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Khairathi Vs. Devi Sahai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 481 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1974Raj131; 1974(7)WLN71
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 9
AppellantKhairathi
RespondentDevi Sahai and ors.
Advocates: S.K. Keshote, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredMst. Chandi v. Rampratap
Excerpt:
civil procedure code - section 9--right of scavenging--suit not to be thrown away on the ground that suit is barred under section 9 cpc.; the plaintiffs in the present case have pleaded the origin and the uninterrupted usage in respect of the right of scavenging to the exclusion of others.;no doubt the facts of that case were different yet it does lay down the principle that the right to birat jajmani is a right in property which is heritable as well as transferable.;my conclusion therefore is that the learned courts below were not justified in throwing away the suit on the preliminary ground that it was barred under section 9 cpc. - - the plaintiff further pleaded that there is an ancient well established custom that a particular harijan who has been scavenging a particular house or a..........the defendants resisted the suit and pleaded inter alia that the right of scavenging is not a civil right and as such the suit is barred under section 9 of the civil procedure code. issue no. 4 was framed on this point and the same was taken as a preliminary issue. as already stated above, both the lower courts have answered the point in favour of the defendants.4. nobody has appeared on behalf of any of the respondents to oppose the appeal in spite of service of notice and consequently i have heard the appeal ex parts.5. learned counsel for the appellant has urged that the courts below have misdirected themselves by nonsuiting the plaintiffs on the ground that the alleged hypothecation of the scavenging right by jamadar pishta in favour of the plaintiff's ancestor was invalid and.....
Judgment:

C.M. Lodha, J.

1. The plaintiff-appellant along with his brother Heera filed a suit for issue of perpetual injunction in respect of his right of scavenging but the same was dismissed by the Munsiff, Raigarh on a preliminary point that the suit was' barred under Section 9, Civil P. C. The judgment and decree bu the trial Court were affirmed in appeal by the Civil Judge. Alwar and conseauentlu the plaintiff has come in second appeal to this Court.

2. The parties are Harijans and are engaged in the occupation of scavenging. The plaintiff's case as set out in the plaint was that thev had been exercising right of scavenging (Brit-Khakrobi) in Danda Kakwari. a locality in the town of Raigarh, District Alwar, since their fore-fathers as this right had been mortgaged with their ancestors by one Jamadar Pishta about 60 years ago in consideration of a sum of Rs. 200/-. They alleged that the residents of the locality, i.e. their Jaimans want to get scavenging done by them. Their allegation is that the defendants are obstructing them in exercise of the right of scavenging. The plaintiff further pleaded that there is an ancient well established custom that a particular Harijan who has been scavenging a particular house or a locality would not be obstructed by another scavenger in exercise of that right. In the result it was prayed that a perpetual injunction may be issued against the defendants restraining them from interfering with the plaintiff's right of scavenging the houses in the locality mentioned above.

3. The defendants resisted the suit and pleaded inter alia that the right of scavenging is not a civil right and as such the suit is barred under Section 9 of the Civil Procedure Code. Issue No. 4 was framed on this point and the same was taken as a preliminary issue. As already stated above, both the lower Courts have answered the point in favour of the defendants.

4. Nobody has appeared on behalf of any of the respondents to oppose the appeal in spite of service of notice and consequently I have heard the appeal ex parts.

5. Learned counsel for the appellant has urged that the Courts below have misdirected themselves by nonsuiting the plaintiffs on the ground that the alleged hypothecation of the scavenging right by Jamadar Pishta in favour of the plaintiff's ancestor was invalid and consequently the plaintiffs were not entitled to any relief. In coming to this conclusion the learned Civil Judge has relied upon Raghudu v. Erraiya, AIR 1938 Mad 881.

6. It may be observed that in the Madras case the mortgagees had brought a suit for enforcement of their right of mortgage in respect of scavenging. It further appears that they had been dispossessed of the scavenging rights and the alleged mortgagors had started exercising the same. The defence was that the debt had been discharged and that no right to an injunction could be claimed. In these circumstances it was observed that 'what was sought to be hypothecated in favour of the plaintiffs was the future in-come to be derived from the work of scavenging and was thus a mortgage of non-existing property and a transfer of property to come in future.' It was further observed that 'the right is not based on any definite contract with the owners of the said houses by which they were bound to employ the respondents for any particular period. If the owners refused to employ them, no cause of action can be founded thereon and no injunction can be granted.' It would thus appear that the right claimed in the Madras case was in substance a right to prevent a man from pursuing his legitimate calling.

7. The facts of the present case are however distinguishable. Here the plaintiffs' case is that they are exercising the right of scavenging for the last more than 60 years, and the owners of the houses want, that they should continue to scavenge in their premises but the defendants are interfering with the exercise of the plaintiffs' right even though the owners of the houses want to get scavenging done by the plaintiffs. Hence this is a case where the defendants are preventing the plaintiffs from, pursuing their legitimate calling. Thus the principle laid down in the Madras case does not come in the way of the plaintiffs from maintaining the suit.

8. In Pearey v Pachchoo, AIR 1964 All 249 (FB) it was observed 'that 'in a claim of Khakrobi in respect of scavenging rights it is necessary to establish by evidence its origin or a long and uninterrupted usage. For, the basis of the claim may be either an agreement or a lost grant from the owners of a long and uninterrupted usage so as to raise a presumption of lost grant. It is only when the incidence, the extent and the nature of the right claimed by evidence that such a right can be held to be enforceable. It is well settled that no Court can enforce an agreement between two parties involving the right of a third party unless it is established that it has consented to or it is a matter of indifference to that party.

9. It may be stated here that the plaintiffs in the present case have pleaded the origin and the uninterrupted usage in respect of the right of scavenging to the exclusion of others and it is to be seen in the course of trial whether they are able to establish their right.

Reference may be made to a Bench decision of this Court : Mst. Chandi v. Rampratap, 1952 Rai LW 335 = (AIR 1953 Rai 144) where it was held that an agreement wherebv the defendant was to perform the ceremonies relating to the Birat Jaimani of Dhobis at Jaipur for the purpose of performing marriages amongst Dhobis in consideration of certain payment was not in any way illegal. No doubt the facts of that case were different yet it does lay down the principle that the right to Birat Jaimani is a right in property which is heritable as well as transferable.

10. My conclusion therefore is that the learned Courts below were not justified in throwing away the suit on the preliminary ground that it was barred under Section 9, Civil P. C.

The result is that I allow this appeal, set aside the judgments and decrees by the Courts below and send the case back to the trial Court for disposal according to law. There will be no order as to costs.


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