Skip to content


Rooda Ram and ors. Vs. Rattu Ram and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Regular Second Appeal No. 667 of 1966
Judge
Reported in1972WLN323
AppellantRooda Ram and ors.
RespondentRattu Ram and anr.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredShankar Lal v. Dhulilal
Excerpt:
.....crux of the matter is that the plaintiff is seeking vindication of his own khatedari rights in the field by the present suit and the connected or collateral points that would arise for consideration would be about the validity of the sale made by ghisa ram. as observed by modi j. and as it appears to be the tenor of section 207 one has to look to the substance of the matter. the relief that may be desired from a civil court need not be identical with the relief that could be granted or claimed from a revenue court, but that is not a point of substance for determining the question as to whether the suit is triable exclusively by a revenue court or not. the burden of the section is the nature of the cause of action. i am, therefore, satisfied that the suit is of the nature triable by a..........by the court below. section 207 of the rajasthan tenancy act, 1955, which lays down that suits & applications are exclusively triable by a revenue court reads:section 207. suit and applications cognizable by revenue court only. (1) all suits and applications of the nature specified in the third schedule shall be heard and determined by a revenue court.(2) no court other than a revenue court shall take cognizance of any such suit or application or of any suit or application based on a cause of action in respect of which any relief could be obtained by means of any such suit or application.explanation-if the cause of action is one in respect of which relief might be granted by the revenue court, it is immaterial that the relief asked for from the civil court is greater than, or.....
Judgment:

Kan Singh, J.

1. This is a defendants' second appeal. The subject matter of litigation is a field Khasra No. 35 measuring 43 bighas and 14 biswas situated in village Gudawadi. Tehsil Sujangarh, District Churu The field originally belonged to one Kashiram. Ghisaram defendant was his son and Ratturam his grand-son from another son Phusaram. Phusaram sold this field to Rooda Ram, Gidha Ram and Nathuram defendant-appellants. Rattu Ram was a minor at the time. Consequently a suit was brought on his behalf by his grand mother Smt. Mohari as his next friend for cancellation of the sale deed executed by Ghashi Ram in favour of the defendant appellants. It was averred that Ghasiram had do right to sell the field. The defendant-appellants contested the suit. They alleged that Kashi Ram had two sons Ghisa Ram and Phusa Ram, but after Phusa Ram's death his wife performed Nata with one Rekharam resident of Pipli and Rattu Ram was born of that union. In other words, according to the defendant-appellants, Rattu Ram was not the son of Phusa Ram. They took the stand that Ghisa Ram being the sole owner of the field had sold it to them and had thus passed on a complete title. The learned Civil Judge, Ratangarh, in whose court the suit was filed, framed a number of issues. As the defendant had inter alia taken the plea that the suit was not triable by the civil court, the learned trial Judge framed issue No. 5 regarding the same. I need not advert to the other issues on account of the conclusion that I have reached regarding the competence of the civil court to try the suit. Both the courts held that the civil court had the jurisdiction to try the suit. The trial court eventually granted a decree in favour of the plaintiffs for cancellation of the sale deed dated 4-6-62 in favour of the defendant-appellants by Ghasi Ram.

2. The defendants then went up in appeal to the learned District Judge at Bikaner. The learned District Judge reached the conclusion that Ghisa Ram and Rattu Ram had half share each in the field in dispute Accordingly, he upheld the sale in favour of the defendants to the extent of half share of Ghisa Ram in the field in question. In the result, he partially accepted the appeal & declared that the sale executed by Ghisaram in favour of the defendant-appellants shall stand cancelled & be ineffective qua the half share of Raturam in the field. The trial court's decree was thus ordered to be modified in this regard.

3. It is in these circumstances that the defendants have come up in further appeal to this Court.

4. Regarding the question of civil courts jurisdiction the learned District Judge has observed thus:

Even if the plaintiff, had sued for possession of the field in question and the civil court had passed a decree for possession of the field being given to Raturam, that decree could not have been executed by the civil court. The plaintiff had to go to the Revenue Court to seek the relief of possession. The learned Counsel for the appellant relied upon two cases, Indian Law Reports 34-Allahabad series page 140 Shankar Lal and Anr. v. (defendants) v. Saroop Lal and Anr. (plaintiffs), and AIR 1952 Vindhey Pradesh p 69 Mst. Laxmibai and Anr. (defendants appellants) v. Lalchand Chelaram and Anr., (plaintiffs respondents) to contend that without seeking the relief of possession, the plaintiff could not be granted a decree for cancellation of the sale deed. I have carefully gone through these rulings and have to say that they do not apply to the facts of the instant case. In the referred ruling the transfer or himself wanted to get the deed cancelled and the claim of the transferor to the land was also not held to be genuine. In the instant case, as I would discuss here after, Ghasiram had no right to dispose of the share of Ratturam in the field in question. Ratturam is not the transferor of the field also. Ratturam is also not living in the guardianship of the transferor Ghasi Ram. In these circumstances the referred rulings have no application to the facts of the instant case. To my mind, the suit of Ratturam for cancellation of the sale deed of the field executed by Ghasiram so far as it affects his right in the field, is maintainable without asking for the consequential relief of possession. There is no insuperable barrier in the way of Ratturam in filing the present suit for cancellation of the document, as he himself was not the transferor of the field. Therefore, the first argument of the learned Counsel for the appellant fails.

5. This is only discussion regarding the competence of the civil court to entertain the suit. Though in this the learned Judge has also mixed up the question whether a mere declaration for cancellation of the sale deed could be asked for without praying for the consequential relief of possession. Be that as it may, I am not happy over the way the question has been approached by the court below. Section 207 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, which lays down that suits & applications are exclusively triable by a revenue court reads:

Section 207. Suit and applications cognizable by revenue court only. (1) All suits and applications of the nature specified in the Third Schedule shall be heard and determined by a revenue court.

(2) No court other than a revenue court shall take cognizance of any such suit or application or of any suit or application based on a cause of action in respect of which any relief could be obtained by means of any such suit or application.

Explanation-If the cause of action is one in respect of which relief might be granted by the revenue court, it is immaterial that the relief asked for from the civil court is greater than, or additional to, or is not identical with, that which the revenue court could have granted.

Sub-clause (1) lays down what suits and applications shall be heard and determined by a revenue court. The use of the expression 'nature specified' may be marked in this Sub-section (2) forbids courts other than a revenue court from taking cognizance of any such suit or application or of any suit or application based on a cause of action in respect of which any relief could be obtained by means of any such suit or application. Therefore, the question that will arise for consideration here would be on what cause of action the suit is based and what relief could be obtained by means of any such suit or application. The explanation is suggestive and it provides that if the cause of action is one in respect of which relief might be granted by the revenue court, it is immaterial that the relief asked for from the civil court is greater than, or additional to, or is not. identical with that which the revenue court could have granted. The explanation, therefore, again emphasises that what is determinative of the jurisdiction of a revenue court in such matters is the cause of action. There are a number of cases of this Court in which the provisions of Section 207 came to be examined. I may first refer to Chandmal v. Dawar 1954 RLW 184 wherein a similar provision in the Revenue Courts (Procedure & Jurisdiction) Act, namely, Section 7 came to be considered, Modi. J. observed thus:

I am of opinion that in order to determine whether a suit is triable by a revenue court, or by a civil court, certain basic principles must be borne in mind. One such principle is that it should not be readily inferred that the jurisdiction of the civil courts is barred unless such an inference can be raised by an express provision of law or by necessary implication. Another thing which should be borne in mind is that the question of jurisdiction must be initially determined by the allegation made in the plaint. Thus, whether a suit for possession of land is cognizable by a civil court or not depends entirely upon the frame of the suit and the allegations contained in the plaint A further principle which should be kept in view is what is the substance of the suit and what is its main object, or, in other words, what is the real contest between the parties. In order to determine this the principle is well settled that one must look to the substance of the plaint and not merely to its outward form. If this is not done, it is obvious that it may be open to a party to evade the entire law as to exclusiveness of jurisdiction. It is of course to be remembered that care should be taken not to introduce anything into the plaint which may not really be found there or which may be foreign to its main purpose.

6. The same learned Judge had again considered the question in Asala v. Narain 1963 RLW 323. He observed:

Now, it has been laid down in a number of decisions of this Court to many of which I have been a party, that the question of jurisdiction namely, whether a suit is exclusively triable by a revenue court or the civil courts can take cognizance of it, has to be decided on the allegations made in the plaint taken in their essence. The guiding test according to these decisions, put in a nutshell is: what is the true nature of the suit, or what is the object as disclosed by the allegations contained in the plaint? If the answer to these questions is that the plaintiff seeks the establishment of reliefs which essentially fall within the scope of the Tenancy Act, that is, the Act of 1955, with which we are concerned here, then the conclusion as to the proper jurisdiction of such a suit is and must be that it is one which is exclusively triable by a revenue court, and that the jurisdiction of the civil courts to try and dispose of such suits is wholly barred. That is the gist of Section 207 of the said Act which lays down that all suits and applications 'of the nature' specified in the Third Schedule thereof shall be heard and determined by a revenue court, and lure I would underline the phrase 'of the nature' occurring in this section if only to emphasize that the intention of the Legislature in using the phrase definitely seems to be that suits which not only squarely fall within the four walls of the various items specified in the Third Schedule but also those which may not so fall but which may partake of the nature thereof can be heard & determined by a revenue court only. This section further enacts that no court other than a revenue court shall take cognizance of any such suit or application, or of any suit or application which is based on a cause of action in respect of which any relief could be obtained by means of any such suit or application in a revenue court, Further there is an Explanation to the section which provides that where the cause of action is one in respect of which the relief can be granted by the revenue court, that the factor that the relief asked for from the civil court is greater than or additional to, or is not identical with, that which revenue court could have granted would be of no consequence.

7. The learned Judge has expressed himself almost in similar strain in another case Shankar Lal v. Dhulilal 1963 RLW 313.

8. Therefore, the point of importance is as to what is the cause of action and for that one has to examine with care the averments in the plaint.

9. In para-2 of the plaint it is averred that the field in question belonged to Kashi Ram who was the grand father of the plaintiff Rattu Ram and father of defendant Ghisa Ram. In para-3 it is mentioned that after the deaths of the father and grand-father of the plaintiff there was mutation in favour of the plaintiff in revenue papers. Then it is averred that the plaintiff was in possession of the field and defendant No. 1 had no right over it. Thereafter it was averred that in order to deprive the plaintiff of his rights in the field the defendant Ghisa Ram had made a sale deed in favour of the other defendants and it was consequently void and of no effect against the plaintiff. In the result, prayer for cancellation of the sale deed was made. I am not here concerned with the maintainability of the suit on other grounds and this discussion is limited only to the question of competence of the civil court. A proper analysis of the averments in the plaint yields the following postulates:

(1) that the plaintiff is the Khatedar of the field in dispute;

(2) defendant Ghisa Ram had no right whatsoever over this field;

(3) Ghisa Ram could not have made any sale of the field;

(4) the sale made by Ghisa Ram in favour of the other defendants was in consequence null & void.

It will be thus evident that the real cause of action is to whom does the field in question belonged. If it belong to the plaintiff as he claimed, then the other reliefs that he might be claiming would follow as a matter of course. Therefore, the crux of the matter is that the plaintiff is seeking vindication of his own Khatedari rights in the field by the present suit and the connected or collateral points that would arise for consideration would be about the validity of the sale made by Ghisa Ram. As observed by Modi, J. and as it appears to be the tenor of Section 207 one has to look to the substance of the matter. The relief that may be desired from a civil court need not be identical with the relief that could be granted or claimed from a revenue court, but that is not a point of substance for determining the question as to whether the suit is triable exclusively by a revenue court or not. The burden of the section is the nature of the cause of action. I am, therefore, satisfied that the suit is of the nature triable by a revenue court and is covered squarely by the provisions of Section 207 Tenancy Act. The courts below were, therefore, in error in holding that the civil courts had jurisdiction to try the suit.

10. For these reasons I am inclined to accept this appeal and set aside the judgment and decree of the courts below. I order accordingly. The case shall go back to the Civil Judge, Ratangarh, who shall return the plaint to the plaintiff with the necessary endorsement directing him to present it before a competent revenue court. The parties shall bear their own costs of this appeal.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //