& Ors Vs. Surajpal & Ors  INSC 584 (30 October 1995)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Hansaria B.L. (J)
1995 SCC Supl. (4) 671 JT 1995 (8) 150 1995 SCALE (6)213
O R D
Court had given time on September 1, 1995 to Mr. K.K. Gupta, Advocate, to file counteraffidavit
within four weeks from that date and on failure to do the same, it was stated
that he would forfeit the right to file the counter- affidavit and the matter
would be disposed of on merits without reference to any counter - affidavit.
The petitioner had already served the notices on all the other respondents and dasti
service also was effected. Notices accordingly have been served. But
counter-affidavit has not been filed till today. The right to file
counter-affidavit is forfeited.
controversy is no longer res integra. Admittedly, the suit lands are governed
by the provisions of the U.P.
Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1951 [for short, 'the Act']. The appellant had
raised the objection to the jurisdiction of the civil court in his defence in
the trial court. He pleaded thus :
suit is barred under the provisions of Section 331 of U.P. Zamindari & Land
Reforms Act. The sale is not barred under the provisions of Section 168-A of
Z.A. Act. The plaintiff's suit is liable to be dismissed with costs." In
the appellate court also the same point has been reiterated but negatived. The
second appeal was dismissed by the High Court in limine. Thus this appeal by
Court in Chandrika Misir & Anr. vs. Bhaiya Lal [1974 (1) SCR 290] had to
deal with the same question. It was held that:- "Sections 209 and 331 of
U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1951, when read together, showed
that a suit, like the present one, had to be filed in a Special Court created
under the Act within a period of limitation specially prescribed under the
Rules made under the Act, and the jurisdiction of the ordinary Civil Courts to
entertain the suit was absolutely barred.
the Civil Court which entertained the suit suffered
from an inherent lack of jurisdiction because of special provisions of the U.P.
Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1951, the present appeal filed by the
appellants had to be dismissed." The above ratio applies to the facts in
this case. As pointed out earlier, the lands are covered by the provisions of
the Act and express objection as to the jurisdiction of the civil court was
raised. The appellant had purchased 0.7 acres of land out of 2.17 acres. The abadi
site comprises one Kachha Kotha and Ghar having boundary walls. Since the lands
are admittedly covered by the provisions of the Act, the Civil Court inherently lacked jurisdiction to
go into the question of title.
appeal is accordingly allowed and the suit stands dismissed in so far as it
relates to 0.7. acres of land purchased by the appellant. No costs.