w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



P.S.M. Ahamed Abdul Khader v/s T.K. Mohammed Abubucker & Others

    L.P.A. No. 125 of 2001

    Decided On, 13 November 2001

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. NARAYANA KURUP & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A. KULASEKARAN

    For the Appearing Parties: V. Raghavachari, M/s. A.J. Abdul Razak, T.R. Mani, T.M. Hariharan, Advocates.



Judgment Text

K. Narayana Kurup, J.

1. The plaintiff in O.S. No. 72 of 1984 in the Court of Subordinate Judge, Ramanathapuram is the appellant. The appeal is directed against the judgment and decree in A.S. No. 924 of 1987 of the learned single Judge of this Court, dated 25-4-2001, confirming the judgment and decree of the trial Court, namely, Sub-Court, Ramanathapuram in O.S. No. 72 of 1984, dated 21-7-1987.

2. The brief facts necessary for the disposal of this Letters Patent Appeal are as follows :-

The appellant/plaintiff is the owner of an extent of 5 acres 11 cents of Punjai lands comprised in S. No. 407/2-B-2 (equivalent to 2.06.5 hectares) situate in No. 38, Kanjirangudi Village, Ramanathapuram Taluk. He purchased the same along with some other items of land for a valuable consideration from one S.A.M. Liyakath Ali Khan and four others under Ex. A-4/sale deed, dated 2-3-1982, registered as Document No. 271 of 1982 in the Office of the Sub-Registrar of Kilakarai. The plaintiff's vendors delivered possession of the lands to the plaintiff on the date of registration of the sale deed itself. The said lands originally belonged to one S.A.M. Alla Pichai Ambalam (hereinafter referred to as "Pichai Amba-lam"), who died leaving no issues in or about 1967 survived by his two brothers, namely, (1) S.A.M. Mohammed Mustafa and (2) S.A.M. Mohammed Hamid Sultan and his deceased brother S.A.M. Hassan Hussain Pillai's son, Mir Moinudeen, as his heirs and legal representatives to succeed to his estate. According to the plaintiff, eversince the death of Pichai Ambalam, S.A.M. Md. Mustafa, S.A.M. Md. Hamid Sultan and Mir Moinudeen were in exclusive possession and enjoyment of the suit property. Patta for the lands were also transferred in favour of S.A.M. Md. Mustafa. S.A.M. Hamid Sultan, one of the brothers of Pichai Ambalam died in the year 1973 leaving behind him four sons and one daughter, namely, (1) S.A.M. Liyakath Ali Khan, (2) S.A.M Wappa Sahib Marakayar, (3) S.A.M. Sadakath Abdul Khader, (4) S.A.M. Soukath Abdul Khader and (5) S.A.M. Fahujith Ahamed Nachiya, as his heirs and legal representatives. S.A.M. Syed Hassan Hussain Pillai-pre-deceased his brother Pichai Ambalam leaving behind his son S.A.M. Mir Moinudeen as his sole heir. S.A.M. Md. Mustafa and the children of his two brothers referred to above entered into a deed of partition, i.e. Ex. A-3, dated 25-8-1981. In the said partition. 'B' Schedule properties were allotted to the four sons and one daughter of S.A.M. Md. Hamid Sultan. The suit property is shown as the 15th item in the 'B' Schedule to the partition deed (vide Ex. A-3). The plaintiff, as aforesaid, purchased the said lands from S.A.M. Liyakath Ali Khan and others. Patta for the said lands which originally stood in the name of S.A.M. Md. Mustafa was also transferred in the name of the plaintiff on 18-3-1982, i.e. the date of execution of Ex. A-5/patta and eversince the date of purchase, the plaintiff is paying the land revenue for the suit property and was in enjoyment of the same. Going by the plaint averments, it can be seen that the plaintiff is carrying on business in Hongkong and visits India only occasionally and whenever he visits India, he mostly stays in Madras and spends only a few days in Kilakarai, where the suit property is located. The defendants who were owning lands in S. Nos. 404/4-B and 404/3, which are adjacent to the plaintiff's lands, taking advantage of the absence of the plaintiff in India, had illegally encroached upon the entire lands belonging to the plaintiff ad-measuring 5 acres 11 cents in S. No. 407/2-B-2 and annexed the same with the adjacent lands. They also cut and removed Udai trees standing thereon. Accordingly, the plaintiff moved the subordinate Judge's Court, Ramanathapuram in O.S. No. 72 of 1984 for declaration of title and recovery of possesison of the suit property and for damages of Rs. 30, 000/- being the value of the Udai trees cut and removed by the defendants.

3. The defendants filed a written statement as follows :-

"Neither the plaintiff nor his predecessors ever had any title, much less any kind of possession of the suit property. The suit property along with defendants' adjoining property is under single enclosure, fences existing for long years. It is in the exclusive possession of the defendants. By such long exclusive possession and enjoyment, the defendants have prescribed title and acquired title by advarse possession. The plaintiff's claim, if any, is barred by limitation. There was no encroachment by the defendants and there is no need since the defendants are always in possession. The recent sale deed, dated 2-3-1982 is created to make a false claim. There was no delivery of possession to the plaintiff. The plaintiff and his vendors being influentially monied people, secured patta at the instance of the Revenue officials. The transfer of patta without the knowledge of the defendants is useless. Plaint is significantly silent as to how S.A.M. Alla Pichai Ambalam has got any title to the suit properties. The defendants' father S.A.M. Hamid Sultan purchased 3 acres and 90 cents in the suit land under registered deed, dated 25-1-1940 from A.M. Meera Sahib. There was a mortgage deed dated 22-2-1939 in favour of Hamid Sultan and his brother. The adjoining land 404/4-B was also purchased under the same document. The remaining extent as owned by the Kalimuthu Nadar and Subramanian Nadar who sold the same to one V.M. Wappa Sahib under deed dated 1-9-1940. On 15-10-1941, the property was purchased from Wappa Sahib in the name of defendants' mother Ayisha Bibi. Thus, the defendants' father had become the full and absolute owner of the entire 5.11 acres and he is in absolute possession and enjoyment. Hamid Sultan died in 1948. Ayisha Ummai died in June 1969. The first defendant and his three brothers are the present owners and in joint possession and enjoyment. They came to the sub-division proceedings recently, that too, after filing of the suit. The defendants or their father had no notice of the said proceedings. The defendants did not cut and remove any trees within 5 years, since they are not ripe for cutting."

4. The evidence in the case consists of the oral testimony of P.W. 1, namely, the power of attorney holder of the plaintiff and Exs. A-1 to A-12 in support of the claim of the plaintiff. On the side of the defendants, the second defendant got himself examined as D.W. 1 and marked Exs. B-1 to B-30 in support of their defence. Commissioner's reports and sketch were marked as Exs. C-1 to C-3. Learned Subordinate Judge, after framing necessary issues and after considering the oral and documentary evidence, dismissed the suit with costs, and the same has been confirmed by the learned single Judge of this Court vide judgment in A.S. No. 924 of 1987, dated 25-4-2001.

5. Having heard learned counsel Mr. Raghavachari for the appellant and learned Senior counsel Mr. T. R. Mani for the respondents, we are of opinion that the judgment impugned herein cannot be legally sustained. The first and foremost question to be considered is whether the appellant/plaintiff has established his title to the suit property. The trial Court dismissed the suit holding that the appellant does not get title to the suit property by virtue of Ex. A-4/sale deed, dated 2-3-1982 and hence, he is not entitled to the declaration of title as prayed for. This finding of the trial Court is erroneous in the face of unequivocal and unchallenged oral evidence of P.W. 1. In our considered opinion, P.W. 1 has given an accurate version as to how the plaintiff purchased the suit property from the heirs of the original owner, namely, Pichai Ambalam and marked documents Exs. A-7 and A-8 underwhich Pichai Ambalam purchased the suit property along with the other properties and has also filed Ex. A-6 to show that the plaintiff and his predecessor-in-title were in possession from 1973 to 1987. The plaintiff has also produced the kist receipts, patta issued in favour of the plaintiff, etc. P.W. 1 has categorically stated that he knew Pichai Ambalam and his brothers and also their ownership, possession and enjoyment of the suit property. P.W. 1 has categorically stated that after the death of Pichai Ambalam, the patta in respect of the suit property was transferred in favour of his brother Md. Mustafa, which is supported by the entries in Ex. A-6/adangal. P.W. 1 has stated that it was he who arranged the purchase of the suit property by the plaintiff as per Ex. A-4/ sale deed in which he figures as an attesting witness. We find that none of the statements of P.W. 1 has been challenged in cross-examination. The evidence of P.W. 1 remains uncontroverted and inspires confidence in us. We are therefore of the opinion that rejection of evidence of P.W. 1 by the trial Court cannot be justified. Therefore, in our considered opinion, the trial Court went wrong in non-suiting the plaintiff by discarding the evidence of P.W. 1 without any justifiable reason. Accordingly, we find that the evidence of P.W. 1 clinchingly establishes title of the plaintiff to the suit property.

6. The next question to be considered is whether the finding of the trial Court as well as of this Court that the purchase of the suit property by the appellant/plaintiff under Ex. A-4/sale deed on the basis of Ex. A-3/ partition deed will not confer any title on the plaintiff, is correct or not. We find that the trial Court has refused to act upon Ex. A-3/ partition deed since accoridng to it the heirs of Pichai Ambalam will not derive any title to the suit property, in spite of the fact that the suit property has been included in Ex. A-3. The conclusion of the trial Court was that the purchase of the suit property by the appellant/plaintiff under Ex. A-4/sale deed on the basis of Ex. A-3 will not confer any title on the appellant. We are afraid, we cannot accede to the findings of the trial Court in this regard for the ostensible reason that no such defence was taken at all by the respondents/defendants in the written statement and moreover, P.W. 1 was also not confronted with any question in this regard during his cross-examination suggesting that Ex. A-3 was a collusive/fraudulent document. Not even a suggestion is seen made to P.W. 1 in this aspect of the matter. Equally, we do not find anything in the deposition of P.W. 1 suggesting that the suit property had been included in Ex. A-3, collusively or fraudulently. Therefore, we repel the contention of the respondents in this regard and hold that the finding of the trial Court that the appellant will not derive any title to the suit property under Ex. A-4 pursuant to Ex. A-3, is without any factual and legal basis, and the same is liable to be set aside.

7. The further question to be considered is whether the finding of the trial Court in rejecting Exs. A-7 and A-8 can be legally sustained. It is the specific case of the appellant/plaintiff, as stated in paragraph 4 of the plaint that the suit property originally belonged to Pichai Ambalam who died without issues in or about the year 1967 survived by his two brothers and the son of a pre-deceased brother. In support of this contention, the appellant/plaintiff had marked Exs. A-7 and A-8/sale deeds, whereby, Pichai Ambalam purchased the suit property along with the other properties in the year 1932. According to the trial Court, these two documents would not show what was the extent of property purchased by Pichai Ambalam. The further finding of the trial Court is that by producing Exs. A-7 and A-8, the appellant was not able to prove that the said Pichai Ambalam purchased the suit property and enjoyed it? As already observed by us, no question of any kind on the above lines was put to P.W. 1 through whom Exs. A-7 and A-8 were marked in Court suggesting that the suit property was not purchased by Pichai Ambalam under Exs. A-7 and A-8. D.W. 1 also had no case that Pichai Ambalam did not purchase the suit property under Exs. A-7 and A-8. That apart, the trial Court has found that both in Exs. A-7 and A-8, the survey number, patta number and the extent of the suit property are correctly given. Under these circumstances, we are unable to agree with the finding of the trial Court rejecting Exs. A-7 and A-8. On a perusal of Exs. A-7 and A-8, we find that there is clear mention of survey number, patta number and the extent of the suit property. In our considered opinion, when the respondents/defendants themselves have not challenged the contents of Exs. A-7 and A-8, while letting in oral evidence or while cross-examining P.W. 1, it should be taken that the defendants have admitted the contents of Exs. A-7 and A-8. Accordingly, while setting aside the finding of the trial Court rejecting Exs. A-7 and A-8, we hold that Pichai Ambalam, the predecessor-in-title of the plaintiff had purchased the suit property in the year 1932 under Exs. A-7 and A-8.

8. Next, we shall consider the legality and propriety of the finding of the Courts that there are no sufficient pleadings to show that the plaintiff had title to the suit property. Learned single Judge, while considering Exs. A-7 and A-8, has observed that inasmuch as no reference regarding Exs. A-7 and A-8 has been made in the plaint and since there is no reference regarding purchase of the suit property by Pichai Ambalam under Exs. A-7 and A-8 in the plaint, nor any reference regarding hereditary right, the appellant/plaintiff cannot be permitted to lead evidence at the time of trial. In other words, according to the learned single Judge, the plaintiff has not pleaded how he derived the title to the suit property or the source of his title. But then, we find from paragraph 4 of the plaint that the appellant/plaintiff has given a detailed account about the source of his title. It has also been specifically mentioned that the original owner of the suit property was Pichai Ambalam who died without issues in 1967 and his heirs effected a family partition as per Ex. A-3 and the vendors of the appellant/plaintiff got the suit property under Ex. A-3 and sold it to the appellant under Ex. A-4. Accordingly, we hold that there are sufficient pleadings to show that the appellant had title to the suit property.

9. It is no doubt true that Exs. A-7 and A-8 were not filed along with the plaint. But the failure on the part of the plaintiff in this regard cannot be treated as fatal. Under the provisions of Order 7 Rule 18 Civil Procedure Code, a document which is not annexed to the plaint can be marked with the leave of the trial Court. In the instant case, Exs. A-7 and A-8 have been received in evidence by the trial Court and therefore, there is no question of rejecting these two documents at the appellate stage. In our opinion, in the face of Order 7 Rule 18, CPC, and the reception of Exs. A-7 and A-8 by the trial Court, the learned single Judge, with respect, went wrong in rejecting Exs. A-7 and A-8, for a moment, forgetting that they have already been received and marked by the trial Court itself. The trial Court, in our considered opinion, was perfectly right in marking Exs. A-7 and A-8 in exercise of power under Order 7 Rule 18, CPC. The conclusion, therefore, is that the mere fact that the Exs. A-7 and A-8 were not filed along with the plaint, is of no consequence.

10. The appellant filed C.M.P. No. 13013 of 2000 in A.S. No. 924 of 1987 to receive additional evidence under Order 41 Rule 27, CPC which came to be dismissed by the learned single Judge, observing that the appellant had not complied with the conditions embodied under the relevant provisions of the CPC to receive the additional documents at the appellate stage. However, learned single Judge has not stated as to how the appellant failed to comply with the conditions embodied in Order 41, Rule 27, CPC. Having perused the affidavit filed by the appellant in support of the above C.M.P., we find that the explanation given by the appellant squarely satisfies the requirement of Order 41, Rule 27, CPC. In paragraph 5 of the affidavit filed in support of the abovesaid C.M.P. No. 13013 of 2000, it is stated as follows :-

"5. I state that the trial Court has held that there is no evidence to show that Alla Pitchai Ambalam enjoyed the suit land after Exhibits A-7 and A-8. After the above appeal is posted in the monthly list, my counsel had a discussion with me and my counsel advised me to search the records in the Office of the Sub-Registrar of Ramanatha-puram to find out whether any transaction had taken place after Exhibits A-7 and A-8. I caused a search to be made in the Sub- Registrar Office at Ramanatha-puram. I came across two documents viz. 1. Othi deed dated 2-2-1932, registered as Document No. 235 of 1932 and 2. Deed of Assignment of Othi dated 27-11-1939, registered as document No. 3860 of 1939. Immediately I applied for certified copies of these two documents and obtained the same. In the Othi deed dated 2-2-1932, my predecessor-in-title Alla Pitchai Ambalam unifructurally mortgaged the suit lands in favour of Perumal Nadar. The said Perumal Nadar had assigned the othi in favour of one Thillavanammai under an assignment deed dated 27-11-1939. These two documents are vital documents to show that my predecessor-in-title S.A.M. Alla Pitchai Ambalam was in possession of the lands after his purchase and he uninfructurally mortgaged the lands on 22-2-1932. These documents are important documents to prove any case."

The first appellate Court, being the last Court of facts and evidence, ought to have allowed the aforesaid C.M.P. in order to appreciate the case of the appellant fully. Unfortunately, the aforesaid C.M.P. has been dismissed without any justification. We accept he explanation furnished by the appellant for seeking permission to file the additional documents. Further, we find that these additional documents are certified copies and are very vital to establish the case of the plaintiff. Accordingly, we allow the said C.M.P. and direct that these additional documents be marked as Exs. A-13 and A-14.

11. In the light of the aforesaid discussion, we find that the appellant/plaintiff has proved his title to the suit property by oral and documentary evidence. Per contra, the respondents/defendants have pleaded adverse possession, as also title to the suit property through Exs. B-1 to B-7. It is the case of the respondents that their father purchased 3 acres 90 cents of property as per Ex. B-5 and 1 acre 17 cents of property through Ex. B-7 dated 25-1-1940 and 15-10-1941 respectively. The respondents/defendants claim that through Exs. B-5 to B-7, their father and mother became the owner of the suit property measuring 5 acres 15 cents in S. No. 407/2-B. D.W. 1 admits that the total extent of S. No. 407/2-B is 5 acres 32 cents and in that, the northern 21 cents belonged to the plaintiff's predecessor-in-title for a very long time. The defendants claim title only to 5 acres 11 cents under Exs. B-5 to B-7. The boundaries and extent found in Exs. B-5 to B-7 differ. Under Ex. B-6, one Wappa Sahib purchased 1 acre 7 cents in S. No. 407/2-B. But under Ex. B-7, he has sold 1 acre 17 cents. Moreover, D.W. 1 is not able to produce the kist receipts beyond the year 1972 and in the adangal produced by the defendants in Ex. B-30, the survey number is given as 407/2-B and he extent is given as 5 acres 32 cents. When the respondents/defendants claim title and possession only for 5 acres 11 cents, one wonders how the adangal/Ex. B-30 would show 5 acres 32 cents. Apart from this, even though the defendants claim title to the suit property, no issues were framed as to whether the defendants are the owners of the suit property or not. The trial Court very strangely accepted the plea of adverse possession set up by the respondents/defendants without there being any evidence or material to support it. The appellate Court did not even discuss this aspect of the matter. Both the Courts failed to see that the plea of adverse possession was asserted only in the written statement. D.W. 1 never claimed adverse possession in his deposition. Even according to the finding of the trial Court and Ex. B-30/adangal, the defendants would claim possession of the suit propoerty only upto 1972. The trial Court clearly found that the defendants were in possession of the suit property from 28-2-1943 to 13-3-1972 as claimed by them. This finding was also rendered on the basis of kist receipts/Exs. B-8 to B-29. But there is no finding as to whether the defendants continued in possession after the year 1972. Under these circumstances, it may not be possible for us to agree with the conclusion of the two Courts that the defendants have perfected their title to the suit property by adverse possession, especially when the plaintiff has filed Ex. A-6/adangal for the years 1974 to 1987 and proved his possession to the suit property in S. No. 407/2-B-2, measuring an extent of 5 acres 11 cents (2.06.5 hectares).

12. Another important point to be considered is whether the plaintiff and his predecessor-in-title were in possession of the suit property till the date of filing of the suit? The plaintiff has filed Exs. A-3, A-4, A-7, A-8 and the kist receipts/Exs. A-9 to A-11, Ex. A-5/patta and Ex. A-6 adangal. We find that Ex. A-6/adangal produced by the plaintiff covers the period between 1974 and 1987. Ex. A-6/adangal contains the name of Md. Mustafa upto 1982, and thereafterwards, the name of the plaintiff. Admittedly, Md. Mustafa is the brother of Pichai Ambalam, the original owner-the predecessor-in-title to the plaintiff. In Ex. A-6, the survey number, the patta number and the extent of property were all given correctly and it correlates with the schedule given in the plaint. Ex. A-6 has been issued on 12-1-1987 by the Additional Headquarters Deputy Tahsildar, Ramanatha-puram. On the other hand, Ex. B-30/adangal produced by the defendants is for the period 1971 to 1973, namely, for three years. Ex. B-30/adangal had also been issued on 8-6-1987 by the same Officer who had issued Ex. A-6. Strangely, both Courts failed and neglected to consider Ex. A-6 and also Ex. B-30. The adangal is the only revenue record to show the possession of immovable property maintained by the revenue authorities. Both the Courts rejected Ex. A-5/patta produced by the plaintiff and accepted the case of the defendants that the plaintiff, being an influential person, managed to obtain patta. But, both the Courts failed to note that there was no material, much less evidence adduced by the defendants to substantiate this allegation. However, after the death of the original owner, namely, Pichai Ambalam in the year 1967, the patta to the suit property was transferred in the name of his brother Md. Mustafa, even prior to the purchase of the property by the plaintiff. Learned single Judge of this Court rejected Ex. A-5/patta on the ground that it was issued by the Revenue Inspector and not by the Tahsildar who alone is the competent authority to issue patta, according to the learned single Judge. No acceptable evidence or rule has been placed before the learned single Judge to establish that the Revenue Inspector was incompetent to effect transfer of patta and it is only the Tehsildar who is the competent authority. Moreover, there was no plea or evidence let in by the defendants to challenge the genuineness or validity of Ex. A-5/patta. Therefore, in our considered opinion, both the Courts went wrong in rejecting Ex. A-5.

13. According to the first appellate Court, the pleadings are not adequate to establish the date of trespass. Having bestowed our anxious consideration, we are unable to sustain the aforesaid finding of the learned single Judge. From paragraph 5 of the plaint, we find that the appellant/plaintiff has stated that when he came to India in the first week of October 1984, he became aware of the encroachment. Admittedly, the plaintiff is carrying on business in Hongkong. This fact is not disputed. In fact, P.W. 1 and D.W.1 have deposed to this effect. Immediately, when the plaintiff noticed the encroachment, he caused Ex. A-1/notice to be issued on 14-10-1984, followed by the institution of suit. Therefore, we find that there are clear and categoric pleadings on the part of the plaintiff about the factum of trespass made by the defendants.

14. Both the trial Court and the learned single Judge of this Court have relied on the report of the Advocate Commissioner to come to the conclusion that the respondents/defendants were in possession of the suit property. All that we find is that the Commissioner has stated at best that the defendants and his brothers are in possession of the suit property on the date of inspection, which is the very case of the plaintiff. According to the plaintiff, the very theme of the plaint averment is that the defendants have trespassed and encroached into the suit property and they are in possession thereof and that is why the plaintiff has filed the suit for recovery of possession. The report of the Advocate Commissioner will be of no assistance to establish adverse possession of the defendants. On the contrary, it has supported the plaintiff's case of encroachment of suit property by the defendants.

15. The entire approach made by the Courts on the question of adverse possession suffers from legal misconception and proceeds on an erroneous perspective. Even though the defendants have stated in their written statement that they were in possession of the suit property for more than the statutory period, they have not indicated as against whom they were possessing property adversely, when the adverse possession started and when they have perfected their title by adverse possession. To prove adverse possession, one has to plead and prove that a particular person is the true owner and he is holding the property in adverse possession openly, continuously and uninterruptedly for more than a period of 12 years. No such particulars or plea had even been made by the defendants and proved, so as to enable them to succeed on a plea based on adverse poss

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ession. As already noticed, D.W. 1 never spoke a word about adverse possession. Therefore, we are of the view that both the trial Court as well as the learned single Judge of this Court went wrong in dismissing the suit upholding the plea of adverse possession set up by the defendants. 16. The result of the foregoing discussion is that the appellant/plaintiff has proved his title and possession to the suit property by producing overwhelming evidence, both oral and documentary, and in that view, is entitled to the decree of declaration of title and recovery of possession as prayed for. 17. Of course, learned counsel for the respondents submitted that it is not open for this Court to interfere with the concurrent findings of the two Courts sitting in second appeal. However, learned counsel for the appellant invited our attention to the judgment of the Apex Court reported in Asha Devi v. Dukhi Sao, wherein, it has been held that it will be open for the Letters Patent Bench to review and reverse the concurrent findings of fact entered by the two Courts. It was further held that the Letters Patent Appeal from the judgment of a learned single Judge in a first appeal, is not to be treated on a par with a second appeal preferred under S. 100, CPC, and therefore, it cannot be held that the Letters Patent Appeal can only lie on a question of law and not otherwise. He further brought to our notice the decision reported in Andalammal v. Rajeswari Vedachalam, 1985 AIR(Madras) 321, wherein, it was held that the Letters Patent Bench has got powers to reveiw even the concurrent findings of fact and the whole case is left open before the Court. 18. In view of the above decisions, we considered it appropriate to review the entire evidence, since, in our considered opinion, both the trial Court and this Court, fell into error in appreciating both oral and documentary evidence let in by either party. The various findings arrived at by the two Courts are opposed to the oral and documentary evidence let in by the parties. Accordingly, we negative the contention advanced by learned counsel for the respondents/defendants in this regard. 19. In the result, we set aside the judgment and decree of the learned single Judge in A.S. No. 924 of 1987, dated 25-4-2001 confirming the judgment and decree of the Sub-Court, Ramanathapuram in O.S.No. 72 of 1984 dated 21-7-1987, and as a sequel, decree the suit for declaration of title and for recovery of possession of the suit property. 20. However, we confirm the judgment and decree of the Courts below with regard to the relief of damages for a sum of Rs. 30, 000/- being the value of Udai trees alleged to have been cut and removed by the defendants, for lack of evidence. 21. Subject to the above, the appeal is allowed and the suit will stand decreed with costs throughout. Appeal allowed.
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