Prasad & Ors Vs. Bhan Datt (Dead) by Lrs  Insc 1239 (10 December 2007)
Arijit Pasayat & P. Sathasivam
APPEAL NO. 1579 OF 2001 Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
Challenge in this appeal is to the judgment of a learned Single judge of the Allahabad
High Court dismissing the Second appeal filed by the appellant under Section
100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (in short the 'CPC'). The Second
appeal was by the defendant in a suit filed for cancellation of a sale deed
executed by one Raghoram in respect of Sirdari plots. The suit was decreed, the
defendant's first appeal was dismissed. The cross-objections of the plaintiff
were also dismissed by judgment and decree dated 5.1.1979. The second appeal
was directed against the judgment and decree dated 20.7.1978 and the judgment
and decree dated 5.1.1979.
who was a patient of cancer, died in September, 1979. The disputed plots were Sirdari
plots and 20 times rent was deposited to convert the Sirdari rights into Bhumidhari
rights. The deposit was made on 2.8.1976 and on the same day the sale deed was
According to the High Court the point to be considered was whether by the
deposit of 20 times rent, Raghoram became Bhumidhar so as to execute the sale
deed. The High Court held that till the death of Raghoram sometimes in
September, 1976, neither any judicial order was passed for issuance of Sanad
nor certificate of Sanad was issued in favour of Raghoram. It was accepted that
grant of Sanad of Bhumidhari rights relates back to the date of deposit of 20
times rent. But in the present case since the tenant died before any judicial
order for issuance of Sanad could be passed or before the Sanad could be
issued, therefore, the grant of Bhumidhari Sanad cannot relate back to the date
of deposit and would not entitle the tenant to execute the sale deed in respect
of the disputed Sirdari plots on the date of deposit of 20 times rent.
Accordingly second appeal was dismissed.
Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the view of the courts below
and that of the High Court is clearly contrary to the law. Since on grant of Sanad,
Bhumidhari rights relates back to the date of deposit of 20 times rent the mere
fact that the tenant died before any order was passed in that regard, the
effect would be wiped out is not supportable in law.
Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported the order.
question involved in the present case pertains to the interpretation of
Sections 134 and 137 of the U.P. Zamidari Abolition and Lands Reforms Act, 1950
(in short the 'Act').
Sections 134 and 137 of the Act read as follows:
If a sirdar belonging to the class mentioned in clause ( a ) of Section 131
pays or offers to pay to the credit of the State Government an amount equal to
ten times the land revenue payable or deemed to be payable on the date of
application for the land of which he is the sirdar, he shall, upon an
application duly made in that behalf to an Assistant Collector, be entitled,
with effect from the date on which the amount has been deposited, to a
declaration that he has acquired the rights mentioned in Section 137 in respect
of such land...."
137 insofar as it is relevant then stood as follows:
If the application has been duly made and the Assistant Collector is satisfied
that the applicant is entitled to the declaration mentioned in Section 134, he
shall grant a certificate to that effect.
Upon the grant of the certificate under sub- section (1) the sirdar shall from the
date thereof ( a ) become and be deemed to be a Bhumidhar of the holding or the
share in respect of which the certificate has been granted, and ( b ) * *
the application being made and the stipulated times of land revenue being paid,
the sirdari becomes entitled "with effect from the date on which the
amount had been deposited" to a declaration that he has acquired rights
mentioned in Section 137 of the Act. The Section clearly specifies the date
with effect from which the rights would stand acquired i.e. the date on which
the amount contemplated by Section 134 is deposited. This clearly obliviates
the uncertainty of the point of time when the title is transferred by fixing
the date as being the date on which the amount is deposited. It would be
immaterial as to when the declaration under Section 137 is made because that
declaration must necessarily take effect from the date when the amount is
deposited. Prior to the amendment of sub section (2) of Section 137 of the Act
the position was that it is only the grant of certificate under sub section (1)
of Section 137 that the Sirdar from the date thereof became or is to be deemed
to be a Bhumidhar of the holding or the share in respect of which the
certificate has been granted. The amendment of sub section (2) of Section 137
by Amendment Act 21 of 1962 with effect from 13.12.1962 brought Section 137 (2)
in line with Section 134. The two provisions read together clearly provide that
as and when the certificate under Section 137 is granted, it must relate back
and be effective from the date on which the amount referred to in sub section
(1) of Section 134 was deposited. In this context the observation of this Court
in para 9 of Deo Nandan and Anr. v. Ram Saran and Ors. [2000 (3) SC 440] is
worth being quoted. So far relevant, it was observed as follows:
our opinion, the said decisions run counter to the plain language and meaning
of Sections 134 and 137 as they stood at the relevant point of time. When a
certificate is issued under Section 137 it in fact recognises the position as
on the date when the application was made and the payment contemplated under
Section 134(1) was deposited. The certificate, In other words, will have a
retrospective effect and would relate back to the date of the application.
There was nothing to prevent the revenue authorities from allowing the
application filed under Section 134(1) on the day when it was presented. The
underlying intention of the legislature, therefore, clearly is that as and when
the said application Is accepted and order is passed under Section 137 it must
relate back to the date when the application was filed. Such a situation is not
unknown to law. Mr. Prem Prasad Juneja, learned Counsel for the appellants, as
an analogy, has drawn our attention to Order 22 Rule 6, C.P.C. which provides
that if any of the parties to a suit dies after the hearing has been completed
and before the judgment is pronounced, the suit would not abate. The doctrine
of relation back has been incorporated in Sections 134 and 137 of the U.P. Zamindari
Abolition and Land Reforms Act."
view of what has been stated above the appeal is allowed and the judgment of
the High Court affirming the decisions of the trial court and the first
appellate court is set aside. Cost made easy.