Land Dispute: Jurisdiction of Civil Court vs. Revenue Court

In a significant legal battle over land ownership, the Supreme Court recently ruled on the jurisdiction of the Civil Court versus the Revenue Court in a case involving a private limited company and the second defendant. The case revolved around the cancellation of a sale deed and seeking injunction related to disputed property, with the second defendant challenging the maintainability of the suit under Section 331 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950. Let’s delve into the details of this critical judgment.


  • The plaintiff filed a suit for cancellation of a sale deed and injunction against interference in possession of disputed property.
  • The second defendant raised a question on the suit’s maintainability under Section 331 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950.
  • The Civil Court ruled the suit as maintainable.
  • The appeal questions the maintainability of the suit for cancellation of a sale deed and injunction against interference with possession of property.
  • The plaintiff is a private limited company registered under the Companies Act, 1956.
  • It was discovered during proceedings that the first defendant had illegally sold the disputed property through four sale deeds dated 15.06.2006 in favor of defendants 2 to 5.
  • The High Court considered the revision petition.
  • After thorough consideration, the High Court dismissed the revision petition.
  • The order to dismiss the revision petition was dated 17.11.2014.

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  • The second defendant has raised concerns about the legality and correctness of the order in this appeal.
  • The counsel for the second defendant argues that the suit regarding agricultural land is barred under Section 331 of the Act.
  • The plaintiff’s counsel contends that the suit was solely for canceling the sale deed and seeking injunction, hence not falling under the bar of Section 331 of the Act.
  • The court in a previous case emphasized the distinction between civil court suits and cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Revenue Court, and noted that statutory provisions limiting civil court jurisdiction must be strictly interpreted.

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  • In the analyzed judgment, the distinction between cases cognizable by civil court and those exclusable under Section 331 of the Act is discussed.
  • Civil court jurisdiction ousting provisions should be strictly interpreted.
  • Agricultural land being in question and no dispute over plaintiff’s tenure holding are highlighted.
  • The suit sought relief solely for the cancellation of the sale deed dated 15.06.2006 based on fraud and misrepresentation.
  • The right to approach a competent court for document cancellation is not barred by Section 331 when the tenure holder’s title isn’t in question.
  • Exclusion of jurisdiction of civil court should not be readily inferred
  • Exclusion must be clearly and expressly stated
  • Revenue Court lacks jurisdiction in granting relief of cancellation of deed based on fraud and misrepresentation
  • Full Bench of Allahabad High Court dealt with similar question on maintainability of a suit

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Case Number: C.A. No.-005979-005979 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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