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Suraj Ghulam Singh and ors. Vs. Chab Lal Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil;Property
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in14Ind.Cas.347
AppellantSuraj Ghulam Singh and ors.
RespondentChab Lal Singh and ors.
Excerpt:
.....the death of the said ladies, they had been paying rent to the plaintiffs. having gone to the revenue courts and failed to establish the right which they] then set up, they now come back to the civil court and still endeavour to defeat the plaintiffs' claim and to justify their own possession upon some ground or other, which must necessarily be inconsistent with the plea on which the decision of the revenue courts has been against them. i must take it that the plaintiffs laid before the revenue courts evidence, which was regarded by those courts as sufficient to satisfy them that the plots now in dispute were included in the mortgage of march 1886. at any rate, in view of the clear provisions of the second clause of section 202 of the agra tenancy, act already referred to, i am..........the civil court was bound to dispose of this suit in accordance with the final decision of the revenue courts. that decision was duly arrived at by the ultimate court of appeal namely, by the board of revenue. it was a decision to the effect that the defendants were not holding the lands in suit as tenants of the plaintiffs but as mere trespassers. indeed, the decision went farther than this. it expressly proceeded on the ground that the possession of the defendants over the plots in suit was originally that of mortgagees, but it had become unlawful and the possession of the defendants that of mere trespassers from the month of may 1906 when the mortgage was redeemed. the case coming back before the munsif of barsi after this finding, the learned munsif nevertheless dismissed the.....
Judgment:

Piggott, J.

1. The question essentially in issue in this appeal turns on the application of the Second clause of Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy Act (Local Act II of 1901) to the facts of the present case. The suit was one in ejectment against trespassers. The plaintiffs came into Court alleging that they were owners of certain plots of land and that the defendants were in possession of the same without any title. In order to explain how the defendants obtained possession, the plaintiffs stated that the plots in suit appertain to a share, which was mortgaged by one of the plaintiffs to the defendants on March the 8th, 1886, and that the defendants originally obtained possession as mortgagees under that mortgage. It was further alleged that the mortgage was redeemed by one of the plaintiffs in the month of May 1906 and that some of the lands appertaining to the mortgaged share had duly passed into possession of the plaintiffs since this redemption but that the defendants were retaining possession of the particular plots now in suit unlawfully and without any valid title since the date of the redemption of the mortgage. The defendants' reply was that the plots in suit did not appertain to the share mortgaged by the first plaintiff on the 8th of March 1S86, but, apart from this plea on their written statement, did not make it clear to the Court whether they did or did not deny altogether the plaintiffs' title in respect of these plots or what was the nature of the title which they set up on their own behalf as justifying their present possession. The Court, therefore, very properly called upon the defendants to define their position further, and recorded a proceeding under date June 6th, 1908, whereby the defendants made certain admissions amplifying and further explaining the pleas they had already raised. This proceeding must obviously be read as an appendix to the written statement, and the defendants are as much bound by anything contained in this proceeding of the 6th of June 1908 as they are by any statement of fact made by them in their written statement. It is quite clear that they did not deny the plaintiffs' title, but on the contrary admitted in express terms that the proprietors of the plots in suit are ' the plaintiffs. As to the nature of their own possession, they miaintained the position taken up in their written statement, to the effect that the said plots are in no way included in the mortgage of 1886, and that their possession over the same did not originate under that mortgage and was not in any way connected with it. They stated that they had entered into possession over these plots as tenants of certain ladies, both of whom had since died. In reply to a further question put to them by the Court, they distinctly took up the position that since the death of the said ladies, they had been paying rent to the plaintiffs. It is clear, therefore, beyond question that the case for the defendants, as ultimately developed before the Court of first instance, was that they held the land in suit as tenants of the plaintiffs. The Court was, therefore, right in proceeding under Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy Act. The ruling to which I was referred in the course of arguments, namely, that of Rikhai Rai v. Sheo Pujan Singh 33 A. 15 : 7 Ind. Cas. 97 : 7 A.L.J. has no application to the present case, inasmuch as the position ultimately taken by these defendants who are now appellants before me was that their possession over the lands in suit was not merely that of tenants, but that of tenants holding from the plaintiffs. The fact that they stated that their contract of tenancy was originally entered into with certain other persons cannot be regarded as in any way qualifying their express admission that the plaintiffs are proprietors of the plots in suit or their further plea that they had been paying rent to the plaintiffs since the death of the ladies who are alleged to be the original lessors. The case having, therefore, duly and in accordance with law been referred to the Revenue Court, the Civil Court was bound to dispose of this suit in accordance with the final decision of the Revenue Courts. That decision was duly arrived at by the ultimate Court of Appeal namely, by the Board of Revenue. It was a decision to the effect that the defendants were not holding the lands in suit as tenants of the plaintiffs but as mere trespassers. Indeed, the decision went farther than this. It expressly proceeded on the ground that the possession of the defendants over the plots in suit was originally that of mortgagees, but it had become unlawful and the possession of the defendants that of mere trespassers from the Month of May 1906 when the mortgage was redeemed. The case coming back before the Munsif of Barsi after this finding, the learned Munsif nevertheless dismissed the plaintiffs' suit, on the ground that he found on the record before him no satisfactory evidence that the plots in suit did in fact appertain to the share mortgaged in the month of March 1886, or formed part of the property then mortgaged. On first appeal, the learned District Judge has held in effect that after the decision of the Revenue Courts it was no longer open to the Civil Court to dismiss the plaintiffs' suit on this ground. It seems to me that in coming before this Court in second appeal, the defendants are virtually trying to practise upon the Courts the very abuse which Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy Act was enacted to meet. They sought to defeat the suit as originally brought on a plea that they held the lands in suit as tenants, arid indeed as occupancy-tenant. They were very properly told that, if this was their case, they must establish their right before the Revenue Courts. Having gone to the Revenue Courts and failed to establish the right which they] then set up, they now come back to the Civil Court and still endeavour to defeat the plaintiffs' claim and to justify their own possession upon some ground or other, which must necessarily be inconsistent with the plea on which the decision of the Revenue Courts has been against them. It is said in argument before me that the Revenue Courts have assumed the very point in dispute, namely, that the plots now in dispute appertained to the share mortgaged in March 1886. It seems to me this is a matter with which I have nothing to do. It was for these defendants to conduct their case properly before the Revenue Courts and to see that nothing was assumed against them in the absence of proper evidence. I must take it that the plaintiffs laid before the Revenue Courts evidence, which was regarded by those Courts as sufficient to satisfy them that the plots now in dispute were included in the mortgage of March 1886. At any rate, in view of the clear provisions of the second Clause of Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy, Act already referred to, I am satisfied that the defendants are not entitled to come before this Court on a plea that the decision of the highest Court of Appeal on the revenue side was clearly wrong and was only arrived at by assuming against the defendants the very point essentially in dispute. If the appellants now before me have any ckse at all in view of the pleadings embodied in the proceeding of June the 6th, 1908, and of the subsequent decision of the Board of Revenue, it could only be that they obtained possession, in March 1886 (or subsequently) under cover of the mortgage, of more land than was actually included in the said mortgage, and that their possession as trespassers commenced long before the institution of the present suit and has ripened into a good title by adverse possession. This is what I meant by saying just now that the position sought to be taken up by these appellants was an abuse which Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy Act was intended to prevent. Having once taken up the position that they held the land in suit under a contract of tenancy and had acquired occupancy-rights in the same, they were referred to the Revenue Courts in order that they might have an opportunity to prove their case. They failed to prove it before those Courts and on coming back to the Civil Court, they desired to take up a position which is possible only on the assumption that they are prepared to allege a valid title perfected by adverse possession for more than twelve years.

2. I do not think it is open to them to take up this position after their express admission on June 6th 1908 that the plaintiffs are the proprietors of the land in suit. The appellants are also bound by the provisions of the second Clause of Section 202 of the Agra Tenancy Act, according to which the Civil Court must now dispose of the suit in accordance with the final decision of the Revenue Court of highest appeal. That decision was that these defendants were not in possession as tenants of the plaintiffs, that they had never been in possession as tenants, that their possession over the plot now in suit was originally that of mortgagees and became that of trespassers in the month of May 1906. Determining the suit in accordance with the final decision of the Revenue Courts, the learned District Judge on the pleadings before him had no option bat to decree the plaintiffs' claim as he has done. I dismiss the appeal with costs including fees on the higher scale.


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