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Lachmi Bai and anr. Vs. Bankey Lal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in18Ind.Cas.463
AppellantLachmi Bai and anr.
RespondentBankey Lal and ors.
Excerpt:
limitation - declaratory suit--time from which limitation runs--pleadings--notice of mistake--plea of adverse possession. - - the settlement was made in 1896 and the entries complained of were made about that time. 675. on the reported decisions of this court, i should be obliged to hold that a claim for a declaration of title must be made within six years of the date on which the entries complained of were brought to the notice of the plaintiffs, but in the present case, the question when the entries came to the notice of the plaintiffs has not been tried and this appears to me to be the fault of the defendants, who persistently pleaded that they had been in adverse possession for more than 12 years......as did not appear to have been in the adverse possession of the defendants for more than 12 years. the defendants appealed. their appeal was successful as to some plots but was dismissed with regard to four plots. the only point taken in second appeal is that the suit was barred by the six years' rule. the district judge finds that the possession of the plaintiffs over the four plots in respect of which he dismissed the defendants' appeal has not been disturbed and the plaintiffs-respondents before me cannot but concede that on that finding the plaintiffs should have been given a declaration of title in respect of these plots and not a decree for possession. the question is whether a claim for a declaration is within time. the settlement was made in 1896 and the entries complained.....
Judgment:

Chamier, J.

1. This was a suit for possession of several plots of land. The plaintiffs' case was that at the last Settlement, the plots in question were by mistake included in the defendants' village Surkha, and were recorded accordingly, bat as a matter of fact they lay within the plaintiffs' village, Saidpur. In paragraph 12 of their plaint, the plaintiffs said that the entries in the Settlement papers were calculated to damage them, although their actual possession had not been disturbed, but they went on to say that the erroneous entries amounted to the dispossession of the plaintiffs. Hence they claimed a decree for possession. The defendants denied that the plaintiffs had been in possession within 12 years of the suit. They also pleaded that the suit was barred by six years' limitation. The Munsif, dealing with the question of limitation, said that it had not been shown how the six years' rule could be applied to the suit and he gave the plaintiffs a decree for possession of so much of the land claimed as did not appear to have been in the adverse possession of the defendants for more than 12 years. The defendants appealed. Their appeal was successful as to some plots but was dismissed with regard to four plots. The only point taken in second appeal is that the suit was barred by the six years' rule. The District Judge finds that the possession of the plaintiffs over the four plots in respect of which he dismissed the defendants' appeal has not been disturbed and the plaintiffs-respondents before me cannot but concede that on that finding the plaintiffs should have been given a declaration of title in respect of these plots and not a decree for possession. The question is whether a claim for a declaration is within time. The Settlement Was made in 1896 and the entries complained of were made about that time. The exact data is immaterial, but it is clear that they were made more than six years before the suit. The appellants rely on Francis Legge v. Rambaran Singh 20 A. 35 and Akbar Khan v. Turaban 31 A. 9; 5 A.L.J. 637; A.W.N. (1908) 252; 4 M.L.T. 444; 1 Ind. Cas. 557. The respondents rely on other cases in which they say that somewhat different view is taken. Several of the cases relied on by the parties have been referred to in the case of Sheopher Singh v. Deo Narain Singh 10 A.L.J. 413; 17 Ind. Cas. 675. On the reported decisions of this Court, I should be obliged to hold that a claim for a declaration of title must be made within six years of the date on which the entries complained of were brought to the notice of the plaintiffs, but in the present case, the question when the entries came to the notice of the plaintiffs has not been tried and this appears to me to be the fault of the defendants, who persistently pleaded that they had been in adverse possession for more than 12 years. The plaintiffs did not admit in their plaint, that they became aware of the mistake more than six years before the suit and it is not suggested that the entries were made in their presence. I must decline to send this case back in orders that the defendants may have an opportunity of proving that the plaintiffs became aware of the entries more than six years before the suit. Parties should make their cases complete in the Court of first instance. On the record as it stands, I cannot hold that the suit is barred by the six years' rule of limitation. But in lieu of the decree for possession of the four plots or parts of the plots, I make a declaration of the plaintiffs' title to the land. In other respects, the appeal is dismissed. I make no order as to costs.

2. The cross-objections under Order XLI, Rule 22 are not pressed. They are also dismissed without costs.


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