RATTAN SINGH Vs. MUKAND LAL
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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(1.) This appeal under clause 10 of the Letters Patent raises only one point whether the barbers of Phullokhari, District Bhatinda, are governed by custom in matters of alienation.
(2.) Santu, a barber of Phullokhari, sold his half share in 144 bighas 18 biswas of land to Mukand Lal for a sum of Rs. 3,000 on 6.7.2002 Bk. Rattan Singh, a collateral of the vendor in the third degree, brought a declaratory suit giving rise to this appeal on the usual grounds that the land was ancestral and the sale was without consideration and necessity. The vendee denied these allegations and pleaded that Rattan Singh had no locus standi to impugn the alienation in as much as the parties were non-agriculturists and were not governed by custom. It was held by the learned trial Court that with the exception of two fields measuring about 27 bighas the land was ancestral and that the sale had not been made for necessity except to the extent of Rs. 750. The learned trial Court, however, found that the barbers of this village were not governed by custom and that the plaintiff had, therefore, no locus standi to contest the alienation and on this finding dismissed the suit. The learned Additional District Judge on appeal agreed with the findings of the learned trial Court on the first two points but disagreed on the last point and consequently accepted the appeal and passed a decree in favour of the plaintiff. The vendee filed a second appeal in the Pepsu High Court (Regular Second Appeal No. 106 of (2006 Bk ) which was accepted by a learned Single Judge of that Court on the 10th of December, 1951. It was found by the learned Single Judge that the barbers of village Phullokhari were not governed by custom and that the plaintiff had, therefore, no locus standi to file the suit in question. The decree of the learned Additional District Judge was set aside and that of the learned trial Court restored. The plaintiff filed the present appeal in this Court under clause 10 of the Letters Patent.
(3.) Mr. Atma Ram, learned counsel for the appellant, contended that the barbers had settled in this village along with the founder and that they had been cultivating the land with their own hand for over three generations. For his contention that the barbers had settled in this village along with the founder he mainly relied upon the oral evidence of two witnesses, namely Hari Singh and Mukand Singh, Lambardars. We have carefully gone through the statement of these witnesses and are of the opinion that the witnesses could have no direct knowledge of the facts stated by them. Moreover, the witnesses merely stated that the forefathers of Santu etc, had come to settle in this village. These statements are entirely insufficient (if not altogether irrelevant) to prove that the barbers had settled in the village along with founder. The barbers hold an area of 223 bighas only out of the total area of 14116 bighas of the entire village.;
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