RAM NATH SINGH Vs. BRIJ KISHORE SINGH
LAWS(PAT)-1979-8-10
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
Decided on August 24,1979

RAM NATH SINGH Appellant
VERSUS
BRIJ KISHORE SINGH Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

HARI SHANKAR VS. RAO GIRDHARI LAL CHODHURY [REFERRED TO]
S M JAMES VS. ABDUL KHAIR [REFERRED TO]
KANDA VS. WAGHU [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

KAILASH SINGH VS. AGARWAL EXPORT CORPORATION [LAWS(ALL)-1983-9-85] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Shiv Anugrah Narain, J. - (1.)This application in revision by the defendants is directed against the order dated 14-12-1977 of the Additional Munsif III, Patna, passed in Title Suit No. 3/35 of 1968/77 refusing to take into evidence some registered documents tendered into evidence by the defendants. These documents were filed in court and were tendered into evidence on 14-12-1977 by which date the evidence of the plaintiffs' witnesses had concluded and as many as eleven witnesses on behalf of the defendants had been examined and that the examination of the twelfth witness on their behalf was proceeding.
(2.)The suit in which these documents were tendered into evidence has been brought by the plaintiffs for recovery of possession of certain lands in village Harshankarpur Korra in the district of Patna on the allegation that the plaintiffs and their ancestors before them were the tenants of the lands, but taking advantage of an adverse order in mutation proceedings after the vesting of the estate within which these lands were comprised, the defendants had dispossessed them. The defendants resisted the suit on the ground that they, and not the plaintiffs were the tenants, that the entry in the record of right in favour of the plaintiffs' ancestors was not correct and that rent receipts, if any, filed by the plaintiffs were forged and fabricated and, therefore, had not been filed along with the plaint though the plaint stated that they were being filed along with it. According to the averments in the petition which have not been controverted and, therefore, must be accepted to be correct, rent receipts in respect of the lands purported to have been granted by the former landlords and some of them purported to be signed by Raghubansh Narain Singh, Radhey Kishun Singh and Ramlakhan Singh, were filed by the plaintiffs-opposite party only when the hearing of the case was to start and they were actually exhibited only on 7-12-1977 having been proved by P. W. 4, the last witness examined on behalf of the plaintiffs. The case of the defendants, which was clearly suggested to the plaintiff who was examined as P. W. 1, was that rent receipts filed on his behalf were all forged. On 14-12-1977 as I have already stated, the defendants filed some registered documents purported to have been executed by Radhey Kishun Singh and Raghubansh Narain Singh and they prayed that they may be taken into evidence. The object in tendering those documents into evidence obviously was to show that the rent receipts purporting to bear the signature of Raghubansh Narain Singh or Radhey Kishun Singh did not in fact bear their signature, rather the purported signatures of those persons were forged and fabricated. The prayer was opposed on behalf of the plaintiffs orally on the ground that it would not be proper to take those documents into evidence at that stage as the plaintiffs had already adduced their oral evidence. After setting out the aforesaid contention on behalf of the parties, the learned Munsif observed as follows: --
"Heard both parties on this point. The submission on behalf of the plaintiffs appears to be proper. Therefore, the aforesaid prayer on behalf of the defendants is rejected. (This is English translation of the extract from the order which is in Hindi)."

(3.)It is thus manifest that the only reason given by the learned Munsif for refusing to take into evidence the registered documents produced by the defendants on 14-12-1977 was that the oral evidence on behalf of the plaintiffs was already over. Though the circumstance that all the plaintiffs' witnesses had already been examined may not be entirely irrelevant in deciding whether or not the defendants should be permitted to adduce documentary evidence at that stage, in my opinion, the prayer for taking into evidence documentary evidence may not be rejected solely and wholly on that ground. Under Order XVIII, Rule 2, Civil P. C., the court may, for reasons to be recorded, direct or permit any party to examine any witness at any stage. It was, therefore, quite within the Jurisdiction of the court below to have permitted the plaintiffs to adduce further evidence, oral or documentary, to rebut the documentary evidence produced by the defendants on 14-12-1977, if in the opinion of the court, for reasons to be recorded by it, such a course was expedient in the interest of justice. Under Order XVIII, Rule 17, Civil P. C., the Court could also recall any witness who had been examined. In these circumstances, it is obvious that a court may not shut out relevant evidence whose authenticity is ordinarily beyond question merely on the ground that the party against whom the evidence is tendered has closed his oral evidence. The court was bound to take into consideration other relevant materials, namely, whether the evidence tendered was relevant, whether the documents were authentic, whether there was sufficient reason for non-production of these documents at an earlier stage etc.


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