Court can interfere with the findings based upon inadmissible evidence: High Court of Uttarakhand

The factual findings which have been arrived at by the court upon taking into consideration the inadmissible evidence can be interfered with by the Court. Such a case where inadmissible evidence has been allowed falls in the third category under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause 25 Courts Act, 1887 and the findings here can be interfered with. This proclamation was upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court in the case of Har Mohinder Pal Singh vs Rajendra Pal Singh [Civil Revision No.8 of 2019] presided by J. Lok Pal Singh.

The factual matrix of the case is that the plaintiff filed SCC for a decree of ejectment, arrears of rent and mesne profit against the defendant/respondent stating that the plaintiff is the owner and landlord of property on Malviya Road, Dehradun. Some other co-owners are residing abroad and in other cities, due to which the plaintiff/revisionist is the landlord/co-owner of the suit property. The property was let out on rent to the defendant/respondent. The respondent did not pay the full amount of rent for which the plaintiff sent a legal notice demanding the rent, electricity and water charges. The respondent stated that subsequently, he came to know that plaintiff has no share and there are about 7 co-owners of this property, who are residing abroad. The plaintiff clandestinely with ulterior motives and for unjust enrichment under deep conspiracy is trying to sell the property without any right or authority. No plea had been taken by the defendant that the suit property has been sold out through registered sale deeds, it was only asserted that the plaintiff is co-owner and landlord of the suit property. However, the defendant led evidence and filed sale deeds to show that the property has been sold out. In the absence of a plea in the written statement, firstly the trial ought not to have allowed the defendant to lead evidence and secondly should not have considered the inadmissible evidence.

The honourable High Court held, “In view of the above, it is abundantly clear that the tenant has not only committed default in payment of rent for the period mentioned in the plaint but it is a case of continuous default of non-payment of rent by the tenant, despite terminating of the tenancy. Insofar as the jurisdiction of the revisional court under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause 25 Courts Act, 1887 is concerned, the decision in Trilok Singh Chauhan (supra) cited by the learned counsel for the respondent/defendant is of no help to the defendant, rather it strengthens the case of revisionist/plaintiff.” The court further contended, “In the case at hand, as has been observed above, findings have been arrived at by the SCC court upon taking into consideration the inadmissible evidence. Thus, the present case falls in the third category under which the findings can be interfered with by this Court. Therefore, in view of the reasons recorded above, instant civil revision stands allowed. Impugned judgment and decree passed by Judge, SCC/Ist Additional District Judge, Dehradun is hereby set aside.”

The Hon’ble Apex Court referred to its earlier judgment of Mundri Lal v. Sushila Rani, in which it was held that though the pure finding of fact based on an appreciation of evidence may not be interfered with, in the exercise of jurisdiction under Section 25 of the 1887 Act, there are certain circumstances under which there can be interference in exercise of such jurisdiction, which are (i) findings are perverse or (ii) based on no material or (iii) findings have been arrived at upon taking into consideration the inadmissible evidence or (iv) findings have been arrived at without consideration of relevant evidence.

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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