Rule for Application of Section 14 – Limitation Act

Rule for Application of Section 14 - Limitation Act Case Laws Civil Law Knowledge - Civil Law Lahore High Court Land Exchange Limitation Litigation & Arbitration Solutions - Civil Law Mr. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan in his judgment has decided the issue regarding rule for application of section 14 –  Limitation Act and benefit of Section 119 of Transfer of Property Act in Writ Petition No. 16121 of 2005.

1. Briefly stated the facts of this petition are that one Muhammad Umer, predecessor in interest of the petitioners was the owner of land measuring 242-Kanals in village Malka Tehsil Kamonki District Gujranwala likewise respondent No.4 got allotted an evacuee land measuring 242 Kanals in village Dargah Pur Tehsil Kamonki District Gujranwala in lieu of his abandoned claim. Both the owners exchanged their land with each other through a registered exchange deed dated 04.11.1966, a mutation No.1043 in village Dargah Pur and mutation No.32 in village Malka was attested on the basis of exchange deed dated 04.11.1966, both the parties to the exchange deed become the owners in possession of their respective land in the revenue record. In the year 1977 the land allotted to respondent No.4 in village Dargah Pur was cancelled on a “Mukhbari” petition submitted by the “Mukhbars”. The predecessor in interest of the petitioners assailed the order of cancellation of allotment in favour of Khalil-ur-Rehman (one of the party of exchange deed) through a writ petition No.413/1977, the said petition was dismissed, CPSLA against the order of this Court was also failed, after the dismissal of CPSLA predecessor in interest of the petitioners filed an application to Tehsildar for restitution of his original land transferred to respondent No.4 in pursuance of an exchange deed, the petitioners’ predecessor in interest’s application was allowed and mutation No.496 was attested in his favour on 21.2.1986. Respondents No.1 to 3 who purchased land from respondent No.4 assailed the order dated 21.2.1986 through a writ petition but subsequently the writ petition was withdrawn. Respondents No.1 to 3 then filed an appeal against order dated 21.2.1986 before Assistant Commissioner Gujranwala which was accepted on 31.5.1994 and mutation No.496 was set aside. predecessor in interest of petitioners assailed the order dated 31.5.1994 through an appeal and the appellate court accepted the appeal vide order dated 09.1.1995 consequently mutation No.496 was restored. Respondents No.1 to 3 then filed revision against the order of Commissioner which was allowed on 05.3.1996 declaring that aggrieved party should approach to civil court for cancellation of registered exchange deed as the revenue courts have no jurisdiction to cancel the registered document. The petitioners assailed the order dated 10.4.1996 through writ petition No.5846/1996, the writ petition was admitted for regular hearing and this Court directed the parties to maintain status quo. The order of status quo was confirmed till the final disposal of writ petition. The writ petition was finally decided on 22.4.2003 declaring that order dated 05.3.1996 is in accordance with law and the petitioners should approach the civil court for cancellation of registered exchange deed. After the dismissal of petitioners’ writ petition on 22.4.2003 the petitioners on 24.5.2003 filed a suit for possession of the land situated in village Malka against the respondents, claiming that the exchange deed dated 04.11.1966 be ordered to be cancelled and inoperative against the petitioners. Respondents No.1 to 3 moved an application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC for rejection of the plaint claiming that respondents No.1 to 3 are the bonafide purchasers for value of the land owned by Khalil-ur-Rehman and their rights are protected under Section 119 of the Transfer of Property Act and the suit is barred by time. The trial court dismissed the application vide order dated 22.12.2004. Respondents No.1 to 3 assailed the order dated 22.12.2004 of the trial court through revision, the learned revisional court vide judgment dated 02.7.2005 accepted the revision and rejected the plaint. The petitioners have assailed the order dated 02.7.2005 through the present constitutional petition.

2. Learned counsel for petitioners submits that the learned revisional court has failed to appreciate the true facts and has wrongly held that suit is barred by time and plaint is liable to be rejected. The petitioners’ writ petition assailing the order of Member Board of Revenue dated 05.3.1996 remained pending till 22.04.2003, this Court directed the parties to maintain status quo till final disposal of petition, hence the petitioners were unable to file a civil suit unless writ petition is finally decided. After grant of restraining order by this Court, the limitation to file the suit stand stopped, the petitioners filed the suit after final disposal of writ petition, which is within time. The petitioners asserted in their plaint that they continued to prosecute their case for restoration of mutation No.496 in different courts, hence there suit is within time. Learned counsel submits that petitioners have fulfilled the requirement of Order VII Rule 6 CPC. The petitioners’ suit was within time or not, is a mixed question of law and fact and as such the learned revisional court was not justified to reject the plaint. Learned counsel adds that protection of Section 119 of the Transfer of Property Act is not available to respondents No.1 to 3, as the land allotted to Khalil-ur-Rehman was cancelled by the Settlement Department, hence the land of petitioners’ predecessor in interest automatically stand restored to him. Learned counsel thus has relied on Narayan Jivangouda Patil and another V. Puttabai and others (A.I.R. (32) 1945 Privy Council 5), Mubarak Ali and others V. Khushi Muhammad and others (PLD 2011 Supreme Court 155). Learned counsel submits that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan has held that the provision of Section 119 of the Transfer of Property Act is founded on the principle of equity and the benefit of said principle cannot be extended to a person who is privy to the fraud adjudged by the court of competent jurisdiction.

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