1. This is appeal against a judgment and decree passed by Mr. Mohindar Singh, Senior Subordinate Judge, affirming the decree of the trial Court holding that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the present suit.
2. The plaintiffs were the occupancy tenants under the defendants who are landlords. On the 13th of December, 1945, the landlords brought a suit in a revenue Court for ejectment of the tenants under Section 39 of the Punjab Tenancy Act a suit which was entertainable exclusively by a revenue Court. The following issues were raised in that case.
'1. Whether the land in suit is not land as denned in the Tenancy Act and therefore the suit is not cognizable by this Court? Onus on defendants.
2. Whether the buildings on the land were for purposes subservient to agriculture? Onus on defendants.
3. Whether the suit was in time? Onus on plaintiffs.
4. Whether the defendants in case of ejectment were entitled to any compensation for improvement and if so, how much? On defendants.6. Relief.'
3. The Assistant Collector held that the land in dispute was 'land' as defined in the Tenancy Act. The buildings on the land were not for purposes subservient to agriculture and therefore the plea of the defendants that the buildings had been raised for this purpose was rejected. On these grounds he ordered the ejectment of the tenants on the 22nd of January, 1946.
4. On the 22nd of April, 1846, the tenants brought a suit in a Civil Court for declaration that the decree for ejectment in respect of occupancy rights passed by the Assistant Collector was without jurisdiction and was not therefore binding and for a consequential relief that the defendants could not eject them in execution of their decree. The trial Court held that the order passed by the Assistant Collector was not without jurisdiction and that the land in dispute was 'land' as defined in the Punjab Tenancy Act, and he therefore dismissed the suit. An appeal was taken to the Senior Subordinate Judge who upheld the decree of the trial Court holding that the Assistant Collector had the jurisdiction to pass the order that he did pass.
5. Counsel submits that the suit was not cognizable by the revenue Court as the land in dispute was not 'land' as defined in the Punjab Tenancy Act. The definition given in that Act is as follows:
'4 (1) 'land' means land which is not occupied as the site of any building in a town or village and is occupied or has been let for agricultural purposes subservient to agriculture, or for pasture, and includes the sites of buildings and other structures on such land'.
6. Section 39 prescribes the grounds for ejectment of occupancy tenants and one of the grounds given there is in Sub-clause (a), and which is:
'39(a) that he has used the land comprised in the tenancy in a manner which renders it unfit for the purposes for which he held it;'
7. Under Section 77(3)(e) of the Punjab Tenancy Act suits by a landlord to eject a tenant are exclusively triable by a revenue Court.
8. In the revenue Court, as I have said above, one of the points raised was whether the land in dispute was 'land' within the meaning of Section 4(1) of the Punjab Tenancy Act, and it was held that it was. A suit for ejectment on the ground of perversion of user is exclusively triable by a revenue Court. It was tried by a revenue Court and a decision was given against the occupancy tenants. This cannot be challenged in a Civil Court because the jurisdiction to decide whether the land in that suit was land to which Sections 39 and 77 applied was of the Assistant Collector, it has been held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in a case under the Bihar Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act that the Act has entrusted the Controller with a jurisdiction which includes the jurisdiction to determine whether there is non-payment of rent or not, as well as the jurisdiction, on finding that there is non-payment of rent, to order eviction of a tenant and therefore even if the Controller wrongly decides the question of non-payment of rent and orders eviction of the tenant his order cannot be questioned in a Civil Court: 'Brij Raj Krishna v. S. K. Shaw & Bros.', AIR (38) 1951 SC 115. Their Lordships have there approved of the observations of Lord Esher, M. R. in 'The Queen v. Commissioner For Special Purposes of The Income-Tax', (1888) 21 Q B D 313 at p. 319, and also the observations of Sir James Colville in 'Colonial Bank of Australasia v. Willan', (1874) LR 5 PC 417 at p. 443, where his Lordship said:
'Accordingly, the authorities..... .establish thatan adjudication by a Judge having Jurisdiction over the subject-matter is, if no defects appear on the face of it, to be taken as conclusive of the facts stated therein; and that the Court of Queen's Bench will not on certiorari quash an adjudication on the ground that any such fact, however, essential, has been erroneously found.'
This Court in 'U. C. Rekhi v. Income-Tax Officer 1st 'F' Ward, New Delhi', 52 Pun LR 267, followed the same rule.
9. The Assistant Collector had the jurisdiction to decide this matter as the Punjab Tenancy Act gave him the exclusive jurisdiction to order ejectment. In my opinion, the Assistant Collector's decision is a bar to the Jurisdiction of the Civil Court. I therefore dismiss the appeal with costs throughout.
10. Leave to appeal under the Letters Patent is refused.