1. The following question of law has been referred by a learned single Judge of this Court (O. P. Trivedi, J.) for answer by a Full Bench of five Judges:
'Whether Explanation III of Section 20 of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act applies only in the case of an order or decree of a competent court commanding or directing correction in records or whether it applies also in the case of an order or decree of a competent court necessitating correction in records as a consequence of the passing of such an order or decree?'
2. Reference to a Full Bench of five Judges had to be made because the learned single Judge was of the opinion that there was a conflict in Full Bench decisions of this Court. It is not necessary to mention all the facts giving rise to these second appeals because we are concerned only with the decision of the question referred to us and not with the disposal of the second appeals. These second appeals arise from suits Nos. 992 of 1955 and 993 of 1955 of the court of the Munsif Tarabganj at Gonda. The appellants filed three suits in revenue courts against the respondents under Sections 175/179, U. P. Tenancy Act for the latter's ejectment from the plots in dispute. These suits were compromised on 27-3-1948. The compromise was to the effect that the respondents having received a sum of Rs. 1800/- as Zare Peshgi from the plaintiffs-appellants, the suit in respect of possession of the plots in dispute shall be decreed and from the date of the compromise the defendants-respondents will have no concern of any kind with the plots in dispute and that the plaintiffs-appellants will be entitled to take possession of the land at once. These compromises were effected towards the end of 1355 F. Till then the plaintiffs-appellants were recorded as tenants and the defendants-respondents as sub-tenants over the disputed plots. The same entry continued in 1356 F. also in the village records.
3. The case of the plaintiff-appellants was that they took possession of the plots in dispute in terms of the compromise and they were in actual possession of the same in the year 1356 F. As a consequence of the compromise decree the revenue authorities ought to have corrected the entry in the records of 1356 F. by striking off the names of the defendant-respondents as sub-tenants. Even if the entry of 1356 F, was not actually corrected it shall be deemed to have been corrected by virtue of Explanation III to Section 20 of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act).
4. The case of the defendant-respondents was that as they were recorded as occupants of the plots in dispute in the Khasra and Khetauni of 1356 F. they had acquired Adhivasi rights under Section 20 (b) of the Act. Since the compromise decree did not in terms require any correction to be made in the said entry Explanation III would have no application.
5. The learned Munsif dismissed the suits and the learned Civil and Sessions Judge, Gonda affirmed his decrees by dismissing Civil Appeals Nos. 231 of 1959 and 232 of 1959 filed by the plaintiffs-appellants. The case of the plaintiff-appellants is that the defendants-respondents are not entitled to the benefit of Section 20 (b) of the Act in view of the Explanation III to that section.
6. Explanations II and III of Section 20 (b) read :
Explanation II.-- 'Where any entry in the record referred to in Clause (b) has been corrected before the date of vesting order or in accordance with the provisions of the U. P. Land Revenue Act, 1901, the entry so corrected shall, for the purposes of the said clause, prevail'.
Explanation III.-- 'For the purposes of Explanation II an entry shall be deemed to have been corrected before the date of vesting if an order or decree of a competent court requiring any correction in records had been made before the said date and had become final even though the correction may not have been incorporated in the records.'
7. The words in Explanation III are 'an order or decree of a competent court requiring any correction in records'. The question for determination is whether before Explanation III could apply is it the requirement of law that the decree must clearly state that correction in records be made according to the terms of the decree or it is enough that as a consequence of a decree correction in the records should be made in order to give effect to the decree.
8. Section 2(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure defines the expression decree as:
' 'Decree' means the formal expression of an adjudication which, so far as regards the Court expressing it, conclusively determines the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit and may be either preliminary or final. .....''.
Neither the definition of the word 'decree' nor anything else which has been brought to our notice requires that a mention has to be made in the decree that the revenue records shall be corrected accordingly. It is not in our knowledge and nothing has been pointed out to us to justify the conclusion that there is a class of decrees in which the law requires a definite mention that the records be corrected in accordance with the terms of the decree.
9. A decree is a final adjudication of the rights of the parties and is enforceable by virtue of its own authority. Under the provisions of the U. P. Land Revenue Act and the Land Records Manual it is the duty of the revenue authorities to correct entries in terms of the decree passed by a competent court relating to agricultural land. Inasmuch as, the law does not envisage any class of decrees in which it is specifically to be mentioned that the village records be corrected in accordance with the decree, it cannot be held that the legislature intended by the words 'requiring any correction' the existence of decrees where there is such a specific mention. I am of the opinion that the words 'requiring any correction in records' only mean that the consequence of the decree is that the record should be corrected in order to bring the records in line with the decree and to give effect for it.
10. In the present case it is admitted that the compromise decrees passed in 1948 became final. It, therefore, appears to me that the case of the appellants would fall in Explanation III to Section 20 (b) of the Act. In the case of Mosim Ali v. Ganga Prasad, AIR 1966 All 356 (FB), the Full Bench took the same view as I am taking of this provision. In Harinath v. Bam Pratap Singh, AIR 1969 All 170 (FB), the following passage occurs in the judgment of the Full Bench in paragraph 25 of the report:
'In the first place there is no order or decree of a competent court requiring any correction in the records. The compromise decree does not say that correction of papers shall be made. Secondly, Explanation I would exclude the operation of Explanations II and III in this case. Explanation I clearly provides that notwithstanding anything in any order or decree a person evicted from the land after 30th June, 1948, the person entered as occupant, shall be entitled to regain possession. Harinath was evicted on 26-5-1949 which is clearly after the 30th of June, 1948. He is, therefore, entitled to obtain reinstatement over the land in dispute.'
As the passage extracted above would show Harinath's case was actually disposed of on the basis of Explanation I and not on the basis of Explanations II and III. The scope of Explanations II and III was never considered in that case. In Harinath's case the Full Bench only made a casual observation that the compromise decree does not say that correction of papers shall be made without laying down as a proposition of law that unless and until a decree said in so many words that correction of revenue records shall be made, Explanation III will not be attracted.
11. For the reasons mentioned above I am of the opinion that the case of AIR 1969 All 170 (FB) is clearly distinguishable and is not authority for the proposition that Explanation III would not be attracted in a case where the decree did not specifically state that correction of revenue records shall be made in accordance, with its terms. I have already said above that the law does not require that any decree should clearly state that effect to its terms shall be given by correcting the revenue records in accordance with it. The correction of revenue records in accordance with the decree is a natural and logical consequence of the decree itself, the decree being the command of the court that, the rights of the parties had been finally adjudicated upon by the court as stated in the decree. The words 'requiring correction' must, therefore, be read in a wider sense and should be held to lay emphasis on the nature of the decree. In my opinion the effect of these words is that the nature of the decree should be such that correction of records should follow.
12. My answer to the question referred, therefore, is that Explanation III to Section 20 of the Act applies not only to cases where the decree states that the revenue records be corrected accordingly (the law does not require the decree stating so and if it is ever done it is so by practice), but also to cases where the nature of the decree is such that correction of records becomes a necessary consequence in order to obey the command of the court contained in the decree.
13. I agree with the answer given to the question referred as also the reasoning on which the same is based. There is nothing that I can usefully add.
14. I agree.
15. I agree.
K.B. Srivastava, J.
16. I agree.
Jag Mohan Lal, J.
17. I agree.