K.B. Asthana, J.
1. This is a defendants' appeal from the appellate judgment and decree of the learned Additional Civil Judge, Mirzapur, by which he reversed the decree of dismissal of the plaintiffs suit by the learned Additional Munsif Mirzapur, by allowing the appeal and decreeing the plaintiffs suit for dispossession of the defendants from a small shop situate in the town of Chunar.
2. The disputed shop admittedly is a portion in the north west corner of the larger building of which the plaintiff-respondent is the owner. It appears that the plaintiff acquired the premises in the year 1956 by a gift from his father Raghunath. At that time the premises were kachcha covered by khaparail. The defendants' grand-father and grand uncle were the tenants in a portion of the said premises and in the north west corner thereof carried on a betel shop. Sometime in 1956 the premises being in a bad state of repairs fell down and the plaintiff re-constructed the premises as pucca. It further appears that when the premises fell down the betel shop carried on by the defendant's predecessor was shifted to a temporary gumati nearby and when the re-construction had sufficiently been completed the defendants' father Panna Lal occupied the north west portion of the freshly constructed premises and carried on the usual betel shop. It has come on record that the plaintiff had made an application to the Municipal Board of Chunar in the year 1955 for permission to re-construct the premises. The sanction was granted by the Municipal Board in December, 1955.
The plaintiff on 11-1-1957 brought a suit against the predecessor of the defendants in the court of Small Cause, Mirzapur for recovery of arrears of rent with effect from 7-10-1955 to 6-10-1956. He alleged in that suit that the defendants were the tenants in occupation of the shop and were in arrears. The defendants in that suit, the predecessors of the present defendants, raised a contest in that suit and pleaded that they were not liable to pay any rent after 8-7-1955 as they had to vacate the shop it having fallen down and the plaintiff having not carried out the terms of the agreement that he will re-erect the shop and will give possession of it to them. It is not disputed that when the above suit was filed the fallen shop had not been re-constructed. This suit was decreed to the extent of admission by the defendants of that suit, that is, for recovery of rent up to 8-7-1956. The plaintiff thereafter appears to have carried the re-construction operations and it is not known from the record when the same were really completed. In fact the plaintiff alleged in his plaint in the instant suit that on 1-9-1964 when the shop had not been completely re-constructed Pannalal, father of the defendants-appellants, trespassed and took forcible possession. It is also found on the record in the shape of certified copies of the orders that between Pannalal and the plaintiff there were proceedings in the court of the Munsif for the deposit of rent under Section 7-C of U.P. Act III of 1947 and for directions for repairs under Section 7-E of the said Act. These proceedings are from the years 1964 to 1966. The last order which was passed by the learned Munsif under Section 7-E of the said Act is dated 10-12-1966 directing Pannalal as the tenant to carry on repairs by incurring costs to be recoverable from the plaintiff as the landlord.
Soon after the plaintiff commenced the suit which has given rise to this appeal against Pannalal as by that time Pannalal's father and uncle had died and prayed for a decree of possession. He alleged that in July 1956 when the premises had fallen down the tenants, that is, father and uncle of Pannalal left, and then the plaintiff started re-constructions but before they could be completed Pannalal took forcible possession of the north-west corner without any right and he was liable to be ejected. Certain sum of money as mesne profits for wrongful use and occupation was also claimed. During the pendency of this suit Panna Lal died and his two minor sons who are the appellants before me were substituted as defendants.
3. The defence pleaded was that Pannalal was not a trespasser but was in possession of the disputed shop as a tenant, the tenancy having been continued in the family from the time of their predecessors for a period of thirty years or so. It wast also pleaded that the defendant was not only the tenant of the north-west portion a3 alleged in the plaint but of the whole of the bigger building of which it was a portion, It was specifically pleaded that the judgment of the Munsif in the Miscellaneous Case No. 122 of 1965 under Section 7-E of the U.P. Act III of 1947 in which a finding was recorded after contest that Pannalal was the tenant in the premises in dispute will have the effect of res judicata and the plaintiff was not entitled to reagitate the question of tenancy and would not, in law, be permitted to establish that the defendant Pannalal was not a tenant but a mere trespasser.
4. In the pleading of the plaintiff to the effect that in July 1956 when the shop or the premises fell down the precedessors of the defendants left the shop, the words used were: 'Chhor diya'. The plaintiff was rightly asked to clarify his pleading. On 11-9-1967 the plaintiff made a statement under Order X of the C.P. Code. Therein he stated that in July 1956 when the shop fell down Vishwanath, the father of the defendant Panna Lal, approached the plaintiff when nobody else was present and told him that he was surrendering the tenancy and no rent be charged from him after that date. It is clear from this statement of the plaintiff that he pleaded an express surrender of the tenancy by the predecessors of the defendants in July 1956. On the pleadings of the parties the learned Additional Munsif as best he could, struck certain issues. I am constrained to observe that had the learned Munsif applied his mind with certain amount of precision expected from him and had he received efficient assistance from the lawyers, better and more Specific issues could have been framed which would have been conducive to a more satisfactory disposal of the suit.
It is unfortunate that the learned Munsif did not strike a specific issue on the plea of res judicata when such a plea was raised in the written statement. The parties adduced oral and documentary evidence. On a consideration of the entire material on record the learned Munsif found against the plaintiff, he held that the plaintiffs case that the predecessors of the defendants had surrendered the tenancy was not established; that in fact the premises and the shop never fell down; that the tenancy continued and Pannalal was not a trespasser but a tenant. In the course of his judgment the learned Munsif also referred to the judgments and orders passed under Sections 7-C and 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 and observed that those judgments also showed that defendant Pannalal was a tenant of the plaintiff, though in so many words the learned Munsif did not say that the findings therein had the effect of res judicata. The plaintiffs suit was dismissed as the relationship of landlord and tenant existed and the tenancy had been terminated.
5. On appeal by the plaintiff the learned Additional Civil Judge reversed the findings recorded by the learned Munsif, He held that the premises which included the shop in dispute had fallen down in July 1956 and the predecessors of the defendants, on the facts and circumstances established, impliedly surrendered the tenancy and thereafter when the shop had been reconstructed Pannalal without any right entered into forcible and illegal possession thereof sometime in 1963. The learned Judge in corning to his conclusion largely relied upon the contents of the written statement filed by the predecessors of the defendants in suit No. 19 of 1957. The learned Judge did refer in his judgment to the applications under the provisions of U.P. Act III of 1947 but brushed them aside by the observation that none of those applications went beyond the period of 1964. He does not seem to have referred to the judgments passed by the learned Munsif in the proceedings under Sections 7-C and 7-E of the said Act. It does not appear from the judgment of the learned Judge of the court below that on behalf of defendants respondents the plea of res judicata was pressed as the learned Judge has not discussed it. The appeal of the plaintiff was allowed and a decree tor dispossession and for recovery of mesne profits against the defendants was passed.
6. The learned counsel for the defendants appellants in the forefront of his submissions raised the argument that the finding recorded by the learned Munsif in Miscellaneous Case No. 122 of 1965 under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 after a contest to the effect that Pannalal was the tenant of Gopinath, the plaintiff in the premises in suit which included the shop in dispute would operate as res judicata and in this suit the plaintiff was not entitled to re-open and reaeitate that question. The learned counsel for the plaintiff respondent countered by raising an objection that since the parties were not at issue on the plea of res judicata in the courts below, the learned counsel for the appellant ought not for the first time in second appeal be allowed to raise this new plea. I do not think that any new plea is being raised on behalf of the defendants for the first time in second appeal. The plea was very much indicated in the written statement. On behalf of the defendants certified copy of the judgment of the learned Munsif in Misc. Case No. 122 of 1955 was filed which is Ex. A-6 on rtcord. A perusal of that judgment would show that one of the objections raised by Gopinath, landlord, was that the applicant Paruialal, was not his tenant but was a mere trespasser. The learned Munsif on the said objection carried on a contentious proceeding, asked the parties to adduce evidence in support or their respective cases. The evidence was adduced by both the parties and then a considered finding recorded that the applicant Pannalal was a tenant of the opposite party Gopinath, the landlord.
The question then arises whether the plaintiff Gopinath could sue the original defendant Pannalal, and now his heirs, as trespassers and dispossess them from the disputed shop by bringing a suit. It cannot be disputed and it has not been disputed by the learned counsel for the plaintiff respondent, that had the earlier proceedings which were registered as Miscellaneous proceedings No. 122 of 1965, been a regular suit then the finding recorded therein would certainly operate as res judicata in the subsequent suit. Learned counsel contended that proceedings under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 being in nature summary not having any finality attached to them, any finding recorded therein inter partes would not have the effect of res judicata.
The learned counsel further contended that in proceedings under Section 7-E of the said Act the question of relationship of the applicant and the opposite party only arises collaterally or incidentally in order to determine whether the court had jurisdiction and the finding recorded on that question being on a jurisdictional fact can always be shown to be erroneous or wrong in a regular suit where again such a fact is in issue directly and substantially and the bar of res judicata will not be operative. It was suggested that a Munsif considering applications under Section 7-E of the said Act will not be a court of exclusive jurisdiction and any finding recorded by him while giving directions for the repair of the accommodation will not bar the re-opening of a question involved in such findings.
7. It is not disputed by the learned counsel for the plaintiff respondent that the law as laid down by the Supreme Court does not confine the applicability of the doctrine of res judicata in suits to the provisions of Section 11 of the C.P. Code alone. It has been held in the case of Gulabchand Chhotelal Parikh v. State of Gujarat : 2SCR547 that a decision in the earlier writ petition on merits will bar the consideration of the same questions involved in a subsequent suit upon general principles of res judicata. When the bar of res judicata is pleaded on the basis of a decision in a previous suit and the subsequent proceeding is also a suit within the meaning of C.P. Code, it is only then that the provisions of Section 11 of the C.P. Code would be attracted, but when the previous proceeding is not a suit but the subsequent proceeding is a suit, then general principle of res judicata will apply. A reference was made on behalf or the respondent to a Full Bench decision of this Court in Manzurul Haq v. Hakim Mohsin Ali : AIR1970All604 in support of the proposition that since the Munsif exercising jurisdiction under Section 7-E of the U.P. Act III of 1947 is not competent to give a decree for possession and subsequent suit for possession involving the question whether the defendant was a tenant or a trespasser would not be barred under the general principles of res judicata as the Munsif exercising powers under Section 7-E of the said Act is not a court of exclusive jurisdiction.
I do not think the respondent can derive any assistance from the ratio of the majority decision of the Full Bench case. In my judgment a Munsif exercising jurisdiction under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 will be a court of concurrent jurisdiction with the Munsif ordinarily trying suits under C.P. Code. It would be seen, under the scheme of Section 7-E of the said Act the application has to be filed by the tenant under Sub-section (4) of that section before the 'Munsif having jurisdiction'. In the Full Bench case of Chature Mohan v. Bam Behari Dixit, 1964 All LJ 256, Desai, C. J., observed as follows:--
'The ordinary jurisdiction of a Munsif extends to original suits for the time-being cognizable by civil courts. Under Section 9 of the C.P. Code Civil Courts have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred. Whether a tenant has a right or not to require the landlord to carry out certain repairs to the accommodation is a civil dispute. The relations between a landlord and a tenant are governed by the Transfer of Property Act and the Contract Act and any enforcement of a right or a liability accruing under them would be through a civil court. Under them a tenant has no right to call upon the landlord to make the accommodation wind-proof and waterproof and to carry out repairs which the landlord did not undertake to carry out, consequently he would have no right to go to a civil court for an order of this nature. Such a right has, however, been conferred upon Mm by Section 7-E of the Control of Rent and Eviction Act. This provision not only created a right in the tenant but also provided that the right would be enforced by the 'Munsif having jurisdiction'. The question is what did the legislature Intend by this provision. Did it intend that the Munsif, e.g., presiding officer of a court of Munsif should pass such an order in the exercise of his ordinary jurisdiction or that a special jurisdiction was conferred upon him to pass it I am of the opinion that the intention was that he should pass it as a part of his ordinary jurisdiction (underlining mine). The legislature had no reason to distinguish this jurisdiction from the ordinary jurisdiction over suits of a civil nature. The dispute was essentially a dispute of civil nature. But for Section 7-E the tenant would not have a right to obtain such an order and the legislature intended only to create the right. There is nothing in the Act to indicate that it intended to oust the ordinary jurisdiction of civil courts over the right or to create a special authority for enforcing it. ......'
8. It is clear from the above quotation that Munsif while exercising Jurisdiction on an application under Section 7-E of the Act and while trying a civil suit is the same and not two different entities. I do not think any question arises that the munsif exercising jurisdiction under Section 7-E is a special Tribunal or a distinct Authority. He is even then a court of ordinary civil jurisdiction.
9. It was tried to be argued because an application under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 is registered as a Miscellaneous case and not as a suit, the bar of res judicata will not be available if in a subsequent suit the same issue arises for adjudication and determination as the one which arose in the miscellaneous proceedings under Section 7-E of the Act, The general principles of res judicata are not different from what is known as 'estoppel by record' which doctrine is based on the maxim 'interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium', When a matter has been determined by a Judgment in its nature final then, the same matters inter partes will not be allowed to be re-agitated in a subsequent proceeding provided of course the prior court was competent to adjudicate upon such a matter. In the proceeding under Section 7-E Gopinath, the landlord, pleaded that Pannalal, the applicant, was not his tenant, therefore was not competent to apply. Thus a contest arose between the parties. The learned Munsif who was seized of the matter could not have proceeded further unless he decided the issue so raised on the objection of Gopinath, the landlord. It was necessary for the learned Munsif to decide it and determine such an issue. The learned Munsif decided it in favour of Pannalal and held that Pannalal was the tenant of Gopinath the Landlord. The decision was by a competent court who was invited to adjudicate between the parties. On that finding the learned Munsif further proceeded and gave directions. Can now Gopinath, the landlord nullify the said orders by filing a regular suit by pleading a cause of action that Pannalal was a trespasser and liable to be ejected If that were permitted, then every order passed after contest under Section 7-E of the U.P. Act III of 1947 in protection of a tenant can be nullified by a landlord by instituting a suit in the regular courts for a declaration.
10. A suggestion was made on behalf of the respondent that Section 16 of U.P. Act III of 1947 attaches finality only to orders passed by the State Government or the District Magistrate under the said Act and not to orders passed by the Munsif, hence an order passed by the Munsif exercising powers under Section 7-E of the Act is not final and can be called in question in subsequent proceeding. Section 16 of the Act, to my mind, has no bearing on the question of the judgment or finding of the Munsif on an application under Section 7-E of the Act operating as res judicata or creating an estoppel by record. In the case of Abdul Sahid v. China Lee Hing, AIR 1951 Assam 62 in which the law and facts were somewhat analogous to the instant case, it was held that a decision in a previous proceeding under Section 8 of the Assam Urban Area Bent Control Act would operate as res judicata in a subsequent suit for ejectment brought by the landlord.
10-A. It was next contended on behalf of the respondent that the bar of res judicata would not be attracted based on the findings recorded by the learned Munsif under Section 7-E of the Act inasmuch as such order passed by the learned Munsif not being appealable will be in the nature of a decision in a summary proceeding which is not a suit nor of same character as a suit. Reliance was placed on the decision of the Privy Council in the case of Babu Bhagwan Din v. Gir Har Saroop . It was a case where an application was made under Section 3 of the Charitable and Religious Trusts Act 1920 by two persons in the court of the District Judge for an order directing accounts to be furnished in respect of a temple. It was alleged that the temple was a 'public temple, covered by the provisions of the said Act. Notices were sent to certain persons named by the petitioners who were alleged to be trustees and Pujaries. In response to the notice the opposite parties raised an objection that the temple was a private temple belonging to their family and was not subject to a Trust for a public purpose of a charitable and religious nature. The District Judge gave them an option to bring a suit for declaration to that effect, but they did not adopt that course. The District Judge then heard evidence on behalf of the petitioner and the opposite parties and after considering documentary evidence held that there was a strong prima facie case as the temple was the subject-matter of a public Trust.
Subsequently certain members of the public filed a suit under Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code and another suit was brought by those members of the family who were not impleaded in the proceedings, under the Charitable and Religious Trusts Act for a declaration that the temple was not subject to a public Trust for public purpose or charitable or religious nature. It was held by the Privy Council that the suit of the family members for declaration that the temple was not subject to a public Trust of a charitable or religious nature, was not barred by principles of res judicata. It appears that the decision of their Lordships of Privy Council was based on the following circumstances: (1) The finding of the District Judge on the application under the Charitable and Religious Trusts Act was prima facie. (2) The plaintiffs of the subsequent suit were not impleaded as parties in those proceedings and (3) that the decision of the District Judge under the Act of 1920 from which there was no appeal, was a decision in a summary proceeding which was not a suit nor of the same character as a suit and that decision bad not been made final by any provision in that Act.
A perusal o'f the judgment of the Privy Council shows that in the said case the bat of res judicata was not pleaded upon the general principles of res judicata or estoppel by record. The bar of res judicata was pleaded on the basis of Section 11 of the C.P. Code. The plaintiffs of the suit were not parties to the former proceedings. The fact that no appeal having been provided and there being nothing in the Act of 1920 making the order final showed that the proceedings were of a summary nature open to be called in quesion in a regular suit. In the instant case before me the plaintiff of the suit was a party to the previous proceeding under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947. He raised the objection that the applicant Pannalal was not a tenant. Though there is no appeal provided from any order passed under Section 7-E of XL P. Act III of 1947 but there is a provision attaching finality to the order. Sub-section (8) of Section 7-E lays down: No appeal shall lie from the order of the Munsif passed under Sub-sections (5) and (6) which, shall be final. I do not think the decision of the Privy Council in the case helps the respondent. Reliance was placed on certain observations of Mukerjee, J., in the case of Ratneshwari Nandan Singh v. Bhagwati Saran Singh, AIR 1950 PC 142. The relevant passage in the judgment of Mukerjee, J., is referred to on page 158 of the report. I do not find anything in the said paragraph, which lays down any rule or law helpful to the respondent. That paragraph will show that the learned Judge thought the question of res judicata was of minor importance in that case and the previous decisions in the suits of 1876 and 1877 Would not operate as res judicata as Har Shankar was only a pro forma defendant in those litigations and no relief was claimed against him.
11. The learned counsel for the respondent then sought assistance from the ratio of the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in the case of Bam Kalap v. Banshi Dhar : AIR1958All573 . In that case the question arose whether a decision under Order 22, C.P. Code operated as res judicata in a subsequent suit as regards relationship. The Bench answered it in the negative. It took the view that an enquiry under Order 22, Rule 5, C.P. Code was of a summary nature made for the purposes of finding out a person or persons who could continue the proceeding. The Bench considered many decided cases including the Division Benches of this Court which bad taken a contrary view but held that the preponderance of view was that an order under Order 22, Rule 5, C.P. Code, would not operate as res judicata. On this analogy the argument for the respondent was that a decision in proceedings taken under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 on the question whether the applicant was a tenant or not being summary in nature for the purposes of finding out whether the application was competent thus such decision being incidental to the subject-matter would not be res judicata in a subsequent proceeding.
Again I may observe here that I do not find any argument being raised in the case cited founded on the general principles of res judicata or estoppel on record. The view which prevailed with the Bench seems to be grounded on the strict and limited doctrine of res judicata as enshrined in Section 11 of the C.P. Code. Since then the law has been evolved and the general principles of res judicata and 'estoppel by record' have been applied even to suits filed subsequent to proceedings other than suits in which judgments inter partes have been given by a competent Tribunal or court on a contentious question raised before it and determined by it at the instance of the parties. I do not find any reason why the finding recorded on an application made under Order 22, Rule 5 after considering all the objections should not be held amounting to res judicata in any subsequent suit or proceedings when such a finding cannot be re-opened in the same suit or appeal in which it was given and the rights of the parties determined on that basis.
12. For the respondent the learned counsel then referred to another Full Bench decision of this Court in the case of Maqbool Raza of Joint Director of Consolidation, U.P., Lucknow : AIR1969All26 . It would be seen that the Full Bench to which I was a party, repelled the plea of res judicata based on the records made under Chapter IX-A of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act for the reason that under the scheme of that Chapter it was foreign for the Compensation Officer to record any finding as to the rights of the person in possession of the land for which compensation was payable to the intermediary, that is to say, the Full Bench held that a Compensation Officer was not a competent Tribunal or court to record a finding that such and such was an Adhivasi. Any finding to that effect, therefore, not being by a competent court would not operate as res judicata or as an estoppel by record, since the person who is in occupation under the scheme of Chapter IX-A is not required to be given notice of the proceedings but under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947, it is the requirement of the law that a notice must be given to the landlord.
13. It was then suggested by the learned counsel that a finding on the question whether the relationship of landlord and tenant existed between the parties not being a part of the res gestae or a subject matter of that section which is confined to finding out whether the landlord has kept the accommodation wind-proof and waterproof or has not carried out the customary, contractual, and other repairs, would not operate as res judicata in subsequent proceedings between the same parties. I do not agree with this submission of the learned counsel. The learned Munsif has to satisfy himself whether the landlord has not carried out the repairs as complained by applicant. I think it would be very much a part of the res gestae or the enquiry if the landlord in reply in response to the notice sent to him pleads before the learned Munsif that the applicant is not a tenant, that is to say, the accommodation has not been let out to the applicant and the landlord is under no duty to keep it wind-proof and water-proof or carry out other repairs as desired by him. That would be an issue which the learned Munsif will have to decide before recording his satisfaction that a direction be issued.
14. Lastly it was urged by the learned counsel for the respondent on this part of the case, that another order dated 1-1-1966 of the learned Munsif in Miscellaneous Case No. 91 of 1965 under Section 7-C of U.P. Act III of 1947 will have the effect of cancelling or modifying the finding recorded by the same learned Munsif in his order dated 13-11-1965 passed on the application under Section 7-E of the said Act. A certified copy of the order dated 1-1-1966 of the learned Munsif passed under Section 7-C of the said Act is Ex. A-4 on record. It shows that the tenant Pannalal was allowed to make deposits of the rent it having been established that Gopinath, the landlord, had illegally refused to accept the same, though the learned Munsif while disposing of the application made an observation as follows:--
'This order will, however, operate without prejudice to the decision of the regular suit, if any, between the parties and in respect of the accommodation in question.'
15. In the context in which this observation has been made I do not think related to any question of the nature of the relationship between the parties having been left open. What was being left open was the extent of the accommodation let out to the defendants'. It is obvious that had the learned Munsif intended to leave the question of relationship open then he would have had no jurisdiction to allow the deposits to be made as under the scheme of Section 7-C it is only when it is established to the satisfaction of the Court that a landlord has illegally refused to accept the rent that the tenant is allowed to make the deposit. It is not even established on record that in the proceedings under Section 7-C of the said Act, Gopinath, the landlord, ever raised an objection that the applicant Pannalal was not his tenant. Nothing, therefore, turns on this argument of the learned counsel.
16. On the discussion above I have come to the conclusion that the contention of the learned counsel for the defendant appellant that the finding of the learned Munsif in his judgment dated 13-11-1965 in the Miscellaneous Case No. 122 of 1965 in proceedings under Section 7-E of U.P. Act III of 1947 to the effect that Pannalal was the tenant of Gopinath operates as res judicata and the plaintiff Gopinath in the instant suit was not entitled to re-agitate the question of relationship between himself and the defendants which was that of landlord and tenant. This finding would be sufficient to dispose of this appeal, but as arguments at length have been made at the bar questioning the finding of the learned Judge of the lower appellate Court as to the implied surrender of the tenancy by the predecessors of the defendants, I think in fairness to the parties I must record my observations on that material question.
17. I have already pointed out in the earlier part of this judgment that the pleading of the plaintiff were vague and he was asked to clarify the same when he stated under Order X that Vishwanath, the father of Pannalal, had come to him when no-body else was present and told him that he was leaving the shop as it had fallen down and would not be responsible to pay any rent in future. The clarified pleading, therefore, was one of express surrender of tenancy. There is much tenability in the argument of the learned counsel for the appellant that the learned Judge in appeal made out a new case for the plaintiff which was not pleaded. I do not think it is permissible in law to an appellate Court to spell out a fresh case for a party against his own pleadings. On the merits of the decision also I doubt the validity of the finding recorded by the learned Judge. As said above the learned Judge put much reliance on the pleadings in the written statement of the predecessors of the defendants filed in suit No. 19 of 1957 Ex. A-2. I am in agreement with the contention of the learned counsel for the defendant appellant that the court below wholly misinterpreted those pleadings in coming to the conclusion that their contents supported the case of implied surrender.
But before I deal with the question of interpretation of those pleadings, I must point out that a statement in a pleading cannot be evidence in subsequent proceedings before a court of law unless it amounts to an admission. It would be seen that the suit No. 19 of 1957 was a suit merely for recovery of a sum of money. It was not a suit for a declaration of a title or for enforcement of a title on any property. Even if the statements made in paragraphs 8 and 9 of the written statement are assumed to be the admissions of the predecessors of the defendant they would not be binding as the suit itself was not one for a declaration of a title or for claiming any relief of that nature. The learned Judge of the Court below lost sight of this principle of law. Had the earlier suit been one for declaration of title and there in the written statement something as to their own status and capacity had been pleaded by the defendants, certainly then it would have been an admission. Moreover, I do not think the paragraphs 8 and 9 of the said written statement contained any admission on the part of the predecessors of the defendants that they surrendered the tenancy. There are no words which even can be construed as showing an intention on the part of the defendants' predecessors to have given up the tenancy,
From the pleadings in that suit it is clear that rent was being claimed for the period from 7-10-1955 to 6-10-1956 by the plaintiff. All that the defendants of that suit pleaded in paragraphs 8 and 9 of their written statement was that while they were ready and willing to pay the rent up to 7-7-1956 and actually had sent money orders in payment of the rent, they were not responsible to nay any rent after 7-7-1956 as the shop had fallen down and the plaintiff was not entitled to any rent after that date as he had not carried out his part of the agreement that he will re-construct the shop and hand over its possession, which agreement was arrived at before many respectable persons when the shop had fallen down. On the admission of the defendants that they were responsible to pay the rent after 7-7-1956 the suit was decreed for recovery of rent up to that date. In the context of the happenings when this written statement was dratted it is clear that far from showing an intention that the defendants gave up the tenancy they were giving expression to their grievances that the plaintiff as the landlord had not kept to his words. I do not find anywhere in paragraphs 8 and 9 of the written statement of the predecessors of the defendants any admission that they had given up the tenancy. All that those paragraphs show is that under unfortunate circumstances of the shop having fallen down they had to stop their business and were always hoping that after it was re-erected the landlord will put them again in possession. Since the finding of the learned Judge of the Court below on this part of the case was based upon mis-interpretation of the written statement though it is a finding of fact, may be a mixed question of law and fact, is not binding in second appeal. It is noteworthy that in his statement before the Court the plaintiff Gopinath who was examined as a witness did not utter a single word to support his statement made under Order X of the C. P. Code, or led any other evidence, documentary or oral, in corroboration thereof. The plea of expressed surrender seems to have been given up later at the trial as no evidence in support of it was forthcoming. The plaintiff then fell back upon implied surrender in support of his appeal in the lower appellate Court. This was certainly, as I observed above, setting up a new case in appeal which was never pleaded.
18. An argument based on the alleged nullity of the judgment and order of the Munsif in Miscellaneous Case No. 122 of 1955 was advanced but later on given up by the learned counsel for the respondent.
19. For all these reasons given above, I allow this appeal, set aside the judgment and decree of the lower appellate court and restore that of the court of first instance with costs throughout.