Decided on April 09,1991

PETER BUTT Appellant


DEVINDER GUPTA,J. - (1.) Defendant -appellants have preferred this first appeal against the judgment and decree passed on May 23, 1984, in Civil Suit No. 52 of 1980, by the learned Single Judge of this Court, in its original civil jurisdiction, decreeing the suit of the plaintiff -respondent
(2.) The plaintiff on December 23, 1980, filed a suit for grant of a decree for possession of the house known as West View Cottage alongwith land appurtenant thereto admeasuring 4 5000 acres comprised in Khasra No. 100 -min, which was a part of land entered at Khewat No. 211 in jamabandi for the year 1977 -78, situate within municipal limits of Dalhousie, Tehsil Bhattiat, District Chamba. The basis for claiming the decree was that one Francis D. Butt was a tenant on the 3uit property on payment of Rs. 25 per month as rent and on his death, which took place on January 5, 1973, his widow Mrs. Tearsa Butt occupied the same, who too died on December 12, 1974 and after her death it was defendant Peter Butt, who occupied the property without any authority. It was alleged that the defendant was the son of one Khargu, the earlier husband of Mrs. Tearsa Butt and he had no right to remain in occupation of the property. The cause of action for filing the suit was stated to have arisen on December 12, 1974, when the widow of Francis D. Butt died Earlier a suit had been filed by the plaintiff against the defendant in the court of Senior Sub Judge, Chamba, but the same was permitted to be withdrawn with liberty reserved to file a fresh one on the same cause of action. On these basis, a decree for possession was claimed.
(3.) The suit was contested by defendant Peter Butt on various grounds. The primary defence, besides other legal objections, raised by him, was that Francis D. Butt was the tenant of the land and houses, which were being used for agricultural purposes and for purposes subservient to agriculture. On the death of Francis D. Butt, his widow Mrs Tearsa Butt succeeded to the tenancy rights and on her death he being the adopted son of original tenant succeeded to such right as an heir of his mother Mrs. Tearsa Butt A preliminary objection was also raised about the jurisdiction of civil court to entertain and decide the suit, which according to him pertained to agricultural land, as defined in the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 (Act No. 8 of 1974) (hereinafter to be called as the Act). In the replication, the plaintiff denied that the property was being used for agricultural purposes or for purposes subservient thereto or that it was Mand as defined under the Act It was also pleaded that the defendant was not a tenant9 within the meaning of the word contained in the Act and as such the civil court had jurisdiction to try the suit.;

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