1) Introduction : 

                 Part III Chapter VII containing Sections 115 to Section 117 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 lay down the provisions relating to the Doctrine of Estoppel. Section 116 deals with estoppel of tenant and of licensee of persons in possession.


2) Meaning of Estoppel

                The expression 'Estoppel is derived from the French word 'Estoup' Which means "Shut the mouth". In simple words Estoppel means stopped, which means a person is not allowed or permitted to speak contrary to his previous statement. The Doctrine Estoppel is based on the principle of Equity. It would be inequitable and unjust if one person is allowed to speak contrary to his earlier statement. Estoppel is the principle of law by which a person is held bound by representation, made by him or arising out of his conduct.

3) Definition of Estoppel : 

    According to Section 115 of the Indian Evidence Act, "When one person has by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his representative shall be allowed, in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representative, to deny the truth of that thing."




Illustration

         A intentionally and falsely leads B to believe that certain land belongs to A, and thereby induces B to buy and pay for it. The land afterwards becomes the property of A, and A seeks to set aside the sale on the ground that, at the time of the sale, he had no title. He must not be allowed to prove his want of title.
     


4) Estoppel a of tenant and of licensee  :

Section 116 of the Evidence Act deals with Estoppel between

1. A tenant of Immovable Property and his landlord: and

2. Licensor and Licensee

Section 116 of the IEA run as follows

        "No tenant of immovable property of person claiming through such tenant shall, during the continuance of the tenancy, be permitted to deny that the landlord of such tenant had, at the beginning of the tenancy, a title to such immovable property; and not person who came upon any immovable property by the license of the person in possession thereof, shall be permitted to deny that such person has a title to such possession at the time when such license was given.

       Section 116 prevents the tenant from denying the title of the landlord at the beginning. No tenant in possession shall be permitted to deny the title of landlord at the time of commencement of tenancy.  Similarly, any person who came upon any immovable property by the License of the person in possession thereof shall not be permitted to deny that such person had a title, at time of giving the license. Licence makes unlawful act lawful. for example entering anther's land with license is no trespass.

  
5) Case Law

1) Veeraju Vs.Venkanna AIR1966 SC 629

Fact :
     In this case a trustee of deity  for possession of lands in the possession of a tenant enjoying the income in return for a certain service to the deity, the tenant denied the title of the deity to the lands.

Held   
      In this case Supreme Court held : "having regard to Section 116 of the Evidence Act during the continuance of the tenancy, a tenant will not be permitted to deny the title of the deity at the beginning of the tenancy.


6) Conclusion :

         The Principle of Estoppel is a rule which prevents a person from taking up in consistent position from what he has pleaded earlier.



See also :

1) Difference Between an Admissions and Estoppel

2) Kinds of Estoppel

3) Difference Between Estoppel and Res Judicata

4) Definition of Transfer of Property and essentials For valid Transfer.

5) Res -Judicata

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