Azhagaperumal Pillai vs Rasa Pillai And Ors. on 14 August, 1931

Madras High Court
Azhagaperumal Pillai vs Rasa Pillai And Ors. on 14 August, 1931
Equivalent citations: (1932) 62 MLJ 399


1. Mr. Rule V. Ramachandra Aiyar for the plaintiffs has supported the decision of the learned Judge by contending that in the proceedings under the Survey and Boundaries Act in 1923, there was a finding that plaintiff 2 was then in possession of the land. Plaintiff 2 in his petition to the Survey authorities alleged that his neighbour (apparently defendant 1 or defendant 6) had trespassed on the land. Defendants 1 and 6 contended that they and: their predecessors had been in possession for forty years. The Head Surveyor decided in favour of plaintiff 2 and marked out the land accordingly but recorded no finding as to possession at the time of the proceedings. On appeal the Sub-Assistant Director of Survey after examining the settlement records said: “The contention of the appellants is not true and does not deserve any consideration” and dismissed the appeal. We cannot find that his decision rested on any finding that defendants 1 and 6 were not then in possession, or had not been in possession long enough for the purpose of defendant 7 in this suit, so definite as to operate as res judicata in this suit.

2. Nor can we agree with the learned Judge that the decision of the Survey Officer could have effect to stop any possession adverse to the plaintiffs which might then be running in favour of defendants 1 and 6. Neither the decision of the Survey Officer nor the planting of stones in accordance with it in proceedings under the Act ipso facto dispossesses any party; nor could it make a legal break in existing possession so as to render ineffective for purposes of limitation any adverse possession running at its date. We do not agree with Mr. Ramachandra Aiyar that that is the effect of the opinion of the Full Bench in Muthirulandi Poosari v. Sethuram Aiyar (1918) I.L.R. 42 M. 425 : 36 (F.B.) Our view on this point is supported by the opinion of Kamesam, J., in Kuppuswami Aiyar v. Venkataswami (1922) 16 L.W. 99. and that of Benson and Krishnaswami Aiyar, JJ., in Second Appeal No. 1102 of 1900. It would be very extraordinary if the Survey Officer’s decision could have such a result–a result which would follow no decision of a Civil Court that a party had or had not title–Cf. Subbayya Pandaram v. Muhammad Mustapha Maracayar (1923) L.R. 50 I.A. 259 : I.L.R. 46 M. 751 : 45 M.L.J. 588 (P.C.) and Singaravelu Mudaliar v. Chokkalinga Mudaliar (1922) I.L.R. 46 M. 525 : 43 M.L.J. 737.

3. This appeal is allowed and the decree of the Subordinate Judge is restored with costs here and in Second Appeal.

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