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Ghurahu and ors. Vs. Sheo Ratan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 5354 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1981All3
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 90
AppellantGhurahu and ors.
RespondentSheo Ratan and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.K. Verma and ;R.N. Singh, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateRajkumar Jain and ;Syed Mohamood, Advs.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....contents as well. - - he however endorsed finding of appellate authority, and accepted claim of opposite parties of co-tenancy because written statement filed by petitioner in suit under section 229b filed by opposite parties, for declaration that they were co-sirdars which abated due to enforcement of consolidation the petitioners no doubt denied that opposite parties were not of their family but it was not specifically alleged that nanhkoo was son of todi. if a document is twenty years old and the court is satisfied of its proper custody it may be presumed that signature and any other part of document which purports to be in handwriting of any particular person is in that person's handwriting, that the document was executed by the person by whom it purports to have been executed and..........by hulas who admittedly was petitioner's ancestor. in consolidation proceedings it was claimed by opposite parties that hulas's son sughar had two sons shivraj and nanhkoo and petitioners were descendants of sheorai whereas opposite parties were descendants of nanhkoo. this was denied and nanhkoo was said to be son of one todi. the entire dispute therefore was whether sughar had one or two sons. it has been found by deputy director that since 1308 fasli it were the ancestor of petitioners branch who were exclusively recorded. he however endorsed finding of appellate authority, and accepted claim of opposite parties of co-tenancy because written statement filed by petitioner in suit under section 229b filed by opposite parties, for declaration that they were co-sirdars which abated due.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.M. Sahai, J.

1. Land in dispute was acquired by Hulas who admittedly was petitioner's ancestor. In consolidation proceedings it was claimed by opposite parties that Hulas's son Sughar had two sons Shivraj and Nanhkoo and petitioners were descendants of Sheorai whereas opposite parties were descendants of Nanhkoo. This was denied and Nanhkoo was said to be son of one Todi. The entire dispute therefore was whether Sughar had one or two sons. It has been found by Deputy Director that since 1308 Fasli it were the ancestor of petitioners branch who were exclusively recorded. He however endorsed finding of appellate authority, and accepted claim of opposite parties of co-tenancy because written statement filed by petitioner in suit under Section 229B filed by opposite parties, for declaration that they were co-sirdars which abated due to enforcement of consolidation the petitioners no doubt denied that opposite parties were not of their family but it was not specifically alleged that Nanhkoo was son of Todi. He further did not find any truth in statement of Musafir examined on behalf of petitioner that petitioner and opposite parties were members of different family and that the land was settled solely with petitioner's ancestor. The basic reason however for accepting opposite party's claim was recital in two mortage deeds dated 27-12-10 and 7-8-27 describing Nanhkoo as son of Sughar and Sheoamber as son of Sheorai.

2. During hearing it was claimed that appellate and revisional authority misread the mortgage deeds as Nanhkoo was described as son of Sughar Yadav whereas parties were Harijans by caste. To verify this opposite parties were directed to produce the original which they did and it transpired that copy filed by petitioner was incorrect. The counsel thereafter did not press this aspect but urged that these mortgage deeds may have been admissible under Section 90 of Indian Evidence Act, being twenty years old document, but contents of document was yet to be Droved in accordance with law. According to him presumption under this section could be raised only in respect of signature and it having been written by the scriber. But it did not extend further. Reliance was placed on Ram Krishna v. Gaiadhar (AIR 1958 Orissa 26) : ILR (1966) 1 Cal 395 and Kalyan Singh v. Chhoti (AIR 1973 Raj 263).

3. The submission is not without merit. The extent of presumption is laid down in the section itself. It cannot be stretched beyond it. If a document is twenty years old and the court is satisfied of its proper custody it may be presumed that signature and any other part of document which purports to be in handwriting of any particular person is in that person's handwriting, that the document was executed by the person by whom it purports to have been executed and that the document was attested by the person by whom it purports to have been attested. In fact Section 90 dispenses with proof of document as required in Sections 67 and 68 and what is required to be done is deemed to have been done by operation of law. But the proof of signature or handwriting does not establish that whatever is stated in document is also correct. That has to be proved not only by production of document but by proving its contents as well.

4. Reliance was placed by learned counsel for opposite party Babu Nandan v. Board of Revenue AIR 1972 All 406 and it was urged that once document was admitted the authenticity of contents was not open to challenge. The decision does not lay down the proposition as argued by the learned counsel. Moreover it was found that document was not twenty years old therefore the presumption laid down in law did not apply to it. The order of consolidation authorities therefore is based on evidence which was inadmissible. It cannot be maintained.

5. In the result this petition succeeds and is allowed. The order passed by Deputy Director Consolidation is quashed. He is directed to decide the revision afresh. It shall be open to him to permit parties to lead evidence in respect of contents of document. Parties shall bear their own costs.


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