M/S. NEW DURGABARI TEA CO. LTD. Vs. SMT. RANI SURABALA DEVI AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
M/S. New Durgabari Tea Co. Ltd.
Smt. Rani Surabala Devi And Others
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R.S. Bindra, J.C. -
(1.) In this second appeal by the defendants, Messrs. New Durgabari Tea Co. Ltd., hereinafter called the Company, the principal question that arises for determination is about the exact scope of the notification issued by the Administrator of the Union Territory of Tripura under Sec. 134(1) of the Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960, hereinafter referred to as the Act.
(2.) The suit out of which instant appeal has arisen was filed by the plaintiffs on 3 -12 -1349 Tripura Era, corresponding to 16 -3 -1940 A.D., for declaration of their title to 8 drones of land, described in Schedule D attached to the plaint, and for possession of the same by eviction of the defendants. Another relief claimed was for mesne profits but we are not concerned with that relief in the present appeal because the trial Court, by its judgment dated 29 -8 -1957, directed the plaintiffs to institute a separate suit for their recovery and the plaintiffs did not challenge that direction of the trial Court either by taking an appeal against the same or by putting in cross -objections when the defendants filed an appeal against the decree of the trial Court. In substance, the allegations of the plaintiffs set out in the plaint were that out of the lands situate in villages Lengta Durgabarf and Uttar Rampur, and described in details in schedule A to the plaint, the Maharajah of Tripura settled 23 drones, 5 gandas and 10 dhurs with their ancestor Maharaj Kumar Sib Chandra Deb Barma Bahadur on 29 -1 -1314 T.E., and that that settlement was comprised only of plain lands which were either under cultivation or were cultivable. In other words, no tilla land was included, according to the plaintiffs, in the settlement made in favour of their ancestor. The rest of the lands mentioned in schedule A were settled on 17 -3 -1329 T.E. with the Company. This settlement was entirely comprised of tilla lands. The area settled with the plaintiffs' ancestor bears Kayemi Taluka No. 127 and that given to the Company bears Takshishi Taluka No. 66. The Company began to encroach upon the land belonging to the plaintiffs with effect from Ashar or Sravan of 1338 T.E. by planting tea bushes thereon, and that process continued until 22nd of Baisakh, 1349 T.E. by which date a total of 8 drones, described in schedule D to the plaint, had been encroached upon. In para 12 of the plaint it was mentioned that the "particulars regarding the time when the defendant Company began to possess a particular plot out of the lands mentioned in schedule D (Gha) will be submitted later on to the Commissioner at the time of local investigation". In para 16 of the plaint it was stated that "The cause of action of the instant suit has arisen gradually from Asnar or Sravan of 1338 T.E., the date of the defendant Company dispossessing the plaintiffs from the suit land, upto 22nd Baisakh, 1349 T.E., the date of last dispossession."
(3.) The Company resisted the suit by traversing the allegation of the plaintiffs that the land in dispute forms part of Kayemi Taluka No. 127. In other words, the Company denied the ownership of the plaintiffs to the land claimed by the latter. It was alleged further that the plaint did not disclose any cause of action and that the suit was barred by time, having been instituted more than 12 years after the plaintiffs had been dispossessed.;
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