Tudball and Abdul Raoof, JJ.
1. This appeal arises out of a suit brought by the plaintiffs respondents for a declaration that they were co-owners with the defendants, first in a muafi holding and secondly in an occupancy tenure. The court of first instance granted a declaration in favour of the plaintiffs. We may point out that, though the plaintiffs asked for a decree for joint possession, the courts below Held that they were in possession and so granted them a declaration only. The defendants have come to this Court on appeal, and the appeal is pressed only in respect to two plots, Nos. 238 and 245, which form portions of the alleged occupancy holding. It was the defendants appellants' case in respect to these two numbers that the plaintiffs were their sub-tenants. It was the plaintiffs respondents' case that they were co-owners with the defendants of the occupancy tenure. In respect to these two numbers there are certain facts which have to be set forth. The defendants instituted a suit in the Revenue Court for the ejectment of the plaintiffs on the ground that the latter were their sub-tenants. To this suit the defendants replied that they were not sub-tenants but that they were co-tenants with the plaintiffs. That suit was instituted on the 14th of August, 1915. While it was pending the plaintiffs brought the present suit in the Civil Court. The Revenue Court was the first court to come to a decision in regard to Nos. 238 and 245. It held that the present plaintiffs respondents were the sub-tenants of the present appellants and were not the co-tenants. It therefore granted to the present appellants a decree for the ejectment of the present plaintiffs. Subsequent to that the Civil Court came to its decision, and gave the plaintiffs a decree for joint possession of all the land, including these two numbers, That decision was upheld on appeal in the Civil Court. From the decision of the Revenue Court no appeal whatsoever was preferred and that decision became final and binding between the parties. The result therefore is the absurdity that a Revenue Court with competent and exclusive jurisdiction has granted a decree for ejectment which can be enforced in respect of these two numbers. The Civil Court has given a decree for joint possession on the ground that the present plaintiffs are co-tenants and not sub-tenants. What the result is to be nobody can at present state. It is urged before us and with considerable force, specially in the face of a large number of rulings of this Court, that the decision of the Revenue Court as between the parties, to the effect that the plaintiffs are the sub-tenants in these two numbers of the defendants appellants is the decision of a competent court with exclusive jurisdiction, that it is final and binding upon the parties, and that the Civil Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever to upset or reverse that decision. Reliance has been placed upon the decision of this Court in Shiva Prakash v. Karna (1913) I.L.R., 35 All., 464, wherein it is remarked that the Revenue Court having made a decree for ejectment and that decree having been carried into effect and the plaintiff having been ejected, a suit in the Civil Court is not maintainable. The decree of the Revenue Court was binding upon the parties and any decree made by the Civil Court would be wholly nugatory. The point is covered by authority in the case of Ram Devi Kuari v. Bindesri Upadhya (1911) 8 A.L.J., 940. The judgment of the learned Judge who decided that case was affirmed on appeal under the Letters Patent. In this case while a suit in the Revenue Court for the ejectment of Karna was pending and before that case was decided, Karna brought a civil suit out of which that appeal arose. It was a suit which was brought in such form as would ordinarily make it cognizable by a Civil Court. Its object was clearly to nullify the decree of the Revenue Court. That is also the case in the present suit. An ejectment suit in the Revenue Court had been brought and was pending and was about to conclude when this present civil suit was brought. It is true that the present civil suit was brought in the form in which a suit would be entertained only by the Civil Court, but in so far as these two numbers were concerned, the suit was clearly one brought with a view of possibly nullifying the decision of the Revenue Court. We think that the principle which was applied in Ram Devi Kuari v. Bindesri Upadhya (1911) 8 A.L.J., 940, applies equally to the present case before us. It was solely within the jurisdiction of the Revenue Court to hold that the present respondents were the sub-tenants of the present appellants and that as such they were liable to ejectment. Practically the same principle was applied in the case of Ram Singh v. Girraj Singh (1914 I.L.R., 37 All., 41. There it was Held that the Revenue Court in a case of ejectment had jurisdiction to go into a certain question and that decision was binding on the parties, and the court in the civil suit was bound to look to the substance of the relief and not merely to the form of the suit, and that the civil suit was not maintainable as its was merely directed to the upsetting of the decision of the Revenue Court. In Maharaja of Vizianagram v. Chhango Kurmi (1910) 7 A.L.J., 555, a suit for ejectment of the defendant on the ground that he was a tenant-at-will was brought in the Revenue Court, which decided that he was a tenant but not a tenant-at-will of the plaintiffs, and subsequently a suit was brought in the Civil Court for the ejectment of the defendant on the ground that he was a trespasser; it was held that, the Revenue Court having determined the nature of the defendant's tenancy and the class to which he belonged, a suit in the Civil Court could not be maintained. It was equally in the present case that the Revenue Court has determined the nature of the defendant's tenancy and he is clearly liable to ejectment. The present suit is an attempt as remarked in that judgment, to go behind the decision of the Revenue Court and ask the Civil Court to do that which under Section 167, it is forbidden to do. On behalf of the opposite party, our attention has been called to two decisions of this Court, Jagan Nath v. Ajudhia Singh (1912) I.L.R., 35 All., 14, and Kanhai Ram v. Durga Prasad (4). The former of these two cases may be distinguished from the present case. In that case there had been no decision by the Revenue Court on the question, and Mr. Justice Banerji in his judgment remarks as follows: 'It is true that the plaintiffs sued in the Revenue Court to eject the defendant on the allegation that the defendant was their sub-tenant. Had the Revenue Court decided that question and had held that the defendant was the tenant) of the holding, there might have been some difficulty in the plaintiff's way, but in this case, as pointed out by the lower appellate court, the Commissioner did not determine the question whether the plaintiffs were the tenants of the holding, or the defendant was so.' The case of Kanhai Ram v. Durga Prasad (1915) I.L.R., 37 All., 223 is somewhat in favour of the respondent's contention. We would call attention to the opinion expressed by the late Sir Sundar Lal in his judgment on the point. He referred to Mr. Justice CHAMIER'S decision in S.A. No. 1001 of 1911 and remarked: 'Like him I am inclined to think that the matter should be deemed to be res judicata.' In that suit the defendant brought a suit in the Revenue Court seeking for the ejectment of the plaintiff on the ground that the latter was his sub-tenant. The Revenue Court ordered ejectment. The plaintiff brought a suit in the Civil Court for a declaration that he was the owner of certain occupancy holdings and claimed possession. He sued the opposite party on the ground that he was a trespasser. It was held in that case that the decision of the Revenue Court did not operate is res judicata. We do not propose to decide the present appeal on the question of res judicata. There have been a long series of rulings of this Court for a considerable length of time in which it has been consistently held that where a Revenue Court has exclusive jurisdiction to try a certain question and it tries that question as between the parties that that is a finding which is binding upon them and it is a finding which cannot be questioned in the Civil Court reference being made to Section 167 of the Tenancy Act. We think that that is the principle which will govern the decision of the case before us. In so far as these two plots are concerned, there is a final and binding decision between the parties. The present respondents are the subtenants of the present appellants and a decree for their ejectment has been passed. We do not think that a Civil Court is empowered to go behind that decision or to set it aside. We therefore allow the appeal in respect of these two numbers and in respect to them the plaintiffs' suit will stand dismissed with proportionate costs in all courts. The rest of the plaintiffs' claim is not contested before us and the decree of the court below will stand in respect thereto.