//
you're reading...
legal issues

Indian Easements Act, 1882 – s.13(b) – Easement rights – Easement by grant – Suit for declaration of easement rights over `B’ schedule property of the plaint as a pathway to `A’ schedule property of the plaint – `A’ Schedule property had been allotted to plaintiff in terms of a settlement deed – `B’ Schedule pathway was situated within property under control and use of defendants – Held: Grant can be by implication as well – There was implied grant of `B’ schedule property as pathway, which can be inferred for the reason that no other pathway was provided to plaintiff for access to `A’ schedule property and there was also no objection from defendants to use of `B’ schedule property by plaintiff as pathway for number of years, at least up to the time, when alone cause of action for the suit arose – Plaintiff acquired right of easement in respect of `B’ schedule pathway by way of implied grant. = Sree Swayam Prakash Ashramam & Anr. …Appellants VERSUS G. Anandavally Amma & Ors. …Respondents = published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/helddis.aspx

Indian Easements Act, 1882 – s.13(b) – Easement rights – Easement by grant

English: The supreme court of india. Taken abo...

English: The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m from the main building outside the perimeter wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

– Suit for declaration of easement rights over `B’ schedule property of the
plaint as a pathway to `A’ schedule property of the plaint – `A’ Schedule
property had been allotted to plaintiff in terms of a settlement deed – `B’
Schedule pathway was situated within property under control and use of
defendants – Held: Grant can be by implication as well – There was implied
grant of `B’ schedule property as pathway, which can be inferred for the
reason that no other pathway was provided to plaintiff for access to `A’
schedule property and there was also no objection from defendants to use of
`B’ schedule property by plaintiff as pathway for number of years, at least
up to the time, when alone cause of action for the suit arose – Plaintiff
acquired right of easement in respect of `B’ schedule pathway by way of
implied grant.

Constitution of India, 1950 – Art. 136 – Interference with findings of
facts arrived at by Courts below – Scope – Suit for grant of easement
rights – No specific issue on question of implied grant – But parties
adduced evidence for purpose of proving and contesting implied grant –
Courts below found that plaintiff had acquired right of easement by way of
implied grant – Held: In such circumstances, Supreme Court cannot upset the
findings of fact arrived at by Courts below in exercise of its powers under
Art.136.

Respondent-plaintiff filed suit for declaration of easement rights by way
of necessity or of grant over `B’ schedule property of the plaint as a
pathway to `A’ schedule property of the plaint.

Both `A’ schedule and `B’ schedule properties of the plaint originally
belonged to one `Y’, who was in enjoyment and management of a vast extent
of properties including plaint `A’ and `B’ schedule properties for benefit
of the first defendant-Ashramam. After the death of `Y’, her disciples
executed a settlement deed as per her directions whereby `A’ Schedule
property of the plaint was allotted to the plaintiff. The `B’ Schedule
pathway of the plaint was situated within the property under the control
and the use of defendants.

The trial court accepted the version of the plaintiff that apart from `B’
Schedule pathway, there was no alternate pathway leading to the `A’
schedule property and, that the plaintiff was entitled to easement right in
respect of the `B’ schedule pathway by implied grant as also by necessity,
and decreed the suit. The First Appellate Court held that even assuming
that the plaintiff had an alternative pathway as contended by the
defendants, it did not extinguish the right of easement of grant in favour
of the plaintiff, though the declaration granted on the ground of easement
of necessity was not justified. Both courts concurrently found on
appreciation of evidence that `B’ Schedule property was being used by the
plaintiff-respondents for access to `A’ Schedule property even after
construction of a building on `A’ Schedule property. Second appeal filed by
defendants was dismissed by the High Court. Hence the present appeal.

Dismissing the appeal, the Court

HELD: 1. The case of the defendants-appellants that since there was no
mention in the deed of settlement enabling the use of `B’ schedule pathway
for access to `A’ schedule property and the building therein, cannot be the
reason to hold that there was no grant as the grant could be by implication
as well. The facts and circumstances of the case amply show that there was
an implied grant in favour of the original plaintiff (since deceased)
relating to `B’ schedule property of the plaint for its use as pathway to
`A’ schedule property of the plaint in residential occupation of the
original plaintiff (since deceased). In absence of any evidence being
adduced by the appellants to substantiate their contention that the
original plaintiff (since deceased) had an alternative pathway for access
to the `A’ schedule property, it is difficult to negative the contention of
the respondent that since the original plaintiff (since deceased) has been
continuously using the said pathway at least from the year 1940 the
original plaintiff (since deceased) had acquired an easement right by way
of an implied grant in respect of the `B’ Schedule property of the plaint.
The High Court was perfectly justified in holding that when it was the
desire of `Y’ to grant easement right to the original plaintiff (since
deceased) by way of an implied grant, the right of the original plaintiff
(since deceased) to have `B’ schedule property of the plaint as a pathway
could not have been taken away. The High Court was fully justified in
holding that there was implied grant of `B’ schedule property as pathway,
which can be inferred from the circumstances for the reason that no other
pathway was provided for access to `A’ schedule property of the plaint and
there was no objection also to the use of `B’ schedule property of the
plaint as pathway by the original plaintiff (since deceased) at least up to
1982, when alone the cause of action for the suit arose. [Paras 25 and 26]
[285-G-H; 286-A-E; 287-B-C]

Annapurna Dutta v. Santosh Kumar Sett & Ors. AIR 1937 Cal.661, referred to.

Katiyar’s Law of Easement and Licences (12th edition), referred to.

2. The Trial Court on consideration of the plaintiff’s evidence and when
the defendant had failed to produce any evidence, had come to the
conclusion that the plaintiff was given right of easement by `Y’ as an
easement of grant. Considering this aspect of the matter, although there is
no specific issue on the question of implied grant, but as the parties have
understood their case and for the purpose of proving and contesting implied
grant had adduced evidence, the Trial Court and the High Court had come to
the conclusion that the plaintiff had acquired a right of easement in
respect of `B’ schedule pathway by way of implied grant. Such being the
position, this Court cannot upset the findings of fact arrived at by the
Courts below, in exercise of its powers under Article 136 of the
Constitution. It is true that the defendant-appellants alleged that no
implied grant was pleaded in the plaint. However, the Trial Court was
justified in holding that such pleadings were not necessary when it did not
make a difference to the finding arrived at with respect to the easement by
way of grant. Accordingly, there is no substance in the argument raised by
the appellants. Since the findings of the High Court as well as of the
trial court on the question of implied grant have been accepted, it would
not be necessary to deal with the decisions on the easement of necessity
which necessarily involves an absolute necessity. Such being the state of
affairs and such being the findings accepted by the High Court in second
appeal, it is not possible for this Court to interfere with such findings
of fact arrived at by the High Court which affirmed the findings of the
Courts below. [Paras 27, 28 and 29] [287-F-H; 288-A; 288-B-D; 288-F-G]

Justiniano Antao & Ors. vs. Smt. Bernadette B.Pereira 2005 (1) SCC 471,
held inapplicable.

Case Law Reference:

AIR 1937 Cal. 661 referred to Para 25
2005 (1) SCC 471 held inapplicable Para 28

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 7 of 2010.

From the Judgment & Order dated 9.5.2006 of the High Court of Kerala at
Ernakulam in S.A. No. 198 of 2000 (F).

T.L. Viswanatha Iyer, Subramonium Prasad for the Appellants.

P. Krishnamoorthy, M.T. George for the Respondents.

1
REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7 OF 2010
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 17235 of 2006)

Sree Swayam Prakash Ashramam & Anr. …Appellants

VERSUS

G. Anandavally Amma & Ors. …Respondents

JUDGMENT

TARUN CHATTERJEE, J.

1. Delay condoned.

2. Leave granted.

3. This appeal is directed against the judgment and order

dated 9th of May, 2006, passed in Second Appeal No.198 of

2000 of the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam, by which

the High Court had affirmed the concurrent findings of fact

arrived at by the courts below in a suit for declaration of

easement rights in respect of `B’ Schedule property of the

plaint as a pathway to the `A’ Schedule property of the

plaint.
2
4. It may be mentioned that during the pendency of the

second appeal before the High Court of Kerala, the original

plaintiff expired and his legal representatives were brought

on record as substituted respondents before the High Court,

who are respondents in this appeal. For the sake of

convenience, the appellants herein would be referred to as

`the defendants’ as they were in the original suit for

declaration of easement and permanent injunction filed by

the original plaintiff, who is now represented by the

respondents herein.

5. The case that was made out by the plaintiff (since

deceased), in his plaint was as follows: Plaint A and B

schedule properties originally formed part of a vast extent of

properties which belonged to one Yogini Amma. During the

life time of Yogini Amma, she was in enjoyment and

management of the entire property for the benefit of the first

defendant Ashramam. On her death, her brother and sole

legal heir Krishna Pillai and other disciples executed a

settlement deed dated 20th of June, 1948 as per the
3
directions of the deceased Yogini Amma. As per the

settlement, the Schedule `A’ property of the plaint was

allotted to the original plaintiff (since deceased). Even

thereafter, the original plaintiff (since deceased) continued

to be in possession and enjoyment of the said properties

effecting mutation and paying taxes. Even before the

settlement deed was executed, during the life time of the

said Yogini Amma, there is a building being `A’ schedule

property of the plaint that was in occupation of the original

plaintiff (since deceased). There is a gate provided on the

South Western portion of the `A’ schedule property for

ingress and egress to the same and `B’ schedule property of

the plaint which is a pathway extends up to the road on the

West from the said gate. The said gate and `B’ schedule

pathway are as old as the building in `A’ schedule property

of the plaint. Other than `B’ schedule pathway, there is no

other means of direct or indirect access to `A’ schedule

property of the plaint from any road or pathway. The `B’

schedule pathway of the plaint was granted to the original

plaintiff (since deceased) as easement right by the said
4
Yogini Amma and the original plaintiff (since deceased)

continued to use it as such from time immemorial. This

pathway is situated within the property which is now under

the control and use of the defendants. Defendant Nos. 2 to

4 tried to close down the gate on the South Western

extremity of the B schedule pathway and were also

attempting to change the nature and existence of the `B’

schedule property of the plaint. An attempt in that direction

was made on 21st of July, 1982. Original plaintiff (since

deceased) apprehended that defendant nos. 2 to 4 might

forcibly close down the pathway. Hence, he filed a suit for

declaration of easement of necessity or of grant and

permanent injunction restraining the defendants from

obstructing the `B’ schedule pathway and for other

incidental reliefs.

6. The defendant No.1 was the Matathipadhi of the

Ashramam; defendant Nos. 2 and 3 were its office bearers

and defendant No.4 was only an inmate of the Ashramam.

Defendant Nos. 1 to 4 entered appearance and filed a joint
5
written statement praying for dismissal of the suit by

making the following defence:

The suit was not maintainable. The description of `A’

schedule and `B’ schedule properties was incorrect. The

original plaintiff (since deceased) was attached to the

institution from his childhood. In consideration of the love

and affection Yogini Amma had towards the original plaintiff

(since deceased), she wished to gift some portion of the

property to him and in pursuance thereof, Ashramam

represented by the then office bearers executed a settlement

deed in respect of the properties. Original plaintiff (since

deceased) was the 13th signatory in the said settlement deed.

There is a pathway provided in the settlement deed on the

Eastern extremity of the Ashramam properties. There is yet

another lane which comes along the Western side of the

Ashramam property through which also the plaintiff has

access to his property. It is incorrect to say that Plaint `B’

schedule is meant as a pathway for ingress and egress to `A’

schedule property and that other than `B’ schedule property

there is no other means of direct or indirect access to `A’
6
schedule property of the plaint. The further allegation that the

pathway was granted by the said Yogini Amma to the original

plaintiff (since deceased) and that he was using it from time

immemorial was also not correct. Originally, there was a

narrow pathway which was widened to accommodate traffic to

the Ashramam. The present pathway came into existence

only within the last 10 years. It can never be considered as an

easement of necessity. Original plaintiff (since deceased) has

no easmentary right to use the gate and the pathway and he

was not entitled to the declaration or injunction prayed for.

Therefore, the suit in the circumstances must be dismissed

with costs to the defendants.

7. The IInd Additional Munsif, Trivandrum, accordingly,

framed the following issues which are as follows :

” 1) Is not the suit maintainable?

2) Whether the plaint schedule description is correct?

3) Is there any pathway as Plaint B schedule?

4) Is the plaintiff entitled to easement right over plaint B

schedule as pathway to Plaint A schedule?

5) Is the plaintiff entitled to the declaration as prayed for?
7
6) Whether the injunction prayed for is allowed?

7) Relief and costs.”

8. After the parties adduced evidence in support of their

respective cases and after hearing the parties, the IInd

Additional Munsif, Trivandrum decreed the suit for

declaration of easement right and for injunction filed by the

original plaintiff (since deceased), holding inter alia that :-

The court noted that the plaintiff had claimed easement

of necessity as well as easement of grant. According to the

plaintiff, during the lifetime of Yogini Amma itself, `B’ schedule

pathway had been given to him as an easement of grant,

which had been in use from those days and even prior to the

execution of the settlement deed. The deed does not refer to

the existence of `B’ schedule pathway for the plaintiff to access

`A’ schedule property. The defendants had alleged the

existence of two alternative pathways leading to the `A’

schedule property. However, the same was denied by the sole

witness produced by the original plaintiff (since deceased). The
8
defendants could not lead any evidence to substantiate their

claim that these pathways provide access to `A’ schedule

property. In a case where the original plaintiff was claiming

easement right either as grant or as of necessity the plaintiff

has only a primary burden to prove the absence of any

alternate pathway. As the defendants have not proved the

existence of any pathway for access to Plaint `A’ schedule

property the version of the plaintiff that there is no alternate

pathway shall be accepted. According to the plaintiff, he had

been residing in the building on `A’ schedule property and had

been using `B’ schedule pathway from the year 1940. A trace

of this pathway could be presumed to be in existence from the

time when the Ashramam acquired the properties. As per the

deed of settlement, there is a separation of tenements. At the

time of its execution itself, the plaintiff could have had access

to `A’ schedule property only through `B’ schedule pathway. As

`B’ schedule pathway was required for the reasonable and

convenient use of the plaintiff’s property and that on

severance of the tenements, plaintiff can be presumed to have

got a right over `B’ schedule pathway by an implied grant and
9
also an easement of necessity. It is not on record that either

Yogini Amma, or the defendants themselves until 1982 had

obstructed this use of pathway. There is no reason to

disbelieve the plaintiff’s version that Yogini Amma had given

`B’ schedule pathway as grant for his use as he was a close

relative of the former. There is an apparent and continuous

use which is necessary for the enjoyment of the `A’ schedule

property within the meaning of Section 13(b) of the Indian

Easements Act, 1882, and, therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to

easement right in respect of the pathway. The defendants have

not entered the witness box to disprove the evidence led by the

plaintiff.

10. In these circumstances, it was clear that `B’ schedule

pathway was given to plaintiff as an easement of grant.

Defendants argued that no implied grant was pleaded in

the plaint. However, it does not make a difference to the

findings arrived at, as the plaintiff had pleaded easement

of grant. The plaintiff’s right to `B’ schedule pathway does not

affect the interest in the Ashramam property in any manner.
1
Since this issue was found in favour of the plaintiff, the relief

of declaration and injunction was granted as prayed for.

11. Feeling aggrieved by the order of the IInd Additional

Munsif, the defendants preferred an appeal before the IIIrd

Additional District Judge, Thiruvananthapuram. The

Appellate Court, by an order dated 6th of April, 1999,

allowed the appeal partly. The issues framed by the

Appellate Court were as follows:

1) Whether the Trial Court was justified in granting a decree

for declaration in favour of the plaintiff?

2) Whether the finding of the Trial Court that plaintiff is

entitled to the decree of permanent injunction is correct?

12.The Appellate Court found that on evidence, it was proved

that there is an alternate way on the western side of the `A’

schedule property. The plaintiff, however, asserted that

there is a difference in level of 14 feet between the `A’
1
schedule property of the plaint and the property adjacent to

it which is situated on the western side. However, the

existence of an alternate pathway, howsoever inconvenient,

will defeat the claim of easement of necessity. The necessity

must be absolute and must be subsisting at the time when

the plaintiff claims right of way by easement. In the light of

these findings, the Appellate Court held that the claim of

the plaintiff regarding the right of easement of necessity

over the plaint `B’ schedule pathway was not sustainable.

13.On the question of easement by grant, the Appellate Court

was of the opinion that the plaintiff’s claim in that respect

stood proved. The plaintiff had acquaintance and

association with the Ashramam and Yogini Amma from his

childhood days as revealed from the oral and documentary

evidence. Considering the location and nature of `B’

schedule pathway, the location of two pillars at its

inception and the gate from which it started, it could be

seen that it had been in use by the plaintiff as a pathway.

The plaintiff had been residing in the house on `A’ schedule

property even prior to the deed of settlement. Therefore, the
1
Appellate Authority arrived at the conclusion that the

plaintiff had obtained right of easement of grant from

Yogini Amma over the `B’ schedule pathway. An easement

of grant is a matter of contract between the parties and it

may have its own consideration. (B.B. Katiyar’s

Commentaries on Easements and Licenses, p. 762). It may

be either express or even by necessary implication. Though

easement of necessity will come to an end with the

termination of necessity, easement acquired by grant

cannot be extinguished on that ground as per section 13(b)

of the Indian Easements Act, 1882. Therefore, even

assuming that the plaintiff had an alternative pathway as

contended by the defendants, it does not extinguish the

right of easement of grant in favour of the plaintiff.

Therefore, the Trial Court was justified in granting a relief

of declaration of right of easement of grant over the `B’

schedule pathway. However, the declaration granted on the

ground of easement of necessity was not justified.

14.It was further held that the apprehension of the plaintiff on

attempted obstruction of the `B’ schedule pathway was
1
well-founded and, therefore, the Trial Court was justified in

granting the relief of permanent injunction against the

defendants.

15. Aggrieved by the order of the first Appellate Court, the

defendants took a second appeal before the High Court of

Kerala. The High Court, by its impugned judgment and

order dated 9th of May, 2006, dismissed the appeal and

affirmed the orders of the Trial Court and of the Appellate

Court.

16.The issues that were raised for consideration of the High

Court were as follows:

1. While Yogini Amma owned and held the entire land in both

the schedules at that time of alleged grant, whether the

finding of easement of grant is contrary to law of easement

which enjoins the existence of two tenements?

2. Whether the appellate court was right in granting an

easement of grant without specifying the nature and extent

of easementary right and without restricting it to the right

of footway, when the terms of the grant are not known?
1
3. Whether the appellate court was justified in granting a

decree for declaration in favour of the plaintiff as regards

the easementary right by way of grant?

17.The High Court limited itself to the issue whether the

decree of the first appellate court granting the original

plaintiff (since deceased) right of easement over `B’ schedule

property by way of grant concurring with the findings of

the trial court was sustainable.

18.Before the High Court, the defendants pleaded that there

had been no appeal or cross objection filed by the original

plaintiff (since deceased) against the order of the Appellate

Court which disallowed the claim of easement of necessity

and, therefore, the finding that there existed no easement

of necessity in favour of the original plaintiff (since

deceased) over the `B’ schedule property stood confirmed.

Further they contended that the alternative pathway on the

western side of the `A’ schedule property was rendered

inconvenient by the very act of the original plaintiff (since

deceased) who sold that portion of the property to a third
1
party who began digging that pathway resulting in the

difference in level. The High Court, on consideration of

these contentions, held that though the claim of right of

easement by way of necessity over `B’ Schedule property

may be affected by the subsequent sale of the said plot by

the plaintiff in 1983, the claim of right of easement by way

of grant over `B’ schedule property stood unaffected by the

said conduct.

19. The very fact that the plaintiff was continuing to use the

said pathway for access to `A’ schedule property was an

indication that there was implied grant of `B’ schedule

pathway of the plaint for access to the `A’ schedule property

even while `A’ schedule property was separately allotted to

him under settlement deed. Such implied grant is inferable

also on account of the acquiescence of the defendants in

the original plaintiff (since deceased) using `B’ schedule as

pathway till it was for the first time objected on 21st of

July, 1982 as alleged by the original plaintiff (since

deceased).
1
20.The High Court observed that the Courts below had

concurrently found on a proper appreciation of the

evidence adduced in the case that `B’ schedule property of

the plaint was being used as a pathway by the plaintiff

ever after construction of the building in 1940 in `A’

schedule property. The defendants did not dispute the case

of the plaintiff that the plaintiff was in occupation of the

building ever after its construction in 1940. The

defendants were also not able to establish that the

plaintiff was using any other pathway for access to `A’

schedule property and the building therein which was in

his occupation. The mere fact that there is no mention in

settlement deed enabling the use of the `B’ schedule

pathway for access to `A’ Schedule property and the

building therein is no reason to hold that there is no grant

as the grant could be by implication as well. The fact of the

use of `B’ schedule property as pathway ever after

execution of settlement deed till 1982 by the plaintiff

shows that there was an implied grant in favour of the

plaintiff in relation to `B’ schedule property for its use as
1
pathway to `A’ schedule property of the plaint in residential

occupation of the plaintiff.

21.The High Court relied on a number of observations in

Katiyars Law of Easement and Licences (12th Edition) on

law with respect to “implication of grant of an easement.” It

may arise upon severance of a tenement by its owner into

parts. The acquisition of easement by prescription may be

classified under the head of implied grant for all

prescription presupposes a grant. All that is necessary to

create the easement is a manifestation or an unequivocal

intention on the part of the servient owner to that effect.

22.The High Court quoted with approval Katiyar’s note to

Section 8 of the Easement Act, which reads as follows:

“There are numerous cases in which an
agreement to grant easement or some other rights
has been inferred or more correctly has been
imputed to the person who is in a position to
make the grant, on account of some action or
inaction on his part. These cases rest on the
equitable doctrine of acquiescence, but they may
be referred to, for the purpose of classification, as
imputed or constructive grants. The party
acquiescing is subsequently estopped from
denying the existence of easement. It is as if such
person had made an actual grant of the
easement…
1

…It is the intention of the grantor whether he can
be presumed to have been intended to convey to
the grantee a right of easement for the reasonable
and convenient enjoyment of the property which
has to be ascertained in all the circumstances of
the case to find out whether a grant can be
implied. A description in a conveyance may
connote an intention to create a right of easement.
An easement may arise by implication, if the
intention to grant can properly be inferred either
from the terms of the grant or the circumstances”.
23.Applying these observations to the facts of the case, the

High Court held that though the original grant was by

Yogini Amma that grant could not perfect as an easement

for the reason that Yogini Amma herself was the owner of

both `A’ schedule and `B’ schedule properties and

consequently there was no question of `B’ schedule

property becoming the servient tenement and `A’ schedule

property becoming the dominant tenement. However, it

was the desire of Yogini Amma that was implemented by

her disciples by virtue of the settlement deed. Therefore,

the right of the plaintiff to have `B’ schedule property as a

pathway could not have been taken away by the very same

deed. In fact, there was implied grant of `B’ schedule
1
property as pathway as can be inferred from the

circumstances, namely, i) no other pathway was provided

for access to `A’ schedule property in the settlement deed

and ii) there was no objection to the use of `B’ schedule as

pathway.

24.Feeling aggrieved by the concurrent orders of the Courts

below, the defendants/Appellants have filed the present

special leave petition, which, on grant of leave, was heard

in the presence of the learned counsel of the parties.

25.We have heard Mr. T.L. Viswanatha Iyer, learned senior

counsel for the appellants and Mr. Subramanium Prasad,

learned senior counsel for the respondents. We have

carefully examined the impugned judgment of the courts

below and also the pleadings, evidence and the materials

already on record. It is not in dispute that the trial court

as well as the First Appellate Court concurrently found on

a proper appreciation of the evidence adduced in the case

that the `B’ Schedule Property of the plaint was being used

by the original plaintiff (since deceased) and thereafter, by

the respondents even after construction of the building in
2
1940 in `A’ Schedule property of the plaint. The appellants

also did not dispute the case of the original plaintiff (since

deceased) that he was in continuous occupation of the

building even after its construction in the year 1940. It is

also not in dispute that the appellants were not able to

establish that the original plaintiff (since deceased) was

using any other pathway for access to `A’ Schedule Property

of the plaint and the building therein, which was in the

occupation of the original plaintiff (since deceased). The

case of the appellants that since there was no mention in

the deed of settlement enabling the use of `B’ schedule

pathway for access to `A’ schedule property and the

building therein, cannot be the reason to hold that there

was no grant as the grant could be by implication as well.

It is not in dispute that the fact of the use of the `B’

schedule property as pathway even after execution of

Exhibit A1, the settlement deed in the year 1982 by the

original plaintiff (since deceased) would amply show that

there was an implied grant in favour of the original plaintiff

(since deceased) relating to `B’ schedule property of the
2
plaint for its use as pathway to `A’ schedule property of the

plaint in residential occupation of the original plaintiff

(since deceased). In the absence of any evidence being

adduced by the appellants to substantiate their contention

that the original plaintiff (since deceased) had an

alternative pathway for access to the `A’ schedule property,

it is difficult to negative the contention of the respondent

that since the original plaintiff (since deceased) has been

continuously using the said pathway at least from the year

1940 the original plaintiff (since deceased) had acquired an

easement right by way of an implied grant in respect of the

`B’ Schedule property of the plaint. It is an admitted

position that both `A’ schedule and `B’ schedule properties

of the plaint belonged to Yogini Amma and her disciples

and it was the desire of Yogini Amma that was really

implemented by the disciples under the settlement deed

executed in favour of the original plaintiff (since deceased).

Therefore, the High Court was perfectly justified in holding

that when it was the desire of Yogini Amma to grant

easement right to the original plaintiff (since deceased) by
2
way of an implied grant, the right of the original plaintiff

(since deceased) to have `B’ schedule property of the plaint

as a pathway could not have been taken away. In

Annapurna Dutta vs. Santosh Kumar Sett & Ors. [AIR

1937 Cal.661], B.K.Mukherjee, as His Lordship then was

observed :

“There could be no implied grant where the
easements are not continuous and non-apparent.
Now a right of way is neither continuous nor always
an apparent easement, and hence would not
ordinarily come under the rule. Exception is no doubt
made in certain cases, where there is a `formed road’
existing over one part of the tenement for the
apparent use of another portion or there is `some
permanence in the adaptation of the tenement’ from
which continuity may be inferred, but barring these
exceptions, an ordinary right of way would not pass
on severance unless language is used by the grantor
to create a fresh easement.”

26.In our view, therefore, the High Court was also fully

justified in holding that there was implied grant of `B’

schedule property as pathway, which can be inferred from

the circumstances for the reason that no other pathway

was provided for access to `A’ schedule property of the

plaint and there was no objection also to the use of `B’

schedule property of the plaint as pathway by the original
2
plaintiff (since deceased) at least up to 1982, when alone

the cause of action for the suit arose.

27.The learned counsel for the appellant raised an argument

that since no case was made out by the

plaintiffs/respondents in their plaint about the

easementary right over the `B’ Schedule Pathway by implied

grant, no decree can be passed by the courts below basing

their conclusion on implied grant. We have already noted

the findings arrived at by the Trial Court, on consideration

of pleadings and evidence on record on the right of

easement over `B’ Schedule pathway by implied grant. The

Trial Court on consideration of the evidence of both the

parties recorded the finding that there was no evidence on

record to show that either Yogini Amma or the defendants

themselves until 1982 had objected to the plaintiff’s use of

`B’ schedule pathway to access `A’ schedule property. The

Trial Court on consideration of the plaintiff’s evidence and

when the defendant had failed to produce any evidence,

had come to the conclusion that the plaintiff was given

right of easement by Yogini Amma as an easement of grant.
2
Considering this aspect of the matter, although there is no

specific issue on the question of implied grant, but as the

parties have understood their case and for the purpose of

proving and contesting implied grant had adduced

evidence, the Trial Court and the High Court had come to

the conclusion that the plaintiff had acquired a right of

easement in respect of `B’ schedule pathway by way of

implied grant. Such being the position, we are not in a

position to upset the findings of fact arrived at by the

Courts below, in exercise of our powers under Article 136 of

the Constitution of India. We also agree with the finding of

the Trial Court that from the evidence and pleadings of the

parties `B’ schedule pathway was given to the

plaintiff/respondent as an easement of grant. It is true that

the defendant/appellant alleged that no implied grant was

pleaded in the plaint. The Trial Court, in our view, was

justified in holding that such pleadings were not necessary

when it did not make a difference to the finding arrived at

with respect to the easement by way of grant. Accordingly,

there is no substance in the argument raised by the
2
learned senior counsel for the appellants.

28.Since we have accepted the findings of the High Court as

well as of the trial court on the question of implied grant, it

would not be necessary for us to deal with the decisions on

the easement of necessity which necessarily involves an

absolute necessity. If there exists any other way, there can

be no easement of necessity. Therefore, the decision of this

Court in Justiniano Antao & Ors. vs. Smt. Bernadette

B.Pereira [2005 (1) SCC 471] is clearly not applicable in

view of our discussions made herein above. Similarly two

other decisions referred to by the High Court in the

impugned judgment need not be discussed because these

decisions were rendered on the question of easement of

necessity.

29.Such being the state of affairs and such being the findings

accepted by the High Court in second appeal, it is not

possible for this Court to interfere with such findings of fact

arrived at by the High Court which affirmed the findings of

the Courts below. No other point was raised by the learned

senior counsel for the appellants.
2
30.In view of our discussions made hereinabove, we do not

find any merit in this appeal. The appeal is thus

dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.

……………………….J.
[Tarun Chatterjee]
New Delhi; ……………………………J.
January 05, 2010 [V.S.Sirpurkar]

Advertisements

About advocatemmmohan

ADVOCATE

Discussion

Comments are closed.

Blog Stats

  • 1,810,481 hits

ADVOCATE MMMOHAN

archieves

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,863 other followers

Follow advocatemmmohan on WordPress.com