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Hari Lal Vs. Amrik Singh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 380 of 1977
Judge
Reported inAIR1978All292
ActsRegistration Act, 1908 - Sections 49; Evidence Act, 1872 - Sections 13 and 35; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 20, Rule 12
AppellantHari Lal
RespondentAmrik Singh and anr.
Appellant AdvocateA.N. Bhargawa and ;G.P. Bhargawa, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateS.P. Srivastava, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....in good faith to secure a protection to his father. 5) which according to him clearly proved the title of sita ram to the property. 20. defendant's claim to the ownership of the house was found unsustainable as he had failed to prove that it was constructed by him at a site settled by annapur estate in his favour. they have found that the appellant had completely failed to establish his title by adverse possession and the court below has observed that 'there is no evidence on record to show as to from what point of time before the institution of the present suit the adverse possession of hari lal commenced. kewal ram (1977 all wc 550). no question of his validity of the notice or illegal termination of the defendant's tenancy was pressed in this court as well, since we have found no..........the plaintiff sought the defendant's ejectment as a tenant and the suit was wrongly tried as a title suit. it may be mentioned that in reply to the combined notice of demand and termination of tenancy, the appellant had repudiated the plaintiff's title and had asserted his own to the property, the plaintiff was, accordingly called upon to establish his title to it. consequently he sought a declaration of title to the property and claimed the defendant's ejectment as a tenant. the objection to the sufficiency of court-fee was cot pressed and the plaint was found sufficiently stamped for the reliefs prayed for, the courts below accordingly rightly tried the suit for the determination of the plaintiff's title and the defendant's status to the property. on the declaration of the title of.....
Judgment:

Gopi Nath, J.

1. This is a defendant's appeal arising out of a suit for a declaration that the plaintiff was the owner of the premises in suit and the landlord of the defendant No. 1, He further prayed for a decree of eviction against the defendant No. 1 and the recovery of rent, damages and mesne profits from him. Plaintiff's case was that defendant No. 2 Sita Ram was the owner of the house in suit. He sold it to the plaintiff for a sum of Rs. 8,500 under a registered sale-deed dated 14-8-1966. Defendant No. 1 was Sita Ram's tenant. He was informed of the sale-deed and thathe was the plaintiff's tenant thereafter, He, however, denied Sita Barn's title as also of the plaintiff's to the property and asserted a hostile title in himself, Ha did not pay any rent to the plaintiff since 14--8-1968. He was served with a composite notice of demand and termination of tenancy dated 22-4-1969. Ha paid no heed to it and neither paid any rent nor vacated the premises instead claimed to be the owner of the property. Hence the suit,

2. Defendant No. 2, Sita Ram supported the plaintiff's claim and alleged that the house in suit was an ancestral property and his grandfather was the owner of it along with few others. By a partition in the family in the year 1957 the house in suit fell to his share and he became its owner. He sold it to the plaintiff under the sale-deed dated 14-8-1968 and the plaintiff consequently became its owner thereafter. It was alleged that the defendant No, 1 and his ancestors had been occupying the premises as tenants, and the defendant No, 1 was his tenant, After the transfer of the property in favour of the plaintiff he became the plaintiff's tenant and was bound to treat the plaintiff as his landlord.

3. The suit was contested by the defendant No. 1 on the allegations that the house in suit was the ancestral house of the defendant, that it never belonged to Sita Ram or his ancestors, that the plaintiff did not acquire any title to it under the sale-deed executed by Sita Ram in his favour, It was alleged that the house in suit existed on plot No. 906 which was acquired by the defendant's ancestors from the Annapur Estate and the house was constructed on it after demolishing a Kachha construction, It accordingly belonged to the contesting defendant and no relationship of landlord and tenant existed between the parties, Boundaries of the house shown in the plaint were also challenged as incorrect.

4. The trial court dismissed the suit on the findings that Sita Ram was not the owner of the house and the plaintiff had acquired no title to it under the sale-deed in his favour, It further found that defendant No. 1 was the owner, in possession of it in his own right and not as a tenant.

5. On appeal the lower appellate court reversed that decree and has decreed the suit holding that the house belonged to Sita Ram and the plaintiffbecame its owner under the sale-deed in his favour. The defendant was found to be a tenant of Sita Ram and thereafter of the plaintiff and liable to ejectment by the suit on termination of his tenancy by a valid notice under Section 106 of the T. P. Act. The lower appellate court found that the disputed house fell in a row of properties belonging to Sita Ram's ancestor. Its situation, location and structure indicated that it and the other properties were built by one person, It further found that from the evidence on record it was established that it was built by Sita Ram's grandfather. It was further found that there was a partition in the family of Sita Ram in 1967 and by an award dated 6-4-57 Ext. 17 the disputed house fell in his share. The house thereafter was recorded in the records of the Town Area Dildarnagar as the house of Sita Ram with Hari Lal as its tenant at a monthly rent of Rs. 10, The entries continued from 1958 to 1968. They were found to be genuine and reliable by the court below.

6. As to a rent note Ext, 15 alleged to have been executed by Hari Lal the learned Judge agreed with the trial court that it was forged. But he held that this by itself did not falsify the plaintiff's case that Sita Ram was the owner of the house and the defendant its tenant. On the basis of a mass of evidence on record including transactions in the nature of alienations and litigations having a bearing on the question of title, coupled with the oral evidence produced the learned Judge came to the conclusion that Sita Ram was the owner of the suit property, He referred to the plaint in suit No. 193 of 1943 filed by the Karta of Sita Ram's joint family for the ejectment of a tenant of an adjoining house. The house in dispute was mentioned as the western boundary of that house, in two sale-deeds executed by Sita Ram dated 30-8-1963 and 2-4-1968, the house in dispute was shown as the boundary of the properties sold and as belonging to Sita Ram, Award Ext. 17 by which the house in dispute along with five shops was allotted to Sita Ram in a partition in the family was relied upon to prove Sita Ram's symbolical possession as owner over this property. Though the document was found to be requiring registration and it was not registered, it was found admissible for the collateral purpose of proving the nature of Sita Ram's possession over the property in dispute. The learned Judgethen relied on an application of the appellant to the Chairman, Town Area, Ext. 3, that he was a tenant of the premises at a monthly rent of Rs, 10 and not Rs. 15. This according to the learned Judge was an admission of the appellant that he was a tenant of the premises, Reliance was also placed on an application of the defendant's son Ram Murat Ext. 9 to the District Magistrate, which stated that his father who was a tenant of the house in dispute was being harassed by Sita Ram the owner.

7. Learned Judge then considered the oral evidence produced on behalf of the parties and found plaintiff's evidence reliable and convincing, He place ed particular reliance on the statement of P.W. 5 Sheo Mangal who stated that the house in suit was built by Sita Ram's grandfather and had on partition fallen to Sita Ram's share. Sheo Man-gal's statement was found fully support-ed by the other materials on record.

8. Defendant's case that his ancestors had built the house in question on plot No. 906 obtained from Annapur Estate was found not established, Appellant was found to be occupying the premises as a tenant of Sita Ram and on transfer as a tenant of the plaintiff. He was found to have paid no rent to the plaintiff and to have wrongly denied his title. The suit was accordingly decreed for the reliefs prayed.

9. It may be mentioned that since the defendant had claimed a hostile title to the property the plaintiff claimed a declaration of title in his favour and prayed for the eviction of the defendant on the grounds set forth in the plaint, The court-fee paid was found sufficient and an objection filed to its sufficiency was found not pressed by the defendant No. 1.

10. Two main questions which fell for determination before the court be-low and arise for consideration in this appeal are : (1) whether the plaintiff was the owner of the property in suit and (2) whether the defendant was liable to eviction therefrom on the allegations made,

11. Learned counsel for the appellant contended that the court below erred in holding Sita Ram to be the owner of the property in dispute and the finding recorded was vitiated by reliance being placed on inadmissible evidence. It was urged that the award Ext 17 wasinadmissible in evidence for want of registration and the court below erred in relying on the same. The court below has relied on it for the collateral purpose for finding the nature of possession of Sita Ram over the property in dispute. Learned counsel contended that the document could not be looked into even for that purpose, Reliance was placed on Mst. Kirpal Kaur v. Bachan Singh : [1958]1SCR950 . In that case an agreement between the parties requiring registration was admitted in evidence to show the nature of possession of one of the parties to it subsequent to its date. The party who was in adverse possession was sought to be shown in permissive possession after execution of the agreement and the Supreme Court said that to admit the agreement in evidence to show the nature of possession subsequent to the agreement would be to treat it as operating to destroy the nature of previous possession and to convert what started as adverse possession into a permissive possession which would really amount to getting round the statutory bar imposed by Section 49 of the Registration Act. The case is clearly distinguishable. In the instant case Sita Rani's possession over the property in dispute prior and subsequent to the award was of the same nature. The award was read in evidence not with the object of destroying the earlier nature of Sita Ram's possession but with a view to determining the same. An unregistered document requiring registration has been held to be admissible for a collateral purpose, See Varada Pillai v. Jeevarathnammal (AIR 1910 PC 44). In M. Chelamayya v. M. Venkataratnam : AIR1972SC1121 it was held that if under the Evidence Act a document was receivable in evidence for a collateral purpose Section 49 of the Registration Act is no bar to its admissibility for that purpose. In Shyam Sunder v. Siya Ram : AIR1973All382 a compromise requiring registration though not registered was found to be admissible in evidence for the collateral purpose of establishing an admission of an antecedent title. In Kale v. Deputy Director of Consolidation : [1976]3SCR202 it was held that a document requiring registration could be used for the collateral purpose of showing the nature of possession of the parties in pursuance of the arrangement arrived at under the deed, See also Civil Appeal No. 460 of 1966 (Rana Vidya Bhushan Singh v. Rati Bam) decided on 28-1-1969 (All) and Arshad Ali Khan v. State of U. P. : AIR1978All59 and Mangal Singh v. Tek Ram (AIR 1075 Delhi 267).

12. It may be observed that this award Ext, 17 has already been given effect to by this court in Second Appeal No. 1140 of 1960 decided on 21-8-1972.

13. Learned counsel then submitted that in view of the proviso to Section 49 the document may be admissible only for the collateral transaction evidenced by the document itself and not for any collateral purpose other than the transaction. In our opinion the proviso does not have the effect of rendering the document inadmissible for a collateral purpose and whittling down the effect of the rule laid down by the Judicial Committee in N. Varada Pillai v. Jeevarathnammal (AIR 1910 PC 44). It, in a sense, may be said to be enlarging the field of admissibility. In Suruchibala Ray Choudhurani v. Suruj Mia ((1942) 46 Cal WN 419) it was held that the amendment of Section 49 did not affect the law laid down by the Judicial Committee in AIR 1919 PC 44. It was observed: 'the proviso by specifying the cases in which an unregistered document may be received as evidence does not exclude its admissibility for a collateral purpose... ...... Its use for the purpose of establishing the character of possession does not amount to using it as evidence of any transaction affecting immovable property within the meaning of Section 49'. In our view also by making the document admissible for a collateral transaction the proviso cannot be said to be making it inadmissible for a collateral purpose. In Ram Laxmi Ranchhodlal v. Bank of Baroda Ltd. : AIR1953Bom50 it was held that 'the expression collateral transaction in Section 49 is used not in the sense of an ancillary transaction to the principal transaction or a subsidiary transaction to a main transaction. The transaction recorded would be a particular or specific transaction but it would be possible to read in that transaction what may be called the purpose of the transaction and what may foe called a collateral purpose; the fulfilment of the collateral purpose would bring into existence a collateral transaction which may be said to be a part and parcel of the transaction but nonetheless a transaction which runs together with or on parallel lines with the same.

14. A partition which requires tobe effected by a registered instrument may be inadmissible but the severance of 'joint status which is not required to be effected by a registered instrument would be collateral transaction evidence of which would certainly be admissible under the proviso to the section'. An antecedent title, the nature and character of possession, an admission or an acknowledgment, relationship of parties and their state of mind may be some of the instances of collateral purpose for which a document requiring registration may be looked into even though it is unregistered. The award as we have already observed has also been acted upon. The learned Judge accordingly was right in looking into the award for finding out the nature of Sita Rani's possession over the property in dispute.

15. It was then urged that the award, having not been made a rule of court had to be excluded from consideration. The contention is without force. An objection to the effectiveness of an award without its being made a rule of the court may be open to one of the parties to it, but a third party cannot object to its effectiveness or admissibility. Further the fact that an award has not been made a rule of court does not prevent the parties from enforcing their rights under it by consent. See Govinda Gouda v. Kalu Houda : AIR1966Ori228 , Kashinathsa Yamosa v. Narsinghsa Bhaskarasa : [1961]3SCR792 and Mohammad Yusuf v. Mohd. Husain : AIR1964Mad1 . We accordingly find no error in the judgment of the court below in taking into account the award Ext. 17.

16. Learned counsel then urged that the court below erred in relying on the pleadings in Suit No. 193 of 1949 which was not inter partes. In our opinion the pleadings were admissible in evidence under Section 13 of the Indian Evidence Act. It was then urged that the two sale-deeds Exts. 18 and 19 where the house in dispute was mentioned as the boundary of the properties transferred by Sita Ram were also admissible. In Mst. Katori v. Om Prakash : AIR1935All351 it was held that recitals in a sale-deed though between third parties were evidence of the fact that a person was the owner of the property indicated as boundary. Recitals of the boundaries in documents of title not inter partes have been held to be admissible undersections 11 and 13 of the Evidence Act. See Rangayyan v. Innasimuthu Mudali (AIR 1956 Mad 226) and Natwar v. Alkhu ((1913) 11 All LJ 139).

17. Learned counsel next submitted that extracts from the registers of the Town Area were wrongly referred to by the learned Judge in support of Sita Ram's title. In Municipal Board Aligarh v. Mumtaz Khan : AIR1948All309 it held that registers maintained by public bodies were public documents and extracts from these documents were admissible in evidence under Section 35 of the Evidence Act. The references made by the learned Judge to the documents were accordingly not erroneous.

18. Learned counsel for the appellant then challenged the entries in the Town Area registers and the genuineness of the application of Hari Lal to the Chairman Town Area for the correction of the rent of the house in the records of the Town Area, Ext. 3. He also challenged the genuineness of the application written by the defendant's son to the District Magistrate, Ghazipur, Ext. 9. It was submitted that they were manipulated documents at the instance of Sita Ram. The learned Judge has discussed the entries and the documents in some detail and has found that the entries were genuine and Exts. 3 and 9 were documents written by the appellant and his son to the authorities concerned for the purposes mentioned in them. Ext. 3 was sent to a Handwriting Expert who found it as signed by the defendant. The authenticity of this document has been considered with reference to the evidence adduced on the point in some detail and the learned Judge has found it as written by the appellant for the purposes of correcting the entries in the Town Area registers. This application has been held by the learned Judge as constituting an admission of Hari Lal that he was a tenant in house No. 138 in the Town Area. Dildarnagar. As regards the application of the appellant's son Ext, 9, the learned Judge found it to be a voluntary representation made by him to the authorities concerned in good faith to secure a protection to his father. The relations between the father and the son were found cordial and intimate and the document was found duly proved. On the basis of the document on record as also on the oral evidence adduced the learned Judge concluded that the appellant was the tenant of the house in question. The finding is one of the fact.

19. As regards the title of Sita Ram, besides the documents on record, the learned Judge has discussed in detail the oral evidence adduced and relied on the plaintiff's evidence and particularly on the statement of Sheo Mangal (P.W. 5) which according to him clearly proved the title of Sita Ram to the property. He further took into account the surrounding circumstances and came to the conclusion that the property originally belonged to Sita Ram's grandfather and came to him on partition. This again is a finding of fact based on an assessment of the evidence on record and not liable to be disturbed in second appeal.

20. Defendant's claim to the ownership of the house was found unsustainable as he had failed to prove that it was constructed by him at a site settled by Annapur Estate in his favour. The learned Judge observed that the constructions referred to by the defendant appeared to relate to another property on the southern side of the house in question. He was found to be occupying the house in question as a tenant,

21. Learned counsel next attempted to press a plea of adverse possession in favour of the appellant. Both the courts below have repelled that claim. They have found that the appellant had completely failed to establish his title by adverse possession and the court below has observed that 'there is no evidence on record to show as to from what point of time before the institution of the present suit the adverse possession of Hari Lal commenced. Learned counsel submitted that since the plaintiff and his predecessor-in-interest were out of possession for a period of 12 years the suit was barred by time. The appellant's possession had been found to be permissive. Hence no question of the suit being barred by time arises. Learned counsel then contended that the plaintiff sought the defendant's ejectment as a tenant and the suit was wrongly tried as a title suit. It may be mentioned that in reply to the combined notice of demand and termination of tenancy, the appellant had repudiated the plaintiff's title and had asserted his own to the property, the plaintiff was, accordingly called upon to establish his title to it. Consequently he sought a declaration of title to the property and claimed the defendant's ejectment as a tenant. The objection to the sufficiency of court-fee was cot pressed and the plaint was found sufficiently stamped for the reliefs prayed for, The courts below accordingly rightly tried the suit for the determination of the plaintiff's title and the defendant's status to the property. On the declaration of the title of the plaintiff as owner and the defendant's status as his tenant the suit was rightly decreed as no challenge was made to the validity of the notice terminating the defendant's tenancy before the lower appellate court. Since both the parties fought the case on the basis of title, the plaintiff was entitled to succeed on the strength of this title. See Rama Shankar v. Noor Mohammed : AIR1976All155 and Satya Vir Singh V. Kewal Ram (1977 All WC 550). No question of his validity of the notice or illegal termination of the defendant's tenancy was pressed in this Court as well, since we have found no substance in the contentions raised the appeal lacks force and is liable to be dismissed,

22. The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed with costs. Two months are granted to the appellant to vacate the premises.


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