1. This is a suit for declaration of title to, and possession of, 1 bigha 12 pie kham land numbered 98 in the revenue registers. It, will be seen that there are two defendants to the suit, one Ganga Prasad and the other Mital Kahar, and their position in regard to the litigation will be explained by a statement of the following facts, which the learned pleaders for the parties at the hearing informed me were the facts out of which the suit has arisen. It appears that some time before 1881, the plaintiffs had under the provisions of the Rent Act made a distraint for rent which they alleged to be owing from the defendant Mital Kahar. Mital contested the legality of that distraint by a proceeding in the Revenue Court, and under section 84 of the Rent Act the defendant Ganga Prasad intervened, and the question therefore came up for determination as to whether before and up to the time of the commencement of that suit in the Revenue Court the defendant Ganga Prasad had been in actual receipt and enjoyment of the rent of the land occupied by the defendant Mital. The Revenue Court decided against the claim of Ganga Prasad, but, it was held that there had been irregularity in the plaintiff's distraint, and it was accordingly directed to be withdrawn.
2. Subsequently a second suit was brought in the Revenue Court by the plaintiffs to recover certain arrears of rent from Mital, and again Ganga Prasad intervened, this time under section 148 of the Rent Act, the question thus raised for determination again being, who had in good faith received and enjoyed the rent of the land before and up to the time when the right to sue claimed by the plaintiffs had accrued. On this occasion the Revenue Court took a different view and held that Ganga Prasad had established that he was the person who had had the receipt and enjoyment of the rent. Thereupon the present suit was instituted by the plaintiffs for, as I have already said, a declaration of their right to, and possession of, the land numbered 98. The first Court dismissed their claim upon the merits, and they then appealed to the Lower Appellate Court. Among their pleas there was one to the effect that the defendant Ganga Prasad was incompetent to set up any defence to the present suit, by reason of the first decision of the Revenue Court upon his intervention in the distraint suit under Section 84, Rent Act. This plea has been accepted by the Subordinate Judge, and be has in effect found that the decision of the 28th June 1881, of which I have spoken, precluded the defendant from raising his present defence.
3. It is argued before me that this is an erroneous ruling in law, and that, whether the decision of the 28th June 1881 could have made the question subsequently raised in the Revenue Court in the rent suit res judicata for the purposes of that tribunal, it can in no sense stand in the way of the defendant asserting his proprietary title to the land, in a suit in the Civil Court, brought against him and the occupier of the land, for a declaration of the plaintiff's proprietary title to the land. Three rulings of this Court were referred to by the appellant's pleader in the course of his argument, which are Gopal v. Uchabal I. L. R., 3 All., 51, Chotu v. Jitan, ibid. 63, Muhammad Salim v. Abdul Rahim, Weekly Notes, 1885, p. 261.
4. To the first two of those rulings I was a party, and in one of them I pointed out what appeared to me to be the scope of inquiry by a Revenue Court, as sanctioned by the provisions of section 148 of the Rent Act. Those remarks apply by analogy to section 84, and I need only briefly repeat them by saying that in either case, it appears to me that the sole question upon which, as a question of fact, the Revenue Court has the power to determine, is as to whether the plaintiff in the suit or the intervenor has received the rent of the land before and up to the date when the plaintiff alleged that his right to sue accrued to him.
5. Then comes the point as to whether the last paragraphs of sections 84 and 148 of the Rent Act deprive the plaintiffs, who have been worsted in such a suit, when they came into the Civil Court for a declaration of their proprietary title to, and possession of, such land, of the ordinary limitation period that under the law regulating such matters would ordinarily apply to a suit of such a description, by reducing the twelve years' term to a term of one year. It has been ruled by my brothers Brodhurst and Tyrrell in effect that it does not, and I believe this to be a sound view.
6. All I understand those last paragraphs of sections 84 and 148 to say is that when an intervenor has succeeded in a revenue suit in convincing a Revenue Court that he has been in receipt and enjoyment of certain rent distrained for or claimed, or vice versa, that the plaintiff or the unsuccessful intervenor may go to the Civil Court with a suit to have it declared that he had a title to receive that particular rent, which the Revenue Court refused to give him, and that if he does institute such a suit, he must do so within one year from the date of the Revenue Court's decision. I cannot hold that by the terms of either of those paragraphs, the period of limitation provided for a suit for a declaration of title to, and possession of, immoveable property, in the limitation law, is thus summarily abridged. Such being the view I take, it follows that this appeal should succeed, and that the question of the proprietary title to the land should be determined upon the merits by the lower Court. I accordingly decree the appeal, and, reversing the decision of the Subordinate Judge, direct him to restore the appeal to his file of pending appeals and to dispose of it according to law. Costs hitherto incurred will be costs in the cause.