1. This is a second appeal from the decision of the learned Additional Subordinate Judge of Ballia. The plaintiffs brought a suit for a declaration of title as grove-holders of certain groves; and alternatively for possession. I do not need to go into the facts of this case, as I am deciding it upon a preliminary point. The plaintiffs' suit was decreed by the lower appellate Court, and the defendant appeals. The appellant in appeal urges that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case. He relies upon Section 121, Agra Tenancy Act, 1926. That section is as follows:
At any time during the continuance of a tenancy the tenant of a holding may sue that land holder, or any person claiming to hold through the land holder, whether as tenant or' rent free grantee or otherwise, for a declarations of his right as tenant.
2. If the suit comes under this section, Schedule 4, Group B, No. 15, bars the Civil Court from having jurisdiction to hear it. According to the Full Bench decision of In re Ananti v. Chhannu : AIR1930All193 , the jurisdiction of the Court is decided by the-plaint. The defence cannot be looked at for this purpose. I therefore turn to the plaint in this case. Para. 11, is as follows:
Eight months ago the plaintiffs came to know that for some years past the defendant has wrongly been getting his name entered in the revenue papers by the patwari of the mahal against the entire groves in dispute.
3. Paragraph 12:
On getting information of the wrong entries the plaintiffs made an application to the Revenue Court for removal of the defendant's name and for the entry of their own name. The defendant set up a defence denying the plaintiffs' right and alleging their own right and possession. On 31st March 1930 the Revenue Court summarily dismissed the plaintiffs' application on wrong grounds.
4. Paragraph 13:
Since 10th April 1930, defendants 1 to 11 have, on the strength of wrong entries and the judgment of the Revenue Court, been interfering with the plaintiffs' possession.
5. Paragraph 14:
The defendants neither had at any time nor have any connexion or concern with the grove in dispute. They make interference simply as trespassers.
6. It is alleged by the respondents that para. 14 set out above treated the defendants as trespassers and therefore Section 121 does not apply and the Civil Court had jurisdiction to hear the suit. I have care, fully considered the Full Bench decision alluded to above, and in my opinion, that decision does not apply to the facts of this case. In the case before the Full Bench there was nothing in the plaint which could be taken to acknowledge that the defendants were setting up a claim to hold from the land holder. In this case paras. 11 and 12 dearly recognize the fact, in my opinion, that the defendants were claiming to hold through the land holder. They had their names entered in the revenue papers as grove-holders, and in para. 12 the plaintiffs recognize that the defence of the defendants in the revenue case was that they were the grove-holders and in possession of the grove. In my opinion, that is the meaning of the words 'alleging their own right and possession.' The substance of the plaint therefore establishes that the plaintiffs alleging themselves to be grove-holders, were suing the defendants who, they alleged, were claiming as grove-holders. This position ousts the Civil Court from jurisdiction and establishes that the Revenue Court alone under Sections 121 and 230, Tenancy Act, has jurisdiction to hear the case. It does not seem possible to me that because a plaintiff in one paragraph alleges that the defendants are trespassers that ousts the jurisdiction of the Revenue Court. If this were so, any plaintiff could entirely ignore the provisions of Sections 121 and 99, Agra Tenancy Act, and these sections would become a dead letter. In this view of the case I allow the appeal with costs. The decree of the lower appellate Court is set aside and the plaint will be returned for presentation to the proper Court. As this case raises a point of some importance, I allow leave to appeal under the Letters Patent.