Decided on March 02,1960

MURARI LAL Appellant
RAMPHAL Respondents


Sarjoo Prosad, C. J. - (1.)THIS is a defendant's appeal and is directed against the judgment and decree dated 5. 1. 52 passed by Shri Nand Lal Mathur, the District Judge of Alwar, affirming those of the Additional Munsif of Alwar dated 15th December, 1949.
(2.)THE dispute in this case relates to an area of 3 bighas and 18 bighas of land which formed part of a larger area of 35 Bighas 18 Biswas. It is not disputed that originally the whole of this area covering 35 bighas and 18 biswas was granted by the State of Alwar as Bhog Kharach for the temple of Shri Sita Ramji situated at village Ramgarh in favour of Haridas, the father of Murarilal, the defendant-appellant. In 192' the then Ruler of Alwar appears to have passed an order for resumption of all thess Muafi lands below 200 bighas. Accordingly the entire area was resumed; and in 1927, the disputed area of 3 bighas and 18 biswas was sold at auction, and purchased by the plaintiff on payment of Nazarana of Rs. 700/ -. Since then the plaintiff claims that he has been in possession of the land, and has made improvements thereon by planting trees and making other investments. Subsequently it appears that the then Ruler of Alwar directed by an order dated 22. 5. 33 that the Muafi lands should be restored to the Muafidars on the original terms (Ex. D. A.), and accordingly it appears that the rest of the area was restored to the defendant. So far as the area in the possession of the. plaintiff is concerned, which was sold to the plaintiff by the State authorities on payment of Nazarana, it appears that the Punya Department of the State in pursuance of the order of restoration took steps for taking possession of the disputed land from the plaintiff in order to give it back to the, Muafidar. THE plaintiff auction-purchaser naturally objected to the restoration of this area on the ground that he ad by virtue of his purchase acquired a vested right therein. His objection appears to have been overruled by the subordinate officers of the department, and finally his appeal to the Executive Council also failed on the 24th of January, 1946. THE plaintiff, therefore, instituted the suit for declaration of his title to the land in question. This suit was filed on the 5th of February, 1946. He claimed that he was the sole owner of the land and in possession thereof, and the defendant had no right to take possession of the same in pursuance of any order passed by the Executive Council, which was subject to the result of a civil litigation between the parties. In the alternative the plaintiff also prayed for a decree for recovery of the amount of Nazarana and for compensation to the extent of Rs. 1,400/- on account of improvements effected on the land in question.
The suit was resisted by the defendant, who pleaded in his written statement that the plaintiff, although he had made the purchase at the auction sale, was merely in possession as a lessee; and that on account of the order of restoration passed by His Highness, the plaintiff was no longer entitled to continue in possession of the land which had to be restored to the defendant, The defendant also disputed the allegation of improvement made by the plaintiff, and further pleaded that the suit was barred by time.

The courts below have refused to entertain the defendant's plea, and have decreed the suit of the plaintiff.

Learned counsel for the defendant has raised three contentions before me. In the first place he contends that the plaintiff's suit is barred by limitation. The ground on which the contention is based is that the original order for dispossessing the plaintiff was passed on the 22nd of May, 1933, and the suit not having been filed within time under Article 14 of the Limitation Act from the date of the order, the suit is barred by limitation. This argument is clearly misconceived. The order of 22nd May, 1933, was a general order, which runs as follows: - "the conversion of Bhogkharch Muafis from land into cash has not worked satisfactorily and has been a source I of much trouble Therefore, before our departure we have much pleasure in sanctioning the reversion of all Muafis below Rs. 200/- from cash into grants on the original basis. This order was not passed against the plaintiff, but was in the nature of a general order for restoration of Muafi lands. There is nothing to show that the order in question necessarily covered the area held by the plaintiff which had been sold to him by auction by the State authorities. The plaintiff, therefore, had no cause of action when this order was passed. The order might well be construed to refer to the Muafi area left after the auction sale to the plaintiff. His cause of action actually accrued on the date when the Executive Council passed the final order on the 24th of January, 1946, directing that the plaintiff should be dispossessed of the land in question. It was this order alone which cast a cloud on the plaintiff's title, and, therefore, the plaintiff had to sue for declaration of his title against the defendant in the present case. The suit was filed almost within a month of this order on the 5th of February, 1946, and is, therefore, evidently very much within time. The court below was justified in observing that the suit in the present case was governed by Article 120 of the Limitation Act.

It is next contended that the suit as framed is not maintainable because the State authorities who passed the order have not been impleaded as parties to the suit. I do not think that it was necessary to make the State authorities party to the suit. I agree that in so far as the refund of the Nazarana amount is concerned, the State should have been a necessary party but that relief has been granted to the plaintiff. The relief which has been granted is against the defendant, and, therefore, the suit as framed is maintainable in so far as the defendant is concerned. It appears that there was no objection taken by the defendant in regard to the frame of the suit or defect of parties at any stage earlier, and, therefore, the objection cannot be entertained at this stage. I have held on the merits also that the suit as framed at any rate in regard to the relief of declaration of plaintiff's title was quite competent.

The only point which appears to be of some importance in this case is in regard to the effect of the order of the Executive Council. The point of course has not been specifically taken in the grounds of appeal, but in the course of arguments the question arose whether this order of the Executive Council purporting to be on behalf of the then Ruler of Alwar was not a final order binding on the parties, and as such not open to challenge in a court of law. The answer obviously to the contention is that by that time the Code of Civil Procedure had come into operation in the State of Alwar and by virtue of section 9 of the Code, the present suit for declaration of the plaintiff's right to the disputed land was maintainable. The order of the Executive Council, if at all, could be taken to be a final order so far as the Punya Department of the State of Alwar was concerned; but it could not affect the right of the plaintiff to get a declaration from a civil court in respect of his title to the disputed land. The decision of the learned District Judge is, therefore, correct, and must be affirmed.

The appeal is without any substance, and is accordingly dismissed with costs. .


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