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Pandit Suraj Prasad Vs. Pandit Ganesh Ram Jaini and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in63Ind.Cas.94
AppellantPandit Suraj Prasad
RespondentPandit Ganesh Ram Jaini and ors.
Excerpt:
hindu law - chats--right to place platforms on ghats and help pilgrims to bathe nature of--right, whether heritable. - - in the case of ghats, like those claimed in this suit, the evidence on behalf of the defendants themselves shows that such ghats have been let to lessees who have paid rent, thus recognising the existence of a right which would form the subject of a lease......contends that the court below has erred in refusing to decree the claim in respect of the four ghats claimed by the plaintiff. as regards those four ghats the defense was that the site of the ghats did not belong to chedi tewari and that the claim was not maintainable in regard to them. it has, however, been proved beyond controversy that chedi tewari owned eight ghats, four of which are now in the possession of the plaintiff. the remaining four ghats are in the possession of the defendants. they were admittedly in the possession of the widow of chedi tewari; and it is also admitted that sumer, from whom the defendants derived title, was managing those ghats on behalf of the widow of chedi tewari. the main ground upon which the court below has dismissed the claim in regard to the.....
Judgment:

1. This is the plaintiff's appeal in the suit which gave rise to First Appeal No. 292 of 1918, just now decided by us. In this appeal the plaintiff contends that the Court below has erred in refusing to decree the claim in respect of the four Ghats claimed by the plaintiff. As regards those four Ghats the defense was that the site of the Ghats did not belong to Chedi Tewari and that the claim was not maintainable in regard to them. It has, however, been proved beyond controversy that Chedi Tewari owned eight Ghats, four of which are now in the possession of the plaintiff. The remaining four Ghats are in the possession of the defendants. They were admittedly in the possession of the widow of Chedi Tewari; and it is also admitted that Sumer, from whom the defendants derived title, was managing those Ghats on behalf of the widow of Chedi Tewari. The main ground upon which the Court below has dismissed the claim in regard to the Ghata is that the right claimed in respect of the Ghats is not such a right as can be, held to be property subject to the ordinary rules of inheritance. Admittedly the site of the Ghats did not belong to Chedi Tewari and it is not claimed by the plaintiff. The right which he claims is a right to place platforms on portions of the Ghats for the purpose of helping pilgrims who come to Benares to bathe in the Ganges, and to enable the plaintiff to obtain remuneration for services which are rendered to the bathers. This is a sort bf right which has been recogniced for a great length of time and has been exercised admittedly in this case by Chedi Tewar land his successor's-in-title until the defendants took possession; and the defendants have also been exercising those rights. It cannot be said to be a mere right to obtain alms--it is a right which is limited to particular portions of the site of the Ghat, to place platforms on those sites, and to use such platforms for the purpose of helping bathers and assisting them in their religious performances. This right seems to us to a great extent to be analogous to the right of Mahabramans, which has been retogaised in various decisions of this Court and other High Courts. We may refer to the case of Suhh Lal v. Bishambhar 37 Ind. Cas. 661 : 39 A. 196 : 15 A.L.J. 41 and also the case of Raghoo Pandey v. Kassy Parey 10 C. 73 : 13 C.L.R. 263 : 8 Ind. Jur. 197 : 5 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 51. Reference was made on behalf of the respondents to the resent decision of this Court in Bansi v. Kanhaya 59 Ind. Cas. 659 : 18 A.L.J. 983 : 43 A. 159. That case, in our opinion, is distinguishable from the present. There the right which the plaintiffs claimed was no higher than that of an ordinary beggar seeking to get alms at a particular Ghat on the banks of the Ganges as against defendants who were Gangaputras. That case does not seem to us to bear any analogy to the present. In the case of Ghats, like those claimed in this suit, the evidence on behalf of the defendants themselves shows that such Ghats have been let to lessees who have paid rent, thus recognising the existence of a right which would form the subject of a lease. According to one of the witnesses of the defendants a lease of one of the disputed Ghats was granted by Summer, from whom the defendants claimed title. In our opinion the right which the plaintiff claimed in respect of the Ghat is a right to property and is a right which is heritable under the Hindu Law, The plaintiff is, therefore, entitled to the four Ghat which he has claimed. The widow of Chedi Tewari made a Will in respect of these Ghats in favour of Sumer, but this Will could not have any effect after her death and, therefore, under the Will the defendants cannot be held to have Required any title. The Will, however, proves one fact, namely, that the Ghats belonged to Chedi Tewari and were subsequently in the possession of Musammat Parbati, his widow.

2. In these circumstances we are of opinion that the Court below ought to have decreed the plaintiff's claim in respect of the four Ghatjs in addition to his claim in regard to the house. The plaintiff is also entitled to mesne profits in respect of the Ghats and those mesne profits should, we think, be determined in further proceedings under Order XX, Rule 12 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

3. We accordingly allow the appeal, modify the decree of the Court below and grant decree to the plaintiff for possession of the four Ghats claimed by him and, also for mesne profits to be determined as aforesaid under Order XX, Rule 12. The appellant will have his costs of this appeal, including fees on the higher scale, and also in the Court below as regards this part of the claim.


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