1. The decision of the lower appellate Court has been contested on two main grounds.
2. In the first place it is argued that the decision of a Settlement Officer is binding on the civil Courts, and in the second place it is urged that in any case the decision of the Revenue Court to which this matter was referred under Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy Act is so binding. The settlement is a recant one and the land in suit was found by the record officer and by the Commissioner in appeal to be a grove held by the defendant. A grove of this nature must by statute be included in the register of all persons cultivating or otherwise occupying land referred to in Section 32(e) of the Land Revenue Act. An attempt has been made on behalf of the respondent to claim that as this is a grove, it is, therefore, not included in the word 'land' in Section 32(e). No definition of 'land' is given in the Land Revenue Act and we conclude that the word must be intended in its widest sense, and it is not subject to the restriction imposed upon the word in the Agra Tenancy Act. A specimen of a khstauni is given in the Land Revenue Act under Section 39 and we find at Cl, (11) that culturable land is divided into 'new fallow,' 'old fallow,' 'culturable waste' and 'groves.' It is evident, therefore, that groves are included in 'land' in the meaning of the Land Revenue Act. This being so, Section 44 of the same Act makes this entry binding on all Courts, and it is not subject to the proviso that such an entry may be challenged in the civil Court because that proviso only applies to Clauses (a) to (d) of Section 32 and not to Clause (e).
3. As to the second point raised we are of opinion that the appellant's view is correct. Once the lower Court had referred this matter to the Revenue Court, it was not empowered to revoke its order of reference and to decide the case for itself. It is admitted that the Revenue Court decided the case in favour of the appellant, and that decision is final. We are of opinion that it was not open to the lower Courts to hold in the face of the revenue records and the decision of the revenue Court that this land is a grove belonging to the zemindar. It is a grove belonging to the appellant. We, therefore, allow this appeal with costs on the higher scale and set aside the orders of the lower Courts and order that the suit may be dismissed with costs.