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Fida HussaIn Vs. Imamat HusaIn and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberF.A.F.O. No. 204 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1973All246
ActsUttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1951 - Sections 331; Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1961
AppellantFida Hussain
Respondentimamat HusaIn and ors.
Appellant AdvocateH.C. Sharma, ;G.P. Bhargava and ;A.N. Bhargava, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateBashir Ahmad, Adv.
Excerpt:
civil - amendment - section 331 of u.p. zamindari abolition and land reforms act, 1951 (amended act 28 of 1961) - suit instituted in 1953 lie pending on date the amendment came into force - does amended act affect or take away the jurisdiction of civil court to try and decide suit - held, suit was validly filed in 1953 in civil court and even after 1961 amendment civil court is competent to hear and decide pending suit. - - 7. the long title of the 1956 as well as the 1958 act provided that they were being enacted to amend, inter alia, the u......that the 1956 amendment of the zamindari abolition act transferred jurisdiction of declaratory suits to the revenue courts. in that amending act there was a saving clause by which pending suits were saved but the effect of the saving clause was undone by the amendment effected in 1961. on this view the appeals were allowed. the decree of the trial court was set aside and it was directed that the plaint shall be returned for presentation to proper court. aggrieved, the plaintiff came up in appeal to this court.3. section 331 (1) of the zamindari abolition act provided that no court other than a court mentioned in column 4 of schedule ii shall take cognizance of any suit, application or proceeding mentioned in column 3 thereof. column 4 of schedule ii mentioned the revenue courts. the.....
Judgment:

Satish Chandra, J.

1. The learned Single Judge has referred the following question to a Full Bench:

'Does the amendment made in Section 331 of U. P. Act No. 1 of 1951 by U. P. Act No. 28 of 1961 affect or take away the jurisdiction of the Civil Court to try and decide the present suit instituted in 1953 which was pending on the date the amendment in question came into force.'

2. In 1953 Fida Husain, plaintiff-appellant, filed a suit in the court of the Munsif, Allahabad, for a declaration that he was the sirdar of the plots mentioned in the plaint. The suit was contested by several sets of defendants on a variety of grounds. None of the defendants, however, pleaded that the civil Court had no jurisdiction to try the suit. The learned Munsif framed 11 issues in the case. Issue No. 11 was whether the suit as framed is not maintainable. The finding given upon this issue was:

'Nothing has been argued upon this issue and I decide it in the negative.'

The suit was decreed on 25-9-1963. It was declared that the plaintiff was the sirdar of 13 only of the plots mentioned in the plaint. Aggrieved, both parties filed cross-appeals. Before the lower appellate Court, the question of jurisdiction of the trial Court was agitated. It was held that the 1956 amendment of the Zamindari Abolition Act transferred jurisdiction of declaratory suits to the revenue Courts. In that Amending Act there was a saving clause by which pending suits were saved but the effect of the saving clause was undone by the amendment effected in 1961. On this view the appeals were allowed. The decree of the trial Court was set aside and it was directed that the plaint shall be returned for presentation to proper court. Aggrieved, the plaintiff came up in appeal to this Court.

3. Section 331 (1) of the Zamindari Abolition Act provided that no court other than a court mentioned in column 4 of Schedule II shall take cognizance of any suit, application or proceeding mentioned in Column 3 thereof. Column 4 of Schedule II mentioned the revenue courts. The Civil Courts were debarred from taking cognizance of matters mentioned in column 3 of Schedule II. Section 229-B provided for declaratory suits by, inter alia, sirdars. But such suits were not mentioned in Schedule II as it was originally enacted. So, suits for declaration of sirdari rights lay in the civil Court.

4. The U. P. Land Reforms (Amendment) Act 18 of 1956 (which came into force on 28th May, 1956) repealed and re-enacted Schedule II to the Act. In the re-enacted Schedule Entry 34 mentioned in column 3 'suit for declaration of rights'. The court of original jurisdiction mentioned in column 4 was Assistant Collector, 1st Class. With effect from the coming into force of this Act, suits for declaration of sirdari rights became cognizable by revenue courts alone.

5. Section 23 of the Amending Act of 1956 provided the saving clauses. It stated:--

'23. Saving--(i) Any amendment made by this Act shall not affect the validity, invalidity, effect or consequence of anything already done or suffered, or any right, title, obligation or liability already acquired, accrued or incurred or any jurisdiction already exercised, and any proceeding instituted or commenced before any court or authority prior to the commencement of this Act shall, notwithstanding any amendment herein made, continue to be heard and decided by such court or authority.

(ii) An appeal, review or revision from any suit or proceeding instituted or commenced before any court or authority prior to the commencement of this Act shall, notwithstanding any amendment herein made, lie to the court or authority to which it would have lain if instituted or commenced before such commencement.'

Section 23 (i) expressly provided that a suit pending in the civil Court shall continue to be heard and decided by such court notwithstanding any amendment made by the Act.

6. The U. P. Land Reforms (Amendment) Act 37 of 1958 made some further amendments in the Zamindari Abolition Act. It transferred jurisdiction in regard to many other clauses of suits to the revenue court. But, Section 87 of this Act also provided a saving clause similar to the one provided in Section 23 (i) of the 1956 Act.

7. The long title of the 1956 as well as the 1958 Act provided that they were being enacted to amend, inter alia, the U. P. Zamindari Abolition Act. Various sections of these Amending Acts specifically altered or amended different sections of the principal Act. Section 23 of the 1956 Act and Section 87 of the 1958 Act, which provided the saving clauses, were not bodily incorporated in any particular section of the principal Act. The question is whether these saving clauses contained in the Amending Acts are part of the principal Act.

8. A similar question arose before a Full Bench in Ramesh Chand v. Board of Revenue, 1972 All LJ 925 = (AIR 1973 All 120) (FB). The U. P. Tenancy (Amendment) Act 10 of 1947 by Sections 2 to 26 and 32 and 33 made amendments in Various sections of the U. P. Tenancy Act. Section 27, which provided for reinstatement of certain classes of tenants, was, however, not bodily incorporated in any particular section of the tenancy Act. The Full Bench held that Section 27 was in substance a proviso to Sections 165, 171 and 180 of the principal Act. It will be deemed to be a part of the parent Act. The aforesaid saving clauses off-set the effect of the Amending Acts upon pending suits. Though the Amending Act transferred jurisdiction in relation to several categories of cases from the civil to the revenue courts, the saving clauses acted as proviso or exception to those amending provisions in relation to cases pending when the Amending Act came into force. Such pending suits were not affected by the amendment. On the line of reasoning of the Full Bench in Ramesh Chand's case, the saving clauses must be held to be part of the principal Zamindari Abolition Act.

Section 331 (1) as originally enacted stated:--

'331. (1) Except as provided by or under this Act no court other than a court mentioned in column 4 of Schedule II shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, take cognizance of any suit, application or proceeding mentioned in column 3 thereof'. (emphasis provided).

The bar created by Section 331 (1) operates 'except as provided by or under this Act' i.e. if some other part of the Act makes a contrary provision, it will prevail and the bar created by Section 331 (1) will yield to it. We have seen that the saving clauses of the 1956 and 1958 Acts were part of the principal Act They will override the barmentioned in Section 331 (1), with the result that suits which were pending in the civil Court when the 1956 Amending Act came into force will not be affected by Section 331 (1). The civil Court will continue to hear and determine them.

9. The U. P. Land Laws (Second Amendment) Act 28 of 1961 did not alter Section 331 (1) as it was originally enacted but it added a clause and an explanation to it. The following clause was added at the end of Sub-section (1) : 'or of a suit, application or proceeding based on a cause of action in respect of which any such relief could be obtained by means of any such suit or application.' The explanation added was:--

'Explanation.-- If the cause of action is one in respect of which relief may be granted by the Revenue Court, it is immaterial that the relief asked for from the Civil Court may not be identical to that which the Revenue Court would have granted.'

10. The effect of the 1961 Amending Act was to widen the operation of Section 331 (1) to suits, applications or proceedings which were based on a cause of action for which any relief could be obtained from the revenue court, no matter whether the relief actually prayed for in the civil Court was the same or different. The amendments introduced in 1961 do not affect the present case. This was a simple suit for declaration which is expressly mentioned in Schedule II after the 1956 amendment. In order to test the jurisdiction in relation to such a suit the additions made to Section 331 (1) in 1961 are irrelevant. Assuming that the 1961 amendments were applicable, they will not govern the present suit because of the overriding operation of the saving clause.

11. The present suit was validly filed in 1963 in the civil Court. The civil Court was competent to hear and decide it.

12. Our answer to the question referred to us is in the negative. Let the papers be returned to the learned Single Judge with this opinion and answer.


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