1. The appellant in both these oases is Musammat Dulari Kunwar, who I is a Zemindar in the village Ganaura. She brought two suits against certain tenant of this village alleging that about a year or a year and a half before the suits were brought, these persons had encroached on her land in the village by putting up building, In short, her case was that these defendants occupied houses in the village and that they bad enlarged them by encroaching upon laid which belonged to her Musammat Dulari Kunwar claimed that, in the circumstances, she was entitled to a decree directing the defendants to demolish these new structures.
2. Both the Courts below have dismissed the plaintiff's suits. They have not believed the evidence which she put forward for the purpose of showing that the buildings demolition of which was sought, had been created shortly before the suits were filed.
3. The Courts also appear to have decided both cases on the consideration that Musammat Dulari had stood by and acquiesced in the construction of these buildings.
4. It has been argued before me that the judgments of the Courts below are erroneous, (sic)inasnueh as the learned District Judge has taken a wrong view of the law relating to acquiescence.
5. It is not enough in eases like these for the defendants to show that the plaintiff landlord stood aside and allowed the structures to be erected. One of the essential elements of equitable stopple is that the person who sets up that estoppel must have acted in good faith and must have been under the belief that he had a right to put up the buildings. In cases like the present where there can be no doubt that the plaintiff is the Zemindar of the village and the defendants are tenants, it cannot, I think be said that the defendants fulfil the condition above required. It would not be possible for a tenant to put forward the plea that he erected buildings on land belonging to his Zemindar in the belief that the land was his own and that he had a right to erect buildings thereon. If the decision of these eases rested solely upon the ground of equitable estoppel the learned District Judge could not, I think, be supported. However, I have gone into the evidense in the case and the situation appears to me to be as follows:---Both the Courts below have definitely found that the statements of the plaintiff's witnesses to the effect that the buildings Complained of were created a year or a year and a half before the suits were brought, are untrue.
2. On the other hand, there is a considerable volume of evidence on behalf of the defend ants which goes to show that, as a matter of fast, these buildings, which the plaintiff now wants to have pulled down, have been in existence for a very long time, and certainly for more than 12 years. It is true that the Courts below have not pronounced any opinion regarding the reliability of the defendants' evidence. It seems to me, however, after having it all read to me, that there is no good reason for discarding it or for supposing that these witnesses are wilfully telling a false story.
3. I must take it, therefore, that the defendant' evidence does establish that these buildings in dispute have been in existence for along period, and certainly for over 12 years. In those circumstances, the plaintiff, although she is the proprietor of the sites on which the houses are built, ought not now to be given a decree for the removal of the houses. It is, I think, sufficient, in the circumstances, to declare that the plaintiff is entitled to be regarded still as the proprietor of the sites en which these houses stand but that she certainly is not entitled to the relief which she claimed, namely, that the houses should be demolished. In this state of things, the order is, that the appeals stand dismissed with costs including in this Court fees on the higher scale.