Ram Lal Koeri And Ors. vs Panchu Ahir And Ors. on 3 December, 1926

Allahabad High Court
Ram Lal Koeri And Ors. vs Panchu Ahir And Ors. on 3 December, 1926
Equivalent citations: AIR 1927 All 813
Author: Ashworth


Ashworth, J.

1. This second appeal arises out of a suit brought by the plaintiffs appellants for an injunction against the defendants interfering with the plaintiffs’ rights as occupancy tenants in plots Nos. 824, 825 and 728 in a certain village and for possession in case the Court held that they were out of possession.

2. The plaintiffs’ case was this. In the settlement of 1307 Fasli (1900 A.D.) the predecessors-in-interest of the defendants along with other persons had been incorrectly entered as occupancy tenants whereas really the predecessors-in-interest of the plaintiffs were the occupancy tenants: that in 1910 the plaintiffs (or their predecessors-in-interest) sued one Sunahi and Jaggu along with other persons for a declaration that the entry in the settlement papers was wrong: that the suit was compromised and that in execution of a decree based on the compromise the plaintiffs or their predecessors-in-interest were given possession against the said Jaggu, Sunahi and other persons. No immediate action was taken for correction of the revenue pipers, but in 1922 the plaintiffs applied for correction of the papers. The application though granted at first was thrown out in appeal. Hence this suit.

3. The suit was decreed by the Munsif who gave the decree both for injunction and for possession. In first appeal, however, the additional Subordinate Judge of Azamgarh has dismissed the suit in respect of two of the numbers, 824 and 728. The plaintiffs consequently appeal.

4. The reason for dismissal of the suit by the Additional Subordinate Judge is that he found that the defendants-respondents were not bound by the compromise of 1910, inasmuch as, although the defendants are either sons or nephews of persons who were parties to the compromise and subsequent proceedings, yet their father or uncle, as the case may be, was not entitled to give up the defendants’ rights in the holding in the absence of sufficient cause being shown by the plaintiffs, and the Court held that there was no evidence to prove that the compromise was necessary.

5. There can be no question that if the compromise decree was passed against these relations of the defendants as representing their respective families it would bind the other members of the family provided that the compromise itself was executed by these persons on behalf of their families. It is said, however, that the burden of proving this latter fact was on the plaintiffs. It appears from this case that Juggu, Sunahi and Sarab Sukh were sued in the former suit of 1910, because their names alone were entered in the revenue papers. It appears reasonable to hold that where a person is entered in the papers as representing himself and others of his family he can be sued, in a suit calling in question that entry, as representative of these other members.

6. In Jagan Nath v. Mannu Lal [1894] 16 All. 231, it was held that it was competent to the father of a joint Hindu family in his capacity as managing member of the family to refer to arbitration. In the same way I hold that it is competent for the persons representing a family in the village khewat to confess judgment in a suit brought against the family on the ground that it had no interest in the land. The same ruling is authority for holding that the manager or representative’s acts are binding on the other members of the family in the absence of proof of fraud or collusion I hold that the defendants were bound by the compromise decree in the absence of proof of fraud or collusion on the part of the members of the family who were parties to that decree.

7. It has been urged also as an answer to this appeal that the lower appellate Court was wrong in holding that the suit against the defendants was not barred by limitation. The argument is that the compromise decree was only executed by symbolical possession being given to the plaintiffs and not by delivery of actual possession. This, it is said, is plain from the fact that in the previous suit the then plaintiffs contended that the then defendants were sub-tenants. This plea, however, ignores the terms of the compromise. The compromise of 1910 provided for the then plaintiffs getting possession. We can only presume that the then defendants were not only prepared to acknowledge the title of the then plaintiffs as occupancy tenants, but were prepared to vacate the holding in their favour. The defendants themselves had not admitted up to the date of that compromise that they were sub-tenants and I see no reason for importing any such allegation into the terms of the compromise merely because the plaintiffs had made it in their plaint. I hold that the plaintiffs were given actual possession and consequently no limitation could bar their present suit.

8. For the above reasons I allow this appeal with costs and restore the decree of the trial Court. The plaintiffs will get their costs also in the lower appellate Court.

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