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Syed Sahib Vs. Angamuthu Mooppan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1958)1MLJ232
AppellantSyed Sahib
RespondentAngamuthu Mooppan
Excerpt:
- - ramachandra ayyar pointed out, this is a legal fiction ;but legal fictions are well known to law, and are, in fact, a kind of hidden soul in the law, making for progress. ramachandra ayyar fail, and this petition deserves to be, and is hereby, dismissed;.....and impostor, against whom the petitioner had filed o.s. no. 422 of 1956 on the file of the district munsif, tiruchirapalli, for an injunction, restraining him from interfering with possession of the land. when that suit was pending, the act was passed, and, under section 6(a), the learned district munsif gave a finding that the respondent was prima facie a cultivating tenant entitled to the benefits of the act, and so, did not proceed with the trial of the suit, but transferred it to the revenue court. the revenue court (the revenue divisional officer, tiruchirapalli) held that the respondent was the cultivating tenant and that his ' assumed ' petition for restoration of possession was not barred by limitation, and allowed it, and refused eviction. hence this petition.2. i have.....
Judgment:

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. This is a petition filed by one Syed Sahib, the owner of the holding, for revising and setting aside the order of the Revenue Court, Tiruchirapalli, in E.A. No. 104 of 1957, holding that the respondent, Angamuthu Mooppan, was the cultivating tenant in respect of the suit land and should not be evicted therefrom under Act XIV of 1956, and that he was not also barred by limitation regarding his ' assumed ' petition for restoration of possession. The petitioner had contended that the respondent was at no time the cultivating tenant of the suit land, and that one Sevanthalingam and his wife were the cultivating tenants, and that the respondent was simply an interloper trespasser and impostor, against whom the petitioner had filed O.S. No. 422 of 1956 on the file of the District Munsif, Tiruchirapalli, for an injunction, restraining him from interfering with possession of the land. When that suit was pending, the Act was passed, and, under Section 6(A), the learned District Munsif gave a finding that the respondent was prima facie a cultivating tenant entitled to the benefits of the Act, and so, did not proceed with the trial of the suit, but transferred it to the Revenue Court. The Revenue Court (the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruchirapalli) held that the respondent was the cultivating tenant and that his ' assumed ' petition for restoration of possession was not barred by limitation, and allowed it, and refused eviction. Hence this petition.

2. I have perused the records and heard the learned Counsel on both sides. Mr. S. Ramachandra Ayyar, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, raised three main contentions, the first was that the finding of fact, namely, that the respondent was the cultivating tenant in respect of the suit land, was not only erroneous, but was also not given by the Revenue Court, which had to give it on its own responsibility, and not merely adopt the finding of the District Munsif, which could, in the circumstances, be only provisional. I have no hesitation in agreeing with Mr. Ramachandra Ayyar that the finding of the civil Court under Section 6(A) that the defendant is a cultivating tenant entitled to the benefit of the Act, is only a prima facie finding and can never be a final finding, binding on the Revenue Court, Mr. A.V. Narayanaswami Ayyar did not contest this position, but his argument was that the Revenue Court went into the question and arrived at its own conclusion that the respondent was the cultivating tenant in respect of the suit land and did not merely adopt the District Munsif 's prima facie conclusion in that respect. I agree with Mr. Narayanaswami Ayyar that the Revenue Divisional Officer arrived at his own conclusion that the defendant was the cultivating tenant in respect of the suit land, and merely added that he agreed with the prima facie conclusion of the learned District Munsif. Agreeing with the conclusion of the District Munsif is quite different from adopting the prima facie conclusion of the District Munsif. Mr. Ramachandra Ayyar, on this being pointed out, dropped this contention; nor have I the least doubt that, on the facts the Revenue Court's finding that the defendant was the cultivating tenant on the relevant date is the correct one.

3. The next contention of Mr. Ramachandra Ayyar was that there was no petition by the respondent for restoration of possession of the holding to him, and that, actually, a temporary injunction had issued and the petitioner had been thereafter in peaceful occupation and possession of the holding. The argument is unsustainable. Section 6-A says that on the transfer of the suit by the Civil Court to the Revenue Court, the Revenue Divisional Officer shall deal with the matter and dispose of it, as though it were an application under Act XIV of 1956. No doubt, as Mr. Ramachandra Ayyar pointed out, this is a legal fiction ; but legal fictions are well known to law, and are, in fact, a kind of hidden soul in the law, making for progress. Many Acts contain such legal fictions. There is no question of their validity, as the sovereign legislature, or any other legislature to the extent of its competence, can legislate with such fictions added on, provided there is no discrimination under Article 14 of the Constitution or any other invalidating factor none of which exist here. So, the moment the District Munsif, Tiruchirappalli, transferred the suit for injunction, under Section 6-A to the Revenue Divisional Officer, that suit automatically became a petition for restoration of possession by the tenant, though in fact the tenant had not filed any such petition. The fact that a temporary injunction was issued against the respondent, and that the petitioner continued in peaceful occupation and enjoyment of the holding thereafter, is utterly irrelevant. Both the landlord and tenant had to obey the orders of Courts on pain of punishment. So, the fact that the tenant obeyed the orders of Court, and kept away from this land till the Court restored it to him, will not at all help the landlord petitioner in this case.

4. The last contention of Mr. Ramachandra Ayar was that the petition was barred by limitation. He had to agree that the period of limitation allowed under the Act for a petition for restoration, real or 'assumed', would be 1st December, 1956, that is, two months after the Act came into force on 1st October, 1956. This ' assumed ' petition for restoration took its beginning with the filing of the suit on 27th July, 1956, and would, therefore, not be barred by limitation.

5. All the contentions of Mr. Ramachandra Ayyar fail, and this petition deserves to be, and is hereby, dismissed; but, as I am deciding the points of law raised herein for the first time now, I direct all the parties to this Civil Revision Petition to bear their own costs.


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