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Suraj Prasad Vs. Ganesh Ram and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1921All235; (1921)ILR43All581
AppellantSuraj Prasad
RespondentGanesh Ram and ors.
Excerpt:
hindu law - gangaputra--right to place platforms on ghats for helping pilgrims--right of a ghatiya heritable under the hindu law. - - in the case of ghats, like those claimed in this suit, the evidence on behalf of the defendants themselves shows that such ghats have been let to lessees who have paid rent, thus recognizing the existence of a right which would form the subject of a lease......contends that the court below has erred in refusing to decree the claim in respect of the four ghats claimed by the plaintiff. as regards those four ghats the defence was that the site of the ghats did not belong to chedi tiwari and that the claim was not maintainable in regard to them. it has, however, been proved beyond controversy that chedi tiwari owned eight ghats, four of which are now in the possession of the plaintiff. the remaining four ghats are in the possession of the defendants. they were admittedly in the possession of the widow of chedi tiwari; and it is also admitted that sumer, from whom the defendants derived title, was managing those ghats on behalf of the widow of chedi tiwari. the main ground upon which the court below has dismissed the claim in regard to the.....
Judgment:

Grimwood Mears, Kt. C.J. and Pramada Charan Banerji, J.

1. This is the plaintiff's appeal in the suit which gave rise to First Appeal No. 292 of 1918, just now decided by us. In this appeal the plaintiff contends that the court below has erred in refusing to decree the claim in respect of the four ghats claimed by the plaintiff. As regards those four ghats the defence was that the site of the ghats did not belong to Chedi Tiwari and that the claim was not maintainable in regard to them. It has, however, been proved beyond controversy that Chedi Tiwari owned eight ghats, four of which are now in the possession of the plaintiff. The remaining four ghats are in the possession of the defendants. They were admittedly in the possession of the widow of Chedi Tiwari; and it is also admitted that Sumer, from whom the defendants derived title, was managing those ghats on behalf of the widow of Chedi Tiwari. The main ground upon which the court below has dismissed the claim in regard to the ghats is that the right claimed in respect of the ghats is not such a right as can be held to be property subject to the ordinary rules of inheritance. Admittedly the site of the ghats did not belong to Chedi Tiwari and it is not claimed by the plaintiff. The right which he claims is a right to place platforms on portions of the ghat for the purpose of helping pilgrims who come to Benares to bathe in the Ganges, and to enable the plaintiff to obtain remuneration for services which are rendered to the bathers. This is a sort of right which has been recognized for a great length of time and has been exercised admittedly in this case by Chedi Tiwari and his successors in title until the defendants took possession; and the defendants have also been exercising those rights. It cannot be said to be a mere right to obtain alms--it is a right which is limited to particular portions of the site of the ghats, to place platforms on those sites, and to use such platforms for the purpose of helping bathers and assisting them in their religious performance.' This right seems to us to a great extent to be analogous to the right of mahabrahmans which has been recognized in various decisions of this Court and other High Courts. We may refer to the case of Sukh Lal v. Bishambhar (1920) I.L.R. 39 All. 196 and also the case of Raghoo Pandey v. Kassy Parey (1883) I.L.R. 10 Calc. 73. Reference was made on behalf of the respondents to the recent decision of this Court in Bansi v. Kanhaiya (1920) 18 A.L.J. 983 A. That case in our opinion is distinguishable from the present. There the right which the plaintiffs claimed was no higher than that of an ordinary beggar seeking to get alms at a particular ghat on the banks of the Ganges as against defendants who were gangaputras. That case does not seem to us to bear any analogy to the present. In the case of ghats, like those claimed in this suit, the evidence on behalf of the defendants themselves shows that such ghats have been let to lessees who have paid rent, thus recognizing the existence of a right which would form the subject of a lease. According to one of the witnesses of the defendants a lease of one of the disputed ghats was granted by Sumer from whom the defendants claimed title. In our opinion the right which the plaintiff claimed in respect of the ghat is a right to property and is a right which is heritable under the Hindu law. The plaintiff is therefore entitled to the four ghats which he has claimed. The widow of Chedi Tiwari made a will in respect of these ghats in favour of Sumer, but this will could not have any effect after her death, and therefore under the will the defendants cannot be held to have acquired any title. The will, however, proves one fact, namely, that the ghats belonged to Chedi Tiwari and were subsequently in the possession of Musammat Parbati, his widow.

2. In these circumstances we are of opinion that the court below ought to have decreed the plaintiff's claim in respect of the four ghats in addition to his claim in regard to the house, The plaintiff is also entitled to mesne profits in respect of the ghats and those mesne profits should, we think, be determined in further proceedings under Order XX, Rule 12, of the Code of Civil Procedure.

3. We accordingly allow the appeal, modify the decree of the court below and giant a decree to the plaintiff for possession of the four ghats claimed by him and also for mesne profits to be determined as aforesaid under Order XX, Rule 12. The appellant will have his costs of this appeal and also in the court below as regards this part of the claim.


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