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Neelam Thirapatirayudu and ors. Vs. Secy. of State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1935Mad70; 163Ind.Cas.93
AppellantNeelam Thirapatirayudu and ors.
RespondentSecy. of State
Cases ReferredIn Satgar Prasad v. Raj Kishore Lal
Excerpt:
- - the learned judge has fairly directed himself on the issue whether the document of title, or the course of conduct is to be preferred, and has preferred, as he is well entitled to do, the document of title. but the question in that case whether a tenancy is permanent or precarious was 'in a case like the present, a legal inference from facts and not itself a questions of fact. it would be well to have section 100 affirmed or explained by a bench and appellants if so advised may appeal......are inam lands. they derive title by a sale deed of 1876 whereby they bought an inam which in the inam register is shewn as 29 acres; but which the sale deed shews as 219 acres. the point for determination is whether the inam register is right or wrong, and this appears to be entirely a question of fact. the district munsif held that in the light of the conduct of various government subordinates who surveyed the land, and who treated the lands as plaintiffs' inam in acquisition proceedings, the inam register was proved to be wrong.2. the subordinate judge preferred to stand by the register, 'an act of state entitled to very great weight.' he accordingly found for defendant and hence the appeal. it is argued that long possion and conduct may afford proof of title, which is quite true;.....
Judgment:

Jackson, J.

1. The plaintiffs sue the Secretary of State for a declaration that 85 acres 35 cents are inam lands. They derive title by a sale deed of 1876 whereby they bought an inam which in the Inam Register is shewn as 29 acres; but which the sale deed shews as 219 acres. The point for determination is whether the Inam Register is right or wrong, and this appears to be entirely a question of fact. The District Munsif held that in the light of the conduct of various Government subordinates who surveyed the land, and who treated the lands as plaintiffs' inam in acquisition proceedings, the Inam Register was proved to be wrong.

2. The Subordinate Judge preferred to stand by the Register, 'an act of state entitled to very great weight.' He accordingly found for defendant and hence the appeal. It is argued that long possion and conduct may afford proof of title, which is quite true; but that has not been overlooked by the learned Subordinate Judge. It is not as though in a case where all direct evidence of title has been lost the Court fails to appreciate the value of long possession. The learned Judge has fairly directed himself on the issue whether the document of title, or the course of conduct is to be preferred, and has preferred, as he is well entitled to do, the document of title. Section 100, Civil P.C., rigidly precludes a second appellate Court from considering questions of fact,' and it is none-the-less a question of fact if part of the proof depends upon inferences. Of course a Court in deciding a question of (fact upon evidence, always infers. It infers from the fact that A, B and C saw Z stab D, that Z killed D. In this case the District Munsif has inferred from the conduct of the Government officials that the Inam Register is incorrect, and the Subordinate Judge is not prepared to make that inference in the light of its plain reading. The use of the word 'infer' carries the matter no further:

The Board has had occasion to emphasize the fact that this rule (Section 100) is equally applicable to cases in which the findings are based on inferences. Secy. Of State v. Rameswarem Devasthanam 1984 P.C. 112,

3. In that particular case it is inferences from the documents exhibited in evidence, but obviously the same rule would apply to inferences drawn from conduct. The appellant relies upon Phillips v. Haliday (1891) A.C. 228 where it is held that from long uninterrupted possession, the Court should presume title other than en-croahment; but that of course is where the Court has no other material to go upon but presumptions. The Hallidays had presumably occupied a pew in Westminster Parish Church since the 17th century and there was no reason to presume that they had encroached. But that is a very different matter from the present case where there is the clear entry in the Inam Register. In Dhanna Mal v. Moti Sagar 1927 P.C. 102, on which appellants despond, their Lordships of the Privy Council say that they would be the last to seek to abridge the effect of Sections 100 and 101, Civil P.C., or weaken the strict rule that on second appeal the appellate Court is bound by the findings of fact of the Court below. But the question in that case whether a tenancy is permanent or precarious was 'in a case like the present, a legal inference from facts and not itself a questions of fact.' The question in the present appeal whether the appellants are entitled to 29 acres or a larger extent is a pure question of fact and there is no legal difficulty in regard to what inference can properly be drawn from the entry of acres 29 in the Inam Register. In Haidar Khan v. Secy. Of state (1909) 36 Cal. 1, at p. 18, it is observed that

the question is one of fact, but at every point in the process of reasoning considerations of law have to be regarded.

4. But this cannot be said in the present case, no question-of law arises, and it is merely a question of what inferences should be drawn from various facts. In Satgar Prasad v. Raj Kishore Lal 1919 P.C. 60, it is stated on p. 156 that the point is in reality one of legal inference from documents, and the inferences were such as in law the Judicial Committee were unable to draw. In the present case it could never be said that a Court was unable to draw the inference that as 29 was entered in the Inam Register, 29 was the correct figure. It is always dangerous to modify the plain reading of a statute by what it is claimed can be inferred from various judicial rulings, and in these cases quoted by the appellants, there is nothing to limit the effect of Section 100, Civil P. C I must find that it is a question of fact and this Court cannot interfere. The appeal is dismissed with costs. It would be well to have Section 100 affirmed or explained by a Bench and appellants if so advised may appeal.


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