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Jag NaraIn and anr. Vs. Ram Dularay and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil;Criminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1540 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1979All71
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 31 and 61; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 100 and 101; Easements Act, 1882 - Sections 15
AppellantJag NaraIn and anr.
RespondentRam Dularay and anr.
Appellant AdvocateVibhav Bhushan Upadhyaya, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG.P. Bhargava and ;D.M. Tripathi, Advs.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....of the respondents close to plot no. 403 and near the well of ram dulare respondent. a-1. 4. the learned counsel for the appellants assailed the concurrent findings of the courts below mainly on the ground that the compromise was wholly bad in law and the courts below should not have taken it into consideration while re-cording a finding on the question of existence of easementary right. a-2 clearly shows that its allegations make out offences punishable under the said three sections. according to the respondent's counsel an admission is the best evidence which could be relied upon by the respondents as laid down in the case of narayan bhagwantrao gosavi v. 403 and the well of the respondents. 403. therefore, precisely speaking there is no admission of the appellants to show that there..........this finding both the courts below also attached importance to the compromise ex. a-1.4. the learned counsel for the appellants assailed the concurrent findings of the courts below mainly on the ground that the compromise was wholly bad in law and the courts below should not have taken it into consideration while re-cording a finding on the question of existence of easementary right.5. the learned counsel for the respondents urged that this court could not disturb the concurrent finding of fact on the question of alleged easementary right and that the said finding was not necessarily arrived at on the basis of compromise ex. a-1. in this connection the learned counsel for the respondents also urged that there could be no easement in respect of a nuisance and that flowing of dirty.....
Judgment:

P.N. Goel, J.

1. In this appeal by the plaintiffs only one point is involved and it is this whether the appellants have a right to flow dirty and rainy water of their house situate in No. 402 in village Godhna, Pargana Ghiswa, district Jaunpur towards the well of the respondents close to plot No. 403 at the north-eastern corner of the house of the respondents. The appellants filed suit for injunction on 29-10-1965.

2. On 28-8-1965, the respondent No. 1 filed a complaint against the two appellants and two other persons under Sections 277, 323 and 506 (later part) I. P. C. before the Nyaya Panchayat. On 30-10-1965 a compromise Ex. A-1 was filed by the parties. According to the compromise the appellants agreed not to flow their water towards plot No. 403 and near the well of Ram Dulare respondent.

3. Both the Courts below found that the plaintiffs-appellants have not acquired an easementary right to flow rainy and dirty water of their house towards plot No. 403 while recording this finding both the Courts below also attached importance to the compromise Ex. A-1.

4. The learned counsel for the appellants assailed the concurrent findings of the Courts below mainly on the ground that the compromise was wholly bad in law and the Courts below should not have taken it into consideration while re-cording a finding on the question of existence of easementary right.

5. The learned counsel for the respondents urged that this Court could not disturb the concurrent finding of fact on the question of alleged easementary right and that the said finding was not necessarily arrived at on the basis of compromise Ex. A-1. In this connection the learned counsel for the respondents also urged that there could be no easement in respect of a nuisance and that flowing of dirty water is nothing but a nuisance. Lastly, he contended that the compromise amounted to admission of the appellants and operated as an estoppel.

6. We find that both the Courts below have missed an important legal position with regard to the compromise. The complaint was filed under Sections 277, 323 and later part of Section 506, I. P. C. A perusal of the complaint Ex. A-2 clearly shows that Its allegations make out offences punishable under the said three sections. Offences punishable under Section 277 and later part of Section 506, I. P. C. are not compoundable by the parties, not even with the permission of the court, (vide Section 345 of the Criminal P. C., 1898).

7. In view of the above, the Nyaya Panchayat could not have accepted the compromise and could not have acted upon it.

8. There is statutory provision in Section 23 of the Indian Contract Act which lays down that an agreement/contract which is against the provisions of law or which is against public policy is void. The position of the present compromise is similar in nature. No compromise could be entered into in the criminal case against the express provisions of the Code which made offences under Section 277 and later part of Section 506, I. P. Code, non-compoundable. In this circumstance, the compromise was a document void ab initio and, therefore, it was not admissible in evidence nor it could be acted upon by a Court.

9. In this connection the contention of the respondent's counsel that this compromise amounted to an admission and operated as an estoppel may be disposed of. According to the respondent's counsel an admission is the best evidence which could be relied upon by the respondents as laid down in the case of Narayan Bhagwantrao Gosavi v. Gopal : [1960]1SCR773 . There is no dispute to this legal position because admissions, if not proved to be erroneous or withdrawn, operate as estoppel as provided inS. 31 of the Indian Evidence Act. Word 'admission' has a technical meaning in law. It has been defined in Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act as a statement, oral or documentary, which suggests any inference as to any fact in ssue or relevant fact. The compromise does not show that the appellants admitted that their water was not used to flow towards plot No. 403 and the well of the respondents. On the other hand, the compromise shows that in future the appellants could not flow water towards plot No. 403. Therefore, precisely speaking there is no admission of the appellants to show that there was no flow of the water of the plaintiffs' house towards plot No. 403 and the well of the respondents.

10. The appellants' case was that the compromise was obtained from them under duress. The Courts below have not accepted this plea but the fact remains that the compromise was not legally possible in the criminal case in question as shown above. The compromise petition is void ab initio and as such it cannot be looked into.

11. The position that easily follows is that the compromise petition does not constitute an admission and that it is not admissible in evidence.

12. Sri G. P. Bhargava, learned counsel for the respondents, in this connection, contended that even if the compromise was not admissible in evidence, it could be looked into for a collateral purpose. He placed reliance on two cases: Satish Kumar v. Surinder Kumar : [1969]2SCR244 and Kalianna Goundan v. Settia Goundan AIR 1946 Mad 80.

13. In the first case of Satish Kumar there took place an arbitration without intervention of the Court. Award was not made rule of the Court. It was not registered, it was held that the award was not merely a waste paper and had some legal effect. Reason for the view is not far to seek because the award could be got registered later on and could be made rule of the Court. Therefore, the principle of this case is not applicable.

14. In the second case, statements in a criminal case were recorded which indicated that the offences were compound-able. Therefore, it was observed that the complainants often exaggerated their cases and such mentioning of non-compoundable offences in the complaint did not affect the compromise arrived at between the parties. There is no dispute to this principle but in the instant case no evidence was recorded in the criminal case by the Nyaya Panchayat. There was just complaint by the respondent No. 1. As indicated above the allegations of the complaint did make out offences under Ss. 277 and later part of 506, I. P. C.

15. On the other side the learned counsel for the appellants referred to the case of Ambala Goods Carriers Pvt. Ltd. v. Regional Transport Authority . In this case the petitioners, public carriers, challenged a condition in the permit issued by the Regional Transport Authority to the effect that they would not pick up any goods on the route between two stations of Himachal Pradesh. Two observations were made which are reproduced below (at p. 49) :--

(i) The learned Advocate-General vehemently contended that the impugned condition is imposed as a result of bilateral agreement arrived at between the two States, namely the State of Himachal Pradesh and State of Haryana and since the petitioners have been obtaining counter-signatures and the permits pursuant to the said agreement they are estopped from challenging the impugned condition. We do not find ourselves in agreement with this contention because there cannot be an estoppel against a statute. Even it the States of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have entered into an agreement in so far the said agreement goes against the statute the same must be declared as having no legal effect

(ii) The learned Advocate-General then pointed out that the impugned condition has been imposed in the year 1973 and since then the petitioners have been plying their carriers subject to this condition and hence they must be held to have acquiesced in that condition. Here also the answer to this agreement is the same as above because there cannot be acquiescence to a position which is patently against the provisions of law.

16. The above observations certainly go to show that there can be no acquiescence or estoppel against a statute. We have mentioned above that the compromise petition could not be competently filed before the Nyaya Panchayat in respect of offences under Section 277 and later part of Section 506, I. P. C. Therefore, the compromise petition was wholly illegal and inadmissible in evidence. That being the position, the compromise petition cannot operate as an estoppel as contended by the learned counsel for the respondents.

17. The position that follows is that the two Courts below were not justified in taking notice of the compromise petition.

18. The learned counsel for the respondents then relied upon two cases to indicate the scope of the second appeal:

(i) Sri Sinha Ramanuja Jeer v. Sri Ranga Ramanuja Jeer : [1962]2SCR509 . In this case, it was held that the High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain a second appeal on the ground of erroneous finding of fact however gross the error might be.

(ii) Ramchandra Ayyar v. Kamalingam Chettiar : [1963]3SCR604 . In this case it was observed that in a second appeal, if the High Court was satisfied that the decision was contrary to law or some usage having the force of law or that the decision had failed to determine some material issue of law or usage having the force of law, or if there is substantial error or defect in the procedure provided by the Code, or by any other law for the time being in force which may have produced error or defect in the decision of the case upon the merits, it can interfere with the conclusions of the lower appellate court. Precisely speaking they are laid down in Section 100 of old C. P. C.

19. The principles laid down in the above cases are not disputed. The appellants' counsel has, however, referred to the case of Damadilal v. Parashram : AIR1976SC2229 . In this case the appellant brought suit for ejectment of his tenant on two grounds: (1) the tenant had not paid or tendered the whole of the arrears of rent within the period prescribed by M.P. (sic). Accommodation was bona fide required by him. It was held that the lower appellate Court had overlooked a very material part of evidence bearing on the question and finding of fact was arrived at ignoring the important and relevant evidence and as such the High Court was justified in setting aside its findings in second appeal.

20. The view expressed in the above case is not opposed to the principles laid down in the cases cited by the learned counsel for the respondents.

21. The learned counsel for the respondents then urged that both the Courts below had recorded a finding of fact that the appellants had not acquired easementary right and that his alleged easementary right had been lost by non user for more than two years before the filing of the suit.

22. We have carefully seen the judgments of both the Courts. There is substance in the contention of the respondent's counsel. Thus the matter is concluded by a finding of fact by both the Courts. These findings have been recorded independent of a consideration of the compromise petition detailed above. The Courts below have not overlooked any material part of the evidence, nor they have ignored important and relevant evidence and as such this Court would not be justified in reversing the findings of the Courts below,

23. The respondents' counsel lastly urged that no easement for committing nuisance could be acquired by prescription. He placed reliance on the case of Bankey Lal v. Kishan Lal, : AIR1967All43 , in which it was held that a right to commit a nuisance could not be acquired by prescription, no matter how often the act of nuisance was repeated. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that he had acquired a prescriptive right to discharge the filthy water containing faecal matter etc., on the defendant's land. It was held that such a right could not be acquired under the Easements Act. In the instant case the respondents do not object to the rainy water but they certainly object to the flowing of the dirty water of the appellant's house. The appellant cannot be held to have acquired right of easement to flow dirty water. Reason is obvious. Nuisance is not a legal and enforceable act On the other hand it is an act actionable at law. Therefore, the Easements Act cannot recognise that right which amounts to a nuisance.

24. Result of all that has been discussed above is that this court cannot interfere with the decrees passed by the Courts below. The appeal is thus without substance.

25. Appeal is dismissed. In the circumstances of the case no order for costs in this Court is made.


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