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Nidhai Vs. Bidesi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in15Ind.Cas.741
AppellantNidhai
RespondentBidesi
Cases ReferredRustam Alt Khan v. Gaura
Excerpt:
.....in mutation proceeding affecting immoveable property of value less than 100 rupees--whether admissible in evidence without registration--whether it confers title. - - the learned district judge sent for the record of the mutation proceedings and satisfied himself that 6th order of the revenue court was passed in accordance with the terms of the petition of compromise. it was of opinion that the petition of compromise of march 16, 1909, was admissible in evidence, and held that on the evidence, as a whole, the plaintiff had made out a good case in favour of his claim to possess, by right of inheritance, some share of interest in the fixed-rate tenancy in question. it further held that this right on the part of the plaintiff to an undivided share in the holding had become, by virtue..........doubtful claim, and this in respect of immoveable property of a value not exceeding rs. 100. this claim nidhai settled by putting bidesi into actual possession of two plots of land and calling upon the revenue court to take note of the fact that he had done so and to make the necessary entries in its papers accordingly. i am not satisfied that such transaction in the case of immoveable property of a value less than rs. 100, would require a registered instrument in order to give it legal validity., holding this view, i think the learned district judge was substantially right in declining to go into the question of the validity of bidesi's claim by right of inheritance, independently of the settlement effected under the compromise of march 16th, 1909. i accordingly dismiss this appeal.....
Judgment:

Piggott, J.

1. In this case, the plaintiff Bidesi, sued to recover possession of two plots of land, forming part of a fixed-rate tenancy and with a total area of 1 bigha, 5 biswas. His plaint appears to admit that the land in dispute formed part of a larger holding with a total area of 4 bighas, 8 biswas, which had formerly stood in the name of Sheopal, father of the defendant Nidhai. The plaintiff says, in the first place, that he is a son of Jangi, brother of Sheopal, and that in Sheopal's life time, the entire holding belonged to, and was cultivated by, all members of the family jointly. On the death of Sheopal, it is quite clear that there was a dispute between the parties which took the form of a contested application for mutation of names before a Revenue Court. This dispute was settled by a compromise, dated March 16th, 1909, to which the plaintiff Bidesi, and the defendant Nidhai, were parties. The petition of compromise is somewhat curiously worded, and contains certain recitals of fact for which apparently Nidhai alone is responsible and other recitals of fact in which both parties purported to join. The gist of the petition, however, is quite clear. The parties agreed to divide the holding between them, Bidesi is to take the two plots now in dispute with an area of 1 bigha, 5 biswas, and Nidhai is to take the remaining 3 bighas, 3 biswas of the holding. Bach is to be separately liable for the rent of the portion of the holding assigned to him. The learned District Judge sent for the record of the mutation proceedings and satisfied himself that 6th order of the Revenue Court was passed in accordance with the terms of the petition of compromise. There is, therefore, a fair presumption that the terms of the compromise were for the time being actually carried into effect. The written statement tiled by the defendant Nidhai is somewhat cautiously worded. He does not deny the relationship claimed by the plaintiff, and must be taken to have admitted it. He states, however, that the plaintiff and his father were altogether separate from the defendant and Sheopal, and that the former never had anything to do with any portion of the fixed-rate holding. As regards the compromise filed in the Revenue Court, he will not admit that there was any compromise on the terms alleged by the plaintiff and in fact pleads that the petition of compromise relied on by the latter is inadmissible in evidence for want of registration but he does admit that there was an agreement between the parties as to the division of the holding. He says that what the parties agreed to was that in the month of Jeth 1317 Fasli, which would correspond with the month of June 1910, the plaintiff was to pay the defendant Rs. 140 and thereupon the defendant would 'in consideration of the plaintiff's near relationship' put him in possession of the two plots of land now in dispute. The Court of first instance seems to have tried the case very carefully. It was of opinion that the petition of compromise of March 16, 1909, was admissible in evidence, and held that on the evidence, as a whole, the plaintiff had made out a good case in favour of his claim to possess, by right of inheritance, some share of interest in the fixed-rate tenancy in question. It further held that this right on the part of the plaintiff to an undivided share in the holding had become, by virtue of the petition of compromise and the actual settlement thereby effected and endorsed by the order of the Revenue Court, a right to the separate possession of the two plots of land now in suit. It accordingly decreed the plaintiff's claim in full. Before the learned District Judge on appeal, the point principally argued was the admissiblity in evidence of the petiton of compromise of March 16th, 1909. Now, I have no doubt that the record of the entire proceeding before the Revenue Court, including the pleadings of the parties, the petition of compromise and the order of the Court, were admissible in evidence as matters bearing upon the various issues in the case. The plaintiff was, undoubtedly, entitled to prove that he had set up a claim to a share in the fixed-rate holding on the death of Sheopal, that this claim had been brought to the notice of, and contested by, the defendant Nidhai, but that in the result Nidhai had entered into an agreement in consequence of which a portion of the holding had passed into the actual possession of the plaintiff. The decision of their Lordships of the Privy Council in Bindesri Naik v. Ganga Saran Sahu 20 A. 171 : 25 I.A. 9 : 2 C.W.N. 129 is sufficient authority for the proposition that a petition of this sort should not be excluded altogether from evidence by reason of the provisions of the Indian Registration Act. There remains, however, the further question of the legal effect of a compromise of this sort taken in connection with the order of the Revenue Court on the same. The whole question was considered by a Bench of this Court, of which 1 was a member, in Rustam Alt Khan v. Gaura 8 A.L.J. 918 : 12 Ind. Cas. 109 : 33 A. 728, where a number of rulings on the point are referred to. The Court had to deal' in that case with a petition of compromise presented before a Revenue Court whksh admittedly purported to deal with immove-able property of a value exceeding Rs. 100. It was there pointed out that such a petition of compromise might be relevant fact in the case, and might be admitted in evidence, but yet might be incapable of operating as a document of title so as to transfer title to immovable property of a value exceeding Rs. 100 from one person to another. I am still of the same opinion but it seems to me that the circumstances of the present case are distinguishable. What the plaintiff, Bidesi, actually got under this compromise of March 16th, 1909, was possession over immoveable property, viz., two small plots of land of a value apparently not exceeding Rs, 100. The plaintiff valued the property in dispute at Rs. 40 and this valuation was not contested by the defendant but was adopted by him in his memorandum of appeal to the District Judge. It seems to me that, under the circumstances of this case, the entire transaction comprised in the presentation of the petition of compromise, the order thereon by the Revenue Court, and the transfer of possession in accordance with the same, should be regarded as sufficient to confer upon the plaintiff, Bidesi, a title which the defendant cannot now call in question. I take it that Bidesi held as against Nidhai what amounted, at any rate, to a doubtful claim, and this in respect of immoveable property of a value not exceeding Rs. 100. This claim Nidhai settled by putting Bidesi into actual possession of two plots of land and calling upon the Revenue Court to take note of the fact that he had done so and to make the necessary entries in its papers accordingly. I am not satisfied that such transaction in the case of immoveable property of a value less than Rs. 100, would require a registered instrument in order to give it legal validity., Holding this view, I think the learned District Judge was substantially right in declining to go into the question of the validity of Bidesi's claim by right of inheritance, independently of the settlement effected under the compromise of March 16th, 1909. I accordingly dismiss this appeal with costs.


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