AJAY MOHAN GOEL, J. -
(1.)By way of this appeal, appellants herein lay challenge to the judgment and decree passed by the Court of learned Sub Judge, 1st Class, Court No.II, Mandi, District Mandi, H.P. in Civil Suit No.264/99/95, decided on 25/3/2002, titled as Khub Ram and others Versus Dile Ram alias Mangi and another, whereby learned Court below decreed the suit filed by the plaintiffs for declaration and injunction, and also the judgment and decree passed by the Court of learned Additional District Judge, Mandi, District Mandi, H.P. in Civil Appeal No.59 of 2002, titled as Dile Ram and another Versus Khub Ram and others, dtd. 31/8/2004, vide which learned Appellate Court while upholding the judgment and decree passed by the learned Trial Court, dismissed the appeal filed against the respondents by the present appellants.
(2.)This appeal was admitted on 6/12/2004, on the following substantial questions of law:-
"(1) Whether the jurisdiction of Civil Court is barred, in the facts and circumstances of this case, under Sec. 57 of the H.P. Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1971?
(2) Whether the findings of the Courts below are dehors the pleadings and evidence on record?"
(3.)Brief facts necessary for the adjudication of the present appeal are that respondents/ plaintiffs filed a suit for declaration and injunction as a consequential relief against the appellants herein, on the ground that the land comprised in khewat No.48, khatauni Nos. 117 to 121, kitas 98, measuring 26-4-2 bighas, situated in Muhal Dhiun, Hadbast No.49, Illaqua Tungal, Tehsil Sadar, District Mandi, H.P. was recorded in the ownership of Kirpal Singh etc. and under the possession of defendants as purchaser of the share of Lal Singh (deceased), Dharam Chand and Hirda. There was a note in red ink with regard to death of Inder Singh (owner), whose property was inherited by Kusam Kumari by way of a Will. Similarly, property of Dhani Ram (deceased) was shown to have been inherited by his legal representatives. As per the plaintiffs, said entries were prima facie wrong, null and void and against the factual position at the spot as plaintiffs were owners in possession qua half share of the suit land. It was further the case of the plaintiffs that previously the suit land was recorded in khewat No.6, khatauni Nos. 11 to 16, kitas 98, measuring 26-4-3 bighas, situated in Mouja Dhiun, Hadbast No.49, Illaqua Tungal, Tehsil Sadar, District Mandi, H.P. under the ownership of Lal Singh, Bherav Singh and Inder Singh and under the possession of defendants as purchasers of share of Lal Singh, Titlu one share, Dharam Singh, Hirda one share, Chamari one share, Khub Ram and Dhani Ram six shares (half share of the suit land). There were only eight shares of the suit land, out of which deceased Lal Singh owned three shares and deceased Bharav Singh owned one share. Deceased Inder Singh was the owner of four shares. Defendants Titlu, Dharam Chand, Hirda, Chamari, Dhani Ram and Khub Ram had purchased shares of Lal Singh and become tenants under him and Khub Ram and Dhani Ram were recorded tenants of six shares of the suit land. Dharam Chand and Hirda were recorded tenants to the extent of one share and Titlu was shown tenant to the extent of one share and Smt. Chamari was shown tenant to the extent of one share. In order to grab the property of the plaintiffs, defendants in collusion with the Revenue Officials, entered Mutation No.10 dtd. 31/5/1965 in their name on the pretext that Khub Ram and others had relinquished/ abandoned their rights in favour of the defendants. According to the plaintiffs, these mutation entries were wrong, null and void as no such relinquishment or abandonment was made by Dhani Ram and Khub Ram. Plaintiffs were owners in possession of one half share of the suit land and entries to the contrary after 31/5/1965 were wrong, null and void and not binding upon the right, title and interest of the plaintiffs. Patwari of the Settlement Department was residing in the house of the defendants and Mutation No.10, dtd. 31/5/1965 was a result of mischief committed by the defendants in collusion with the said Patwari. It was further the case of the plaintiffs that they were not having knowledge of the said wrong entries and came to know about them recent to the time of filing of the suit when Consolidation Operation started in the concerned Muhal. It was also the case of the plaintiffs that taking advantage of the said entries, defendants were bent upon to change the nature of the suit property and were cutting and removing valuable trees situated thereupon and to dispossess the plaintiffs. It was in this background that the suit stood filed by the plaintiffs, seeking declaration to the effect that Mutation No.10, dtd. 31/5/1965 and entries incorporated thereafter as a result of the said mutation, were null and void, wrong and inoperative and not binding upon the right, title and interest of the plaintiff and also for a decree for restraining defendants permanently from dispossessing the plaintiffs from the suit land and from cutting the trees and changing the nature of the suit land in any manner.