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Muralidhar Roy and ors. and Raja Srinath Roy and ors. Vs. Sasadhur Pal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in43Ind.Cas.344
AppellantMuralidhar Roy and ors. and Raja Srinath Roy and ors.
RespondentSasadhur Pal and ors.
Excerpt:
adverse possession - landlord and tenant--knowledge of landlord, whether necessary. - .....no question arises with respect to these villages. with regard to the other villages, the learned judges in the courts below held that there had been encroachments and that the claim of the landlords to recover possession was barred by limitation, on the ground that the tenant had acquired a limited interest by-adverse possession. that is the only point that arises in these appeals. that the learned judges found that there was a possession for more than twelve years is quite clear. the period is far in excess of twelve years. the only question is whether the judges have found expressly or by necessary implication that that possession was known to the landlords for a period of more than twelve years. the view that the learned judge of the lower appellate court seems to have taken.....
Judgment:

Fletcher, J.

1. These are two appeals preferred by the plaintiffs against a decision of the learned Additional District Judge of Dacca, dated the 17th April 1914, affirming the decision of the Subordinate Judge of the same place. The plaintiffs sued to recover possession of a certain share in a number of villages which they had purchased. The defence was that the defendants held under a subordinate tenure at a rent which was not liable to enhancement. The lower Courts have accepted the story as to the tenure in respect of three villages. No question arises with respect to these villages. With regard to the other villages, the learned Judges in the Courts below held that there had been encroachments and that the claim of the landlords to recover possession was barred by limitation, on the ground that the tenant had acquired a limited interest by-adverse possession. That is the only point that arises in these appeals. That the learned Judges found that there was a possession for more than twelve years is quite clear. The period is far in excess of twelve years. The only question is whether the Judges have found expressly or by necessary implication that that possession was known to the landlords for a period of more than twelve years. The view that the learned Judge of the Lower Appellate Court seems to have taken is that that period must have been for more than twelve years before 1891 because he was of opinion that, after 1891, neither party could be said to be in peaceful possession. I am not sure that that is not too favourable to the plaintiffs. However, that point has not been dealt with and, therefore, we must take it that the period of twelve years was prior to 1891, that the defendants had adverse possession of these other villages and that of that possession the plaintiffs were aware. It may be admitted at once that there is no express finding, although it is difficult to see why the learned Judges in the Courts below had gone into this question with such labour and with such trouble and at such length if they intended' to make an omission of such an important finding, as to the question of the knowledge of the plaintiffs; because it is abundantly clear to anybody that, in a case like this, before the possession became adverse the plaintiffs had, or, at any rate, must have had knowledge. Nothing turns on the point whether the learned Judge's remarks in his judgment about the tenure are not limited to three villages, because no question would arise with respect to these three villages. But with regard to the other villages he says that this tenure was notoriously in existence. That means that in the district the matter was one of public notoriety that these defendants were in possession of these villages, and I take it that the evidence had disclosed facts from which the learned Judge drew the conclusion that the plaintiffs' or their predecessors-in-title were either residents of, or were connected with, the district and that these matters of public notoriety had come to the ears of the plaintiffs or their representatives. That is what I gather the learned Judge means when he talks about the tenure being notoriously in existence, and when he talks about the ijara kabuliyat being registered. It is a matter of public notoriety that everybody in India knows everybody else's business. In a small place, everybody knows who is mortgaging his property from, I think, the general conversation which goes under the popular title guft, what his neighbours are doing and what deeds are being registered. If that is so the learned Judge was quite capable, being a resident and a Judge of the District, of knowing all these habits and he was entitled to come to the conclusion that from that time the plaintiffs' predecessor-in-title must have known of this adverse possession and, therefore, from that date--the date which he refers to--the period is far longer than twelve years, at any rate, well in excess of twelve years before 1891. All the other material statements in the judgment point to the same conclusion. There are many other facts which the learned Judge has referred to in the course of his judgment, which would point to the conclusion that the predecessor-in-title of the plaintiffs knew for many years prior to 1891 of the possession of the defendants of these villages other than the three villages originally comprised in the Joor. On the whole, although I personally think that a matter like this can never be so satisfactory when it is to be drawn from certain statements instead of having a clear and straightforward finding, I do not think that in this case there can be any doubt that the learned Judge meant to find that this long possession of the defendants must have b9en known to the plaintiffs' predecessor-in-title for more than twelve years prior to 1891. I think, therefore, that we ought not to interfere with the judgment appealed against. The present appeals, therefore, fail and must be dismissed with costs. The respondents will not be allowed the costs of the documents that they have printed.

Newbould, J.

2. I agree.


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