HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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Ramabhadran, J. -
(1.) This second appeal by the defendants arises under the following circumstances. Mohi Ram and others filed a suit against Bansi Lal and others, alleging that the suit lands were purchased in 1950 S. for Rs. 155/8/- out of funds contributed by the villagers of Sangra. For the sake of convenience, the name of Dhian Singh alone was entered over it as 'Benamidar'. After the death of Dhian Singh, the defendants continued to hold the property in the same capacity, i.e., as 'Benamidars'. The plaintiffs alleged that they had been in possession of the land, since its purchase, and had been grazing their cattle there and collecting fuel therefrom. At the time of the settlement, Dhian Singh managed to get the land entered in his exclusive name by misrepresenting facts. In Jeth 2006 S., the defendants prevented the plaintiffs from grazing their cattle on this land. In Asar 2007, the defendants further seized the plaintiffs' cattle and impounded them and also filed a complaint against them. Hence, the plaintiffs sought a declaration that they, along with the defendants, were the proprietors of the suit lands and an injunction restraining the defendants from interfering with their grazing and other rights over this land. In the alternative, the plaintiffs pleaded that they had acquired easement rights over this land and the defendants should be restrained from interfering with those rights. A sum of Rs. 300/- was also claimed as damages.
(2.) The suit was resisted by the defendants. 'inter alia', on the ground that the suit lands had been purchased by Dhian Singh out of his personal funds. They contended that the platiniffs had no rights in this land and were never in possession of it. They also denied the plaintiffs' rights of easement. Certain legal pleas, challenging the competency of the suit, were also taken.
(3.) The Senior Subordinate Judge of Nahan, who tried the case, found that the suit lands belong to the defendants and they were in possession, as proprietors, and not as Benamidars, as alleged by the plaintiffs. He also found that the plaintiffs had no easement rights. In the result, he dismissed the suit.;
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