Daniels and Dalal, JJ.
1. The plaintiffs in this case had been ejected by the defendant by a suit under the Agra Tenancy Act from a certain plot of land as being non-occupancy tenants. The suit against them was decided ex parte. They alleged that notice was not served on them and made an attempt in the revenue court to get the ex parte decree set aside, but the finding was against them and their application was dismissed. They filed the suit out of which this appeal arises in the civil court alleging that the whole proceedings in the revenue court were tainted by fraud of the present defendant, who in collusion with the peon pretended to get notices served on them, whereas in fact no notices were served and the plaintiffs knew this. On this allegation they asked for a declaration that the revenue court decree should be cancelled and that it should be declared that the land in dispute was a grove and possessed by the plaintiffs as grove-holders. The revenue court decree was described as having been fraudulently obtained by the defendant, and on this allegation the case went to trial. The learned Judge of the court below found against the pontiffs that there was no fraud on the part of the defendant. He has nevertheless granted the plaintiffs a declaration that they are grove-holders of the plot in suit, because in his view the revenue court came to a wrong finding on the facts and the plots in dispute were not agricultural land. The learned Judge admits that he has no jurisdiction to cancel a decree for ejectment granted by the revenue court.
2. He has, however, overlooked the fact that the effect of the decree granted by him, so far as it can have any effect at all, is to do indirectly what he admits he cannot do directly and to defeat the result of the decree regularly obtained in the revenue court in a matter which was within that court's jurisdiction. The ejectment suit being before the revenue court, that court had jurisdiction to decide whether the defendants (the plaintiffs in the civil court), were agricultural tenants or not. It decided against them and its decision was, under Section 167 of the Tenancy Act, a bar to any civil suit on the same matter. It has been held more than once, e.g. Ajudhia Puri v. Brij Bhukhan (1919) 17 A.L.J. 922, that a plaintiff cannot by merely changing the form of his relief evade the provisions of Section 167. That case was in many ways similar to the one before us. The plaintiff had been held by the revenue court as a tenant of the defendants. He then came to the civil courts for a declaration that he was not a tenant, but a muafidar. It was hjsld that the civil court had no jurisdiction. Substitute 'grove-holders' for 'muafidar' and the case is on all fours with the case before us.
3. In Jagannath v. Balwant Singh (1922) I.L.R. 44 All. 692, this Court went so far as to hold that a suit to question the legality of an adoption was not maintainable in the civil court where the sole object was to affect a question between tenant and landlord which was cognizable solely by the revenue court. On this view we consider that the decree of the court below is wrong and we accordingly allow the appeal and dismiss the suit with costs in all courts.