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T.S. Palaniappa Mudaliar Vs. Syed Gulam Ghouse Madani Sahib - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Mad489; 110Ind.Cas.21
AppellantT.S. Palaniappa Mudaliar
RespondentSyed Gulam Ghouse Madani Sahib
Cases ReferredMariam Bibee v. Ibrahim
Excerpt:
- .....got to do is to see what was really intended and in this case, in our view, it was intended to claim against defendants 2 and 3 as persons interested in denying the plaintiff's title, in which case that claim has to be disposed of. section 42, specific belief act, gives a remedy to a person against all persons who not only claim an adverse interest to his own but against all those who may do so, and it is intended that all such claims may once and for all be determined in one suit.3. thinking as we do, that the suit as regards items 2 and 3 was wrongly dismissed, the whole matter must go back to the subordinate judge for disposal. the second appeal is allowed and remanded to the lower appellate court for disposal in the light of our observations. the costs will abide the result in.....
Judgment:

Beasley, J.

1. The appellant here was the plaintiff in the District Munsif's Court. His suit was for a declaration that the suit lands belonged to him and for a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from entering upon the lands and interfering with the plaintiff's enjoyment of it. The District Munsif gave the plaintiff the declaration asked for and the injunction. The Subordinate Judge, however, reversed the District Munsif's judgment, and as regards item 1 of the suit lands, did not record a finding either as to the plaintiff's title or upon the point as to whether or not he was in possession of that land. He found that defendant 3 was in possession of a portion of that land, namely 15 cents, and as there was evidence to support that finding we are not going to interfere with it. He does not give any definite finding with regard to the remainder of the land, but quite rightly took the view that with regard to that portion of the land which he has found defendant 3 to be in possession of, it was not open to him to give the plaintiff a mere declaration, the claim for an injunction having been dismissed and there being no claim for possession. Therefore, the learned Subordinate Judge was in our opinion quite right in his view of the law that it did not entitle him under the Specific Relief Act to give a mere declaration only. But he has evidently found considerable difficulty in coming to a conclusion with regard to the question of title to the remainder of the land. He is neverthless bound, as he was delivering a reversing judgment, to give definite findings upon the case. This case must, therefore, go back to him with the direction that he is to record a finding both on the question of the plaintiff's title and as to his possession of the remainder of the land.

2. There is another point which arises on items 2 and 3 of the claim, the learned Subordinate Judge has found that as regards those items the suit must be dismissed because in his view the plaint does not disclose any cause of action in respect of it. With great respect to the learned Subordinate Judge we think that he was wrong in taking that view. What happened was this: The suit, as originally framed, was against one defendant only. Subsequently, in consequence of the written statement put in by defendant 1 in which he said that defendants 2 and 3 were claiming an interest in the suit lands, the plaint was amended. Defendants 2 and 3 were brought on record and an amended paragraph was put in the plaint, It is now argued before us that that paragraph does not disclose any cause of action against defendants 2 and 3 (only defendant 3 is represented here). That paragraph does not of course say in terms that the relief sought against defendants 2 and 3 is against them as persons who are denying the plaintiff's title. That would be exactly following the wording of Section 42, Specific Relief Act. But we have to consider what really was in the mind of the plaintiff's pleader when he so drafted that amended paragraph, and we think that it was intended' by him to make a claim under Section 42, Specific Relief Act, and against defendants 2 and 3 as persons who were interested in denying the plaintiff's title. After all, this is a mofussil pleading and we must not take those pleadings exactly as they are drafted and hold them strictly against the pleaders and their clients, but a good deal of latitude is to be allowed. What we have got to do is to see what was really intended and in this case, in our view, it was intended to claim against defendants 2 and 3 as persons interested in denying the plaintiff's title, in which case that claim has to be disposed of. Section 42, Specific Belief Act, gives a remedy to a person against all persons who not only claim an adverse interest to his own but against all those who may do so, and it is intended that all such claims may once and for all be determined in one suit.

3. Thinking as we do, that the suit as regards items 2 and 3 was wrongly dismissed, the whole matter must go back to the Subordinate Judge for disposal. The second appeal is allowed and remanded to the lower appellate Court for disposal in the light of our observations. The costs will abide the result in the lower appellate Court.

Ananthakrishna Ayyar, J.

4. I entirely agree. With reference to the observation made by the learned Subordinate Judge in para. 20 of his judgment wherein he says:

As the evidence stands, the evidence as to title is inconclusive on both sides, and I do not find it possible to record a satisfactory finding as to title.

5. I may state that, so far as civil cases are concerned, there are certain well-recognized principles which could be invoked for guidance. If the matter arose in a criminal case then the standard of proof that would be required before the accused could be convicted would be quite different from the standard of proof required in disposing of civil disputes. As has been observed by a learned author:

In civil proceedings a mere preponderance of probability is sufficient, whereas in criminal proceedings there must be such a moral certainty as convinces the minds of the tribunal as reasonable men beyond all reasonable doubt.

6. The benefit of the doubt is always given to the accused. Again there are other principles by which the Court could be guided in civil matters. There is the principle of the burden of proof. If the Court should find in any particular case that the evidence is so equally balanced that it is not able to prefer the evidence on the one side to the evidence on the other, then naturally it has to ask itself the question: 'On whom does the burden of proof 'in this particular case lie?' If the person on whom such onus of proof lies does not discharge to the satisfaction of the Court then the case of that person must fail. There is also another principle which I think will help the appellate Court in disposing of civil appeals. It is the duty of the appellant to satisfy the Court that the judgment appealed against is wrong. As remarked by the Privy Council in Dinmoni Chowdhrani v. Brojo Mohini Chowdhrani [1902] 29 Cal. 187:

The onus is not now on her (respondent) to show that the judgment in her favour is right; it is for the appellant to show that it is wrong and where and why it is wrong:

See also Mariam Bibee v. Ibrahim 28 Cri.L.J. 306, where, Mukerjee, J. says:

I am not unmindful that in this country, as in England, the settled rule is that the burden lies on the appellant to satisfy the Court that the finding of the trial Court which he assails is not supported by the evidence on the record.

7. If the arguments advanced before the appellate Court and the evidence presented to it only create mere doubts as to the correctness of the lower Court's decision, then the proper thing for the appellate Court to do would be not to interfere with the lower Court's judgment, not being satisfied that it was wrong. I have made these observations with a view to help the lower appellate Court in arriving at a conclusion of the point involved in the case now that the case has been remanded to it for disposal. As regards the other points I entirely agree with the observations made by my learned brother.


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