1. This is an appeal by the defendant against a decree declaring the title of the plaintiffs to certain lands and ordering recovery of possession, The suit was instituted on the 26th February 1923. The defendant's case is that the land had never belonged to the plaintiffs and he has pleaded further that if the lands had ever belonged to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs' title was extinguished by lapse of time. It would appear that two of the plaintiffs, as representing the entire body of the landlords, instituted a suit for rent in the year 1910 against this defendant, be written statement filed by the defendant is not on the record; but from the judgment of the Court of first instance, which is dated the 29th of September 1910 it would appear that the defendant denied the relationship of landlord and tenant and that that defence was given effect to by the Court. More than twelve years elapsed between the 29th of September 1910 and the 26th of September 1923 when the suit was filed. It is not disputed that the defendant has been in possession throughout this period. The learned Subordinate Judge who decided the appeal held that limitation had run against the plaintiffs not from the date on which the defendant filed the written statement but from the date of the order in appeal in the rent suit, which order is dated the 4th of March 1911. This finding is incorrect. The real date from which limitation ran is the 'date on which open assertion or hostile title was made by the defendant in his written statement. That date is not known but it necessarily was earlier than the 29th of September 1910, when the judgment of the Munsif was delivered. As more than twelve years have elapsed since the defendant asserted a hostile title to the land and began possessing the land adversely to the plaintiffs, the defendant, if he had no title before, has acquired one by prescription.
2. The appeal is accordingly allowed, the decree of the Subordinate Judge is set aside and the decree of the Munsif is restored with costs in all Courts.