Rajasthan High Court Dismisses Appeal Questioning Previous Judgments and No Substantial Question of Law

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Excerpt 

In the present case, an appeal was filed by the Petitioners, challenging the judgments made by the District and Civil Judge simultaneously. Further, the Court dismissed such appeals and said that the appeal filed by the Petitioner does not give rise to any substantial question of law as no evidence could prove the decision made by the two Courts as incorrect. 

Facts

An appeal was filed by the Petitioners against the judgments & decrees dated 04.04.2019 and 02.09.2013 passed by the District Judge and by the Additional Civil Judge respectively. The two above-mentioned Judgements were specified regarding a plot situated at Gurudwara road. The plaintiff in these aforementioned cases contended that the plot was purchased by his father, Jasraj for a sum of Rs. 401/- on 22.08.1960  and the same was in his possession since 22.08.1960. Further, he stated that he wrote several letters for the issuance of “Patta”. But the same was not issued by the Respondents. So thereafter he issued a notice to the Respondents. But, even after the issuance of a notice, “Patta” was not issued. Furthermore, the Petitioners alleged that the Respondents had also demolished a water tank which was constructed by them on the same plot on 19.10.2009. They added that many such attempts were made by the Respondents to illegally trespass over the plot. It was further alleged that the employees of the Municipal Board threatened the Petitioners that on the concerned plot a community hall & toilet would be constructed. Therefore, the Petitioner prayed that an injunction should be granted against the defendant to not to dispossess the Plaintiff from the plot,  and also should not interfere in the use of the said plot by constructing any community hall & toilet. Besides, a mandatory injunction i.e., the issuance of the “Patta” / sale deed in favour of the plaintiff was required. 

On the other hand, Respondent -Municipal Board, filed written statements with the submissions that indicated that the suit was barred by limitation because it has been filed after 48 years of the alleged purchase. Furthermore, the receipt and notice, which were the basis of the suit, referred only to the removal of debris, and no land was sold to the Plaintiff’s father. No notice under Section 304 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 2009 was given and thus, the suit was not maintainable. The Respondent also made submissions that on the concerned plot, the respondents had already constructed a public toilet for women and now after eliminating the same, a community hall & a toilet for the use of the general public was to be constructed by the Board. 

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And also, for this construction, a tender was issued. Moreover, a foundation stone was laid down on 22.10.2009 by the Respondents. But as alleged by the Respondents this foundation stone was later on demolished by Plaintiff. Further, an examination of the witness and documentation of both the parties was done. After the pleadings and the required examination, the trial court concluded that it was not proved that Plaintiff owned the plot. Moreover, by the examination of documents Ex.-A/2 & A/3, which depicted the issuance of tender, it was self-evident that the disputed land was in the ownership and possession of the Municipal Board. Moreover, the receipt submitted by the Petitioner to prove his ownership didn’t indicate any such sale.  Hence, the court concluded that the documents merely referred to the purchase of debris in the auction. The suit was found within limitation and that the same was barred under the provision of Section 304 of the Act on account of non-issuance of prior notice and consequently, the trial court dismissed the suit. But the Plaintiff was not satisfied and thus filed the first appeal. 

The first appellate court, after hearing the parties, reiterated the findings recorded by the trial court regarding the document Exhibit-1,  The appellate court was also of the opinion that if the plot has been purchased by the Plaintiff’s father, he would have himself made an application in this regard and absence of any document, it cannot be believed that the plot has been purchased by the Plaintiff’s father in the year 1960. Proceeding further, the possession of the plaintiff was annulled. The appellate court also concluded that for non-compliance of provisions of Section 304 of the Act also the suit was liable to be dismissed and consequently, dismissed the appeal. But the Petitioner was again not satisfied and thus he filed another petition, seeking permanent injunction & declaration against the defendant. 

Petitioner‘s Arguments

Learned Counsel for the Petitioners contended that the decision made by the Courts was not justified. The communication in Ex-1 depicted the sale deed. Moreover, the Petitioners had explicitly indicated in their complaint about the existence of a water tank on the suit plot, which was also not denied by the defendant Municipal Board. This non-denial proved their possession on the plot of the land.  And therefore, the entire basis of the two courts about the absence of possession on part of the Petitioner was not correct and was wholly perverse. Hence, the same gives rise to a substantial question of law. 

Respondent’s Arguments 

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Mr Yashwant Mehta, Learned Counsel for the Municipal Board fervently opposed the submissions made by the Petitioners. The Learned Counsel stated that the entire proceeding was based on the fact that, Petitioner was the owner of the Plot and this ownership of the Petitioner was proved through the communication in Ex.-1.  But a bare look at this exhibit would reveal the fact that the claim made by the Petitioner was bogus. Furthermore, the Respondents contended that they were in the possession of the concerned plot of land. Thus, when the Respondents issued the tender for construction of the community hall & toilet, the plaintiff had made a wrongful and baseless claim seeking to claim ownership over the plot in question. Moreover, the aforementioned Courts recorded concurrent findings of the fact, which further does not give rise to any substantial question of law. Hence the appeals of the Petitioner deserved to be dismissed.

Court’s Observations 

The Court, in this case, found that the entire proof of the fact that the Petitioner was the owner of the Plot was the communication in Ex.-1. This communication dated 22.08.1960 was issued by the Executive Officer of the then Municipality, Pali to Plaintiff’s father. And a careful inspection of this communication revealed that the debris of the toilet for women was auctioned. Same was purchased by the Petitioner’s father for Rs.401/- and the amount was also deposited.  Then he was called upon to remove debris before 30th August and clear the land. The communication was very specific about the deposit of Rs.401/- by the Petitioner’s father as the auction money for the debris of the toilets for women. Thus, calling this communication as a sale deed was an ex-facie distortion. So,  the entire basis of the suit claiming ownership of the plot of land in question-based on Ex.-1 was wholly false and baseless, thus the same cannot and does not give rise to any substantial question of law. 

Court’s Decision 

The Court concluded that Plaintiff was not able to establish his ownership over the concerned plot in question. And the communication in Ex.-1 was wholly incorrect and thereby it failed to establish his possession over the plot of land. Hence, the appeal does not give rise to any substantial question of law. Consequently, the appeal has no substance, the same is, therefore, dismissed. 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE JUDGEMENT.


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