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RELEVANCY OF STATEMENT MADE DURING MUTATION PROCEEDINGS 2003 SC

FULL JUDGMENT
JUSTICE Doraiswamy Raju & JUSTICE Shivaraj V. Patil of The Supreme Court of India in case of Mahila Bajrangi (dead) through L.Rs. & Ors VS Badribai w/o Jagannath & Anr. 2003 (2) SCC 464
Mutation proceedings before revenue authorities are not judicial proceedings in any Court of law and does not decide questions of title to immovable property. Revenue authority ordering mutation of revenue records cannot be Protanto held to be a civil court of concurrent and competent jurisdiction to adjudicate questions of title to immovable property. It is always the decision on an issue that has been directly and substantially in issue in the former suit between the same parties which has been heard and finally decided that is considered to operate as resjudicata and not merely any finding on every incident or collateral question to arrive at such a decision that would constitute resjudicata.
Sections 32 and 33 of Evidence Act are considered to be exceptions to the general principle that the best evidence should be directly let in, during the course of trial to render it admissible in evidence. The statement of facts in the statements made before revenue authorities, would not be sufficient per se to prove the claims made in evidence as an admission. The statement as to any fact in issue or relevant fact to be admissible as an admission must be such as are relevant and may be proved against the person, who makes them or his representative in interest and not on behalf of the person, who makes them, unless when it is of such a nature that if the persons making it were dead, it would be relevant as between third person under Section 32.
Single Judge has committed a grave error in taking the statements made during mutation proceedings to be conclusive evidence and sufficient in law by themselves to establish the factum of marriage of mother of plaintiff with 'G' as well as the parentage of the plaintiff. It cannot be said that mutation proceedings before the Tehsildar under CPC was a judicial proceeding or that it was shown that the statements have been made before a person authorized by law to take evidence. The statements during the mutation proceedings were all after the disputes arose between parties and being self-serving claims and assertions in support of the very claims of the person making it which are seriously disputed, in the absence of any independent corroboration cannot be taken to be conclusive evidence sufficient in law to substantiate those facts sought to and necessitated, to be proved by the plaintiff to claim the relief. By the same standards, which the appellants seek to apply to the appreciation of their case, if the materials produced on behalf of the first defendant are also adjudged, the entries in the School Admission Register and School Leaving Certificate made long before even any dispute between parties arose, pertaining to defendant describing late 'G' as the father, cannot be brushed aside.
Evidence on record that plaintiffs mother was earlier married to another person and that even when she joined 'G', the plaintiff was already a child, would militate against the normal presumption that would be available to be drawn on account of long cohabitation, as also the parentage of the original plaintiff.

It cannot be said that in the light of the finding by the Division Bench that defendant has not proved his adoption, the relief of possession at least should have been granted in favour of the plaintiff. The Division Bench, when it reversed the findings of the Single Judge and directed the dismissal of the suit, was not obliged in law, to grant any relief of possession alone when it was not proved by the plaintiff otherwise, dehors title that she had been in actual possession of the property and had wrongfully and forcibly been dispossessed by defendant. Consequently, no exception could be taken to the dismissal of the suit in its entirety.


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