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Abhay Chand Ram Chand Vs. Ram Chand Wazir Chand and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Property
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 543 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1966P& H526
ActsSpecific Relief Act, 1877 - Sections 42; Punjab Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1953 - Sections 4(3); Specific Relief Act - Sections 42
AppellantAbhay Chand Ram Chand
RespondentRam Chand Wazir Chand and ors.
Appellant Advocate K.C. Nayar, Adv.
Respondent Advocate D.N. Aggarwal, Adv.
DispositionRevision allowed
Cases Referred and Sheoparsan Singh v. Ramnandan Prasad Narayan Singh
Excerpt:
.....85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply communication of a copy of the written order itself, a party who knows about the making of an order cannot ignore the same and allow grass to grow under its feet and do nothing except waiting for a formal communication of the order or to choose a tenuous plea that even though he knew about the order, he was waiting for its formal communication to seek redress against the same in appeal. if a party does not know about the making of the order either actually or constructively it may claim that the period of limitation would start..........section 4 of the act, i am disposed to the view that in this case under section 42 of the specific relief act a suit for declaration alone by the applicant is competent, for what is said to be consequential relief that will be sought by him under sub-section (3) of section 4 of the act from the collector. the learned counsel for respondent 1 refers to mt. deokali koer v. kedar nath, (1912) 1lr 39 cal 704, and sheoparsan singh v. ramnandan prasad narayan singh, air 1916 pc 78, that before the applicant can maintain a suit under section 42 of the specific relief act, he must claim some status or legal character or title to property. but that is exactly what he is doing in this case. the applicant is claiming title to property, that is to say, his share in the compensation amount lying with.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Mehar Singh, J.

1. The applicant Abhay Chand is the son of Ram Chand, respondent No. 1, who was the landlord of respondents 2 to 100, the last-mentioned respondents were holding occupancy tenancy rights in the land under respondent 1 as the landlord. The Punjab Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1953 (Punjab Act 8 of 1953), hereinafter to be referred as 'the Act,' abolished occupancy tenancies from June 15, 1952. So respondents 2 to 100 became owners of the occupancy tenancies with them. Under Section 4 of the Act, respondent 1 was left with a claim for compensation.

2. The compensation amount having been determined by the Collector under the provisions of the Act, the same has been deposited by the tenants-respondents. The applicant filed a suit in the Court of a Subordinate Judge at Hoshiarpur for a declaration that he is entitled to half of the amount of compensation. The ground upon which the suit was. based is that the applicant and respondent 1 form a joint Hindu family, that the occupancy tenancies were the property of the joint Hindu family, and that the compensation amount in lieu of the land is also the property of the joint Hindu family. The tenants-respondents have, of course, not been interested in this litigations between the son and the father. The suit was contested by the father, respondent 1.

3. The learned trial Judge has by his order, dated April 14, 1964, which is sought to be revised, directed the applicant to amends his suit to add consequential relief in the shape of a claim for a money decree for half the amount of compensation. It obviously means that the applicant will have to pay court-fee on that amount. The learned trial Judge has been of the opinion that a suit for mere declaration, in the circumstances, is not competent under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act when consequential relief in the shape of a money-decree for half the amount of compensation is available to the applicant. In this respect the learned Judge has relied upon Natesa Ayyar v. Mangalathammal, AIR 1933 Mad 503 (2), in which Walsh J. held that the case of money collected by a Court executing a decree is entirely different from the case of property in the possession of a receiver arid the custody of the Court is entirely on behalf of the decree-holder and there is no other owner. A suit therefore, by the daughter-in-law of the decree-holder for a mere declaration that the money really was the self-acquired property of her husband and not joint family property with decree-holder as manager without asking for? consequential relief of the recovery of the; money from the decree-holder is not maintainable.

4. In this application the contention of the learned counsel for the applicant is that in view of the provisions of Sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act, a dispute with regard to a claim to compensation is to be settled by the Collector in the matter of apportionment and the money is not immediately available to respondent 1, should a dispute arise. So it cannot be said that the Collector holds the amount on behalf of respondent 1 just as an executing Court holds an amount recovered in the execution of a decree for and on behalf of the decree-holder, Sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act says :

' Where there is any dispute as to the person or persons who are entitled to the compensation, the Collector shall decide such dispute and if the Collector finds that more than one person is entitled to compensation, he shall apportion the amount thereof amongst such persons '.

This provision at first glance indicates that such a dispute must go to the Collector alone. But while Section 10 of the Act bars any Court or any officer or authority questioning any proceedings taken or order made under the Act and the orders made are declared to be final, jurisdiction of a civil Court to settle a civil dispute in the shape of a question with regard to the right to property has not been barred, in the circumstances, the applicant can seek a decree from an ordinary civil Court determining his eight to part of the compensation amount. As the apportionment has to be done by the Collector under Sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act, the amount remains with the Collector under the statute until that stage arises, where a dispute with regard to the claim to compensation comes about. The situation is, therefore, not the same as when a Court realises in execution of a decree an amount for and on behalf of the decree-holder. In that case of course it holds the amount on behalf of the decree-holder. As much cannot immediately be said with regard to respondent 1, as dispute in regard to apportionment of the compensation is raised by the applicant, although not yet before the Collector but before a civil Court, so as to obtain declaration of his right to apportionment of that compensation. So that the Madras case does not completely cover the facts of the present case.

As it is, in view of Sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act, I am disposed to the view that in this case under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act a suit for declaration alone by the applicant is competent, for what is said to be consequential relief that will be sought by him under Sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act from the Collector. The learned counsel for respondent 1 refers to Mt. Deokali Koer v. Kedar Nath, (1912) 1LR 39 Cal 704, and Sheoparsan Singh v. Ramnandan Prasad Narayan Singh, AIR 1916 PC 78, that before the applicant can maintain a suit under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act, he must claim some status or legal character or title to property. But that is exactly what he is doing in this case. The applicant is claiming title to property, that is to say, his share in the compensation amount lying with the Collector. So these cases are not helpful to respondent 1. The learned counsel for the applicant refers to In re Chief Inspector of Stamps, U. P., AIR 1961 A11 555. In that case the claim was to compensation due on account of the abolition of Zamindari under a local statute. The amount was with the Compensation Commissioner. The question was whether a suit for declaration for such a claim was competent under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act or whether it was necessary to claim further consequential relief in the shape of a decree for money for the amount in regard to which declaration was sought, and J.D. Sharma J., held that the Compensation Commissioner had no personal interest in such property and he was in the position of a custodian of it. A decree for money obtained would not be binding against him, and it was, therefore, not necessary in the suit to claim consequential relief in the shape of a money decree. There a person, who was entitled under an agreement to half of the property for which compensation was being paid, was a person who had sought declaration that he was entitled to half of the amount. The learned Judge held that the suit for declaration alone was competent under Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act. I respectfully agree with the view of the learned Judge. In this approach, this revision application succeeds, the order of the learned trial Judge is reversed, and he is directed to proceed with the trial of the suit of the plaintiff-applicant according to law. There is no order in regard to costs. The parties, through their counsel, are directed to appear in the trial Court on November, 29, 1965.


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