Decided on November 07,1963



- (1.) The first defendant in O.S. No. 460 of 1952 of the Court of the District Munsif, Bhimavaram, has appealed from the Judgment of the Subordinate Judge at Narasapur who, on appeal, confirmed the decision of the District Munsif and decreed the plaintiff-respondent's suit. The suit was for a declaration of the plaintiff's right to drain off the waters on his western field into the eastern field of the defendant and for an injunction to restrain the defendant from interfering with the flow of water through the vent marked K in the Commissioner's plan, Exhibit A-3, in the bund between the fields of the plaintiff and the defendant. The The plaintiff claimed that he and his predecessors in title were letting out water through this vent for a long number of years and that the defendant unauthorisedly closed the vent, thereby causing damage to the crops in the plaintiff's field. The plaintiff elaborated this allegation by asserting that for well over 40 years the water has been let out through this vent into the defendant's land from where it flowed on to the eastern channel. This right, according to the plaintiff, has been exercised openly, continuously and as of right without any let or hindrance on the part of the defendant. The plaintiff also claimed that this right of letting off water constituted an easement of necessity because there was no other outlet for the water on the fields of the plaintiff and that therefore the defendant should be directed not to interfere with this accustomed flow of water. The defendant denied the right of the plaintiff and alleged that the fields of the plaintiff sloped from east to west and that the water flowed westward and not to eastward as claimed by the plaintiff. The Courts below found that the usual flow of water was as claimed in the plaint and directed the defendant not to interfere with plaintiff's right to drain off water into his eatern fields and decreed the suit. Aggrieved by the concurrent decision of the Courts below, the defendant has come up to this Court is Second Appeal. Both the western land of the plaintiff and the adjoining eastern land of the defendant arc agricultural lands where paddy crops are raised. The unmistakable evidence in the case is that, the plaintiff's western fields are on a higher level than the defendant's adjoining eastern fields. The Court of Appeal below therefore held that the plaintiff had a natural right to drain off his surplus water into the defendant's lower land. It is also found on the evidence that the plaintiff had acquired this right by prescription. The learned counsel for the appellant has attacked the finding as to the natural right of the plaintiff on the ground that no such right was expressly set up in the plaint. But a reading of the plaint makes it abundantly clear that the plaintiff had stated enough in his plaint to comprehend a plea of natural right founded on section 7, Illustration (i) of the Easements Act. No doubt, the expression " natural right" is not employed in the plaint nor does the plaint in terms refer to Illustration (i) of section 7 df the Easements Act. But the facts and circumstances alleged in the plaint do envisage the existence of a natural right falling within the purview of section 7, Illustration (i) of Easements Act. It is not necessary that a plaint should embody a statement of the law. If the allegations sufficiently bring to light the existence of a legal right, nothing more should ordinarily be expected from a plaint drafted in the local language with all its imperfections and by persons who are by no means adepts in drafting and who are not so well versed in law as to be able to specify in accurate legal terminology the precise nature of the plaintiff's legal right which is infringed by the defendant. When all the facts necessary for the application of the law are stated in a plaint, it is not proper to quarrel with the plaint because it does not correctly denominate the legal right of the plaintiff and does not state the law, chapter and verse. In support of his contention that the Court below ought not to have based its decision on Illustration (i) of section 7 of the Easements Act, Mr. Rama Rao for the appellant cited the decision of a single Judge of the Patna High Court in Mohendra Nath Ghose v. Nabin Chandra Ghose,(1920) 57 I.C. 504.
(2.) There, the only case set up in the plaint was one of easement pure and simple. When that was found against, the plaintiff sought to rely upon Illustration (i) of section 7 of the Easements Act and urged that his right as the owner of high lands to drain off its surplus water through the adjacent low grounds was a right incident to his ownership of the upper land. The learned single Judge held that this could not be permitted in view of the circumstance that the only case set up in the plaint was one of easement simpliciter. The other important factor in that decision is that, there was no evidence to sustain a plea of natural right based on section 7, Illustration (i) of the Easements Act. For both these reasons, the plaintiff's suit was dismissed in Second Appeal. The facts of the present case are far removed from the facts of Mohendra Nath Ghose v. Nabin Chandra Ghose.(1920) 57 I.C. 504. Here there is clear evidence on record to sustain a plea based on Illustration (i) of section 7 of the Easements Act.
(3.) This is also not a case where the plaintiff rested his claim in the plaint entirely on an alleged right of easement. As I already stated, the plaint in the instant case is of sufficient amplitude to cover a case of natural right founded on section 7, Illustration (i) of the Easements Act. What is more, both sides led elaborate evidence on the question of the natural slope of the plaintiff's land and its height and situation. This evidence is primarily relevant to a case falling under section 7, Illustration (i) of the Easements Act. In this connection, it is also important to note that the allegation in the plaint that the water from the plaintiff's field flowed to the defendant's eastern land was refuted by the defendant in the written statement by asserting that the water on plaintiff's land flowed westwards and not eastwards. And the parties led evidence in support of their rival contentions. Thus, there was the necessary assertion by the plaintiff and refutation by the defendant and both sides adduced all the available evidence in support of their respective contentions. The defendant was not taken by surprise, and surely, there was no mis-trial. The lower appellate Court had also framed an express issue as to whether the plaintiff has a natural right to let off the drain water from his land into the land of the defendant. I must mention at this stage that on an earlier occasion the learned Subordinate Judge framed certain new issues including the one relating to the plaintiff's natural right and remanded the suit to the trial Court for fresh disposal. The defendant thereupon appealed to this Court and this Court allowed the appeal and directed the Subordinate Judge to dispose of the appeal on merits in the light of the evidence on the record. What is significant is that, the issue relating to the natural right already adverted to was in no way disapproved by this Court or objected to by the defendant. This circumstance clearly precludes the defendant from now objecting to the finding of the Subordinate Judge on the question of the plaintiff's natural right under section 7, Illustration (i) of the Easements Act. For all these reasons, am clearly of the view that the decision in Mohendra Nath Ghose v. Nabin Chandra Chose, (1920) 57 I.C. 504. does not avail the defendant-appellant.;

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