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Sital Prasad Vs. Lal Bahadur and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1915All382; 31Ind.Cas.902
AppellantSital Prasad
RespondentLal Bahadur and anr.
Excerpt:
civil procedure code (act v of 1908), order xxiii, rule 3 - petition filed in mutation case as to adjustment of dispute--registration, if necessary--evidence--petition admissibility of--registration act (xvi of 1908), section 17. - - in the present case we think that the petition of the 23rd of october 1913, was produced in the court below merely for the purpose of showing that this very suit had been adjusted by the parties out of court this is clearly shown by the petition which the plaintiff filed in the civil court setting forth that there had been an adjustment. the words of the present order seem to indicate that the legislature has thought well to adopt the practice prevailing in the other courts and that the court must now enquire whether or not there has been an adjustment out..........for mutation and the opposition thereto, were based on exactly the same considerations as in the civil suit. on the 23rd of october 1913, a petition was presented in the revenue matter signed by lal bahadur (plaintiff) and sital prasad (the contending defendant). this petition set forth that the revenue matter had been compromised in the manner set forth in the petition. the petition goes on to say that lal bahadur and govind prasad had agreed to recognise that sital prasad had a right to three-fourths of the property in dispute as sapinda to raja lal and munna lal. the revenue court acted on the petition and made entries accordingly. on the 21st of november 1913, the plaintiff presented a petition to the learned judge before whom the present suit was pending, stating that the suit had.....
Judgment:

1. This appeal arises out of a suit in which one Lala Lal Bahadur claimed a declaration of his title to certain property which originally belonged to three brothers, Raja Lai, Ambika Prasad and Munna Lal. The plaintiff's claim was that he was the daughter's son of one Bhawani Sahai, the paternal grandfather of the three persons we have named. It appears that while this suit was pending, there were also pending in the Revenue Court proceedings for mutation of names. The application for mutation and the opposition thereto, were based on exactly the same considerations as in the civil suit. On the 23rd of October 1913, a petition was presented in the revenue matter signed by Lal Bahadur (plaintiff) and Sital Prasad (the contending defendant). This petition set forth that the revenue matter had been compromised in the manner set forth in the petition. The petition goes on to say that Lal Bahadur and Govind Prasad had agreed to recognise that Sital Prasad had a right to three-fourths of the property in dispute as sapinda to Raja Lal and Munna Lal. The Revenue Court acted on the petition and made entries accordingly. On the 21st of November 1913, the plaintiff presented a petition to the learned Judge before whom the present suit was pending, stating that the suit had been compromised and asking that a decree should he made under Order XXIII, Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. He brought on to the file, the petition of the 23rd of October 1913, to which we have referred above. The defendant did not deny that he had joined in the petition, but said that he had done so as the result of fraud and undue influence. The Court below held that there was no fraud or undue influence and made a decree in the terms of the alleged adjustment.

2. In the present appeal, it is urged that the petition not being registered, was inadmissible having regard to the provision of Section 17 of the Registration Act, XVI of 1908. The respondent contends that the petition to the Revenue Court was not a document that required registration and that it was admissible to prove that an adjustment of the civil suit had been made by the parties out of Court and that in the absence of fraud, it demonstrated that there had been an adjustment. From time to time, the admissibility of such petitions as evidence in subsequent proceedings in the Civil Courts, has been raised and there is undoubtedly some conflict of authority. Section 17 of the Registration Act (Clause 6) provides that 'non-testamentary instruments which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish any right, title or interest of the value of Rs. 100 and upwards to or in immoveable property' must be registered. It has been argued that these petitions are instruments requiring registration within the meaning of the section. Inmost, if not in all, of the oases heretofore decided in which the question has arisen, the petition was presented to the Revenue Court long before the Civil Court proceedings were instituted. It may perhaps fairly be said that in some of these cases, the party producing the petition of compromise, was attempting to use it for the purpose of showing that some right in immoveable property had either been created, declared, assigned, limited or extinguished'. If in the present case, the respondent was seeking to use the petition to show that a right in immoveable property had been created, declared, assigned, limited or extinguished,' it might have been urged with great force that if the document purported or operated' to do any one or more of these things, it was inadmissible for want of registration and that if it did not so purport or operate' it was inadmissible as irrelevant. In the present case we think that the petition of the 23rd of October 1913, was produced in the Court below merely for the purpose of showing that this very suit had been adjusted by the parties out of Court This is clearly shown by the petition which the plaintiff filed in the Civil Court setting forth that there had been an adjustment. The petition of the 23rd of October, does not on the face of it purport to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish any right.' It was merely a request to the Revenue Court to effect mutation of names in accordance with an agreement come to between the parties. The petition does not on the face of it even purport to be the agreement between the parties. It is simply a petition addressed to the Court. Order XXIII, Rule 3, provides that where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court that a suit has been adjusted wholly or in part by any lawful agreement or compromise, the Court shall order such compromise to be recorded and shall pass a decree in accordance therewith so far as it relates to the suit. Prior to the passing of the present Code, it had been the practice of this Court not to act under the corresponding Section 375 of the old Code, unless the parties were actually agreed that an adjustment had been made when the Court was asked to act. The other High Courts on the contrary had taken the view that it was open to one of the parties to prove the adjustment even when the other party denied it. The words of the present Order seem to indicate that the Legislature has thought well to adopt the practice prevailing in the other Courts and that the Court must now enquire whether or not there has been an adjustment out of Court. There was nothing to prevent the parties to the present suit coming to an oral agreement of adjustment. The only transactions relating to immoveable property which require to be made in writing are those specified in the Transfer of Property Act. If the parties had presented to the Civil Court a petition in the same terms as that presented to the Revenue Court, the Civil Court would undoubtedly have received it and acted upon it. We do not think that anyone could have contended that such a petition required registration Suppose that both parties had signed such a petition and that on the strength of it the respondent had asked the Court to act under Order XXIII, Rule 3, suppose further that the applicant had opposed the Court so acting on the ground that he had been induced to sign the petition by fraud and that the Court had found that there was no fraud, we think it clear that the Court would have been bound to make a decree in terms of the adjustment and that the applicant could not have successfully contended that the signed petition was inadmissible for want of registration. We think that the petition (which both parties signed) to the Revenue Court was in the circumstances of the case admissible as evidence that the present suit had been adjusted out' of Court. The significance to be attached to the evidence is of course another matter. In the present case when we consider that the mutation proceedings and the Civil Court suit were going on simultaneously and that it was exactly the same dispute, it is clear that the present suit was adjusted. It is quite clear that the petition in the revenue matter was made in pursuance of the agreement to adjust the dispute pending between the parties. In the natural course of events if Sital Prasad had kept good faith, he would have joined in a petition to the Civil Judge couched in exactly the same terms as the petition he had joined in, to the Revenue Court. We think that the Court below was justified in coming to the conclusion that the parties had adjusted the suit out of Court, and that being so, it was the duty of the learned Judge to make the decree in terms of that adjustment. We see no reason to differ from the view taken by the Court below on the question of undue influence and fraud, nor was it seriously urged that we should do so. We dismiss the appeal with costs including in this, Court fees on the higher scale. The decree will not issue until the deficiency is made good by the plaintiff-respondent.


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