Party Cannot Be Permitted To Take Two Contradictory Stands Before Two Different Authorities Or Courts - Supreme Court
A two-judge Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B. V. Nagarathna has held that a party in a suit cannot be permitted to take two contradictory stands before two different authorities or Courts.
In this case, an application was pending before the Sub-Divisional Officer under section 44 of the M.P. Land Revenue Code while another suit was filed before the Trial Court for recovery of possession and injunction. The defendants filed an application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC and requested to reject the plaint on the ground that the suit before the Civil Court would be barred considering Section 257 of the MPLRC. The application of the defendant was rejected and a revision application was preferred by him which subsequently allowed the application to hold that in view of Section 257 of the MPLRC the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred.
The Apex Court noted that the Defendant cannot take two different stands before two different authorities or Court and opined -
"The respondents-original defendants cannot be permitted to take two contradictory stands before two different authorities/courts. They cannot be permitted to approbate and reprobate once the objection raised on behalf of the original defendants that the Revenue Authority would have no jurisdiction came to be accepted by the Revenue Authority/Tehsildar and the proceedings under Section 250 of the MPLRC came to be dismissed and thereafter when the plaintiff instituted a suit before the Civil Court it was not open for the respondents – original defendants thereafter to take an objection that the suit before the Civil Court would also be barred in view of Section 257 of the MPLRC. If the submission on behalf of the respondents – defendants is accepted in that case the original plaintiff would be remediless."
Further, the Bench held that the High Court did not appreciate the fact that the Appellant-Original Plaintiff approached the Revenue Authority/Tehsildar he was nonsuited on the ground that Revenue Authority/Tehsildar had no jurisdiction to decide the dispute with respect to title to the suit property.
"Thereafter when the suit was filed and the respondents defendants took a contrary stand that even the civil suit would be barred. In that case the original plaintiff would be remediless. In any case the respondents – original defendants cannot be permitted to approbate and reprobate and to take just a contrary stand than taken before the Revenue Authority," the Court held.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside and quashed the impugned order of the High Court and restored the order passed by the Trial Court.