1. These two appeals arise out of a dispute between the riparian owners of villages situated on opposite banks of the river Rapti. Appeal No. 1025 is between the owners of the village of Shergarh and those of the village of Domingarh,and appeal No. 1062 is between the owners of the village of Haraiya on the one side and the owners of the villages of Domingarh and Bahrampur on the other. But no contest now remains between the owners of the village of Haraiya and those of Bahrampur because they compromised the matter in the lower Court. The findings of fact in this case are that up to the year 1300 Fasli the plaintiffs-appellants were in possession of the disputed plots which then lay on the south-west side of the river.
2. From the year 1300 to the year 1323 Fasli the land came by gradual accretion into the possession of the owners of the village of Domingarh on the north-east side, of the river. In the year 1324 Fasli by a sudden change of the channel of the river the land was restored to the south-western side, namely, its original position in the villages belonging to the plaintiffs-appellants. There is also a finding that no claim of adverse possession has been established on behalf of the respondents and a further finding that the custom of Dhar Dhura is not proved to exist in connexion with these villages. On these findings the lower Courts have come to the conclusion that the land came into the possession of the defendants-respondents by gradual accretion and so became their property, and that they have not lost the land by the sudden change of the river in 1324 and they are, therefore, still the owners. The lower Courts believe that their finding is in accordance with Section 4 of Regulation 11 of 1825, but on this point we are not prepared to agree with the decision. Under the terms' of that Regulation land which gradually accedes to another estate becomes annexed to it. That is the general principle. An exception is made in the case where a river by a sudden change of its course breaks through and intersects an estate without any gradual encroachment and joins with another estate without destroying its identity. It appears to us that the Courts below have read so far only and they have not considered what actually happens in the case of a sudden accretion of this nature, The rule goes on to say 'In such cases the land on being clearly recognized shall remain the property of its original owner.' In the present case the original owners are undoubtedly the plaintiffs-appellants. That is a finding of fact which cannot now be assailed. There is nothing in the Regulation which lays down what is to happen in a case where land is taken away by the river gradually and restored suddenly. In our opinion the clause which we have quoted above will still apply in such a case and the land will go back to the original owner. We consider this is the legal as well as the equitable view to be taken in a case such as this. We, therefore, allow these appeals with costs but in the case of Appeal No. 1062 the compromise will have effect.