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Laiq Singh Vs. Jagdish Singh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927All62
AppellantLaiq Singh
RespondentJagdish Singh and anr.
Excerpt:
.....to the testimony of one witness or a class of witnesses or failed to perceive facts which weakened or destroyed the weight of the evidence of one or more witnesses. this may increase the burden upon an appellant but it is the only safe course to..........this was a suit brought by laiq singh against one jagdish singh and mt. gori dulahin, widow of one hamir singh. the points that had to be decided in the case were mainly whether one hamir singh had been adopted by baldeo singh, but the most important question of all was whether on the 4th november 1919 hamir singh in his last illness bad made a will in favour of jagdish singh. the will bears the date, 4th november 1.919, and in the plaint it was definitely stated that the will was a forgery, and that was the issue on which this matter was fought out. the evidence was very conflicting. there has been printed evidence in support of the theory that hamir singh was so ill for five or possibly more days before his death that he was not in a physical or mental condition in which to make a.....
Judgment:

Mears, C.J.

1. This was a suit brought by Laiq Singh against one Jagdish Singh and Mt. Gori Dulahin, widow of one Hamir Singh. The points that had to be decided in the case were mainly whether one Hamir Singh had been adopted by Baldeo Singh, but the most important question of all was whether on the 4th November 1919 Hamir Singh in his last illness bad made a Will in favour of Jagdish Singh. The Will bears the date, 4th November 1.919, and in the plaint it was definitely stated that the Will was a forgery, and that was the issue on which this matter was fought out. The evidence was very conflicting. There has been printed evidence in support of the theory that Hamir Singh was so ill for five or possibly more days before his death that he was not in a physical or mental condition in which to make a Will. There has been printed the evidence of the vaid, Munnu Lal, who attended him and the evidence of three or four witnesses who were round his bedside, and they all concur in saying that for four or five days before his death Hamir Singh was unconscious, was wandering in his mind and certainly unable to understand the text of a Will or to make his signature, and that in fact they were so much around him throughout the time that in fact no Will was ever presented to him. Now the learned Subordinate Judge had before him evidence of an entirely opposed character. He says:

The defendant Jagdish and no less than five witnesses, Ram Dayal, Ram Nath, Sevak Ram, Ratan Singh and Ram Bharose depose to the effect, that Hamir Singh executed the will and signed and thumb-marked it in the presence of the witnesses and that Hamir Singh was in his proper senses.

2. The Judge also refers to the evidence of Avadh Behari Lal who said that Hamir Singh made part of his signature in a peculiar manner and he recognized that signature upon the Will, and in the result the learned Subordinate Judge, balancing these two completely antagonistic stories, came to the conclusion as a matter of fact, that the Will was a genuine document executed in the manner that Jagdish Prasad and the five other witnesses had deposed to.

3. Laiq Singh appears in appeal, and he can only succeed by over setting the finding of fact of the learned Subordinate Judge who, on an examination of the evidence, has come to the conclusion that the document is a genuine document. Laiq Singh has put before this Court some portions of the paper-book but he has not printed the evidence of any of these witnesses whose testimony it is essential for him to get out of the way before he can succeed. The consequence is that Dr. Vaish, who appears on behalf of the appellant, has no material before him which he can present to us by way of criticism of the Judge's finding. He has told us that it is the practice for the appellant to point only those papers 'on which he proposes to rely' and for the respondent to do the same. It may be that by a happy chance the paper-book under those circumstances may, in some instances be relatively complete, but we take entire exception to this statement, of the practice and if it is a practice which in fact exists, it should be altered. What is the obvious duty of an appellant who has to get rid of a judgment against him? He will of course print evidence and documents in his favour but equally he must print evidence and documents which tell against him if it is going to be a part of his case that the lower Court misdirected itself. As regards witnesses, it may be that the appellant thinks the Judge went wrong on a balance of testimony. It may be that he gave undue weight to the testimony of one witness or a class of witnesses or failed to perceive facts which weakened or destroyed the weight of the evidence of one or more witnesses. As regards documents, he may in the appellant's view have put a wrong construction upon a document which, though in terms favourable to the respondent, may yet be open to criticism by an appellant. Of course an appellant may 'chance' it and may, if he likes to take the risk, omit documents which he thinks the respondent is certain to print. If he does so, then he may find himself in the position of the present appellant who in the absence of the evidence of the witnesses relied upon by the Judge is unable to advance any argument to satisfy us that the decision of the Judge was wrong.

4. We think it extremely desirable that appellants, in considering what are the papers to be printed, must remember that there is no rule which says that the appellant is to print papers on which he relies in the sense that he need only print papers in his favour. The appellant must print all the papers which he desires to use either by way of building up his case or by criticism destroying the case of the other side, that is, every document on which he can base any argument to show that his appeal should succeed. This may increase the burden upon an appellant but it is the only safe course to pursue. We have discussed this matter at some length in order that there may be no question as to what is the duty of an appellant in these circumstances. The result is that this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.


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