensation is to be fixed on the  basis  of  the        income  which the properties produce, and that  while  abadi        lands in the hands of the jagirdar yield no income, if  they        are  sold  the sale proceeds  are  income-producing  assets.        Whether this principle of assessing compensation is open  to        attack  is another question, and that will be considered  in        its due place.        (g)Petitions  Nos. 371, 375, 379, 416) 455 and 461 of  1954:        These  petitions raise in general terms the contention  that        the  properties  to  which they relate are  not  estates  as        defined in article 31-A.        Petition No. 371 of 1954 relates to the estate of Doongri in        Jaipur, and it is contended that it is not an estate because        the  liability of the holder is only to pay Naqdirazan,  and        it is argued that this is not revenue.  Naqdirazan is  money        commutation  for the obligation of maintaining  a  specified        number  of  horses.  This is clearly a  grant  for  military        service, and will be a jagir, and that is admitted in para I        where the        362        petitioner  is described as the jagirdar of Doongri  and  in        para 9 where it is stated that the jagir is unsettled.   The        prayer is that an injunction might be issued restraining the        State from interfering with the rights of the petitioner  as        jagirdar.   It  is  also  alleged in para  19  of  the  stay        petition that "the whole family is to be supported from this        jagir".  Article 31-A clearly applies.        Petition  No. 375 of 1954 relates to the estate  of  Renwal,        and  the  special contention raised is that  the  petitioner        pays  no  revenue  but only Naqdirazan.   But  he  describes        himself  in para 1 as jagirdar of Renwal, admits in  para  9        that it is a jagir, and claims relief in para 21(3) on  that        footing.   The properties are clearly jagirs within  article



      31-A.        The petitioner in Petition No. 379 of 1954 is also stated to        be  holding  the  estate  on  payment  of  Naqdirazan.    He        describes  himself  as owner of the properties in  Khera  as        jagirdar,  admits in paras 9, 14, 16 and 19 that the  estate        is  a  jagir, and prays for an  injunction  restraining  the        State  from  interfering with his rights as  jagirdar.   His        estate is clearly within article 31-A.        Petition  No.  416  of  1954 relates  to  an  estate  called        Sanderao.   The  payment  made  by  the  holder  is   called        Rekchakri,  and the contention is that this is not  revenue.        But  it  is  admitted  in paras 1, 2, 9  and  21(3)  of  the        petition that the properties are jagir lands.  Petition  No.        455  of 1954 relates to properties in Mewar.  There  are  13        petitioners, and it is argued that the payments made by them        called  chakri chatund and Bhom-barad are not  revenue,  and        their properties are not estates.  But they admit that  they        are "owners as petty jagirdars" of the properties  mentioned        in  the schedule, and this statement is followed  by  others        which  also  contain clear admissions that the  estates  are        jagirs. (Vide paras 12, 17(e), 19 and 21(3) of the  petition        and paras 16 and 19 of the stay petition).  In Petition  No.        461 of 1954 the petitioner admits that he holds ten villages        as jagirs, seventeen as istimrar and two as muafi.  Istimrar        is one of the tenures mentioned in the first schedule to the        Act,  and  is item No. 2 therein, and that would  be  "other        similar grant"                                    363        within  article  31-A, while jagir and muafi  are  expressly        included  therein.   In conclusion, we must  hold  that  the        petitioners have failed to establish that the impugned  Act,        in  so far as it relates to properties held by them, is  not        within the protection of,’ article 31-A.        IV.  (B)   We  may  now  consider  the  contention  of   the        petitioners  that  the  Act is bad on the  ground  that  the        compensation provided therein is inadequate.  The provisions        of  the  Act  bearing on this matter may  now  be  reviewed.        The . second schedule to the Act lays down the principles on        which  compensation has to be assessed.  Rule 2  enacts  how        the  gross income is to be ascertained, and  enumerates  the        several  heads of income which are to be  included  therein,        and  rule  4 mentions the deductions which  are  admissible.        Rule 4(3) provides that 25 per cent. of the gross income may        be  deducted  for "administrative charges inclusive  of  the        cost of collection, maintenance of land records,  management        of jagir lands and irrecoverable arrears of rent"; and there        is  a  proviso to that rule that "in no case shall  the  net        income be computed at a figure less than 50 per cent. of the        gross  income".  Under rule 5 compensation payable is  seven        times  the  net  income  calculated under  rule  4.  Rule  6        provides  that  any compensation paid to  the  jagirdar  for        customs  duties during the basic year shall continue  to  be        payable.   Under  section  26(2)  the  compensation   amount        carries   interest  at  21  per  cent.  from  the  date   of        resumption,   and  under  section  35  it  is   payable   in        instalments.  Under section 35(A) the payment may be made in        cash  or in bond or partly in cash and partly in  bond.   In        addition  to  this, there is provision for  the  payment  of        rehabilitation grant on the scale mentioned in schedule III.        The  complaint  of the petitioner is that  the  compensation        provided by the rules is inadequate, being far less than the        market  value of the estate, that rule 2 takes into  account        only  the income which was being actually received from  the        properties and omits altogether potential income which might        arise in future, as for example, from vacant house sites and



      unopened        364        mines; and reliance was placed on the decision of this Court        in  State  of West Bengal v. Bela Banerjea(1) where  it  was        held  that the compensation guaranteed under  article  31(2)        was just compensation, equivalent of what the owner had been        deprived  of.   But we have held that the  impugned  Act  is        protected  by article 31-A, and that article enacts that  no        law  providing for acquisition of properties falling  within        its purview is open to attack on the ground that it violates        any  of  the provisions of Part III.  It was  held  by  this        Court  in  State of Bihar v. Maharajadhiraja  Sir  Kameshwar        Singh(1)   and  Visveshwar  Rao  v.  The  State  of   Madhya        Pradesh(1)  that  an  objection to the validity  of  an  Act        relating  to acquisition of property on the ground  that  it        did not provide for payment of compensation was an objection        based  on  article 31(2), and that it was  barred  when  the        impugned  legislation fell within articles 31(4),  31-A  and        31-B.   It was further held in Raja Suriya Pal Singh v.  The        State  of Uttar Pradesh(1) that when the acquisition was  of        the  whole estate, it was not a valid objection to  it  that        the  compensation  was awarded on the basis  of  the  income        actually  received, and that nothing was paid on account  of        properties which did not yield an income.        It  is argued that the compensation payable under the  rules        is so inadequate as to be illusory, and that the Act must be        held  to  amount  to a fraud on the  Constitution.   We  are        unable  to agree with this contention.  Under the  Act,  the        jagirdar  is entitled to compensation equal to seven  years’        net   income,   and  in  addition  to  it  he   is   awarded        rehabilitation  grant which may vary from 2 to 11 times  the        net  income.   Under section 18 of the Act he will  also  be        allotted a portion of the khudkhast lands in the jagir,  the        extent  of  the allotment being proportionate to  the  total        extent thereof.  He is also to get compensation for loss  of        customs.  The utmost that can be said of these provisions is        that the compensation provided thereunder is inadequate,  if        that  is calculated on the basis of the market value of  the        properties.  But that        (1) [1954] S.C.R. 558.         (3) [1952] S.C.R. 1020.        (2) [1952] S.C.R. 889.         (4) [1952] S.C.R. 1056.                                    365        is  not a ground on which an Act protected by  article  31-A        could be impugned.  Before such an Act could be struck down,        it  must be shown that the true intention of the law was  to        take  properties  without  making  any  payment,  that   the        provisions  relating  to,’  compensation  are  merely  veils        concealing that intention, and that the compensation payable        is so illusory as to be no compensation at all. (Vide  State        of Bihar v. Maharajadhiraja Sir Kameshwar Singh of Darbhanga        and others(1).  We are clear that this cannot be said of the        provisions  of the impugned Act, and the contention that  it        is a fraud on the Constitution must, in consequence, fail.        It  was  argued  by Mr. Achhru Ram  that  the  impugned  Act        suffered  from a fundamental defect in that it  treated  all        the  41 tenures classed as jagirs in the schedule as of  the        same  character,  and  on  that basis  laid  down  the  same        principles  of compensation for all of them.  It  is  argued        that these tenures differ widely from one another as regards        several  incidents  such as  heritability,  partibility  and        alienability,  and  that different  scales  of  compensation        should have been provided suitably to the nature and quality        of  the  tenure.  There is considerable force in  this  con-        tention.   But  this  is  an objection  to  the  quantum  of        compensation, and that is not justiciable under article  31-



      A.   We may add that even if it was open to the  petitioners        to  go behind article 31-A and to assail the legislation  on        the ground that the compensation awarded was not just,  they        have   failed   to  place  any  materials  before   us   for        substantiating that contention, and on this ground also, the        objection must fail.        It was also argued that there was no public purpose involved        in the resumption, and that therefore article 31(2) had been        contravened.  This again is an objection which is barred  by        article  31-A;  and  even on the  merits,  the  question  is        concluded  against the petitioners by the decision  of  this        Court in State of Bihar v.    Maharajadhiraja Sir  Kameshwar        Singh of Darbhanga        (1) [1952] S.C.R. 889, 946-948.        366        and  others(1)  that  legislation of the  character  of  the        present is supported by public purpose.        It  was  next urged that the provisions of  the  Act  offend        article  14 and are therefore bad.  Even apart from  article        31-A  which renders such an objection inadmissible,  we  are        satisfied  that it is without substance.  The contention  of        the  petitioners is that the Act according to its  title  is        one  to  provide for resumption of jagir lands, not  all  of        them;  that  section 21 provides that  the  Government  "may        appoint  a  date for the resumption of any  class  of  jagir        lands",  which  means  that under this  section  it  is  not        obligatory on it to resume all jagirs, and that it would  be        within  its  powers in resuming some of them  while  leaving        others  untouched, and thus the Act is discriminatory.   The        provisions of this Act bearing on this question are sections        20  and  4. Section 20 enacts that "the provisions  of  this        Chapter  apply  to all jagirs except jagirs  the  income  of        which  is  utilised  for the maintenance  of  any  place  of        religious  worship or for the performance of  any  religious        service".  We have held that the Act confers no power on the        Government to grant exemption.  All the jagirs therefore are        liable to be resumed under section 20, no option being  left        with  the  Government in the matter.  Section 4 of  the  Act        enacts that all jagir lands become liable to pay  assessment        from  the commencement of the Act, and the liability of  the        jagirdar  to  pay  tribute also ceases as  from  that  date.        There  cannot  therefore  be  any  doubt  that  it  was  the        intention of the Legislature that all jagir lands should  be        resumed under section 21.        It  was  also  urged  that under section  21  the  State  is        authorised  to  resume different classes of jagir  lands  on        different  dates, and that must result in the law  operating        unequally.    This  provision  was  obviously  dictated   by        practical considerations such as administrative  convenience        and  facilities for payment of compensation’ and  cannot  be        held  to  be discriminatory.  It was held by this  Court  in        Biswambhar Singh v. The State of Orissa and others(1) that a        similar        (1)  [1952] S.C.R. 889.        (2)  [1954] S.C.R. 842, 855.                                    367        provision in the Orissa Estates Abolition Act No. I of  1952        was  not  obnoxious  to  article  14.   The  objection  must        accordingly be overruled.        Petitions  Nos. 629 and 643 of 1954: These are petitions  by        jagirdars  of  Mewar, and the special  contention  urged  on        their  behalf by Mr. Trivedi is that their jagirs  had  been        taken possession of by the State in 1949 under section  8(A)        of  the  Rajasthan  Ordinance No. 27 of 1948,  that  by  its        judgment  dated 11-12-1951 the High Court of  Rajasthan  had



      held  that  that enactment was void under article  14,  that        that  judgment had been affirmed by this court in The  State        of Rajasthan v. Rao Manohar Singhji(1), that the present Act        came into force on 8-2-1952, and that the Government  having        wrongly  taken  possession of the jagirs in 1949  under  the        provisions  of the Ordinance, instead of returning  them  to        the petitioners notified them first under section 21 of  the        Act, and thus managed to continue in possession, and that in        the  result,  these jagirdars had been  treated  differently        from the jagirdars in other States of Rajputana to whom sec-        tion 8(A) did not apply and article 14 had been contravened.        There  is  no  substance  in  this  contention.   The  Mewar        jagirdars  having lost possession under a legislation  which        has been held to be void, the rights which they had over the        jagirs  until  the date of the present  notifications  would        remain  unaffected,  and no unequal treatment  could  result        therefrom.    And,  moreover,  the  present  Act  makes   no        discrimination  in  the  matter, as it applies  to  all  the        jagirs  in  Rajasthan.  There is no ground,  therefore,  for        holding that the Act in any manner contravenes article 14.        V.   It  now remains to deal with the contention of some  of        the  petitioners  that even if the impugned  Act  is  valid,        their  estates  do not fall within its  mischief,  and  that        their resumption is therefore unauthorised        (a)  Petition  No.392  of 1954  The subject-matter  of  this        petition  is the estate of Khandela in the former  State  of        Jaipur.  By a deed of the year 1836, it        (1)  [1954] S.C.R. 996.        47        368        was  settled by the Maharajah of Jaipur on  Raja  Abayasingh        and  Raja  Lakshmansingh  on izara  istimrar  on  an  annual        assessment  of  Rs. 80,001.  The present petitioner  is  the        successor-in-interest of Raja Abayasingh, and is entitled to        three-fifths  share in the estate.  The contention  that  is        urged  on his behalf by Mr. Isaacs is that the Act does  not        apply to him, because be is neither a Jagirdar nor a  holder        of  any of the tenures mentioned in schedule I to  the  Act.        The history of this estate is set out in Mr. Wills’s  Report        at pp. 75-79.  Khandela was an ancient principality held  by        the  members of the Raisalot family as Mansubdars under  the        Moghul Emperor.  In 1725 Sawai Jaisingh of Amber obtained an        izara of Khandela from the Moghul Emperor, and the Raisalot-        holders  became  subordinate to him.  In 1797  the  Raisalot        family   lost  possession  of  the  estate,   which   became        incorporated in the Khalsa lands of Jaipur, and administered        as  such  till  1812.   Thereafter, it  was  leased  to  the        Chieftain of Sikar and others on short Term leases till 1836        when  the grant under which the petitioner claims was  made.        The occasion -for the grant was that there were negotiations        for  marrying a princess of the Bikaner royal family to  the        ruler  of Jaipur, and the Bikaner Durbar insisted  that  the        Khandela  estate should be restored to the Raisalot  family.        Though  the marriage itself did not eventually  materialise,        the  princess having in the meantime died, the  negotiations        which  had  been  going on with the  Jaipur  State  for  the        handing  over  of  the Khandela estate to  its  old  holders        resulted in the izara of 1836.  Now the question is  whether        the grant of 1836 was that of a jagir.  It was clearly not a        grant  for  services rendered- or to be  rendered,  nor  was        there  an assignment of any right to collect  revenue.   The        grantees -were to enjoy the income from the lands and pay  a        fixed  annual  amount to the Durbar.  It is  true  that  the        estate had some of the incidents of a jagir tenure  attached        to  it.   It  was impartible, it  was  inalienable,  and  in



      matters  of succession it was governed by the  Matmi  Rules.        All  this  did not affect the true character  of  the  grant        which was both in name and in        369,        substance a permanent lease and not a jagir.        Mr. Pathak contends that even if what was granted under  the        deed  was not a jagir, it was at least a grant of  istimrari        tenure,  which  is item 2 in schedule I to  the  Act.   This        argument  is mainly founded on certain,’  proceedings  which        were taken with reference to the Khandela estate during  the        years 1932 to 1939.  The occasion for these proceedings  was        a  dispute  between  the Thikanadars of  Shekhwati  and  the        Durbar  with reference to their respective rights,  and  the        status  of  the  Izaradars  of Khandela  also  came  up  for        investigation.  There was an enquiry and report by Mr. Wills        in  1933,  and  on  that report the  matter  was  again  in-        vestigated  by  a Committee which submitted  its  report  in        1935.   Therein,  it was held on an examination of  all  the        materials  that  the  status  of  the  holders  of  Khandela        differed from that of other Thikanadars, who paid Muamla and        claimed semi-independent status as "Muamlaguzars", that they        held  merely as istimrar Izaradars under a  "-permanent  and        specific  izar" and not as istimrar Muamlaguzars,  that  the        grant of Mal, Sayer, Bhom and Kuli habubayat under the  deed        did  not  add to their status as Izaradars. (Vide  para  5).        This report was accepted by the Maharajah of Jaipur on 14-4-        1939.        Mr.  Pathak contends that the effect of the finding  of  the        Committee  that the grantees held as istimrar Izaradars  was        to  bring them within item 2 of schedule I to the  Act,  and        that  therefore the resumption is within the Act.   But  the        report  emphasises  that  the  grantee  held  as   "istimrar        Izaradar"  and  not as "istimrar Muamlaguzar",  and  in  the        context  the  word  "istimrar"  has  reference  not  to  the        character of the tenure but its duration as permanent.   The        precise nature of the tenure called ’istimrari’ is thus  set        out in Venkatachar’s Report:-        "Permanently quit-rented estates and lands-These are denoted        by  various terms as Dumba, Chukota, Suba and Istimrari.  Of        these  the  Istimrari  tenure merits  some  attention.   The        largest  number  of Istimrari estates in Rajasthan  lies  in        Ajmer-Merwara        370        which  area  is  outside  the scope  of  this  report.   The        original tenure of the Istimrari estate in Ajmer is  exactly        like  the  Jagirs in Rajasthan.  None of the  Ajmer  estates        ever  paid revenue till 1755, but were held on condition  of        military  service................  Under British  rule,  the        estate  holders were made liable to pay an annual fixed  and        permanent quit-rent and were converted into Istimrari tenure        holders". (Page 22, para 24).        "This  quit rent or fixed revenue is a  nominal  assessment,        not  related  to the income from the holding, but  with  the        condition   of   confirmation  of  grant;  the   amount   is        invariable.    This   class   of  persons   are   known   as        ’Istimrardars"’. (Page 24, para 36).        It  is clear from the above that the essential  features  of        istimrari  tenure  are  that the lands  are  assessed  to  a        nominal quit rent and that is permanent.  The amount of  Rs.        80,001 fixed as assessment under the deed of 1836 cannot  be        said  to be a nominal amount, and as found in the report  of        the  1933 Committee, it was not a permanent assessment.   It        cannot  therefore be held that what was created by the  deed        of 1836 was istimrari tenure.        It  was argued for the respondent that Khandela was  clearly



      an estate as defined in article 31-A, that the policy of the        law was to abolish all intermediaries, and that section 2(h)        should  be  so  construed as to comprehend  all  holders  of        intermediate  tenures.  The answer to this is that  whatever        the  legislature intended, effect can be given only  to  its        expressed  intention, and that the definition of "jagir"  in        section   2(h)  is  not  sufficiently  wide  to  catch   the        petitioner.  The notification under section 21 in so far  as        it  relates to the properties held by the  petitioner  under        the izara of 1836 must be held to be not within the  purview        of the Act and therefore unauthorised.        (b)Petition No. 427 of 1954: Three villages, Haripura, Khata        and Niradun, are comprised in this petition.      Lands   in        Haripura  belonged  to  certain  Bhumias  of  Jaipur.    The        petitioner  acquired them under a number of  purchases,  the        last  of  them  being in 1915.  Bhom tenure is  item  17  in        schedule I to the Act, and                                    371        these  lands  would therefore be within the purview  of  the        Act.  It is argued by Mr. Rastogi that as the petitioner had        acquired  lands from the Bhomias long prior to the  Act  his        rights  in  them could not retrospectively  be  affected  by        subsequent  legislation.   We are unable to  see  where  the        question of retrospective operation comes in.  If Bhom is  a        tenure--and  that is what it is under the first schedule  to        the  Act,  and if the intention of the  Legislature  was  to        bring  it  within the operation of the Act,  then  the  only        question   to  be  considered  is  whether  the   particular        properties  notified  under  the Act  are  held  under  that        tenure.  And if that is answered in the affirmative, the Act        would clearly apply, and it would make no difference in  the        result that the holder derived title to them by purchase and        not by inheritance.  On the admission of the petitioner that        the lands notified belonged to his vendors as Bhom, the  Act        will clearly apply.        With  reference  to the lands in the village of  Khata,  the        contention  of  the petitioner is that it is held  on  izara        tenure,  and that it is therefore outside schedule I to  the        Act.  This village is a Thikana in Shekhwati, and though the        estates  in  that area were originally held on  izara,  they        had,  as already stated, risen to the status of  jagirs  and        had been recognised as such.  This village is stated to have        been granted for maintaining horses, and is really a  Mansab        jagir  and must be held to be covered by item 1 in  schedule        I.        The  village of Niradun is stated to be held as  Javad,  and        the  contention  is  that  it is  not  one  of  the  tenures        mentioned in schedule I to the Act.  The respondent contends        that Javad is not the name of any tenure, and that it  means        only  a  sub-grant.  In the petition it is not  stated  that        Javad is a tenure; nor is there a mention of its  incidents.        The word ’javad’ is not noticed either in Wilson’s  Glossary        or  in Ramanatha Iyer’s Law Lexicon.  In the Jagir Rules  of        Kishangarh, section 4(xiii) defines ’javad’ as "a jagir con-        fiscated  by  or  reverted  to  the  State",  and  that  has        reference  to  the  practice of making a grant  of  a  small        portion of the jagir to the ’jagirdar when it is confiscated        or to the members of the family when it        372        reverts  back to the State.  We are satisfied that there  is        no  tenure  called  Javad,  and  it  will  not  assist   the        petitioner whether Javad is a sub-grant or a grant of  jagir        of the nature mentioned in section 4(xiii) of the Kishangarh        Rules.   We may add that this contention was raised  by  the        petitioner in a supplemental statement.



      (c)  Petition No. 468 of 1954: The petitioner is the  holder        of  an  estate known as Jobner.  He contends that  he  is  a        Mansubdar  and  not a jagirdar, and that his tenure  is  not        included  in  schedule  I to the  Act.   During  the  Moghul        administration  persons to whom assignments of land  revenue        were  made subject to an obligation to maintain  horses  for        Imperial  service  were called Mansubdars.   The  petitioner        states  that  Akbar  the  Great  granted  three   paraganas,        Narayana,  Kolak and Jobner, to his ancestors as Mansub  for        maintaining  1000 horses, that in 1727 they came under  "the        subordination of the Amber Durbar"-which was the name of the        State  prior to the foundation of Jaipur in 1728,  and  that        they  had  continued  to  hold  the  estate  thereafter   as        Mansubdars and not as jagirdars.  But the grant will clearly        be a jagir as there is an assignment of land revenue for the        rendering  of military service, and Mansub is  only  another        name for a jagir.  It is classified as a jagir in the Jaipur        Administration  Report 1947-1948, page 35, and  even  though        the Report has not the force of legislation, it is  valuable        as showing that Mansub is recognised as a jagir.  The estate        is therefore covered by item I in schedule 1.        With  reference to one of the villages forming part of  this        estate, Jorpura, a special contention was put forward by Mr.        Naunit  Lal that it was dedicated for worship of  the  Devi,        and  was therefore within the exemption enacted  in  section        20.   A document is also produced in support of this  claim.        The respondent claims that under this deed the grant is  not        in  its entirety in favour of the Deity, but the  petitioner        disputes it. This is not a question which can be  determined        in  this  petition.  It will be open to  the  petitioner  to        establish in appropriate proceedings that the                                    373        village  or any portion thereof is within the  exemption  of        section 20 of the Act.        (d)  Petitions  Nos.  474  and  475 of  1954:  In  1948  the        Maharajah of Jaipur granted to the petitioners, who are  his        sons, the Thikanas of Bhagwatgarh and Mangarh consisting  of        20 villages revenue-free.  Now, the contention that has been        urged before us in these and other similar petitions is that        in the first schedule to the Act., only Thikanas of  Dholpur        are mentioned, being item 11, and that therefore Thikanas in        other States are excluded.  But the expression  ’Thikanadar’        is  a honorific and ’Thikana’ does not, except  in  Dholpur,        mean  anything  more than an estate and that estate  can  as        well be a jagir.  The petitioners, in fact,, admit in  their        petitions  that they are jagirdars.  The grant is clearly  a        jagir, and falls within item I in the schedule.        (e)  Petition   No.  488  of  1954:  The   petitioners   are        interested in two of the villages, Dadia Rampur and Tapiplya        comprised  in the izara of Khandela of the year 1836,  which        forms  the subject-matter of Petition No. 392 of  1954,  and        their  title  rests on Chhut Bhayas or  sub-grant  from  the        izaradar.  Their rights are therefore precisely those of the        izaradars, and for the reasons given in Petition No. 392  of        1954 these petitioners must succeed.        (f)  Petition  No. 36 of 1955: The properties to which  this        petition  relates are held as "Sansan" which is one  of  the        tenures  mentioned in the first schedule being item 25,  and        would  therefore  fall within the operation of  section  21.        The contention of the petitioner is that they are  dedicated        for  the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti, and  that        he is a Brahmacharan utilising the income from the lands for        the  above religious service.  The properties  comprised  in        the  grant  are  said  to be of  a  small  extent,  and  the        dedication  is not improbable.  There has been no denial  by



      the respondent of the allegation in the petition, and on the        materials  placed before us, we have come to the  conclusion        that  the  dedication  pleaded by the  petitioner  has  been        established, and that the        374        properties are within the exemption enacted in section 20.              To  sum  up: The impugned Act is not  open  to  attack        either on the ground that the Rajpramukh had no  legislative        competence to enact it, or that the procedure prescribed  in        article  212-A for enactment of laws had not been  followed.        The  Act is, in substance, one for acquisition of  property,        and  is within the legislative competence of the State,  and        it  is protected by article 31-A.  But the  notification  is        bad  as regards properties comprised in Petitions  Nos.  392        and 488 of 1954, as izaras are not within the impugned  Act.        The  properties  mentioned in Petition No. 36  of  1955  are        dedicated  for  religious  services, and  are  exempt  under        section  20  of the Act.  Appropriate writs  will  issue  in        these three petitions.        In  Petition No. 468 of 1954 the right of the petitioner  to        claim exemption under section 20 for the village of  Jorpura        on the ground that it is dedicated for worship of the  Deity        is reserved, and the petition is otherwise dismissed.        All  the other petitions will stand dismissed.  The  parties        will bear their own costs in all the petitions.