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Suraj Bhan Kailsh Chand and anr. Vs. Hari Shankar Vashist and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 342 of 1970
Judge
Reported in8(1972)DLT36; 1975RLR574
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 116
AppellantSuraj Bhan Kailsh Chand and anr.
RespondentHari Shankar Vashist and anr.
Advocates: Sultan Singh,; Ramesh Chandra and; Romesh Chander, Advs
Cases ReferredShiba Prasad Singh v. Nilbji Bali
Excerpt:
.....title and that if the plaintiff failed to prove his case, he was to be non-suited and the claim of ramjas college society could not be agitated against his title in the present suit. thereforee the plaintiff has to succeed or fail in his suit on his own allegations and he cannot be called upon to prove his title against a third party, namely ramjas college society i he answer to issue no. it may, however, be noticed that before the application of the said section or doctrine embodied therein is attracted it must be admitted or established that a person is a tenant of the immovable property concerned and the opposite party is the landlord and then he cannot be allowed to dispute the title of the commencement of the tenancy, but he can be allowed to dispute the derivative title of the..........17th april, 1970 by which the learned judge decided issue no. 4 in (be negative and held that ramjas college society was not a necessary party and that the defendants could not lead any evidence to show that the land in dispate vested in the said society and that the defendants were its tenants. (2) the brief facts of the case giving rise to the dispute are that suraj bhan, then a minor, acting through his guardian deep chand, took one shop and one chabutra or open land from the plaintiff on or about 21st august, 1959 on a rent of rs. 221.00 per month and he executed a rent-note on 5th march, 1960 in favor of the plaintiff. the said shop and chabuter which are in his tenancy are not in dispute in the suit, but it is the land which is adjacent to the same which is the subject-matter.....
Judgment:

B.C. Misra, J.

(1) This revision petition under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure has been ffiled by defendants and is directed against the order of the Subordinate Judge 1st Class dated 17th April, 1970 by which the learned Judge decided issue No. 4 in (be negative and held that Ramjas College Society was not a necessary party and that the defendants could not lead any evidence to show that the land in dispate vested in the said Society and that the defendants were its tenants.

(2) The brief facts of the case giving rise to the dispute are that Suraj Bhan, then a minor, acting through his guardian Deep Chand, took one shop and one Chabutra or open land from the plaintiff on or about 21st August, 1959 on a rent of Rs. 221.00 per month and he executed a rent-note on 5th March, 1960 in favor of the plaintiff. The said shop and Chabuter which are in his tenancy are not in dispute in the suit, but it is the land which is adjacent to the same which is the subject-matter of the dispute and the plaintiff had on 9th December, 1968 filed a suit which has given rise to this revision for a permanent injunction directing the defendants to quit the aforesaid land in dispute. The land in dispute was allegedly given to the contesting defendants on license on or about 12th April, I960 under a writing purporting to have been executed by Deep Chand, the execution and validity of which is seriously challenged by the defendants. The plaintiff contends that the whole of the land in dispute is covered by the Chabutra, but without deciding this contention, I shall hereinafter refer to it as the land in dispute. On the other hand, the case of the defendants is that they took from Ramjas College Society the disputed and on rent measuring about 200 Square yards on 18th December, 1961 and another piece of 200 square yards on 26th December 1967at the rate of Rs.40.00 and Rs. 100.00 per month respectivel and the defendants allege that the lend in disput was never given to them by the plaintiff on license and part of the land in dispute is covered by the tenancy of the plaintiff and the ether part is within the tenancy of the Ramjas Coliege Society. In the trial Court, the defendants denied that they had taken the land in dispute on license from the plaintiff and they urged that Ramjas Collage Society was a necessary party which formed the subject-matter of issue No. 4 and the same has been treated as a preliminary issue and negatived by the trial Court and it has been agitated betore me agein.

(3) The learned counsel for the parties Lave taken me through the pleadings of the parties as well a3 the documents on the file of the Court which have not yet been exhibited. The suit of the plaintiff is a simpel one. He has alleged that the land in dispute was given on lease and whether or not he had title to so let it out is irrelevant for the purposes of the suit and the defendants were estopped from challenging his title and that if the plaintiff failed to prove his case, he was to be non-suited and the claim of Ramjas College Society could not be agitated against his title in the present suit. thereforee the plaintiff has to succeed or fail in his suit on his own allegations and he cannot be called upon to prove his title against a third party, namely Ramjas College Society I he answer to issue No. 4 whether Ramjas College Society is a necessary party must, thereforee, be found in the nagative and the learned ccunsel for the defendants petitioners could not successfully challenge the said finding of the trial Court before me. The attack of the learned counsel for the def(r)ndaDts was, however, directed against that part of the impugned order where the learned Judge has held that the defendants were estopped under sections 116 and 117 of the Evidence Act horn challenging the title of the plaintiff and that the evidence which the defendants might desire to produce in respect of the land in dispute belonging to the Ramjas College Society and having been let out by it to the defendants, is not relevant.

(4) I accept the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioners on this part of the case. Section 116 of the Evidence Act which is reproduced in the impugned order of the trial Court lays down that no tenant of immovable property (or person claiming through him) shall, during the continuance of the tenancy, be permitted to deny that the landlord of such tenant had, at the beginning of the tenancy, a title to such immovable property. The aforesaid principle of law is extended to licensors and licensees by section 117 of the Evidence Act. It may, however, be noticed that before the application of the said section or doctrine embodied therein is attracted it must be admitted or established that a person is a tenant of the immovable property concerned and the opposite party is the landlord and then he cannot be allowed to dispute the title of the commencement of the tenancy, but he can be allowed to dispute the derivative title of the landlord as well as that after the commencement of the tenancy he had lost the title which are a well- known exceptions to the principle, but we are not concerned with it at the moment. The controversy raised before me, however, is entirely different. In this case, the relationship of a licensor or licensee is not admitted and there is a very serious dispute about the existence of the alleged licensed premises. Under su:h circumstances, it is legally open to the alleged tenant to deny the fact that the alleged landlord had net inducted him in the land in dispute and there was no relationship of landlord and tenant between them in this respect. In an authority reported as Shiba Prasad Singh v. Nilbji Bali the High Court held as follows:-

'IT is true that once a valid and subsisting lease is established between the parties, the lessee may be bound by the principle of Air 1947 Pat 46. estoppel and may be dehaired from disputing the question of title to the Lesser, tut that does not prevent the allegtd lessee to deny the lease and to deny his own status as a lessee. He is bound by the rule of estoppel only when he acts as a lessee and )n that capacity tries to refute the title of his own Lesser. That well established principle of estoppel as between Lesser and lessee as endacted in section 116. Evidence Act does not prevent any defendant to make out the case that he has never been a lessee, and the lease purporting to make him a lessee was never a valid document and in that behalf, to plead such circumstances as may invalidate the lease or otherwise make it null and void '

Applying the aforesaid dictum, with which I respectfully agree I hold that it is open to the defendant-petitioner to deny the title of the plaintiff-respondent in respect of the land in dispute (which I may again mention is distinct from the premises admittedly let out on rent which are, as mentioned above not in dispute in the suit in the Court below and section - 116 does not stand in their way. It follows that the question at issue is whether the land in dispute was given on license to the defendants by the plaintiff as alleged by him and the plaintiff will lead evidence on the point. In answer to the question, the defendants would lead their own evidence and in order to substantiate their plea, the defendants would be entitled to show that the land in dispute really belonged to Ramjas College Society and was delivered possession of or let out to him by the said Society and if that fact is established, it becomes highly improbable that the plaintiff had inducted the defendants on the said piece of land unless and until they can establish how they got the land from Ramjas College Society. The evidence which the defendants want to produce in support of their contention is relevant under section 11 of the Evidence Act.

(6) As a result I hold that the Ramjas College Society is not a necessary party to the suit and it need not be imp leaded but the defendants would be entitled to lead evidence to support their contention that the land in dispute does not belong to the plaintiff but it really belongs to Ramjas College Society which has given its possession to the defendants. The revision is accordingly allowed. There will no order as to costs. Parties are directed to appear before the trial Court on 28th September, 1970.


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