Land Dispute Decree: Plaintiffs vs State of Bihar

In a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India, the judgment in the case of Land Dispute Decree has been pronounced. The plaintiffs have emerged victorious in their legal battle against the State of Bihar, securing a declaration of rightful ownership and possession of the suit land. This ruling marks a crucial milestone in the resolution of the ongoing dispute, bringing clarity and justice to the parties involved.


  • The plaintiffs claimed only half of the Suit property, not the entirety of the property.
  • The suit property was claimed for a declaration of rightful ownership and possession confirmation.
  • The correction of the entry in the Record of Rights of 1963 was also sought by the plaintiffs.
  • The Additional Deputy Commissioner decreed the suit in favor of the plaintiffs based on the majority decision of the Panchayat.
  • The Suit lands were found to be wrongly recorded in the names of the defendants during the recent survey and settlement operation.

Also Read: Court’s Jurisdiction in Re-appraising Arbitrator’s Findings


  • The court refers to the case of Mora Ho v. State of Bihar and Others (AIR 2000 Patna 101)
  • The court states that it may not be necessary to consider the applicability or validity of Wilkinson’s Rules for two reasons
  • The appellate authority upheld the part of the Additional Deputy Commissioner’s order that was in conformity with the majority punches’ award.
  • The court dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellants challenging the possession of the respondents over the suit land since 1921.
  • Wilkinson’s Rule mandates the acceptance of the majority punches’ award unless corruption charges are proven or it goes against local customs.
  • The court found no procedural defects in the award in favor of the plaintiffs and therefore dismissed the appeal.
  • The suit was filed due to trouble created by the defendants over wrong entries in the record of rights, established in 1914-15.
  • Plaintiffs have been in possession of the suit land since 1921, with no evidence of dispossession by the defendants.
  • No appeals were made against demarcation or mutation orders, supporting plaintiffs’ continuous possession.
  • The award of the majority punches was accepted, while the minority punch’s award was set aside for relying on lesser value documents.
  • The decree will have to be set aside partially as it awarded beyond what was stated in the plaint.
  • The findings of the single judge were correct and based on the evidence on record.
  • The court cannot interfere with concurrent findings unless there is a jurisdictional error or apparent error on the face of it.
  • Both respondent no.3 and respondent no.2 analyzed the cases thoroughly before accepting the majority award and rejecting the objections raised by the petitioners.
  • The points raised in the writ petition have no merit.

Also Read: Contrary Directions in Issuance of Letter of Intent


  • The appeal stands dismissed as per the signed reportable judgment.
  • The suit of the plaintiffs is decreed in their favor.
  • The Bihar Kolhan Civil Justice (Regulating and Validating) Act, 1978 was reviewed.
  • Section 2 of the Act provides regulation and validation of certain past actions in the Kolhan area, excluding Chaibassa Municipality.
  • Judgments, decrees, or orders of the mentioned officers in the Act shall be deemed valid in civil suits and proceedings within Kolhan.
  • Orders passed under Wilkinson’s Rule and Regulation XIII of 1838 by these officers will not be considered invalid.
  • Any judgments set aside previously on the grounds of lack of authority shall be reviewed, and the proceedings shall continue.
  • An appeal from the previous order was dismissed by the Division Bench.
  • The writ petition was also dismissed by the Division Bench.

Also Read: Application for Stay in Civil Suit Rejected: Court’s Legal Analysis


Case Number: C.A. No.-002575-002575 / 2001

Click here to read/download original judgement

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