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Munia Servai Vs. Thanagaraya Onturiyar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1949CriLJ253
AppellantMunia Servai
RespondentThanagaraya Onturiyar and ors.
Cases ReferredIn Bindhyahcal Prasad v. Madho Singh A.I.R.
Excerpt:
.....possession' of the various members of the a party i do not think that it is absolutely necessary that the lower court should have devoted a paragraph or more of the judgment for describing the plots of land and the person in possession when the whole mutter is clearly stated as an appendix to the judgment. 328, a bench of the patna high court has held that where there is a dispute between two parties over some land and the members of one party were in possession under one title and separate possession amongst them was a matter of arrangement, the order of the magistrate upholding their possession is not bad merely because he has not considered the separate possession of each particular member of the party. moreover after a detailed discussion of the evidence in its various aspects the..........land, some of them a few acres, others less.4. therefore the question for decision is whether the learned magistrate has applied the fight principle of law in coming to the conclusion he did and whether he was given proper legal findings to justify the conclusion arrived at by him.5. ai stated already, the learned magistrate has found that the petitioner or his predecessor-in-title including yagappa nadar were never in actual possession of the lands having pannai cultivation. he also found that all the members of the a party except one had been in possession and cultivating different parcels of land. the chief contention of mr. t. r. venkatarama sastriar for the petitioner is that the learned magistrate has based his finding solely on the evidence -of five members of the a patty, three.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Govinda Menon J.

1. The petitioner Seeks to revise the order of the Additional First Class Magistrate of Kumbakonam passed under Section 145, Criminal P. C. under the following circumstances.

2. The property in dispute of an area of 66 acres and odd originally belonged to the Tanjore Palace estate. Subsequent to the decision of the Privy Council in the litigation which began with O. S. No, 8 of 1919 on the file of the District Court, Tanjore, various claimants got possession of portions of that State. The subject-matter of this dispute as well as other properties were mortgaged by an executor of one of the claim, anta to a Yagappa Nadar and two others in 1982 for a sum of Bs. 30.000. The entire mortgage right subsequently vested in Yagappa Nadar and he thereby became the sole mortgagee. The equity of redemption in these and other properties was purchased by C. p. w. l on 14th July 1946, who discharged the mortgage in favour of Yagappa Nadar and claimed to have got possession of these lands, c. p. w. 1 sold away these and other lands to the present petitioner who was the B party before the lower Court on 2nd July 1946 and it is alleged that the possession which c. p. w. 1 had also passed, to the petitioner. Disputes regarding the possession between the A party and 0. P. W. 1 had already started even before the sale by C. P. W. 1 as a result of which on a report by the police the lower Court passed a preliminary order under Section 145 (l), Criminal P. C., on 3rd August 1946 and served the same on both the parties. The learned Ad. ditional First Class Magistrate, thereafter enquired into the question of possession very .elaborately, considered the large body of oral and documentary evidence produced before him on behalf of .both the A and the B parties, and finally he came to the conclusion that the B party, the petitioner or his predecessors-in-title were never in possession, He adjudged that possession was with the A party and passed orders accordingly.

3. The a party consists of 34 tenants who allege that they have been cultivating these pro- perties and have been in actual possession for a long time even while the properties remained with the mortgagee. It is further contended that each of these 34 tenants was cultivating separate pieces of land, some of them a few acres, others less.

4. Therefore the question for decision is whether the learned Magistrate has applied the fight principle of law in coming to the conclusion he did and whether he was given proper legal findings to justify the conclusion arrived at by him.

5. Ai stated already, the learned Magistrate has found that the petitioner or his predecessor-in-title including Yagappa Nadar were never in actual possession of the lands having Pannai cultivation. He also found that all the members of the A party except one had been in possession and cultivating different parcels of land. The chief contention of Mr. T. R. Venkatarama Sastriar for the petitioner is that the learned Magistrate has based his finding solely on the evidence -of five members of the A patty, three village officers and two others who have advanced money to some of the members of the A party on the produce of the lands in their possession. It is, therefore, argued that the rest of the members of the A party have not adduced evidence as to the possession of each one of them of different parcels of property and further that the learned Additional First Class Magistrate has not given separate and specific findings as to what piece or parcel of land each one of the members of the A party is actually in possession. In this connection it has to be pointed out that each one of the members of the a party has in his written statement stated what the parcel or parcels of land he was then in possession, the particular crops raised by him that year and the plot on which such crops were raised. So far as the evidence in the case was concerned, the a party adduced evidence jointly. Each of them had the same source and nature of possession. It was not as if any one of them had a different fact to allege as to how he was in possession. The village officers and the other two witnesses were also clear and definite as to the persons cultivating the various plots. In addition the learned Magistrate has appended to the judgment Such. B mentioning the list of disputed lands and stating the survey number classification, area and the rank of the a party member who is in possession of each plot. Such being the case it cannot be successfully urged that the learned Magistrate has not come to any definite decision as to the possession of the various plots by the various members of the a party. Instead of giving a narrative in the body of the judgment, he has tabulated the area, definition and classi- fication of the various plots in the possession' of the various members of the A party I do not think that it is absolutely necessary that the lower Court should have devoted a paragraph or more of the judgment for describing the plots of land and the person in possession when the whole mutter is clearly stated as an appendix to the judgment.

6. Mr. Venkatarama Sastriar relies upon the decisions in Chockalingam Pillai v. Nagalingam Pillai, .1983 m. w. N. 192 : 1933 M. w, N. 1260, Mudhoosoodhan and Anr. v. Bejoy Gobind Chowdhury and Ors., 21 W. R. cr. 55 and Golab Koer v. Ganouri Koeri : AIR1938Pat511 for the proposition that in cases of disputes between a landlord and different sets of tenants claiming different plots in their respective possession, a general inquiry is likely to prejudice the landlord in meeting the case set up by the tenants and therefore it is essential that the Magistrate should apply his mind and give definite findings regarding the case of each individual holding. A general finding that, as contrasted with the possession of the landlord, the tenants have been in possession, is, according to Mr. Sastriar, insufficient. These decisions do not apply to the present case, because, there is no difference regarding the nature and character of the possession or the source of it between the claims of the respective members of the a party. In Bindhyahcal Prasad v. Madho Singh A.I.R. 1846 Pat. 330: 25 Pat. 19 : (1846) cri. L. J. 328, a Bench of the Patna High Court has held that where there is a dispute between two parties over some land and the members of one party were in possession under one title and separate possession amongst them was a matter of arrangement, the order of the Magistrate upholding their possession is not bad merely because he has not considered the separate possession of each particular member of the party. Therefore even if the Magistrate had only given a general finding regarding joint possession by the members of the A party, has order would not have been irregular. Moreover after a detailed discussion of the evidence in its various aspects the Magistrate has clearly and definitely found that the petitioner or 'Mb predecessors-in-title did not at any time have actual possession of these lands. He has also found that the members of the A party were in possession, the details of such possession being given in the schedule appended to the judgment. Such being the case I am unable to hold that there is any illegality or irregularity in the procedure or conclusion arrived at by the lower Court. Since an enquiry under B. 145, Criminal P. C. is restricted to the possession on the date of the preliminary order and not to the title or the validity of it which is entirely within the puts View of a civil Court, the conclusion of the lower Court arrived at after fully and amply dealing with all the matters necessary for such an enquiry, is a correct one I see no reason to dissent from the view taken by the lower Court and on the findings given by the Magistrate the authorities relied upon by Mr. Venkatarama Sastriar are inapplicable to the case. The petition is therefore dismissed.


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