Decided on October 19,2006

PRAN NATH Appellant
Ved Paul Respondents


- (1.) THE factual background of this two decades old litigation forming the back drop of these two revision petitions may be borrowed from the judgment passed in connected revision petition being no. 99/2005 and captioned as "Ved Pal v. Pran Nath" which runs as follows: "1. The parties are locked in litigation for more than two decades, subject matter being an old building situated at Gonikhan, Srinagar with two shops in the ground floor, stated to have been constructed somewhere in 1905 and 1910 on a parcel of land measuring three marlas originally belonging to one Bhagat Sahani who leased out the building and one shop in ground floor to the father and uncle of petitioners while other shop in the ground floor was under the lease hold rights of respondents 1 and 2. In 1969 the uncle of petitioner transferred his lease hold rights to their father under a compromise decree purported to have been awarded by City Judge, Srinagar in an eviction suit instituted by above said Bhagat Sahani against petitioners uncle Lain Turn Chand, as a result whereof his lease hold rights were transferred to petitioners father namely Kapoor Chand while proprietary rights of the erstwhile owner Bhagat Sahani were confirmed by this Court under a compromise decree in 1971. Thereafter the father of respondents I and 2 namely Chuni Lal and one Pran Nath who was holding the other shop, executed separate rent deeds with Bhagat Sahani and D.L. Sahani and were paying rent to them till 1986 when petitioners purchased the property under two different sale deeds and after doing so issued eviction notices upon both the tenants aforesaid on the ground of personal necessity. On failure of respondent No.l and the other tenant namely Madan Lal to vacate the premises under notice, the petitioner filed two civil suits for their eviction which are presently pending in the trial court. After prolonged pendency of said suits the officials of Revenue Department stepped in and declared the land underneath aforesaid building as Nazool land about which as per their stand the petitioners came to know in August, 2003 only when concerned revenue officials informed them of the same. They also learnt that mutations No. 1726 and 1727 of 1998 under which the land was mutated in their favour had been cancelled without notice to them against which petitioners took legal recourse.."
(2.) WITH that background when Nazool Department projected its claim of ownership over the land underneath suit property, the petitioners herein filed an application on 18th March 2006 for amendment of their written statement on the ground that with claim of Nazool Department and the cancellation of mutations favouring respondents the texture of the question title pertaining to suit property had considerably changed, in view whereof they wanted to set up the plea of paramount ownership of Nazool Department and the fact of their having atoned to them along with a rebuttal of respondents plea of proprietorship over the subject matter. They also sought permission to plead that with receipt of notice of eviction by Nazool Department they have submitted themselves to said department as paramount owner and requested them for allotment and transfer of the land in their favour. The petition was contested by present respondent on the ground that after having admitted their title in the original written statement they could not set up a contradictory claim to question their ownership at the fag end of the case when the trial was almost complete and posted for being heard by trial court. After hearing parties the learned trial Judge did not find favour with petitioners request of amendment and dismissed the application vide order dated 2nd May, 2006. It is this order that is assailed in this revision petitions.
(3.) GROUNDS pleaded are that after having been served with eviction notice by Nazool Department as paramount owner the petitioners herein submitted to them and sought grant of lease property in their favour which had necessitated in -corporating that plea in the written statement along with the fact of Nazool Department having staked their claim for ownership of the land underneath and appurtenant to the suit property; and as such by refusing to allow petitioners plea for amendment of the written statement the trial court has failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it, while ignoring the fact that the same was necessitated by subsequent development as cataloged above. During course of submissions the petitioners counsel, while reiterating the contents of revision petition has also contended that as per well settled law, the petitioners could have amended their written statement at any stage of the case particularly in view of the changed factual scenario attending the controversy, the respondents counsel has contended that the application for amendment of written statement was filed by petitioners only to further prolong the lung pending litigation between the parties which would not be permissible at the fag -end of the case, particularly because through proposed amendment the petitioners wanted to undo their admission regarding the proprietorship over the suit property etc. I have heard learned counsel and considered the matter. Amendment of pleadings by either party to alter or amend the same at any stage of the suit is governed by Order 6 Rule 17 of CPC, whereunder it may be allowed on just terms when it appears to be necessary for the purpose of determining the rare question and controversy between the parties. Perusal of the conflicting pleadings of respective parties reveals that the essence of controversy existing between the parties in terms thereof, is liability of petitioners -defendants to eviction from the suit property claimed by respondents -plaintiffs as land -lords wherein the stand of defendant -petitioners so far has been an admission of the proprietorship of respondents -plaintiffs and claim their own status as protected tenants. By virtue of proposed amendment they intended to incorporate their plea of denial of the title of respondents -plaintiffs by setting up the plea of paramount title of Nazool Department who have very late during course of proceedings i.e almost in the 18th year of litigation claimed their title over the land underneath suit property.;

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