Jaswant Singh Vs. Gurdev
Singh & Ors.
J U D G M E N T
P. Sathasivam, J.
appeals are filed against the common final judgment and order dated 24.09.2007 passed
by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in Regular Second Appeal
(RSA) Nos. 4473 and 4776 of 2004 whereby the High Court dismissed both the
appeals filed by the appellant herein.
a. Jaswant Singh-appellant
herein filed a Civil Suit being No. 3 of 1997 in the court of Civil Judge, (Jr.
Division) Hoshiarpur for declaration to the effect that he was the owner and in
possession of land measuring 101 kanals 16 marlas situated in village Simbli, H.B.
No. 272, Tehsil and District Hoshiarpur and for correction of the revenue entries
in Column No. 4 of Jamabandi Register wherein the respondents herein had been wrongly
shown to be the owners. It was claimed in that suit that one Shri Hazara Singh,
s/o Shri Nihal Singh was the owner of the properties in village Simbli, Bajraur
and Chabbewal and after his death on 06.12.1972, by virtue of a Will dated
05.12.1971, he transferred his properties in favour of the appellant herein and
the names of the respondents mentioned in the Jamabandi Register were wrong,
illegal and liable to be corrected.
b. Even as early as on
05.06.1972, a civil suit was filed by the appellant herein in the court of sub-Judge,
First Class, Hoshiarpur seeking permanent injunction against one Amar Kaur and
others restraining them from interfering in the land situated in Simbli. During
the pendency of the suit, the parties entered into a compromise dated 27.11.1972
and on that basis the suit was decreed on 08.12.1972 and Mutation No. 1536 was
sanctioned in favour of the appellant herein with respect to 12-1/2 acres of
land and the same was delivered to him which he had been in possession since 16.02.1973.
Respondent No. 1
herein and others considered Jaswant Singh to be the owner of 8 acres and
regarding the remaining 4-1/2 acres of land, he was considered to be in mere permissive
possession as it was given to him in lieu of his father's share in village
Simbli, Chabbewal and Bajrawar for the purposes of cultivation only. The appellant
took various steps to change the names in the revenue entries but during this
whole period, the revenue entries remained unchanged in the name of Hazara
Singh and hence the appellant herein filed civil suit for correction of those
entries in Jamabandi.
Singh-Respondent No. 1 herein, s/o Shri Karnail Singh filed a civil suit being RBT
CS No. 145 of 1998 in the same Court and the matter was clubbed with Civil Suit
No. 3 of 1997 alleging therein that he was co-sharer in 1/4th share of land of Hazara
Singh in village Simbli, = share in village Chabbewal and 1/4th share in
village Bajraur as Hazara Singh was brother of their grandfather. Vide order dated
20.04.2001, the civil Judge decreed the suit filed by Jaswant Singh-appellant
herein and dismissed the suit filed by Gurdev Singh-Respondent No. 1 herein.
d. Aggrieved by the
order dated 20.04.2001, Respondent No. 1 herein filed RBT Civil Appeal Nos. 68 &
75 of 07.06.2001/04.06.2004 before the court of Additional District Judge (Ad-hoc),
Fast Track Court-II, Hoshiarpur. Vide order dated 28.09.2004, the Additional
District Judge set aside the judgment and order dated 20.04.2001 passed by the Civil
Judge (Jr. Division), Hoshiarpur and allowed the appeal filed against Civil Suit
No. 3 of 1997 to the extent that Jaswant Singh-appellant herein is the owner of
8 acres of land and in possession of 4-1/2 acres of land at village Simbli, in
view of compromise dated 27.11.1972.
Feeling aggrieved, Jaswant
Singh-appellant herein filed RSA Nos. 4473 and 4776 of 2004 before the High Court
of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh whereby vide common judgment and order
dated 24.09.2007, the High Court dismissed both the appeals. The said order is under
challenge before this Court in these appeals by way of special leave.
Mr. A.V. Palli, learned counsel for the appellant and Shri Chinmay Khaladkar, learned
counsel for the respondents.
stated earlier, the appellant filed a suit for permanent injunction on
05.06.1972 alleging himself to be in possession as a co-sharer of land situated
in village Simbli. In the said suit, the parties entered into a compromise and
on the basis of the said compromise (Ex.P1), a decree was passed on 08.12.1972.
The interpretation of the said compromise is in dispute in the present
proceedings. As per the appellant, he became the owner and in possession of 12 =
acres of land situated in village Simbli whereas as per the defendants, the plaintiff
was admitted to be the owner of 8 acres of land situated in village Simbli but
was given possession of another land measuring 4= acres of land in respect of his
share situated in village Chhabewal and Bajrawar. The compromise decree was
produced as Ex. P1 and the compromise deed was produced as Ex.D3.
order to substantiate his claim, the appellant-plaintiff examined one Ajit
Kumar Walia as PW-1 who deposed before the Court that the file relating to the decree
is not available since the record was burnt due to fire which broke out in the record
room on 16.06.1998. Ashwani Kumar, PW-3, was also examined who in turn, deposed
that Rupt No. 242 dated 16.02.1973 is not available in his record despite best efforts
made by him.
the other hand, from the side of the respondent-Defendant, one Harbhajan Singh
was examined as DW-1, who had endorsed the fact that a compromise had taken place
between the parties and a decree was passed on the basis of that compromise. He
along with Dhan Kaur, Pritam Kaur, Arjan Singh, Bakshish Singh and Karam Singh were
the witnesses to the compromise. He asserted that as per the compromise, the plaintiff-Jaswant
Singh was given only 8 acres of land in village Simbli. Ashwani Kumar, Patwari
who was examined as DW-3, had brought Mutation No. 1536 of Hazara Singh,
certified copy of which is produced as Ex. DW 3/A and the entry of mutation is
at S.No. 22.
is further seen that based on the terms arrived at in the compromise and the decree
dated 08.11.1972, the 6mutation of the land situated in village Simbli was
sanctioned. Even though the appellant-Jaswant Singh raised an objection as to the
compromise dated 27.11.1972, (Ex.D3), admittedly, the same has not been
challenged by him either in his plaint or in the suit filed by him or in the
written statement filed in the suit by the defendant-Gurdev Singh. It is
relevant to point out that in paragraph 3 of the plaint, the appellant-Jaswant Singh
categorically mentioned that the parties have compromised and the decree dated 08.12.1972
In the written
statement filed by the defendant-Gurdev Singh and others, it was categorically
pleaded that the decree dated 08.12.1972 was passed solely on the basis of the
compromise entered into between the parties. The details of the compromise were
also given in the written statement filed on 21.01.1999 by Gurdev Singh.
Though in the
replication to the amended written statement filed by Jaswant Singh, the terms and
conditions of the compromise were not admitted but were also not denied and
even it was pleaded that these terms and conditions of the compromise are a matter
of record. The compromise dated 27.11.1972 was not challenged by Jaswant Singh
rather it can be said that he also relied upon it because the decree upon which
he claims ownership, has been passed only on the basis of this compromise dated
27.11.1992 (Ex. D3).
the other question which remains to be decided is whether the compromise Ex. D3
is admissible in evidence or not? The compromise dated 27.11.1972 has become
the basis of the decree dated 08.12.1972 passed by the Sub-Judge, Hoshiarpur. The
perusal of Ex. D4 i.e., judgment and decree were passed as per the terms and conditions
of compromise placed on file. As rightly observed by the courts below, the compromise
has merged into a decree and has become part and parcel of it.
To put it clear, the
compromise had become a part of the decree which was passed by the court of
Sub-Judge Ist Class, Hoshiarpur. Hence, it is a public document in terms of Section
74 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (in short `the Act') and certified copy of
the public document prepared under Section 76 of the Act is admissible in
evidence under Section 77 of the said Act. A certified copy of a public document
is admissible in evidence without being proved by calling 8witness.
Inasmuch as the decree
was passed and drafted in the light of the compromise entered into between the
parties, viz., the plaintiff and the defendants, the certified copy of such document
which was produced before the Court, there is presumption as to the genuineness
of such certified copy under Section 78 of the Act. We have already noted that
the appellant-Jaswant Singh has not challenged the genuineness of certified
copy in any manner. Although the record of the Court has been proved to be
burnt in a fire in Judicial Record Room, Hoshiarpur on 16.06.1998, but the
certified copy of the compromise (Ex.D3), which is the part of the decree was obtained
from the record room on 24.08.1988 and the Decree Ex.D4 was got issued on
circumstances, there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of compromise (Ex.D3).
Even otherwise, as rightly observed by the courts below, the appellant-Jaswant Singh
had not filed any other substitute of the document Ex.D3, on the basis of which
the decree (Ex.D4) had been said to be passed. As stated earlier, in view of the
fact that the decree dated 08.12.1972 clearly says that the suit is partly
decreed in favour of the plaintiff as 9per the terms of the compromise placed
on file, there can be no other way to interpret the decree except in terms and conditions
of the compromise (Ex.D3).
in view of the above discussion, it is to be held that the decree dated 08.12.1972
is to be read and interpreted in terms of the compromise (Ex.D3) dated 27.11.1972.
We are satisfied that the judgment and decree passed by the lower appellate
Court as affirmed by the High Court is based upon proper appreciation of the terms
of compromise (Ex.D3) and do not find any illegality or irregularity for
the appeals fail and are accordingly dismissed. There shall be no order as to