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Vijbhukhandas Kashidas and ors. Vs. Sardar Ishwardas Jagjivandas and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1923Bom397; 74Ind.Cas.292
AppellantVijbhukhandas Kashidas and ors.
RespondentSardar Ishwardas Jagjivandas and anr.
Excerpt:
bombay land revenue code (bombay act v of 1879), section 83 - tenant in possession for long time--presumption of permanent tenancy--signing of kabuliyat by tenant, effect of. - indian penal code, 1860 [c.a. no. 45/1860].sections 124-a, 153-a, 153-b, 292, 293 & 295a; [f.i. rebello, smt v.k. tahilramani & a.s. oka, jj] declaration as to forfeiture of book held, the power can be exercised only if the government forms opinion that said publication contains matter which is an offence under either of sections 124-a, 153-a, 153-b, 292, 293, 295a of i.p.c., - he was also of opinion that the defendants could not prove their possession of the suit land farther back than 1862, and there was nothing on the record from which the court could presume that they had been in possession prior to..........1902, in our opinion, must be taken as an admission by the defendants that they were not permanent tenants but tenants bound to give up possession according to the terms of the document.3. no doubt, when it has been proved that a tenant has been in occupation of certain land for so long that one cannot ascertain the commencement of the tenancy the mere fact that, during the currency of his holding, he has signed a kabuliyat which, purports to be in terms an agreement for an annual tenancy, may not be sufficient to displace the advantage he has obtained from his long holding, if he continues in possession for many years after he had signed the kabuliyat, on the same rent. but each case of this class must stand entirely on its own facts. at first, the tenant claiming to hold as permanent.....
Judgment:

1. The plaintiffs brought this action to recover possession of the plaint lands, mesne profits and certain damages. The Trial Court dismissed the suit on the ground that the insertion in the kabuliyat of 1902, signed by the defendants, about giving up possession of the land was made fraudulently and without the knowledge of the defendants, and that, apart from the kabuliyat, the defendants were entitled to the presumption on the facts found under Section 83 of the Land Revenue Code that they were permanent tenants.

2. This decision was reversed in appeal, the learned Judge being of opinion that the defendants' contention that the kibuliyat of 1902 was taken by the plaintiffs fraudulently was not established by the evidence. He was also of opinion that the defendants could not prove their possession of the suit land farther back than 1862, and there was nothing on the record from which the Court could presume that they had been in possession prior to 1862. In any event, the Court was satisfied that the fact that defendants were in possession in 1854 bad not been established. It would follow then that, even without the kabuliyat, it would be rather difficult for the defendants to ask the Court to give them the benefit of Section 83, and hold that they were permanent tenants. The execution of the kabuliyat of 1902, in our opinion, must be taken as an admission by the defendants that they were not permanent tenants but tenants bound to give up possession according to the terms of the document.

3. No doubt, when it has been proved that a tenant has been in occupation of certain land for so long that one cannot ascertain the commencement of the tenancy the mere fact that, during the currency of his holding, he has signed a kabuliyat which, purports to be in terms an agreement for an annual tenancy, may not be sufficient to displace the advantage he has obtained from his long holding, if he continues in possession for many years after he had signed the kabuliyat, on the same rent. But each case of this class must stand entirely on its own facts. At first, the tenant claiming to hold as permanent tenant must establish the facts which would entitle him to the presumption of Section 83. But that can be rebutted by the landlord by the production of a kabuliyat. Again, the effect of the kabuliyat can be destroyed by further evidence on the part of the tenant. The fact of the signing of the kabuliyat, as merely an isolated instance in the midst of a long holding at the same rent, will not necessarily prevent the tenant from succeeding.

4. There cannot be a clearer case than the one before us in which it has been proved that the kabuliyat was taken for a definite purpose. The plaintiffs were put in possession in 1892 as Court-purchasers. Prior to that time the land ha d been managed by the Collector, and as soon as the plaintiffs got into possession, they determined to establish their rights to the village lands. They began by filing suits against different occupants for possession. These suits were taken up to the High Court and ended in decrees for the plaintiffs. Thereafter, plaintiffs began taking kabuliyat from the tenants, of which a very large number have been recorded. In the case, covering a period from 1902 to 1909. The purpose the plaintiffs had in taking these kabuliyat is perfectly clear. It is also clear that the tenants in occupation of the village lands must have known what the plaintiffs had in their minds. The tenants must have known that the plaintiffs were asking for kabuliyats; that they were asserting then rights against any claims of the tenants to hold as permanent tenants, and that many of the tenants were signing those kabuliyats.

5. In these circumstances, the plaintiff obtained the kabilayat in suit from the defendants. Therefore, the signing of the kabuliyat at once destroyed any presumption that might have arisen from the previous holding of the defendants of the suit lands, and there is nothing that has occurred since which would lead one to suppose that the signing of a kabuliyat was a mere accident, which, on the continuance of the holding on the old terms, could be treated as a nullity in consequence of the later possession.

6. We think, then, the judgment of the Firs Class Sub-Judge was correct, and that therefore, this appeal must be dismissed with costs.


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