Land Rights Dispute: Supreme Court’s Decision on Shiv Dayal and Kasturi Devi Appeals

In a significant legal battle over land rights, the Supreme Court has rendered its decision on the appeals filed by Shiv Dayal and Kasturi Devi. The case involves a dispute over mining operations on the suit land, with the State authorities contesting the plaintiffs’ claims. After a series of appeals and dismissals, the Court has now remanded the case to the High Court for fresh consideration. Stay updated on the latest developments in this complex legal saga!


  • The State contested the suit by denying the averments made in the plaint.
  • The plaintiff claimed a relief of grant of permanent injunction to carry out mining operations on the suit land.
  • The plaintiff averred that the suit land was not part of any protected forest area as claimed by the State authorities but was a part of Revenue area.
  • Since the suit land did not fall in the protected forest area, the plaintiff claimed the right to carry out mining operations without interference from the State and its authorities.
  • First Appellate Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed Trial Court’s decree
  • State filed second appeals in the High Court
  • High Court dismissed the second appeals stating lack of substantial questions of law
  • Supreme Court allowed the appeals, set aside the order, and remanded the case to High Court
  • Case remanded due to involvement of substantial questions of law in second appeals

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  • High Court dismissed the State’s second appeals stating they did not involve any substantial question of law.
  • The main issue is whether the High Court was correct in this dismissal.
  • The present appeals before the Court are regarding the High Court’s decision on the State’s second appeals.

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  • The Appellate Court has the jurisdiction to appreciate evidence de novo and can either affirm or reverse the finding of the Trial Court.
  • Concurrent finding of fact binds the High Court in a second appeal.
  • The High Court dismissed second appeals based on suit decrees by two Courts, which was deemed incorrect.
  • The case is remanded to the High Court for fresh consideration after the death of Shiv Dayal during the appeals.
  • Proper substantial questions of law should be framed in consideration of Forest Laws, MMRD Act, and State Revenue Laws.
  • Concurrent finding of two Courts does not make the finding unassailable in a second appeal.
  • The suit should address if any Forest Laws, MMRD Act, or Revenue Laws provisions are violated.
  • Relevant laws and evidence must be considered to constitute a substantial question of law.
  • Key questions for consideration include the land’s legality as Forest land, Revenue land, and for mining leases.
  • The principles in T.N. Godawaran vs U.O.I. cannot be enforced in this appeal.
  • The specific principles mentioned in the case cannot be relied upon in this context.
  • When any concurrent finding of fact is challenged in second appeal, the appellant can argue that it is legally flawed
  • The challenge can be based on factors like being outside the pleadings, lack of evidence, misinterpretation of documentary evidence, contravention of law, or being an unreasonable decision
  • The appellant can assert that the decision is one that no judge acting judicially could have reasonably arrived at
  • The High Court should have admitted the second appeal by framing appropriate substantial questions of law and answering them on their merits.
  • Interference in the impugned order is necessary for the High Court to decide the controversy correctly.
  • The appeals filed against Shiv Dayal succeed and are allowed for the four reasons mentioned in the judgment.

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  • The impugned order is set aside.
  • All three suits/appeals filed by Shiv Dayal and Kasturi Devi were clubbed together for their analogous disposal.
  • If one legal representative of the deceased is already on record, the appeal would not abate.
  • Consequential steps to bring remaining legal representatives of the deceased on record can be taken before the High Court in pending appeals.
  • High Court is requested to expedite the hearing of the appeals, preferably within 6 months.


Case Number: C.A. No.-007363-007363 / 2000

Click here to read/download original judgement

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