1. The plaintiff bought a house from Chhedi Lal and Bachcha Lal. Mubin is in possession of a room of that house. He refused to recognise the plaintiff's title to the house on the ground that he was holding the room from Bachcha Lal and that Bachcha Lal was a minor at the time the deed of sale was executed. The Trial Court held that the burden of proof to show that Bachcha Lal was not a minor at the time that the deed of sale was executed was on the plaintiff, and that as he produced no evidence, his suit for the ejectment of Mubin mast fail. The lower Appellate Court found that the burden of proof was on Mubin and that as his evidence to prove that Bachcha. Lal was a minor was insuffisient to satisfy the Court, the suit must succeed. Bachcha Lal appeals here.
2. I do not accept the view of either of the Courts below. The law on the subject is laid down clearly in Gaya Din v. Dulari 2 Ind, Cas. 839 : 6 A. L. J. 693. When the validity of a contract is questioned on the ground that the executant is a minor, it is for the plaintiff to establish by prima facie evidence that the contract was valid and entered into by a person who was competent to do so. The Trial Court is quite right upon that point; bat, where the Trial Court went astray was in saying that the plaintiff had produced no evidence. According to the entry in the deed of gale, Bachcha Lal had himself admitted at the time of the execution of the deed that he had just attained majority, He said that he had been a minor under a guardian appointed by the Court but that he had attained majority; he executed the deed himself. As was decided in Gaya Din v. Dulari 2 Ind, Cas. 839 : 6 A. L. J. 693, such evidence is sufficient paima facie evidence to establish Bschcha Lal's majority at the time that the deed was executed. It has been brought to ray notice that in the case of Kanhiya Lal v. Girdhari Lal 13 Ind. Can. 956 : 9 A. L. J. 103, it was held that a statement made by a defendant not in the document, the subject of. suit, but in a separate proceeding, that on a certain date he wag of a certain age, was not sufficient to shift the burden of proof. Bat the decision in that case does not go in any way against my view. The weight of the evidence will be different in every case. Here I find that the distinct admission of Bachaha Lal at the time that he executed the deed that he was major at that time, is sufficient prima facie evidence of his majority. Against this is the evidence which he called to prove his minority. That evidence the learned District Judge finds to be unconvincing and insufficient. I agree with the learned District Judge upon that point. The case then stands as follows:---It is proved that Bachaha Lal was a major at the time of the execution of the deed of sale. The deed of sale is thus a good and valid deed of sale, Mubin can base no claim to occupation of any portion of the house en the authority of Bachcha Lal. The appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed with costs which will include fees on the higher scale.