Sunday, 31 July 2016

When suit for partition will become barred by limitation?

As far as prayer (b) by which plaintiff seeks declaration that plaintiff is
owner or is entitled to 50% share in right, title and interest in the deceased
father's   property   described   in   the   suit   is   concerned,     Article­58   would   be

applicable to this prayer also.  It is not in dispute that there was a consent award
in respect of the dispute having arisen after demise of father between plaintiff
and defendant No.1 which award was declared on 15th April 1986.  In the said
consent award, dispute between the plaintiff and defendant No.1 in respect of
the property of the deceased father was settled on the terms recorded therein.
Decree in terms of the said award admittedly came to be passed in 1991.  Article
106   of   the   Limitation   Act   provides   for   period   of   12   years   limitation   for   a
distributive   share   of   the   property   of   intestate   against   other   person   illegally
charged with the duty of distributing the estate.  Time begins under Article 106
when the legacy and share becomes payable or deliverable.  Under Article 110 of
schedule­I of the Limitation Act, suit has to be filed within 12 years by a person
excluded   from   joint   family   property   to   enforce   a   right   therein   which   time
commences when the exclusion becomes known to the plaintiff.  Even if it is the
case of the plaintiff that he was deprived of property of the deceased father by
first defendant is concerned,   Article­106 of schedule­I to the Limitation Act
would be attracted.   Consent award was declared on 15th April 1986.  Decree in
terms of consent award was passed in 1991 whereas suit is filed on 6th  April
2011.  Prayer (b) thus in my view is on the face of it barred by law of limitation.  
 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
 ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION 
SUIT NO. 808 OF 2011
Naresh Lachmandas Aswani  

VERSUS
 Haridas alias Hardas Lachmandas
  
     CORAM : R.D. DHANUKA, J.
   
    Dated: 18th OCTOBER, 2013
Citation: 2016 (4) ALLMR 286

By an order dated 26th  July, 2012 passed by this court, two issues
were framed under section 9A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in Notice of
Motion NO. 1157 of 2011.  In view of the issues framed under section  9A of the
Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to be tried as jurisdictional issue, both parties were
given opportunity to lead oral evidence on the jurisdictional issues framed by this
court. Learned counsel have addressed on those issues which are answered by
this court in the later part of the judgment. 
2. Plaintiff is the brother of defendant no.1.  defendant Nos.2 and 3 are
the companies incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.
According to the plaintiff, defendant nos. 2 and 3 have been impleaded as party
defendants as they were unlawfully claiming their purported respective rights
and/or claims in the suit property consisting of  immoveable property situated in
Mumbai and described in Ex.A to A­2 of the plaint.  
3. The plaintiff and the 1st defendants are the sons of Mr. Lachmandas
S.Aswani who died intestate at  Mumbai on 18th October, 1985 leaving behind
him the plaintiff and defendant no.1, wife of the said deceased and three married

daughters.  According to the plaintiff, the suit property was the property of the
said deceased Mr. Lachmandas at the time of his death on 18th October, 1985 and
the same then devolved upon his legal heirs including plaintiff and defendant
no.1.  Dispute arose between the legal heirs after demise of the said deceased in
respect of the suit property which dispute was referred to arbitration.  On 15th
April, 1986 the learned arbitrator made a consent award which award was filed
in this court on 9th September, 1991 and consent decree was passed in terms of
the said consent award.
4. It is the case of the plaintiff that till 1962, one Mr.Joseph Henry
Pereira was the owner of the suit property which devolved upon his son Mr.Noel
Richard Pereira upon the death of the said Mr.Joseph Henry Pereira in the year
1962.  In the month of November 1963, the said Mr.Noel Pereira granted three
plots of land forming the suit property together with the structures standing
thereon   by   executing   three   lease   deeds   all   dated   27th  November,   1963   to
Mr.Lachmandas S.Aswani for 98 years.
                                                        
5. It is the case of the plaintiff that in the year 2004, the plaintiff saw a
board of Dheeraj Constructions put up on the suit property.  It is the case of the
plaintiff that the said leases were not terminated by any of the parties and were
subsisting and in force and were binding upon the defendants.  It is the case of
the plaintiff that in the month of September, 2004, plaintiff learnt that the name
of his father was not to be found recorded in the property card pertaining to the
suit property and the name of one Mr.Yusuf Ahmed was recorded as the owner in
the   property  card  in  respect  of   the  suit   property.     Plaintiff   thereafter   made
enquiries with the office of the Sub­Registrar of assurances by writing letters,
sending notices in the year 2004 and 2005 and obtained copies of some of the

documents executed between Mr.Noel Pereira and Mr.Yusuf Ahmed in respect of
the suit property.
6. The plaintiff  thereafter made an application  to enter  his name as
lessee in the property card which request was refused by the City Survey Office.
Plaintiff filed an appeal before the Superintendent of Land Records being Appeal
(58   of   2007).     Superintendent   of   Land   Records     entered   the   name   of   the
deceased as lessee of the suit property.  Copy of the said order was received by
the plaintiff on 31st May, 2008.  Defendant no.3 filed appeal (264 of 2009) before
the Superintendent of Land Records and impugned the order dated 31st  May,
2008.   Defendant no.3 relied upon a Deed of Conveyance dated 17th  January,
2007 executed by Mr.Yusuf Ahmed in favour of defendant no.3 conveying the
reversionary  rights of the said deceased  Mr.Lachmandas S.Aswani in favour of
defendant no.3.  The defendant no.3 succeeded in Appeal (264 of 2009) and got
its name entered in the property card on 8th December, 2009.  Order dated 31st
May, 2008 passed by the City Survey Office came to be set aside.  Appeal filed by
the plaintiff against the order of Superintendent of Land Records came to be
dismissed by the Deputy Director of Land Records.  Plaintiff challenged the said
order by filing revision application before the learned Revenue Minister.
7. In the year 2007, plaintiff filed three suits bearing nos 362, 363 and
364 of 2007 in Bombay City Civil Court at Dindoshi for cancellation of Letter of
Intent dated 12th October, 2003 issued by the Secretary, Slum Rehabilitation and
Development Authority (hereinafter referred to as 'SRA') for a direction to the
Additional Collector, Mumbai and for order and direction that Mr.Neol Pereira,
Mr.Yusuf   Ahmed,   M/s.Housing   Development   and   Improvement   Pvt.   Ltd.   be
directed to remove themselves from the suit property.  All these suits are pending

before the Bombay City Civil Court.
8.  It is the case of the plaintiff that in the month of December, 2009,
plaintiff came to know that in the month of July 2006 defendant no.2 had filed a
suit being suit no. 2000 of 2006 against defendant no.3 herein in this court.  In
the month of January, 2010, plaintiff took out Chamber Summons (61 of 2010)
in the said suit for his impleadment.
9. It is the case of the plaintiff that the plaintiff is entitled to ½ share in
the right, title and interest of the deceased  Mr.Lachmandas S.Aswani in the suit
property and is joint owner of the suit property with defendant no.1.  On 10th
March, 2011, plaintiff filed this suit interalia praying for a declaration that leases
granted under three lease deeds are in force subsisting and binding upon the
defendants   and   for   a   declaration   that   the   plaintiff   is   the   owner   of   and   is
otherwise entitled to one half share in the right, title and interest of the said
deceased in the suit property and is entitled to partition of the said property by
metes   and   bounds   and   to   be   put   in   separate   possession,   for   an   order   that
defendant no.1 to render true and correct accounts of his acts and actions in
respect of the suit property.  Plaintiff also seeks an order and direction against
defendants  to  deliver  up the  Deed of  Assignment  dated  28th  January, 2005,
Conveyance Deed dated 27th  January, 1992 executed by and between Mr.Noel
Pereira and Mr.Yusuf Ahmed and Conveyance Deed dated 27th  January,2007
executed by and between Mr.Yusuf Ahmed and defendant no.3 to this court and
also   cancellation   of   those   documents   for   an   order   and   direction   against
defendant nos.2 and 3 to handover peaceful and vacant possession of the suit
property.  

10. Defendant no.2 has filed written statement in the said suit.  defendant
no.3 filed a Notice of Motion (1157 of 2011) in this suit for deciding the issue of
bar of inherent jurisdiction of this court under section 42 of the Maharashtra
Slum Area ( Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 as also
issue of limitation as jurisdictional issues under section 9A of the Code of Civil
Procedure.  By an order dated 26th July, 2012 this court framed following issues
which are answered in this order and judgment :­
Sr.No. ISSUES  FINDING
1 Whether   inherent   jurisdiction   of   this   court   is
barred   under   section   42   of   Maharashtra   Slum
Area   (Improvement,   Clearance   and
Redevelopment) Act, 1971 ?
As per Order
2 Whether the suit is barred by law
of limitation ?
As per Order
11. The plaintiff through his learned counsel stated that the oral evidence
was required in the matter.  This court accordingly directed the plaintiff to file
affidavit in examination in chief with regard to the said two issues and also to file
affidavit of documents if any required.
12. Pursuant to the said order passed by this court, plaintiff filed affidavit
in   lieu   of   examination   in   chief   dated   19th  November,   2012   and   also   filed
additional affidavit dated 1st July, 2013 alongwith four documents.  By an order
dated   26th  July,   2013   passed   by   this   court,   this   court   marked   those   three

documents as exhibits subject to the proof of contents with the clarification that
the defendants would be entitled to cross examine the witness to disprove the
contents thereof and marked one document as exhibit subject to the proof of
contents.  The witness Mrs.Jyotika Aswani is wife of the plaintiff and had claimed
to be constituted attorney of the plaintiff.  The said witness was cross examined
by   the   learned   senior   counsel   appearing   for   the   defendant   no.3.     Other
defendants did not appear at the time of recording evidence or at the stage of
arguments.  Defendant no.3 did not examine any witness and made a statement
that it did not propose to examine any witness.
Submissions of Mr.Patwardhan, learned counsel for the plaintiff :­
13. It is submitted that under section 9A of the Code of Civil Procedure,
1908, court has authority to frame issue of jurisdiction only.  It is submitted that
issue of limitation raised by the third defendant is not a jurisdictional issue and
cannot be framed under section 9A and thus cannot be tried as preliminary issue.
It is submitted that issue of jurisdiction has to be decided on the basis of the
averments made in the plaint.  All disputes of civil nature are to be heard by Civil
Court.  It is submitted that in the plaint of this proceedings, there is no reference
to any scheme framed by Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA).   Suit is for
declaration that   lease deeds being in force and subsisting and for declaration of
ownership of the right, title and interest of the plaintiff in the suit property.  It is
submitted that suit is for partition and share of the plaintiff in those properties
which rights cannot be whittled away by SRA.  
14. Mr.Patwardhan   submits   that   under   the   provisions   of   Maharashtra
Slum Area ( Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 (hereinafter

referred to as the 'Slum Act') issue regarding partition and share in the property
of the deceased father of plaintiff and defendant no.1 cannot be decided by
authority or tribunal under section 42 of the Slum Act.  It is submitted that the
authority and tribunal has no jurisdiction to decide such partition dispute. Such
reliefs can be granted only by a civil court and not by authority and/or tribunal
and only this court has jurisdiction to entertain, try and dispose of the present
suit filed by the plaintiff.  
15. On issue of limitation raised by the third defendant, it is submitted by
Mr.Patwardhan, learned counsel appearing for the plaintiff that defendant no.3
has made positive assertion in affidavit in support of Notice of Motion that claims
made by the plaintiff are  barred by law of limitation.  Defendant no.3 thus was
bound to lead oral evidence to prove such positive assertion made in the affidavit
in support of Notice of Motion.  Since no oral evidence is laid by defendant no.3,
this court shall draw adverse inference against the third defendant and shall
reject the plea of limitation raised by the defendants.  It is submitted that this
court has recorded that oral evidence will have to be laid which order  has not
been challenged by the third defendant.  Third defendant has to prove its case on
its own merit and cannot rely upon the evidence of the witness examined by the
plaintiff.  defendant no.3 could lead oral evidence after closer of evidence of the
plaintiff.  Since no evidence has been laid by the 3rd defendant, issue of limitation
framed by this court has to be answered in favour of the plaintiff. 
16. In support of his submission that adverse inference has to be drawn,
Mr.Patwardhan, learned counsel placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme
Court in case of  Gopal Krishnaji Ketkar vs. Mohamed Haji Latif and others

reported in AIR 1968 SC 1413.  Paragraph (5) of the said judgment reads thus :­
5. On behalf of the appellant reference was made to the
Area Book, Ex. 66 of the year 1890. The entry shows the name of
Laxmibai widow of Govind Gopal Ketkar under the heading" "
(name of the person). Exhibit 67 is the entry from the Phalani
Book for the year 1897 and shows the land as "Kilvacha Dongar"
and   under   the   column   "blekps   ukao"   is   shown   the   name   of
Laxmibai widow of Govind Gopal. Exhibit 68 is of the same year
from, the revision Phalani containing similar entry with the map
attached.   In   Exhibit   70   the   name   of   Laxmibai   is   shown   as
"Khatedar" for the year 1906. In the remarks column there is an
entry "one built well, one pakka built masjid, one Dargah, one
tomb. Exhibit 71 is an entry for the year 1915 from Akar Phod
Patrak and in the column of "Kabiedar the name of Rukminibai
Hari appears with regard to plot 134. Thereafter, in the record of
rights for the year 1913) Ex. 76, the name of the predecessor of the
appellant is shown. On the basis of these entries it was submitted
by   Mr.   Gokhale   that   the   ownership   of   the   plot   was   with   the
appellant   and   not   with   the   Dargah.   But   shore   are   important
circumstances in this case which indicate that the appellant is not
the   owner   of   Survey   plot   No.   134.   Exhibits   64   and   65   are
significant in this connection. Exhibit 64 is an entry from the "Sud"
in Marathi for the year 1858 in connection with Survey plot No.
134 (Revisional Survey Number). The original Survey number of
this plot was 24 and it was known as "Kilyacha Dongar". The total
area is shown to be 249 acres and 24 Gunthas. It is shown as
'Khalsa' land. Kharaba is shown as 89 acres 24 Gunthas and the
balance of the area is shown as 160 acres. In the last column the
name   of   the   cultivator   is   not   mentioned   but   it   is   shown   as
"Khapachi". It is significant that the name of the Ketkar family is
absent from this record. No convincing reason was furnished on
behalf of the appellant to show why his name was not entered in
the "Sud". It is also important to notice that the appellant has
furnished   no   documentary   evidence   to   show   how   his   family
acquired title to the land from the earliest time; there is no sanad
or grant produced by the appellant to show that he had acquired
title to the land. It further appears that the appellant's family did
not assert any title to the land at the time of the survey made in
1858; otherwise there is no reason why its name was not entered
in the "Sud" of the year 1858. It is true that there are a number of
entries subsequent to the years 1890 and 1897 in which the Ketkar
family is shown as the "Khatedar" or the occupant but these entries
are not of much significance since the Ketkar family was in the
fiduciary position of a Manager of the Dargah and was lawfully in
possession of Survey plot No. 134 in that capacity. There is also

another important circumstance that the appellant has no lands of
his own near plot No. 134 and the nearest lands he owns are in
Bandhanwadi which are admittedly 3 1/2 to 4 miles away from
the top of the hill. There is also the important admission made by
the appellant in the course of his evidence that there are 2 or 3
tombs behind the Musaferkhana. He stated further that "there is no
cemetery or burial ground in Survey No. 134". But this evidence is
in direct conflict with the statement of the appellant in the previous
case that "Round about the Dargah many people die every year....
Anyone that died there, whether Hindu, Muslim or Parsee if he has
no heirs is buried there." He also conceded that there is one public
tank known as "Chasmyachi Vihir" near the Dargah and there are
5 wells near the Dargah and five boundary 'Arenas' about one mile
from the Dargah. Lastly, reference should be made to the important
circumstance that the appellant has not produced the account of
the Dargah  income In the course  of his  evidence  the appellant
admitted that he was enjoying the income of plot No. 134 but he
did not produce any accounts to substantiate his contention. He
also admitted that "he had got record of the Dargah income and
that   account   was   kept   separately".   But   the   appellant   has   not
produced either his own accounts or the account of the Dargah to
show as to how the income from plot No. 134 was dealt with. Mr.
Gokhale, however, argued that it was no part of the appellant's
duty to produce the accounts unless he was called upon to do so
and the onus we upon the respondents to prove the case and to
show that the Dargah was the owner of plot No. 134. We are
unable to accept this argument as correct. Even if the burden of
proof does not lie on a party the Court may draw an adverse
inference if he withholds important documents in his possession
which   can   throw   light   on   the   facts  at   issue.   It   is  not,   in  our
opinion, a sound practice for those desiring to rely upon a certain
state of facts to withhold from the Court the best evidence which is
in  their possession  which  could  throw  light  upon the  issues  in
controversy and to rely upon the abstract doctrine of onus of proof.
In   Murugesam   Pillai   v.   Gnana   Sambandha   Pandara
Sannadhi, :MANU/PR/0053/1916  : AIR 1917 PC 6at p. 8 Lord
Shaw observed as follows:
A practice has grown up in Indian procedure of those in possession
of important documents or information lying by, trusting to the
abstract doctrine of he onus of proof, and failing, accordingly, to
furnish to the Courts the best material for its decision With regard
to   third   parties,   this   may   be   right   enough   ­   they   have   no
responsibility for the conduct of the suit but with regard to the
parties thee suit it is, in their Lordships' opinion, an inversion of
sound practice for those desiring to rely upon a certain state of
facts  to  withhold   from   the   Court   the   written  evidence   in  their

possession which would throw light upon the proposition.
This passage was cited with approval by this Court in a recent
decision ­ Biltu Ram v. Jainandan Prasad. Civil Appeal No. 941 of
1965 D/­ 15­4­1968 (SC). In that case, reliance was placed on
behalf   of   the   defendants   upon   the   following   passage   from   the
decision of the Judicial Committee in Mt. Bilas Kunwar v. Desraj
Ranjit Singh, at p. 206 : at p. 98:
But   it   is   open   to   a   litigant   to   refrain   from   producing   any
documents   that   he   considers   irrelevant,   if   the   other   litigant   is
dissatisfied it is for him to apply for an affidavit of documents and
he can obtain inspection and production of all that appears to him
in such affidavit to be relevant and proper. If he fail, so to do,
neither he nor the Court at his suggestion is entitled to draw any
inference as to the contents of any such documents.
17. Mr. Patwardhan, placed reliance on the judgment of this court in case
of Laxmibai Rauji since deceased and others vs. Khimji Palan, since deceased
by his heirs and others reported in (2000) Vol. 102(3) Bom.LR 596 in support
of his submission that the plaintiff cannot take advantage of the doctrine of onus
of proof and in support of his submission that the defendant no.3 cannot take
advantage of doctrine of onus of proof and would have to prove the issue of
limitation raised by the third defendant independently.  Paragraph 10 of the said
judgment reads thus :­
10. There   cannot   be   any   quarrel   about   the   legal
proposition canvassed by the learned counsel for the petitioners
that the best available evidence should be placed before the Court.
It is the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners that
though the petitioners have discharged their initial burden that
the shop premises were closed from road­side and were not in use,
the onus should shift to the defendant­tenant to show that the
shop was actually in use. The principle of burden of proof is based
on the rule i.e. incumbent probation qui dicit, non qui negate to
mean that the burden of proving a fact rests on the party who
substantially asserts the affirmative of the issue and not upon the
party who denies it; for a negative is usually incapable of proof.
In the present case, the plaintiffs came out with a specific pleading
that   on   termination   of   the   ration   shop,   the   defendant­tenant

closed the shop from front but used it for an illegal purpose i.e.
for running a matka den. Unfortunately, the plaintiffs could not
lead any evidence to show that the defendant­tenant was using
the premises for illegal purpose as pleaded. The defendant­tenant
has not only denied this fact but has in terms led evidence to show
that he was running his business. It has further come on record
that the defendant­tenant found that the ration shop was not
profitable   and   he   was  not   successful   in  carrying  on   with   the
grocery business and so he has changed his business to selling of
medicine drugs in retail. To the action brought by the plaintifflandlords
that they are entitled to seek eviction of the defendanttenant
as contemplated under Section  13(1)(k)  of the Bombay
Rent Act, the plaintiffs ought to have discharged their burden as it
is a settled principle of the Law of Evidence that if no evidence is
given by the party on whom the burden is cast, the issue must be
found against him. The facts and circumstances placed on record
by   the   defendant­tenant   clearly   indicate   that   he   has   been
successful   in   rebutting   the   prima   facie   case   made   out   by   the
plaintiffs. Further on the principle enunciated in Section  114(g)
of the Evidence Act, it can be said that the plaintiff cannot take
advantage of the doctrine of onus of proof as it is a settled law
that the plaintiff should stand on his own legs and merely because
the defendant is unable to produce certain documents for which
he has given a plausible explanation and even if this explanation
is not accepted, still it does not dislodge the defendant­tenant as
he has otherwise produced sufficient documents of the period in
question to show that he was doing business in the premises and
the premises were in use for the said purpose.
18. Mr.Patwardhan also placed reliance on the judgment of this court in
case of Niwas Builders vs. Chanchalben Gandhi reported in (2003) 3 Mh.L.J.
312 in support of his submission that the third defendant is bound by its own
pleadings and must fail or succeed on its own pleadings.
19. Mr.Patwardhan placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court
in case of the Rangammal vs. Kuppuswami and another reported in AIR 2011
SC 2344 in support of his submission that if order or proof is misplaced by the
court, judgment of the Court is vitiated.

20. Mr.Patwardhan, learned counsel placed reliance on the judgment of
the   Supreme   Court   in   case   of   the  Alka   Gupta   vs.Narendra   Kumar   Gupta
reported in (2010) 10 SCC 141 in support of his submission that a civil suit has
to   be   decided   after   framing   issues   and   trial   permitting   the   parties   to   lead
evidence on the issues, except in cases where the Code or any other law makes
an exception or provides any exemption.  It is submitted that there are no shortcuts
in the trial of suits, unless they are provided by law. The defendants not
having laid evidence on the issue of jurisdiction, defendants have not discharged
the burden of proof which ought to have discharged by the defendants.
21. Mr.Patwardhan placed reliance on the judgment of this court in case
of Quari Mohammed Zakir Hussain and others vs. Municipal Corporation of
Greater Mumbai and others reported in 2002(2) Bom.C.R. 98 in support of his
submission that a Civil suit can always be maintained to question the order of a
Tribunal created by a statute, even if its order is, expressly or by necessary
implication, made final, if the said Tribunal abuses its power or does not act
under the Act or in violation of its provisions.  It is submitted that this suit is not
barred.   This court has jurisdiction to entertain, try and dispose of the suit.
Reliance is placed on paragraphs 16 and 17 of the said judgment which reads
thus :­
16.  It is well settled that exclusion of the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is not
to be readily inferred but such exclusion must either be explicitly expressed or clearly
implied. It is also well settled that even if the jurisdiction it so excluded the Civil Courts
have jurisdiction is examine into the issues where the provisions of the Act have not
been  complied   with,   or  statutory   Tribunal   has  not   acted   in  conformity   with   the
fundamental judicial procedure. On the other hand, a suit in a Civil Court can always
be maintained to question the order of a Tribunal created by a statute, even if its order
is, expressly or by necessary implication, made final, if the said Tribunal abuses its
power or does not act under the Act but in violation of its provisions. In other words, if

the suit proceeds on the premises that the offending act has been done not in good
faith, then there is no bar for such a suit. This legal position is enunciated in catena of
decisions including MANU/PR/0022/1940, State of Kerala v. N. Ramaswamy Iyer &
Sons,   MANU/SC/0220/1966  :   [1966]61ITR187(SC)   ,   Firm   Seth   Radhakishan
(deceased)   represented   by   Harikishan   v.  Administrative   Municipal   Committee,
Ludhiana, MANU/SC/0187/1963  : [1964]2SCR273 , as well as decision of Kerala
High   Court   in   Secretary,   K.S.E.B.,   Trivandrum   v.  M.   Sainaba,
MANU/KE/0009/1990 : AIR1990Ker50 .
17. Understood thus, what is to be seen is whether the allegations in the
plaint are of such nature that the plaintiff complaints that the offending action is mala
fide and in transgression of the authority. If such are the allegations, then the suit
would obviously not be barred in terms of the bar of jurisdiction provided for under
section 42 of the Act 1971 for, such a suit would be outside the purview of the said
provision because the offending act is alleged to have been committed not in good faith
or intended to be done under the said Act, but for extraneous reasons.
22. Mr.Patwardhan also placed reliance on the judgment passed by High
Power Committee in  Application No.506 of 2011 filed by Starlight Hospitality
Pvt.  Ltd.  and   another   vs.  the  plaintiff   herein,   authority   under   Slums   Act,
defendant no.1 and defendant no.3.  It is submitted that in the said proceedings,
scheme under Slums Act is in question.  
23. In so far as issue of limitation raised by the defendant no.3, learned
counsel for the plaintiff submits that Article 65 would be applicable in the facts of
this case.   It is submitted that according to Article  65 of Schedule I of the
Limitation Act, period of limitation is 12 years from the date when the possession
of the defendants becomes adverse to the plaintiff.  It is submitted that the cause
of action for filing a suit for possession of immoveable property or any interest
therein   based   on   title   would   commence   when   the   plaintiffs   acquire   the
knowledge of any threat of dispossession.  defendant no.1 was given power to
adopt testamentary proceedings.  Only in the year 2004, plaintiff saw the board
of Dheeraj Constructions on the plot in question.  Cause of action thus arose in
the year 2004 when there was a threat  of his right in the property, plaintiff was

not party to any alleged transfer between the original owner and defendant no.3.
24. Mr.Patwardhan placed reliance on the affidavit in lieu of examination
in chief and also additional affidavit.  It is submitted that it has been deposed by
the witness examined by the plaintiff that only in and around in or about 2004,
that the board of Dheeraj Construction was seen to have been put up in the suit
property by some third party not known to the plaintiff.  It has been deposed that
only in the month of December, 2009, plaintiff came to know for the first time
about suit no. 2000 of 2006.  It is submitted that only in the month of December
2009, plaintiff become aware for the first time of the claim or rights and/or
possession of the suit property made by the third defendant being adverse to the
rights of the plaintiff herein.  It is submitted that suit thus filed on 10th January,
2011 is within time and not barred by law of limitation. 
25.  Mr Patwardhan, learned counsel submits that there were no questions
put to the witness examined by the plaintiff that plaintiff had knowledge of the
board in the name of defendant No.3 prior to 2004.   Plaintiff was not party to
any of the documents.  This Court has jurisdiction to entertain and decide each
and every prayer of the plaint.  
26. Mr   Subramanian,   learned   senior   counsel   appearing   on   behalf   of
defendant No.3 on the other hand, invited my attention to the prayers (a) to (h)
of   the   plaint   and   submits   that   if   prayer   (g)   and   (h)   are   barred   by   law   of
limitation, prayer (i) cannot be granted.   Possession was not handed over under
the lease.  There was a deed of conveyance duly registered and entered into in
the   year   1992   which   would   be   a   deemed   notice   to   the   plaintiff   for   filing
appropriate  proceedings challenging the  transaction.   On 27th  January 1997,

conveyance was registered which would be also a deemed notice to the plaintiff.
Reliance is placed on Art.58 of Schedule­I of the Limitation Act in support of the
submission that prayers for declaration would be governed by Art.58.  Period of
limitation of three years would commence when right to sue first accrues.  It is
stated that in the year 1984, father of the plaintiff and first defendant expired.
Right to obtain partition accrued in the year 1984.  Plaintiff has claimed share on
the basis of inheritance on the death of father.  Consent award was made on 15th
April 1986.   Dispute had already arisen in the year 1985 between the family
members of the deceased father of plaintiff and defendant No.1.  On the basis of
consent award dated 15th  April 1986, decree was passed in terms of consent
arbitral award.  It is submitted that in view of the decree passed by this Court in
terms of the award, second suit for partition would not lie.   Learned senior
counsel submits that in any event, decree also would become time barred in the
year 2003.  It is submitted that prayer for declaration thus become time barred
on the basis of documents referred in and annexed to the plaint.   It is submitted
that there is no explanation given by the plaintiff in the plaint on the issue of
limitation.  Even if date of knowledge is considered as 2004 and copies of the
relevant documents are obtained by the plaintiff in the year 2005, three years
expired   in   2007­08.     Learned   senior   counsel   placed   reliance   on   Art.59   of
Schedule­I to the Limitation Act in support of his submission that for cancellation
or setting aside an instrument or decree, period of limitation would be three
years which time would begin to run when the facts entitling the plaintiff to have
decree or instrument cancelled or set aside or the contract rescinded first became
known to him.   It is submitted that suit is thus barred even under Art.59 of
Schedule­I of the Limitation Act 1963.       Learned senior counsel submits that
even according to the plaintiff, in September 2004, knowledge was derived of the
transaction by Yusuf Ahmed.  Three years expired in the year 2007­08.  Prayers

(a)   and   (b)   which   are   for   declaration   are  ex­facie,   thus   barred   by   law   of
limitation.   
27. Learned senior counsel submits that in the arbitral award which is
based on consent of parties, title to property has been given up by the plaintiff.
Under Art.106 of Schedule­I to the Limitation Act, twelve years time is prescribed
for claiming a share in the legacy or for a share of residue bequeathed by a
testator or for a distributive share of the property of an intestate against an
executor or an administrator or some other other person legally charged with the
duty of distributing the estate, which period would begun when the legacy or
share   becomes   payable   or   deliverable.     It   is   submitted   that   the   period   of
limitation would  began in the year 1991 when the decree was passed in terms of
the award.   Even this prayer for distribution of legacy would be thus  ex­facie
barred in view of Art.106 of the Limitation Act.  Reliance is placed on Art.110 of
Schedule­I of Limitation Act which provides for twelve years of limitation for
filing a suit by a person excluded from a joint family property to enforce a right
to share therein which period would begin when the exclusion becomes known
the plaintiff.    Learned senior counsel thus, submits that limitation under Art.110
commenced when decree in terms of award was passed in the year 1991.  Even
according to plaintiff, share of the plaintiff was excluded in the arbitral award.
Learned senior counsel submits that once time begins to run to institute a suit, it
does not stop.    Reliance is placed on Section 9 of the Limitation Act.  
28. It is submitted  by the learned senior counsel that possession was not
given to the father of the plaintiff and defendant No.1 under the lease dated 27th
November 1963.  No steps were taken by the father of the plaintiff and the first

defendant to obtain possession during his life time.   
29. My attention is invited to para 7 of affidavit of Mrs Jyotika Naresh
Aswani, wife of the plaintiff who was examined as a witness and who claimed to
be Constituted Attorney of the plaintiff.   It is submitted that in para 7 of the
affidavit, reliance is placed by the plaintiff on Art.65 of Schedule­I to Limitation
Act 1963.   The only evidence laid by the plaintiff on the issue of limitation is
what is deposed in para 7 of the said affidavit which states that only in or about
2004, the board of one Dheeraj Builders was seen to have been put up on the suit
property by some third parties not known to the plaintiff.  It is stated that in or
about December 2009, plaintiff came to know for the first time about the Suit
No.2000 of 2006 filed by defendant No.2 against defendant No.3 in this Court
claiming rights and possession of the suit property.   Plaintiff took out chamber
summons for amendment in the said suit in the month of January 2010. It is
stated in the affidavit that only in the month of December 2009, plaintiff became
aware of the claims of the defendants made in respect of the suit property being
adverse to the rights of the plaintiff.  
30. Learned senior counsel invited my attention to the cross examination
of the witness examined by the plaintiff in support of the submission that plaintiff
could not discharge the initial burden to prove that claim was within time and
not barred by law of limitation. 
31.  On the issue of limitation, Mr Subramanian, learned senior counsel
placed reliance on the Judgment of Division Bench   of this Court in case of
Royal   Palms   (India)   Pvt.   Ltd.   &   Ors.   Vs.   Bharat   Shatilal   Shah   &   Ors.

Reported in 2009(2) Bom.C.R. 622 in support of his submission that issue of
limitation is issue of jurisdiction  and has to be tried as preliminary issue under
Section 9­A of the Code of Civil Procedure.  Reliance is placed on para 4 of the
said Judgment.  
32. Mr Subramanian also placed reliance on the Judgment of this Court in
case of  Chhabubhai Balkrishna Sutar & Anr. Vs. Panchan Ladha Savala &
Ors. Reported in 2010 (112)(6) Bom. L.R. 2780  in support of his plea and
more particularly on para 15 to 20, 23 and 24 of the said Judgment in support of
his submission that suit filed by the plaintiff is barred by law of limitation.  
33.  Mr   Subramanian,   learned   senior   counsel   placed   reliance   on   the
Judgment of this Court delivered on 14th February 2012 in case of ITC Ltd. &
Ors. Vs. Shri Sukhkarta Finance & Leasing Pvt. Ltd. in Suit No.764 of 2002
and in particular para 32 in support of his submission that plaintiff has to prove
that the suit is filed within time.  It is submitted that plaintiff did not discharge
the onus that suit was within time.  It was not necessary for the third defendant
to lead any oral evidence to prove that suit was not within time.   No adverse
inference thus, can be drawn by the Court against the third defendant for not
leading oral evidence.   
34.  Mr   Subramanian   placed   reliance   on   the   Judgment   of   this   Court
(R.D.Dhanuka, J.) delivered on 8th January 2013 in case of Zee Entertainment
Enterprises Ltd. Vs. Klassic Studios & Films Pvt. Ltd., and in particular paras 20
and 22 in support of his submission that if a party who has been examined has
admitted the correctness of the claims of other side, in cross examination, other

side is not required to lead any oral evidence to prove his claim.   Reliance is
placed on para 20 and 22 of the said Judgment.    
35.  On the issue of jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the claims made
in   this   suit   or   not,   relying   on   Section   42   of   Maharashtra   Slum   Areas
(Improvement, Clearance  & Redevelopment) Act, 1971, learned senior counsel
submits that this Court cannot grant any injunction against the defendant from
implementing the slum scheme.  It is submitted that plaintiff has not challenged
the notice issued by the Slum Authority as well as notification in the present suit.
Prayer (d) is for partition.  No such relief can be granted in view of Section 42 of
the Slum Act and will be hit by the said section.   Even appointment of Court
Receiver will be hit by Section 42.  Learned senior counsel placed reliance on the
Judgment of Division Bench of this Court delivered on 23rd  December 2011 in
Appeal (L) No. 797 in case of Housing Development & Improvement India Pvt.
Ltd. Vs. Narendra L. Aswani & Ors. And in particular para 4 and 5 in support of
his   submission   that     Section   42   specifically   prohibits   the   Civil   Courts   from
exercising any jurisdiction  in respect of any matter which the administrator,
Competent Authority or Tribunal is empowered by or under the said Act, to
determine; no injunction can be granted by any Court or other authority in
respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred
by or under the said Act.    Learned senior counsel also placed reliance on an
unreported Judgment of this Court dated 5th April 2011 in Notice of Motion in
Suit (L) No.813 of 2011 in case of  Lokhandwala Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. Vs.
Dhobighat Compound Rahiwasi Seva Sangh and Ors. and in particular paras 8
& 9 in support of his submission that this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain
the suit in view of Section 42 of the Slum Act in view of the implementation of

slum scheme on the suit plot.  It is submitted that the said judgment of learned
single Judge delivered on 5th  April 2011 is upheld by the Division Bench of this
Court and also Supreme Court.  
36.  In his concluding argument, learned senior counsel submits as far as
prayers (a), (b) and (c ) are concerned, those prayers were given up by the
plaintiff  in the consent award and cannot be reagitated.  Even otherwise those
claims are time barred.       In respect of prayer (d) which is for partition, it is
submitted that the said prayer is by way of execution of part of award which is
also barred by law of limitation in view of the decree in terms of the said award
having been passed in the year 1991.   Reliance is placed on the Judgment of
Supreme Court reported in  (2001) 7 Supreme Court Cases 573 in case of
Hameed Joharan (dead) & Ors. Vs. Abdul Salam (dead)  By Lrs. And Ors.  in
support   of   his   submission   that   for   execution   of   decree,   limitation   would
commence from the date of decree.  Para 11 of the said Judgment is relied upon.
It is submitted that prayer (d) is also hit by Section 42 of the Slums Act.  It is
submitted that as far as prayer (e) and (f) are concerned, no action had been
taken by the plaintiff.  In any even, the said prayers are also barred by law of
limitation.  As far as prayer (g) and (h) are concerned, it is submitted that those
prayers are hit by Art.58 of schedule­I of Limitation Act.   Prayer (i) is hit by
Section 42 of the Slum Act and is also barred by limitation.  It is submitted that
since 1992, predecessor in title of defendant No.3 came in possession of the suit
property.   Cause of action would thus commence from 1992 also.   Since no
action  has  been  taken  by  the  plaintiff   to challenge   the   slum  redevelopment
scheme, any order passed by this Court would hamper the implementation of the
scheme which would be hit by Section 42 of the Slum Act.   Learned senior
counsel distinguished the Judgment of this Court reported in 2002 (2) B.C.R. 19

and placed reliance on paras 8, 9, 16 & 17.   
37. In   rejoinder,   Mr   Patwardhan   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the
plaintiff   submits   that   in   prayer   (e)   of   the   plaint,   plaintiff   has   not   claimed
ownership rights in the suit property.  Plaintiff has claimed share in the leasehold
rights of the deceased father.  Suit is by way of administrative suit.  It is
submitted   that   thus,   suit   is  maintainable  and   there   would   be  no  bar   under
Section   42   of   the   Slums  Act   in   entertaining  this   suit  by   this   Court.      It   is
submitted   that   the   authorities   relied   upon   by   Mr   Subramanian   are
distinguishable in the facts of this case.  It is submitted that if this court comes to
a conclusion that division of suit property by meets and bounds is not possible,
Court can take valuation of the suit property for the consideration and divide the
amount amongst the legal heirs of the deceased.  It is submitted that lease­hold
rights   can   be   partitioned,   valued   and   divided.     As   far   as   other   reliefs   are
concerned, it is submitted that they are consequential reliefs and are within the
jurisdiction of this Court.  It is submitted that reliefs against defendant Nos.2 and
3 are also claimed in this suit with a view to prevent the multiplicity of suits and
to make the decree effective.  Learned counsel submits that witness examined by
the plaintiff has discharged the burden that suit is within time and not barred by
law   of   limitation   by   not   only   leading   oral   evidence   but   also   documentary
evidence.  It is submitted that notice terminating the agreement was not against
the third defendant.  The third defendant was not a party to the said agreement.
Other parties have not challenged the termination.  Learned counsel submits that
merely because execution proceedings are not filed, by the plaintiff, plaintiff
cannot be prevented from filing a suit.  It is submitted that threat to the rights of
the plaintiff came to the knowledge of the plaintiff for the first time in the year
2004.  Suit thus filed in the year 2011 is within time and not  barred by law of

limitation.   It is submitted that further evidence can be laid on the issue of
limitation at the stage of final hearing of the suit.  Learned counsel thus submits
that none of the claims are barred by limitation and this Court has jurisdiction to
entertain, try and dispose of this suit.     
Reasons & Conclusions : 
38.  Issue No.1 : Whether jurisdiction of this court is barred under
Section   42   of     Maharashtra   Slum   Areas   (Improvement,   Clearance     &
Redevelopment) Act, 1971?
It is the case of the third defendant that by notice dated 31st October
1977, Dy. Collector (E & C) and Competent Authority Andheri declared the suit
property   as   slum   under   Section   4(1)   of   the     Maharashtra   Slum   Areas
(Improvement, Clearance  & Redevelopment) Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred as
the Slums Act for short).   It was published in Government Gazzette on 10th
November 1977.  The slum rehabilitation scheme proposed by the Pali Resident
Co. operative Society (proposed) came to be approved.  The said authority issued
Letter of Intent dated 17th  October 1984 in favour of the third defendant as
owner/developer of the suit property under Regulation 33(10) and appendix IV
of the Development Control Regulations and sanctioned the plan on 4th February
2004 for the purpose of slum rehabilitation and commencement certificate came
to be issued on 30th June 2004 in pursuance of the said plans.    It is the case of
the 3rd defendant that third defendant started construction and have completed
substantial work of rehabilitation building and part of other building.  It is the
case of the third defendant that the said slum rehabilitation scheme is being
implemented on the suit property under the provisions of the said Slums Act to
the knowledge of the plaintiff since 1984.   The third defendant has thus raised

an issue in the notice of motion filed by the plaintiff by filing affidavit in reply
that in view of Section 42 of the said Act, this Court has no jurisdiction to
entertain   such   suit   which   is   in   respect   of   the   property   on   which   slum
rehabilitation scheme under the said Act is being implemented.     
39. Mr Patwardhan, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the plaintiff
submits   that   neither   any   authority   nor   any   tribunal   constituted   under   the
provisions of Slums Act have jurisdiction to grant any relief which is prayed by
the plaintiff in this suit.       It is submitted that thus, bar of jurisdiction under
Section 42 of the Slums Act would not apply to this suit and this Court has
exclusive jurisdiction to entertain, try and dispose of this suit.   
40.  Mr Subramanian, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of third
defendant on the other hand submits that the reliefs prayed by the plaintiff for
declaration of ownership in respect of the suit property, partition by meets and
bounds   and/or   seeking   possession   from   third   defendant   in   respect   of   such
property on which scheme under Slums Act is being implemented and prayer for
appointment of Court Receiver and injunction are barred under Section 42 of the
Slums Act.  Learned senior counsel submits that witness examined by the plaintiff
has admitted in her cross examination that the plaintiff was fully aware of such
scheme being implemented on the suit property since 1984.       Learned senior
counsel placed reliance on an unreported Judgment of this Court in Notice of
Motion in Suit (L) No.813 of 2011 in case of Lokhandwala Infrastructure Pvt.
Ltd. Vs. Dhobighat Compoind Rahiwasi Seva Sangh and Others., in which  this
Court has held that if Slum Rehabilitation Authority is seized of the matter, it is
for   that   authority   to   determine   in   what   manner   the   scheme   should   be

implemented   so   as   to   best   protect   the   public   interest   involved   in   the
rehabilitation of a censused slum.     Paras 8 and 9 of the said Judgment read
thus : 
“8.  Section 42 has been amended so as to substitute the Slum Rehabilitation
Authority instead and in place of an administrator. By the first part of Section 42 it has
been provided that no civil court shall have jurisdiction in respect of any matter which
the Slum Rehabilitation Authority is empowered by or under the Act to determine. By
the second part no injunction can be granted by any court or other authority in respect
of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under the
Act. Now the powers of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority are cast in broad terms. The
authority is empowered to get a Slum Rehabili tation Scheme implemented and to do all
such   other   acts   and   things   as   may   be   necessary   for   achieving   the   objects   of   the
rehabilitation of slums. The purpose and object of the Act is to ensure the proper
rehabilitation of slums. The land owning authority, be it the State Government or as in
the present case the Municipal Corporation also has a vital stake in ensuring that the
purpose and object for which the Scheme is to be implemented is duly fulfilled. The
Slum Rehabilitation Authority has been vested with the jurisdiction and power to ensure
the proper implementation of rehabilitation schemes and to do all other acts and things
necessary for achieving the object of the rehabilitation of the slums. 
9.  The relief that has been sought in the Notice of Motion seeks in prayer
clause (a) the appointment of the Court Receiver as Receiver with a further direction to
permit the Plaintiff to carry the redevelopment. The second relief that is sought is an
injunction restraining the implementation of the development agreement which has
been entered into on 30 September 2009 with defendant No.26 and from the carrying
out of any construction activity on the land. The grant of any such relief will clearly
impinge upon the powers which have been conferred upon the Slum Rehabilitation
Authority. Having regard to the provisions enacted in the second part of Section 42,
noted earlier, it would be inappropriate for the Court to grant an injunction in the
terms as sought. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority is as a matter of fact seized with
the matter and it is for the Authority to determine in what manner the scheme  should
be implemented so as to best protect the public interest involved in the rehabilitation of
a censused slum. The title to the land on which the slum is situated vests in the
Municipal Corporation. The dispute in a case such as the present is not one simpliciter
between a vendor of land and a purchaser who claims specific performance. Neither the
developer nor the proposed society of slum dwellers has any title to the land. The
proposed society represents occupants of hutments some of whom are protected by the
policy of government with reference to the cut off date of 1.1.1995. The state has a vital
interest in the proper implementation of a Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, as does the
land owning body the Municipal Corporation. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority is the
custodian   of   public   interest   and   is   vested   with   wide   statutory   powers.   A   private
contractual agreement between the developer and a proposed society of slum dwellers
cannot   foreclose   the   discharge   of   statutory   functions   by   the   Slum   Rehabilitation
Authority.   The   relief   sought   in   the   Motion   precisely   seeks   to   do   that,   which   is

impermissible in law. For these reasons, I am of the view that no case for the grant of
ad interim relief is made out. Ad interim relief is accordingly refused. The Motion is
made returnable on 13 June 2011.
    
41.  Mr Subramanian, learned senior counsel also placed reliance on the
order passed by Division Bench of this Court on 23rd December 2011 in Appeal
(L) No.797 of 2011 in Notice of Motion No.1157 of 2011 in Suit No.808 of 2011
filed by the third defendant herein against the plaintiff and others arising out of
the ad interim order granted by this Court in notice of motion filed by the
plaintiff herein.  One of the issue raised by the third defendant in the said appeal
was that in view of Section 42 of the Slums Act, no such interim injunction can
be granted by this Court.  Division Bench of this Court, after considering Section
42 of the Slums Act has held that having regard to the provisions of Section 42 of
the Slums Act, prohibiting any Court from granting an injunction in respect of
slum rehabilitation scheme for which LOI was issued by the competent authority
way back in October 2003 and in view of the admissions of the plaintiffs in their
suit as well as affidavit in support of notice of motion about the year in which
they got copies of the relevant documents and when they saw commencement of
construction,   no   case   had   been   made   by   the   plaintiff   for   any   ad­interim
injunction in the suit.  Division Bench of this Court accordingly allowed the said
appeal and set aside the ad­interim injunction granted by the learned single
Judge of this Court in favour of the plaintiff.   Paras 4 & 5 of the said order read
thus : 
“4.         Mr. Subramanian, learned Counsel for the appellant/original  defendant No.3
submits that the land in question admeasuring 1810 sq. mtrs. was occupied by slum
dwellers   and   the   notification   under   the   Maharashtra   Slum   Areas   (Improvement,
Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 (Slums Act) was issued in the year 1978. The
appellant   was   granted   letter   of   intent   on   17   October   2003   for   constructing
rehabilitation   building   for   98   hutment   dwellers   and   free   sale   building   and   the
commencement certificate was granted on 30 June 2004. It is pointed out that the
plaintiffs are stated to have seen the board of Dheeraj Construction on the site in the

year 2004 and the plaintiffs had made inquiries and got the documents in favour of
defendant No.3 in the year 2005. It is, therefore, submitted that in view of the gross
delay on the part of the plaintiffs in filing the present suit in the year 2011 (on the basis
of the lease in favour of the plaintiffs of the year 1966) the plaintiffs could not have
been granted any ad­interim injunction in respect of the project of slum rehabilitation
under the Slums Act, more particularly when Section 42 of the Act specifically prohibits
the Civil Court from exercising any jurisdiction in respect of any matter which the
Administrator, Competent Authority or Tribunal is empowered by or under the said Act,
to determine; and no injunction can be granted by any court or other authority in
respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or
under said Act. It is, therefore, submitted that the learned single Judge was in error in
granting any ad­interim injunction on 17 November 2011 or in calling upon defendant
No.3 to file the affidavit as indicated in the further order dated 22 December 2011. 
5.       Having heard the learned Counsel for the parties and having regard to the
provisions of Section 42 of the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and
Redevelopment) Act, 1971 prohibiting any Court from granting an injunction in respect
of slum rehabilitation scheme for which LOI was issued by the competent authority way
back in October 2003 and in view of the admissions of the plaintiffs in their suit as well
as affidavit in support of notice of motion, about the year in which they got copies of the
relevant documents and when they saw commencement of construction, we are of the
view that no case has been made out by the plaintiffs for any ad­interim injunction in
the suit.” 
42. On perusal of prayers (a) to (c) of the plaint, it is clear that plaintiff
seeks   declaration   that   lease   deeds   executed   in   favour   of   his   father   by   the
erstwhile owner are subsisting, in force and binding upon the defendants, seeks
declaration that plaintiff is entitled to 1/8th share in the suit property and seeks
declaration that plaintiff is entitled to partition of the suit property by metes and
bounds.  As far as prayer (e) is concerned, direction is sought against the first
defendant to render true and correct accounts of his acts and actions in the suit
property.  Prayer (f) is for declaration that deeds executed by the first defendant
in favour of other defendants is void and unlawful.  Prayer (g) is for an order and
direction  against defendant Nos.1,2 and 3 for delivery of various documents
entered into in their favour.  Prayer (h) is for cancellation of documents.  In my
view, none of these prayers i.e. (a) to (c ) and (e) to (h)  can be granted by any

of the authorities or tribunal constituted under the provisions of the said Slums
Act.   Under Section 42 of the said Act, only such matters in respect of which
competent   authority,   appellate   authority,   grievance   redressal   committee   or
tribunal   appointed   under   such   Slums   Act   is   empowered   to   determine   those
reliefs, civil court would have no jurisdiction in respect of such matters and not
otherwise.  I am thus not inclined to accept the submission of Mr Subramanian,
learned senior counsel for third defendant that prayers (a) to ( c) and (e) to (h)
of the plaint are outside the jurisdiction of this Court in view of Section 42 of the
said Slums Act.         In my view, prayers (a) to (c ) and (e) to (h) are within
jurisdiction of this Court. 
43.   As far as prayer (d) and (i) by which plaintiff seeks an order and
decree to hand over possession of the suit property to the plaintiff is concerned,
in view of the admitted fact that Letter of Intent had been already issued by the
slum authority and the slum rehabilitation scheme is being implemented on the
suit plot, no such relief for handing over possession of such property can be
granted by civil Court in view of bar under Section 42 of the said Slums Act.  This
Court has no jurisdiction to grant any such relief in terms of prayer clause (d)
and (i) of the plaint.   
44. As far as prayers (j) and (k) which are for appointment of Court
Receiver and injunction respectively are concerned, these prayers are for interim
reliefs.  In any event in view of the order passed by Division Bench of this Court
in the same matter on 23rd  December 2011, these reliefs are also outside the
jurisdiction of this Court in view of bar under Section 42 of Slums Act and are
beyond the jurisdiction of civil court.  Since this Court came to the conclusion
that subject matter of prayers (d), (i), (j) and (k) are beyond the jurisdiction of

this Court, in view of bar under Section 42 of Slums Act and not on the ground of
pecuniary or territorial jurisdiction, plaint in respect of prayers (d), (i), (j) and
(k) cannot be returned for presentation  before proper forum and thus these
prayers are rejected.    
Issue No.2 :  Whether the suit is barred by law of limitation ? 
45. I shall now deal whether prayers (a) to (c ) and (e) to (h) are barred
by law of limitation.   It is the case of the plaintiff that in the month of November
1963, Mrs Noel Pareira who was absolute owner of the suit property had granted
lease for   99 years in favour of Mr Laxmandas Aswani father of the plaintiff,
defendant No.1 and three daughters of the said deceased in respect of the suit
property by executing three lease deeds.      It is the case of the plaintiff that the
said three lease deeds granted in favour of the father of the plaintiff and first
defendant were never terminated by the said Mrs Noel Pareira.  In the year 2004,
the plaintiff saw board of Dheeraj Construction put up on the suit property.  The
plaintiff made an application for certified copy in the year 2005 and obtained
copies of three lease deeds in the year 2005.  In the month of September 2004,
plaintiff came to know that the name of his father was not found in record of
property card in respect of the suit property and name of one Yusuf Ahmed was
found to have been recorded as owner.  The plaintiff thereafter made inquiries
with the office of sub­registrar of assessment and sent notice in the year 2004­05
and applied for copies of the documents entered into between Noel Pareira and
Mr Yusuf Ahmed.   In the year 2005, plaintiff received copies of the deed of
assignment dated 27th January 1992 executed by Noel Pareira in favour of Yusuf
Ahmed.  The plaintiff applied for entering his name as lessee in the property card
before the City Survey Officer which was rejected.     The plaintiff filed appeal

before the Superintendent of Land Record in the year 2007 which was also
rejected.  Plaintiff received an order on 31st May 2008 entering the name of his
father as lessee of the suit property.  Third defendant filed an appeal before the
same authority who succeeded in the said appeal.   Name of the third defendant
was recorded on 29th September 2009 in the property card.  Plaintiff filed appeal
before the Dy. Director of Land Revenue.  The said appeal was rejected on 23rd
February   2010.     Plaintiff   filed   appeal   before   the   Hon'ble   Minister   which   is
pending.  
46.  Plaintiff examined his wife as a witness on the issue of jurisdiction as
well as limitation.  None of the defendants laid any oral evidence.  Before I deal
with the oral evidence on the issue of limitation laid by the plaintiff, I shall also
deal with the other issues on limitation raised by the plaintiff.  
47.  Mr Patwardhan, learned counsel appearing for the plaintiff submitted
that issue of limitation cannot be tried under Section 9A of the Code of Civil
Procedure as jurisdictional issue.  In reply to this submission, Mr Subramanian,
learned senior counsel placed reliance on the Judgment of this Court in case of
Royal Palms (India) Pvt. Ltd. (supra).  Division Bench of this Court in the said
Judgment has adverted to the Judgment of Supreme Court reported in AIR 1969
SC 823 and earlier Judgment of Division Bench of this Court in case of Foreshore
CHS Ltd. Vs. Shri  Praveen D. Desai and others reported in 2009(1) Bom.C.R.
757 and Judgment of Supreme Court in case of Pandurang D. Chougule  Vs.
Maruti   H.   Jadhav)   reported   in   AIR   1966   S.C.   153.     Division   Bench   also
considered   the   earlier   Judgment   of   Division   Bench   in   case   of  Smith   Kline
Beechan   Construction   Vs.   Hindustan   Lever     reported   in   2002   (Suppl)

Bom.C.R. 674  and held that a plea of limitation is a plea which goes to the
jurisdiction of the Court  and it is a plea on law and it is  a settled position in law
that when a suit is barred by limitation, the Court is precluded from proceeding
on merits of the contentions and in fact obliged to dismissed the suit.    It is held
that when an objection to the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the suit as the
suit is barred by the law of limitation is raised, at the hearing of notice of motion
wherein   interim   order  is   claimed,   the   Court   is   obliged   by   the   provisions  of
Section 9­A of C.P.C. to frame preliminary issue as to the ground raised to the
jurisdiction   of   the   Court   to   entertain   the   suit   and   proceed   to   decide   that
preliminary issue and it is only on decision of that preliminary issue, that the
notices of motion  can be taken up for final decision.    I am respectfully bound
by the decision of Division Bench of this Court and of the view that issue of
limitation raised by the defendant is a jurisdictional issue and once such issue is
raised, Court is obliged under the provisions of Section 9­A of Code of Civil
Procedure to frame the preliminary issue   on the plea of limitation.         In my
view, there is no substance in the submission made by Mr Patwardhan, learned
counsel appearing for the plaintiff that issue of limitation is not a jurisdictional
issue and would not fall under Section 9­A of C.P.C.  Relevant part of paragraph
4 of the said Judgment in case of Royal Palms v. Bharat S. Shah (supra) reads
thus : 
  ….    “  It is thus clear that non­compliance by the learned Single Judge with the
provisions of section 9A will be a material irregularity which would vitiate the order.
The question whether an objection that the suit is barred by the law of limitation is an
objection to the jurisdiction of the Court for the purpose of section 9A of C.P.C. has been
decided by the Division Bench of this Court in its judgment in the case of Foreshore CHS
Ltd. v/s Shri Praveen D. Desai and ors., reported in 2008(6) All MR 600. The Division
Bench has relied on the judgment of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the
case of Pandurang D. Chougule v/s Maruti H. Jadhav, reported in AIR 1966 SC 153
holding that the plea of limitation is plea of law concerned with the jurisdiction of the
Court. Thereafter, the Division Bench of this Court in the above referred judgment has
observed thus :­ 

"18. The moment, the issue of jurisdiction is raised under section 9­A of the
Code of Civil Procedure, the said issue should be decided at first, and not to
be adjourned to a later date. The main reason is that if the Court comes to
finding that it does not have jurisdiction vested in it in law, then no further
enquiry is needed and saves a lot of valuable judicial time. In fact, section 9­
A itself mandates that when an objection to the jurisdiction of the Court to
entertain such a suit is taken by any of the parties, the Court will have to
decide the issue expeditiously and in no case to be adjourned to the hearing
of the suit. 
19. A Division Bench judgment of our High Court in Smith Kline Beechan
Cons v/s Hindustan Lever, 2003 Vol (105) 2 Bom.L.R. 547 : 2002(1) All
MR 1043 has categorically held that it is not sufficient that the Court has
territorial or pecuniary jurisdiction or jurisdiction in relation to the subject
matter of the suit but if the suit is barred by any statute, the Court will have
no authority to hear and decide the same. The said judgment clearly holds
that the use of the word ’jurisdiction’ is used in a wider sense under section
9­A which would include the bar to maintainability of the suit i.e. to say any
statutory bar to the maintainability of the suit. Section 3 of Limitation Act
clearly mandates the Court to dismiss the suit if the same is barred by
limitation.
20.To put it in other words, if the suit is barred by Limitation, the Court has
no jurisdiction to entertain it and the Court is duty bound to dismiss the
same, and the parties cannot confer jurisdiction by consent.
21.It is explicitly clear that a plea of limitation is a plea which goes to the
jurisdiction of the Court and it is a plea on law, and it is a settled position in
law that when a suit is barred by limitation, the Court is precluded from
proceeding on the merits of the contentions and in fact obliged to dismiss the
suit."
It is clear from the law laid down by the Division Bench in its aforesaid judgment that
when an objection to the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the suits as the suits are
barred by the law of limitation is raised, at the hearing of notices of motion wherein
interim order is claimed, the Court is obliged by provisions of section 9A of C.P.C. to
frame preliminary issue as to the ground raised to the jurisdiction of the Court to
entertain the suits and proceed to decide that preliminary issue and it is only on
decision of that preliminary issue, that the notices of motion can be taken up for final
decision. We find that the learned Single Judge has made the order disposing of the
notices   of   motion   even   after   noting   that   one   of   the   objections   raised   was   to   the
jurisdiction   of   the   Court   to  entertain   the   suits  as  they   are   barred   by   the   law  of
limitation, therefore the order made by the learned Single Judge will have to be set
aside and the notices of motion will have to be remitted back to the learned Single
Judge for consideration and decision in accordance with law.”

48.  Next submission on the issue of limitation raised by Mr Patwardhan is
that in view of the positive assertion by defendant No.3 in affidavit filed before
this Court that claims made by the plaintiff are barred by law of limitation,
defendant No.3 was bound to lead oral evidence to prove such positive assertion
made in the affidavit and not having led any oral evidence, this Court shall draw
adverse inference against the third defendant.   In my view, the initial onus to
prove that suit was filed within time was on the plaintiff and thus, plaintiff was
required to lead his evidence first on the issue of limitation.  Since plaintiff has
failed to discharge that initial onus cast on him to prove that suit filed by the
plaintiff was within time, onus of proof is not shifted to defendant No.3.  
49.  I   shall   deal   with   the   issue   as   to   how   the   plaintiff   has   failed   to
discharge his initial onus to prove that suit is within time in the later part of this
Judgment.   In my view, since the plaintiff has failed to prove the initial onus that
suit was within time, defendant No.3 was not bound to lead oral evidence to
prove any such positive assertion made in the affidavit filed before this Court.  In
my view, there is no substance in the submission of Mr Patwardhan that since
defendant No.3 did not lead any oral evidence on the issue of limitation, this
Court shall draw adverse inference against the third defendant and  should reject
the plea of limitation raised by the third defendant.   As far as judgment of
Supreme Court in case of  Gopal Krishnaji Ketkar Vs. Mohamed Haji Latif
(supra) relied upon by Mr Patwardhan, learned counsel for the plaintiff, on this
issue is concerned, it has been held by the Supreme Court that if a party in
possession of best evidence which would throw light on the issue in controversy
withholding   it,   Court   ought   to   draw   an   adverse   inference   against   him
notwithstanding that onus of proof does not lie on him and the party cannot rely
on abstract doctrine of onus of proof or on the fact that he was not called upon to

produce it.    It is not the case of the plaintiff that defendant No.3 withheld any
important document in its possession which would have thrown light on issue of
limitation.  On plain reading of the plaint itself and the oral evidence laid by the
plaintiff's witness, it is clear that plaintiff has failed to prove that the suit filed by
the plaintiff was within time.    The Judgment of Supreme Court in case of Gopal
Krishnaji Ketkar (Supra)  relied upon by the plaintiff is of no assistance to the
plaintiff.  
50.  As far as Judgment of this Court in case of  Laxmibai Rauji (supra)
replied upon by Mr Patwardhan in support of his submission that defendant No.3
cannot take advantage of the doctrine of onus of prove as defendant No.3 should
stand on his own legs and merely because the plaintiff was unable to prove that
the suit was within time as alleged by defendant No.3, defendant No.3 cannot
take advantage of such alleged failure on the part of the plaintiff.   In case of
Laxmibai Rauji (supra), this Court has held that burden of proof is on the party
who substantially asserts the affirmative of the issue and not upon the party who
denies it.   Since initial onus to prove that suit was within time was on the
plaintiff,   plaintiff   ought   to   have   discharge   that   burden   first   and   not   the
defendant.   The Judgment of this Court in case of Laxmibai Ramji (supra) thus
is of no assistance to the plaintiff.   
51. As far as Judgment of Division Bench of this Court in case of Niwas
Builders (supra) relied upon by Mr Patwardhan in support of his submission that
third  defendant  is bound  by its  own  pleadings  and must stand  on  his own
pleadings is concerned, in my view, that Judgment will be of no assistance to the
plaintiff.   The plaintiff is bound by his own pleadings.  If plaintiff has not proved

what is asserted in plaint,  plaintiff must fail.   The Judgment of Division Bench
of this Court in case of Niwas Builders (Supra) is of no assistance to the plaintiff.
52.  As far as Judgment of Supreme Court in case of Rangammal (supra)
relied   upon   by   Mr   Patwardhan,   learned   counsel   appearing   for   plaintiff   is
concerned, it is held by the Supreme court that misplacing the burden of proof
would vitiate the Judgment.   In my view, initial onus of proof that suit was
within time was on the plaintiff.  Plaintiff chose to lead evidence first and rightly
so.    Initial onus of proof was rightly cast on the plaintiff. Question of misplacing
of burden of proof thus, did not arise.  The Judgment of Supreme Court thus in
case of Rangammal is no no assistance to the plaintiff.   
53.  As far as Judgment of Supreme Court in case of Alka Gupta (supra)
relied upon by Mr Patwardhan, learned counsel appearing for plaintiff in support
of  his  submission  that  suit  has to  be   decided  after  framing  issues  and  trial
permitting the parties to lead evidence on the issues, except in cases where the
Code or any other law makes an exception provides any exemption and in the
trial of the suits unless they are provided by law is concerned, in my view, that
Judgment is of no assistance to the plaintiff.  It has been held by the Supreme
Court which has been adverted to by the Division Bench of this Court in case of
Royal Palms (India) Pvt. Ltd. that the issue of limitation is a issue of jurisdiction
and   once   a   party   having   raised   that   issue   at   the   stage   of   interlocutory
proceedings itself, court has to frame such issue of jurisdiction as preliminary
issue under Section 9A of Code of Civil Procedure.       After hearing both the
parties this Court had accordingly framed two issues of jurisdiction including
issue of limitation.   Plaintiff did not make any attempt to discharge his onus of

proof that suit was within time.    By consent of both the parties, parties were
allowed to lead evidence on limitation issue under Section 9A of Code of Civil
Procedure.     Judgment   of   Supreme   Court   relied   by   the   learned   counsel   for
plaintiff in case of Alka Gupta (supra) is of no assistance to the plaintiff.   Law
laid down by the Supreme Court in the said Judgment does not apply to the issue
of jurisdiction raised by defendant No.3,  By consent of parties two  issues were
framed  to be  tried as preliminary issue and both the parties agreed that oral
evidence be laid on those issues.   Submissions have been made on both these
issues by the learned counsel.   
54. On 14th  February 2012 in Suit No.764 of 2002 in case of  ITC Ltd.
(supra), this Court has held that initial onus is on the plaintiff to prove that suit is
within time.  Paragraphs 5 and 32 of the said Judgment which are relevant for
the purpose of deciding this issue read thus :
5.        It is the submission of the Plaintiffs that exfacie the Suit was brought within a
period of 3 years from the dates of the said 6 orders of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and
is therefore within the period of limitation prescribed by Article 101 of the Limitation
Act,  1963.   The  provisions  of Order  VII  Rule   1(e)  have  also been  complied  with.
According to the Plaintiffs, there exist 2 categories of suits with respect to the burden of
proof on the grounds of limitation.
Category 1:where the Plaintiff under Order VII Rule 6 pleads any 
exemption or extension of time to bring the Suit within limitation. 
Category 2:where on the face of the pleadings in the Plaint, the Suit is 
shown to be within time.
It is submitted that the Suit filed in the instant case falls in the category of Suits which
exfacie have been filed within the period of limitation, and there arises no question of
the Plaintiffs having to lead evidence to prove that the Suit was within the period of
limitation. The present Suit having not been instituted after the expiration of the
period prescribed by the Law of Limitation, the  question of claiming any exemption in
that regard as required by Order VII Rule 6 and of proving the same by leading
evidence does not arise. Similarly Rule 11 of Order VII of the CPC will also not apply to
the facts of the present case, as the cause of action has been disclosed in the Plaint and
the Suit is not barred under any law on the basis of any statement made in the Plaint.

The Plaint does meet the requirements of Order VII Rule 1 and does not fall foul of
Rules 6 and 11 of Order VII.
32.      The defendants have denied/ disputed the genuineness of the said Orders and
the fact that such Orders have indeed been passed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This
establishes beyond any doubt that the defendants have denied/ disputed the fact that
the Suit is filed by the Plaintiffs within the period of limitation. In view thereof, Section
101   of   the   Indian  Evidence   Act   would   also  come   into  play,   which   provides   that
whoever   desires   any   Court   to   give   a   judgment   as   to   any   legal   right   or   liability
dependent on the existence of facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist,
and the Plaintiffs are bound to prove the existence of the said 6 Orders passed by the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court to establish their legal right to file the Suit on the basis of the
said 6 Orders. Sections 102 and 103 of the Indian Evidence Act also require the
Plaintiffs to prove the fact asserted by the Plaintiffs namely that the Suit which is filed
on the basis of the said 6 Orders passed by U.S. Bankruptcy Court is filed within the
time prescribed by the Law of Limitation. The ratios laid down by various decisions of
the Hon’ble Apex Court and Hon’ble High Courts including this Court are on the basis
of the facts in the respective cases before the said Courts and there can be no dispute as
regards the said ratios laid down therein. However in light of the facts of the present
case and the reasons set out herein, I do not agree with the submissions of Plaintiffs
that it is for the defendants to first establish that the Suit is filed beyond the period of
limitation and that the Plaintiffs be granted permission to lead evidence in rebuttal. I
also do not agree with the submissions of the Plaintiffs that for the purpose of deciding
the issue of limitation, Suits should be categorized as Category 1 and Category 2 Suits
and that in Suits which are, on the face of the pleadings time barred (Category 1), the
burden is upon the Plaintiffs to show that the Suit is not time barred and in cases
where the suit is exfacie within time (Category 2), once the Plaintiff has complied with
the provisions of Order VII Rule 1 of the CPC, if the defendants want to nonsuit the
Plaintiffs on the ground of limitation, the burden is on the defendants to establish that
the Suit is in fact time barred. As set out hereinabove, the defendants are not parties to
the U.S. Court proceedings and therefore have no knowledge of the U.S. Court Orders
and proceedings. The defendants have challenged the genuineness of the said 6 U.S.
Court Orders and have not admitted the fact that the said 6 Orders are passed by the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Plaintiffs are therefore bound to prove the said 6 Orders
and   establish   that   the   Suit   is   filed   within   the   period   prescribed   by   the   Law   of
Limitation  inter   alia  as  required   u/s.101   of   the   Indian  Evidence   Act,   1872.   The
Plaintiffs are thus incorrect in their submissions that the present Suit falls under what
they choose to describe as Category 2 Suits and that it is for the defendants to establish
that the Suit is in fact time barred.  
55.  I   am   thus   not   inclined   to   accept   submission   of   Mr   Patwardhan,
learned counsel for the plaintiff that onus of proof that suit was barred by law of
limitation   was   on   the   defendant   and   the   defendant   ought   to   have   laid   his

evidence first before the plaintiff would have examine his witness in support of
his plea that suit is within time and not barred by law of limitation.    
56. In so far as submission of Mr Patwardhan that since the defendant did
not lead his evidence on the issue of limitation, defendant cannot say that suit be
dismissed on the ground of limitation, merely on the basis of cross examination
of the plaintiff's witness is concerned, Mr Subramanian, learned senior counsel
appearing for defendant No.3, in my view is right in placing reliance on the
Judgment  of  this   Court  delivered  by  R.D.Dhanuka,J.,on  8th  January  2013  in
Arbitration Petition No.556 of 2012 in case of  Zee Entertainment Enterprises
Ltd.   (supra) and in particular paragraphs 20 and 22 of the said Judgment in
which it has been held that if witness examined by the party in cross examination
admitted the liability to the other party, such other party having proved his claim
by cross examination is not liable to examine any witness.  Paragraphs 20 and 22
of the said Judgment read thus : 
20.  In my view, the award does not deal with the material and crucial
evidence forming part of the cross examination of the witness of the respondent which
records the admission on the part of the respondent having received debit notes and
contents thereof and also having admitted the receiptthe payment stated in the said
documents. In view of the fact that the learned arbitrator was considering the debits
and credits claimed by both parties, the petitioner who was claiming adjustment/set off
by way of debit notes from the amount payable to the respondent was entitled to prove
its claim for adjustment/set off even by cross examination of the witness examined by
the respondent. Once, the respondent witness has admitted the correctness of the claims
made by the petitioner, it was in my view not necessary for the petitioner to examine
any other witness to prove its claim once again. In my view, the learned arbitrator has
thus proceeded on erroneous basis and has not considered the material and crucial
evidence in the impugned award and has not dealt with the written submissions at all.
The learned arbitrator has not proceeded with the matter in the correct direction in the
impugned award on this issue. In my view the reliance thus placed by the respondent on
the judgment of Supreme Court in case of  Iswar Bhai C. Patel  (supra),  Vidhyadhar
(supra) is misplaced. In my view facts of the said case before the Supreme Court are
clearly distinguishable in the facts of this case. This court thus in such circumstances
can interfere with award under Section 34 of the Act.

22.  In my view, since the witness examined by the respondent had admitted
the liability of the respondent and also having admitted the receipt of payment from the
petitioner through the Association to directors, artists and technicals, the petitioner was
not   bound   to   examine   any   other   witness   independently   to   prove   such
claims/adjustments once again, once having it proved by cross examination of the
witness of the respondent. In my view, the learned arbitrator has disallowed this claim
contrary  to  law  and  the  award   thus  shows a manifest  error  of law.   The  learned
arbitrator has not considered any part of the oral evidence led by the petitioner or cross
examination of the witness examined by the respondent as well as detailed written
submissions filed by the petitioner in the impugned award at all. The impugned award
is in violation of principles of natural justice and this part of the award is thus deserves
to be set aside.
57.  Upon querry raised by this Court, Mr Patwardhan learned counsel
appearing for plaintiff submits that Article 65 of Schedule­I to Limitation Act
would be attracted to the facts of this case.  It is submitted that for filing a suit
for possession  of immovable  property or any interest therein  based on title,
period of limitation is 12 years and time commences when the possession of the
defendant becomes adverse to the plaintiff.  It is submitted that the plaintiff came
to   know   for   the   first   time   in   the   year   2004   that   board   of   M/s   Dheeraj
Constructions was put upon on the suit property which date was the date of
knowledge of plaintiff of possession of the third party on the suit property which
was adverse  to the interest of the plaintiff and thus suit filed in the year 2011 is
within the period of limitation.   No other article of Limitation Act 1963 has been
relied upon by Mr Patwardhan  in support of submission that any of the prayers
in the suit are within time.    
58.   On the issue of limitation, with the assistance of the learned counsel
appearing   for   the   plaintiff   and   defendant   No.3,   I   have   considered   the   oral
evidence led by the plaintiff through her witness, it is revealed that father­in­law
of the witness expired in the month of October 1985.  Witness has deposed that
she was not aware of the facts about the steps taken by her father­in­law in

respect of the suit property.  She has deposed that her father­in­law had entered
into agreement with Rizvi Land Development Pvt. Ltd. in respect of the suit
property.   On 5th September 1984, declaration was sought by the plaintiff and
for cancellation of document only in the year 2011.  Answer in cross examination
and in particular para 5 of the evidence recorded on 26th July 2013 is contrary to
the deed of assignment and arbitral award.     Witness has admitted that her
father­in­law was not in physical  possession of the suit property but was in
symbolic possession but could not produce any document by which her father­inlaw
 was   put  in   symbolic   possession   of  the  suit   property.    Witness  has   also
admitted that she was not aware whether her father­in­law was put in possession
of the suit property.       Witness also could not say as to when her father­in­law
was put in symbolic possession.   In para 6 of cross examination, witness has
deposed that she was not aware that assignment dated 27th November 1992 was
a registered document.   Witness has however, pleaded ignorance as to when suit
property was declared as slum.   It is also admitted that plaintiff ascertained
rights in the suit property for the first time in the year 2004.  It is also admitted
that father­in­law of the said witness had acquired the suit property which was
already occupied by slum and the plaintiff had asked for possession of his share
in the property only by filing this suit.   Public notice was issued in 2004 for
asking possession.   
59.    In para 7 of the evidence, it is admitted that the witness came to
know about assignment dated 27th  January 1992 between Richard Pareira and
Yusuf Ahmed in the year 2005.  It is also admitted by the witness that plaintiff
was aware that he had share in the property of his father­in­law when he expired
in 1985.   Witness has admitted about her knowledge that slum development
scheme was being implemented on the suit property.       Witness has however

avoided to reply about the date of knowledge since when slum development
scheme was being implemented on the suit property.       It is admitted by the
witness that she has visited the suit property in last seven years.   It is also
admitted that plaintiff did not file any suit against the legal heirs of Richard
Pereira in City Civil Court.   In para 8 of the evidence, it is admitted by the
witness that in 2004, she noticed the board of Dheeraj Builders and started
collecting papers in respect of the suit property.  It is also admitted that she has
obtained copy of indenture of assignment in the year 2005­2006.   It is revealed
that after the demise of father of the plaintiff, legal heirs were brought on record
in the City Civil Court.  I have also perused the photocopies of the plaint filed by
the plaintiff in City Civil Court Bombay which were taken on record and marked
as Exhibits­2 to 4 respectively.  It is admitted by the witness that defendant No.3
has filed written statement as well as affidavit in reply to the notice of motion.
Witness admitted that arbitral award was made on 15th  April 1986 in which
decree was passed on 9th September 1991.    Witness has also admitted that the
said award as well as decree was relating to the suit property and in the said
award, undivided share of the plaintiff in the suit property and other properties is
specified.  It is also admitted that the said arbitral award was a consent award
signed by the parties including the plaintiff.     In para 6 of the evidence, it is
admitted by the witness that plaintiff did not take any steps personally and
appointed defendant No.1 as administrator of the property and has answered
that she did not remember whether her husband took any steps to assert any
rights under the said decree passed in the year 1991.  
60.  In para 7 of the cross examination witness admitted that in the year
2004, slum rehabilitation scheme was being implemented in the suit property.
Mr   Subramanian,   learned   senior   counsel   is   right   in   his   submission   that   the
                                                                                              
witness   examined   by   the   plaintiff   is   married   in   the   year   1982   and   had   no
personal knowledge of the facts between 1963 and 1982.  Learned senior counsel
is right in his submission that even if three years period is considered from the
date of filing suit in City Civil Court, which was in 2007, this suit is ex­facie
barred by law of limitation. In my view, limitation once starts running it does not
stop.  Perusal of oral evidence referred aforesaid clearly indicates the knowledge
of the plaintiff about adverse title, interest and possession of the defendants
much prior to three years of filing this suit.   
61.  On perusal of prayer (a) of the plaint, it is clear that the plaintiff seeks
a declaration that the lease granted under lease deeds in favour of his father on
27th  November 1963 are in force, subsisting and binding upon the defendants.
On  perusal   of   the   letter   addressed   by   the   plaintiff   on   15th  September  2004
through his advocate to Rizvi Land Developers, Pvt. Ltd., it is clear that it was the
case of the plaintiff that Rizvi Land Developers Pvt. Ltd. had agreed to purchase
the suit property from the father of the plaintiff.  In the said notice, it is alleged
that after the death of the father, plaintiff and defendant No.1 were co­owner of
the suit plot having 50% share each in it and on several occasions, had  requested
to   M/s   Rizvi   Land   Developers,   defendant   No.2   herein   to   complete   the   said
transaction   by   making   payment   of   the   balance   consideration   with   interest
thereon.   However, defendant No.2 had failed to complete the transaction in
spite of lapse of almost 20 years.  In response to the said letter, defendant No.2
through its advocate replied on 24th September 2004 and informed the plaintiff
that the entire consideration was already paid by defendant No.2 to the father of
the plaintiff during his lifetime.   Deed of assignment dated 25th  January 1985
came to be executed by the father of plaintiff in favour of defendant No.2 and
defendant No.2 was put in possession of the suit plot.    On perusal of the plaint

filed by the plaintiff in this suit and in three suits in Bombay City Civil Court
against the State of Maharashtra and others including Mrs Noel Richard Pereira
and defendant No.3 herein and others, it is clear that it was to the knowledge of
the plaintiff that suit property was declared as slum and plans had been approved
by the authorities.    After demise of father, dispute arose between the parties.
The said disputes were referred to arbitration.   On 15th  April 1986, consent
award was made by the learned arbitrator based on consent terms arrived at
between  the  plaintiff  and defendant  No.1. It is not in  dispute  that  the  said
consent award culminated into decree dated 9th September 1991.  It is stated in
the plaint that suit property was declared as slum by the slum authority on 21st
July 1997.  In paragraph 10 of the plaint in the said suit, it is stated that Mrs
Noel Pereira by a purported deed of conveyance dated 27th  January 1992 had
assigned her rights in respect of the suit plot in favour of Mr Yusuf Ahmed.  The
said purported deed of conveyance was executed without any prior notice to the
plaintiff.    By an order dated 24th July 1992, City Survey Officer had accepted the
representation made by Mr Yusuf Ahmed and passed an order on 24th July 1994
allowing the said application and name of Mr Yusuf Ahmed came to recorded in
property record.  It is stated in the said plaint that Mr Yusuf Ahmed thereafter
entered into some agreement with defendant No.7 in that suit to develop the suit
property.  It is stated in the plaint that The Slum Rehabilitation and Development
Authority had issued letter  of intent dated 17th  October 2003 approving the
proposal for a scheme of rehabilitation of the suit property made by Mr Yusuf
Ahmed and defendant No.3 herein for carrying out development activity on the
suit property.  It is averred in the said plaint that the alleged lease deeds were
still subsisting.  The said suit has been filed on 25th October 2007.  Plaitniff has
applied for cancellation of letter of intent dated 12th October 2003 and to include
the name of the plaintiff in the property card.  Plaintiff has also applied for order

and direction against defendant Nos.2 and 3 herein to remove themselves along
with their family members, servants and agents from the suit plot.  The said suit
is pending.   
62. In my view for considering any such declaration as prayed in prayer
clause (a) of the plaint, Article 58 of schedule­I to Limitation Act 1963 would be
applicable.    On consideration of the plaint, oral evidence led by the plaintiff and
the averments made in the plaint before City Civil Court, it is clear that it was the
claim of the plaintiff that lease deeds executed in favour of the father by the
erstwhile owner was valid and subsisting.  The said suit was admittedly filed in
City Civil Court on 25th October 2007. It is the case of the plaintiff himself in the
notice addressed to defendant No.2 that on several occasions, plaintiff and his
brother had called upon defendant No.2 to complete the deed of assignment
entered into by the father of plaintiff in favour of defendant No.2 in the year
1985.   But defendant No.2 failed to complete the said transaction in last 20
years.     Article   58   provides   for   three   years   limitation   for   filing   a   suit   for
declaration and time to file suit commences when the right to sue first accrues.
In my view, father of the plaintiff and first defendant had already executed the
deed of assignment in favour of defendant No.2 as far back as on 25 January
1985.  In any event, plaintiff himself had asserted in the plaint before City Civil
Court filed in 2007 that plaintiff continued to be lessee of the suit plot.  This suit
is admittedly filed on 6th April 2011 and thus prayer (a) for declaration, in my
view is on the face of it barred by law of limitation. 
63.  As far as prayer (b) by which plaintiff seeks declaration that plaintiff is
owner or is entitled to 50% share in right, title and interest in the deceased
father's   property   described   in   the   suit   is   concerned,     Article­58   would   be

applicable to this prayer also.  It is not in dispute that there was a consent award
in respect of the dispute having arisen after demise of father between plaintiff
and defendant No.1 which award was declared on 15th April 1986.  In the said
consent award, dispute between the plaintiff and defendant No.1 in respect of
the property of the deceased father was settled on the terms recorded therein.
Decree in terms of the said award admittedly came to be passed in 1991.  Article
106   of   the   Limitation   Act   provides   for   period   of   12   years   limitation   for   a
distributive   share   of   the   property   of   intestate   against   other   person   illegally
charged with the duty of distributing the estate.  Time begins under Article 106
when the legacy and share becomes payable or deliverable.  Under Article 110 of
schedule­I of the Limitation Act, suit has to be filed within 12 years by a person
excluded   from   joint   family   property   to   enforce   a   right   therein   which   time
commences when the exclusion becomes known to the plaintiff.  Even if it is the
case of the plaintiff that he was deprived of property of the deceased father by
first defendant is concerned,   Article­106 of schedule­I to the Limitation Act
would be attracted.   Consent award was declared on 15th April 1986.  Decree in
terms of consent award was passed in 1991 whereas suit is filed on 6th  April
2011.  Prayer (b) thus in my view is on the face of it barred by law of limitation.  
64.  As   far   as   prayer   (c)   is   concerned,   plaintiff   seeks   declaration   that
plaintiff is entitled to the partition of the suit property by metes and bounds and
is entitled to be put in separate possession of his 50% share.  In my view, Article
58 would be applicable to such prayer for declaration. Suit having been filed
after three years from the date when the right to sue first accrued.       For the
reasons recorded in respect of prayer (b),  this prayer also in my view is on the
fact of it  barred by law of limitation.  

65. As far as prayer (d) is concerned, plaintiff seeks an order and decree
of partition by metes and bounds and for possession of his 50% share in the suit
property.           In my view this prayer for possession of suit property on which
scheme under Slums Act is under implementation is barred under Section 42 of
the Slums Act.  This Court thus has no jurisdiction to consider such prayer.  I am
thus not dealing with the issue of limitation in respect of this prayer.  
66. As far as prayer (e) is concerned, plaintiff seeks an order and decree
against defendant No.1 to render true and correct accounts of its acts and actions
in respect of suit property.   Even if defendant No.1 is considered as an agent of
the plaintiff, for such relief as claimed in prayer (e) for rendering true and
correct accounts by an agent Article 4 of the Limitation Act would be applicable
which provides for three years time to file a suit by  a principal against agent to
include his conduct or in any event Article 113 which provides for three years
period in respect of the claim to which no other article applies would apply and
time begins when right to sue first accrues.  Consent award was made on 15th
April 1986.  Decree was passed in 1991.  Right to sue if any for rendering true
and correct account by the first defendant arose in the year 1991.   Prayer (e)
thus on the face of it is barred by law of limitation.  
67. As far as prayer (f) is concerned, plaintiff seeks declaration that all the
acts of defendant No.1 or the documents executed by him in favour of defendant
Nos.2 and 3 are void, illegal and unlawful.   Prayer   (g) is for an order and
direction against the defendants to deliver the deed of assignment dated 28th
January 2005 and deed of conveyance dated 27th  January 1992 between Mrs
Noel Pereira and Mr Yusuf Ahmed and Conveyance Deed dated 27th  January
2007 executed between Yusuf Ahmed and defendant No.3 to this Court.  Prayer

(h) is for cancellation of those documents under the direction and supervision of
this Court.   For seeking declaration in terms of prayer (f) Article 58 would be
applicable.  All the three documents referred to aforesaid were executed prior to
three years before the date of filing suit.  Prayer (f) for declaration is thus on the
face of  it barred by law of limitation. For delivery of documents sought in prayer
(g), in my view Article 113 would be applicable.  On perusal of oral evidence and
the documentary evidence, it is clear that right to sue accrued to the plaintiff
much prior to three years before filing of this suit.    Plaintiff was fully aware of
these documents.  Both the deeds of conveyance are registered documents which
amounts to constructive notice.  Prayer (g) is thus, barred by law of limitation.
For the reasons recorded in respect of prayer (g),  prayer (h) which is also for
cancellation of documents is also barred by law of limitation.   
68.  Since I have taken a view that prayer (i) would be beyond jurisdiction
of this Court, in view of Section 42 of the Slums Act, I do not propose to decide
the issue of limitation in respect of this prayer.  
69.   In the result, I pass the following order.  
(a) Suit is dismissed. 
(b) In   view   of   dismissal   of   suit,   notice   of   motion   pending   if   any,   is
dismissed as infructuous.  
(c ) No order as to costs.               
      (R.D.DHANUKA, J.) 

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