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Abdul Wahid Vs. Tribhuwan Pati - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Limitation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 3407 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1974All304
ActsLimitation Act, 1908 - Schedule - Article 2
AppellantAbdul Wahid
RespondentTribhuwan Pati
Appellant AdvocateS. Sadiq Ali, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
property - unlawful detention - person having arrears of land revenue - detained without warrant - no authority available with revenue officers - claim for damages allowed. - .....that he was in arrears of land revenue and abused him. the plaintiff also pleaded that he was in arrears of revenue. the defendants' case was that they did not use any force or abusive language as alleged by the plaintiff and that the plaintiff had voluntarily gone to the tahsil and stayed there while he was questioned about the payment of revenue.3. trial court accepted the defendants' version and dismissed the suit. lower appellate court has not accepted the findings of fact recorded by the trial court but has dismissed the suit. it arrived at the finding of fact that the plaintiff's version was correct and that he had been forcibly taken by these two defendants from the road into the tahsil. the learned district judge, however, dismissed the suit on the finding that the plaintiff.....
Judgment:

Hari Swarup, J.

1. This is a plaintiff's appeal arising out of a suit for compensation for false imprisonment.

2. Plaintiff's case was that the defendants, one of whom was the Wasil Baqi Amin and the other Collection Amin, forcibly took him inside the Tahsil, kept him confined there on the plea that he was in arrears of land revenue and abused him. The plaintiff also pleaded that he was in arrears of revenue. The defendants' case was that they did not use any force or abusive language as alleged by the plaintiff and that the plaintiff had voluntarily gone to the Tahsil and stayed there while he was questioned about the payment of revenue.

3. Trial Court accepted the defendants' version and dismissed the suit. Lower appellate Court has not accepted the findings of fact recorded by the trial Court but has dismissed the suit. It arrived at the finding of fact that the plaintiff's version was correct and that he had been forcibly taken by these two defendants from the road into the Tahsil. The learned District Judge, however, dismissed the suit on the finding that the plaintiff was in arrears of land revenue.

4. Learned counsel for the respondents, who are in this case being defended by the State, raised a preliminary ground that the suit was barred by limitation. According to him Article 2 of the Limitation Act was applicable. Article 2 runs as under:

'For compensation for doing ob for omitting to do an act alleged to be in pursuance ofany enactment in force for the time being in India.

Ninety days.

When the act or omission takes place.'

5. It was observed in 'Shiam Lal v. Abdul Raof' : AIR1935All538 that:

'As in England, the expression 'in pursuance of any enactment' must be interpreted as meaning acting in conformity with an enactment and not merely pretending to act or acting under colour of such an enactment.'

There is no enactment which could have permitted the defendants to forcibly hold and take the plaintiff to the Tahsil. The suit cannot therefore be deemed to be one for compensation for doing an act alleged to be in pursuance of any enactment in force. There is no allegation that the defendants were acting in pursuance of any enactment nor was it the case of the defendants that they had any authority to arrest the plaintiff. Article 2 was, therefore, not applicable to this case. The suit was filed within one year of the date of occurrence and was therefore within time.

6. Speaking about false imprisonment,Salmonds says (The Law of Torts), 5th Edition, p. 161) :

'To constitute the wrong in question there need be no actual imprisonment in the ordinary sense i.e. incarceration. Unlawful detention may be either custodial or noncustodial. It is enough that the plaintiff has been in any manner completely deprived of his personal liberty. A mere unlawful arrest, for example, amounts in itself to false imprisonment, and so does any act whereby a man is unlawfully prevented from leaving the place in which he is, for example, a house or a motor car, or a ski-lift. The taking possession or control of the person, even without actual contact, seems to be the governing factor. Hence it is unnecessary that there should be any actual arrest or use of force. A threat of force, whereby the submission of the person threatened is procured, is sufficient, for example showing a man a warrant for his arrest and thereby obtaining his submission is itself an arrest if it amounts to a tacit threat to execute the warrant by force if necessary.....'

7. The court below has believed that the plaintiff did not go voluntarily and was focibly taken inside the Tahsil. On this finding of the appellate Court, the plaintiff was entitled to a decree for compensation for false imprisonment.

8. Neither of the two Amins in this case had any authority to arrest the plaintiff, as there was no warrant. The non-payment of arrears of land revenue by a defaulter cannot make him liable to detention without warrant. The existence of arrears of land revenue can (not) be defence against the claim for compensation for wrongful detention, or forcible removal from one place to another or for abuse. Court below committed a clear error of law in not awarding damages to the plaintiff. The Court below has held that if the plaintiff were to get a decree, he would be entitled to the amount claimed by him as damages. The plaintiff had claimed Rupees two hundered as damages; he will accordingly be entitled to that amount.

9. The appeal is accordingly, allowed, decree of the Court below set aside, and the plaintiff's suit for Rs. 200/- is decreed, the decree will be executable against the defendants personally, although they are being defended by the State. Parties will, however, bear their own costs throughout.


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