Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Report of Handwriting Expert is an opinion

PLJ 2013 Lahore 494
[Multan Bench Multan]
Present: Amin-ud-Din Khan, J.
MANZOOR HUSSAIN, etc.--Respondents
versus
SHAH NAWAZ, etc.--Respondents
C.R. No. 1156-D of 2010, heard on 25.4.2013.
Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908)--
----S. 115--Civil revision--Mutation of gift was challenged--When mutation of gift was challenged by any legal heir of deceased doneer, statement of plaintiff on oath before Court--No such gift made in life of donor then onus to prove valid gift and valid attestation of mutation--Validity--When there is no pleading, no case can be established through evidence on the point which had not been pleaded by a party--When there is no pleading, no question of proof of event of gift independent of attestation of mutation--As respondents were beneficiary of transaction--It was their duty to prove event of gift independent of attestation of mutation and then valid attestation of gift mutation on basis of gift already completed in all respects by proving offer, acceptance and delivery of possession.   [P. 496] A & B
Handwriting Expert Reports--
----Denial their signature upon mutation--Reports of handwriting experts were conflicting with each other--Validity--There were two reports having confliction with each other, therefore, none of report can be relied upon--Report of expert with regard to handwriting is an opinion, which is not binding upon the Court--In such view of the matter, statement on oath by prosecution witnesses cannot be ignored.           [P. 497] C
Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908)--
----S. 115--Civil revision--Concurrent findings--Beneficiary of transaction was bound to prove transaction independent of attestation of mutation--Validity--Courts below fell in error while not applying correct law while deciding lis, therefore, Courts below were not sustainable under law because High Court while exercising jurisdiction u/S. 115, CPC was not precluded from touching concurrent findings of Courts below when same were based upon misapplication of law or misreading and non reading of evidence, as such there was no hurdle in way of exercising jurisdiction by High Court--Petition was allowed.    [P. 497] D
M/s. Ch. Abdul Sattar GorayaMasud Bilal & Muhammad Shabbir Anjum Khokhar, Advocates for Petitioner.
M/s. Qamar-uz-Zaman Butt & Ch. Muhammad Habib, Advocates for Respondents.
Date of hearing: 25.4.2013.
Judgment
Through this civil revision, the petitioners have impugned the judgment & decree dated 19.08.2010 passed by learned Addl: District Judge, Burewala, whereby the appeal filed by them was dismissed, and the judgment & decree dated 26.06.2009 passed by learned Civil Judge, Burewala, whereby the suit for declaration filed by the petitioners-plaintiffs was dismissed.
2.  Briefly, the facts as leading to this civil revision are that the plaintiffs on 07.07.1997 filed a suit for declaration challenging therein the mutation of Gift Bearing No. 344 attested on 29.03.1994 by the predecessor of plaintiffs, Sardar Ali, in favour of Defendants No. 1 to 5. who are also the successors of said Sardar Ali. The written statement was filed and suit was contested. Learned trial Court framed issues and invited the parties to produce their respective evidence. Both the parties produced oral as well as documentary evidence in support of their versions. After the closing of trial, vide judgment & decree dated 26.06.2009 suit was dismissed by the trial Court. Feeling aggrieved thereby, an appeal was preferred by the petitioners-plaintiffs before the first appellate Court, which also met with the same fate vide judgment & decree dated 19.08.2010. Hence, this civil revision.
3.  Learned counsel for the petitioners argue that Sardar Ali, the predecessor of parties was patient of Asthma and died in the age of 90 years, 5/6 years before his death he was seriously ill, he was having three wives and also issues from them; that he was owner of suit land and after his death the petitioners-plaintiffs came to know about the alleged gift in favour of Defendants No. 1 to 5, therefore they filed the suit, as the said Sardar Ali never gifted the suit land in favour of the defendants. Learned counsel argue that when the mutation of gift was challenged by the legal heirs of alleged donor and claim of Defendants No. 1 to 5 is on the basis of oral mutation of gift, therefore they were bound under the law to prove the event of gift independent of attestation of mutation of gift and also to prove offer, acceptance and delivery of possession of suit land under the gift to the donees but they miserably failed to prove the same. Learned counsel for the petitioners have referred to the statement of PW-2,Amjad Ali Lumberdar, who allegedly identified the donor at the time of attestation of gift and that of PW-3, Anwar Hussain who is shown as Pattidar on the impugned gift mutation, both of them have denied their signatures upon the mutation in question. Further by referring the statement of DW-3 (Muhammad Nawaz) one of the defendants, learned counsel state that the defendants miserably failed to prove the gift in their favour as well as valid attestation of mutation.
4.  On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents-defendants argue that the petitioners-plaintiffs failed to establish that the donor was insane at the time of attestation of mutation; that even his illness has not been proved through the evidence and pleadings are never part of the evidence; that there are concurrent findings recorded by two Courts below against the petitioners, therefore this Court ordinarily does not endorse the reinterpretation of evidence already interpreted by the Courts below, therefore prays for dismissal of the instant civil revision.
5.  I have heard the learned counsel for the parties at full length and have gone through the record with their able assistance.
6.  I am of the view that when a mutation of gift is challenged by any legal heir of the deceased donor in favour of some of his legal heirs, the statement of plaintiff on oath before the Court that there was no such gift made in the life of donor, then the onus to prove the valid gift in favour of the donee/defendant and valid attestation of mutation etc. in favour of said donee shifts upon the latter to establish the same. In this case, even the making of gift or offer, acceptance and delivery of possession prior to the attestation of mutation is missing from the pleading of defendants-donees. It is clear that when there is no pleading in this context, no case can be established through evidence on the point which has not been pleaded by a party. Further, when there is no pleading, therefore no question of proof of event of gift independent of attestation of mutation. As the defendants-respondents are the beneficiary of transaction, it was their duty to prove the event of gift independent of attestation of mutation and then valid attestation of gift mutation on the basis of gift already completed in all respects by proving offer, acceptance and delivery of possession. By the careful scanning of evidence, pleadings and record it seems that the donees/respondents are of the impression that it is the plaintiff who has to disprove the attestation of mutation and event of gift because they have not even tried to plead and prove the making of valid gift by proving offer, acceptance and delivery of possession of suit land under the gift to them. Even I have noticed that in `Khasra-Girdawari' which was produced as Ex.D-15, at the time of gift and even thereafter Manzoor Hussain one of the plaintiffs is in possession of various portions of suit land.
7.  Further, when PW-2 & PW-3 have denied their signatures upon the impugned mutation and there are two reports of handwriting Experts, which are conflicting with each other, in this eventuality in the light of law laid down by the august Supreme Court of Pakistan in the judgment reported as "PLD 1980 Supreme Court 228 (MajorSher Afzal vs. Shamim Firdaus and another)", none of the report can be relied upon. In this case, as there are two reports having confliction with each other, therefore none of the report can be relied upon. Even otherwise, report of Expert with regard to handwriting is an opinion, which is not binding upon the Court. In this view of the matter, the statement on oath by both these P.Ws cannot be ignored.
8.  So far as the concurrent findings of two Courts below against the petitioners-plaintiffs are concerned, as I have noticed that both the Courts below have ignored the law declared on the point that the beneficiary of a transaction is bound to prove the same and further in case of gift the beneficiary is also bound to prove the transaction independent of attestation of mutation. As I have observed supra not even the event of gift prior to the attestation of mutation has been pleaded, thus, both the Courts below fell in error while not applying the correct law of the subject while deciding the lis, therefore the findings of two Courts below are not sustainable under the law because this Court while exercising jurisdiction under Section 115 of the CPC is not precluded from touching the concurrent findings of two Courts below when the same are based upon misapplication of law or misreading and non-reading of evidence, as such there is no hurdle in the way of exercising the jurisdiction by this Court.
9.  In the light of what has been discussed above, this civil revision is allowed and the impugned judgments & decrees dated 19.08.2010 & 26.06.2009 passed by both the Courts below are set aside. Resultantly, the suit filed by the petitioners-plaintiffs shall stand, decreed.
(R.A.)  Revision allowed

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