1 R RSA263311 IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU DATED THIS THE18H DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014 BEFORE: THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.S.PACHHAPURE REGULAR SECOND APPEAL No.2633 OF2011BETWEEN:
1. Siddagangaiah, S/o. late Thopaiah, Since dead by his L.Rs. 1(a) Thayamma, W/o. late Siddagangaiah, aged about 67 years, 1(b) Gunashekaar, S/o. late Siddagangaiah, Aged about 42 years, 1(c) Kamalakshi, D/o. late Siddagangaiah, Aged about 41 years, 1(d) Manjula, D/o. late Siddagangaiah, Aged about 39 years, All are r/at Madanayakanahalli, Dasanapura Hobli, Bangalore North Taluk, Bangalore District-562 123. ... APPELLANT/S [By Sri. T. Seshagiri Rao & Sri. Sunil S. Rao, Advs.]. 2 RSA263311 AND:
1. N.K. Giriraja Shetty, S/o. late Narasimhaiah Shetty, Since dead by L.R. 1(a) D. Narasimha Raja Shetty, S/o. late N.K. Giriraja Shetty, Aged about 56 years, R/at Kamayaka Nilaya, Old Post Office Road, Nelamangala, Bangalore Rural – 562 123.
2. Lingamma, W/o. Siddagirigowda, Aged about 42 years, R/at Kenchanahalli, Kasaba Hobli, Nelamangala Taluk, Bangalore District-562 123. ... RESPONDENT/S [Amended V.C.O. dated 07.03.2012]. [By Sri. S.S.Naganand, Sr. Adv. for Sri. Shyam Koundinya A.S., Adv. for C/R1(a).]. *** This RSA is filed u/Section 100 of CPC., against the Judgment and Decree dated 04.11.2011 passed in R.A. No.123/2009 on the file of the Senior Civil Judge & JMFC., Nelamangala, allowing the appeal and setting aside the Judgment and Decree dated:
05. 01.2007 passed in O.S. No.85/1989 on the file of the Civil Judge (Jr.Dn.) & JMFC., Nelamangala. 3 RSA263311 This RSA having been heard and reserved for Judgment, this day the Court pronounced the following: Date of Reserving the Judgment :
18. 10.2014 Date of Pronouncement of Judgment:
The appellants have challenged the Judgment and Decree in R.A. No.123/2009, allowing the appeal of deceased 1st respondent by setting aside the dismissal of the suit in O.S. No.85/1989 for the relief of declaration and possession and granting a decree in favour of the 1st respondent/1(a).
2. The chronology of the events leading to the suit from which the second appeal arises are as under: One N.K.Giriraja Shetty, deceased 1st respondent is the plaintiff in the suit instituted seeking the relief of declaration of his title to 4 RSA263311 the suit properties and for possession. The schedule annexed to the plaint reveals that Sy. No.11 measuring 5 acres 39 guntas and Sy. No.68/1, measuring 18 guntas both situated at Kenchanahalli village, Nelamangala taluk, Bangalore, were owned by Siddagirigowda, 1st defendant in the trial Court. The 2nd respondent herein is the third wife i.e., 4th defendant and Thopamma, 2nd defendant is the first wife of Siddagirigowda and in her life-time, Thopamma instituted a suit for maintenance against her husband, in O.S. No.245/1968. Siddagirigowda owned as many as 13 properties inclusive of the suit properties herein and his wife-Thopamma in the suit for maintenance had also prayed for creating a charge of her right of maintenance on all those properties. Thereby, inclusive of the suit properties and other properties of Siddagirigowda were the subject matter of the suit in O.S. No.245/1968. 5 RSA263311 While the aforesaid suit was pending, Siddagirigowda sold the suit properties to N.K.Giriraja Shetty, the plaintiff in the present suit. The sale Deed was for a consideration of Rs.10,000-00 and was executed and registered on 09.11.1974. The suit in O.S. No.245/1968 for maintenance and creation of charge was decreed on 24.06.1976. The copy of the decree is at Ex.P14. She was granted maintenance of Rs.100-00 p.m. from the date of the suit till the death of Siddagirigowda and further a charge of maintenance was created on all the properties inclusive of the suit lands. As the amount of maintenance under the decree in O.S. No.245/1968 was not paid, Thopamma filed Execution Case No.96/1976. In the said execution case, the suit properties were put to auction on 05.10.1977. N.K.Giriraja Shetty filed an application under Section 47 r/w. Order 21 Rule 90 CPC in the said execution case on 05.11.1977. On 6 RSA263311 05.01.1978, Siddagirigowda, the husband of Thopamma executed a Settlement Deed in favour of his wife under Ex.P4. Siddagirigowda had also filed an application under Order 21 Rule 90 CPC on 16.11.1977 and the said application came to be withdrawn by him on 31.03.1978. On 31.03.1978, the application of N.K.Giriraja Shetty filed under Section 47 r/w. Order 21 Rule 90 CPC came to be dismissed for default and on the said day, the sale was confirmed. In the aforesaid circumstances, N.K.Giriraja Shetty instituted the present suit on 19.04.1978 and initially the suit was numbered as O.S. No.109/1978, seeking the relief of declaration and possession and this suit came to be re-numbered as O.S. No.85/1989. Meanwhile, the sale certificate in pursuance of the auction sale was granted to Thopamma on 01.01.1979 as she was the successful bidder in the auction with due permission of the Court. After she was granted the sale certificate 7 RSA263311 aforesaid, the sale was confirmed on 01.01.1979 and a warrant for delivery of possession was issued by the Court on 29.01.1979. During the pendency of the suit in O.S. No.85/1989, Thopamma sold the suit properties in favour of Siddagangaiah, the 3rd defendant and now in view of his death, he is represented by his wife and children i.e., the appellants herein. The trial Court framed the issues and after recording the evidence, heard both the counsel and dismissed the suit holding that the sale of the suit properties by Siddagirigowda in favour of N.K.Giriraja Shetty was hit by doctrine of lis pendens and that the Sale Deed executed on 09.11.1974 does not bind the auction purchaser Thopamma and her successors. Aggrieved by the Judgment and Decree, N.K.Giriraja Shetty, the 1st respondent herein approached the 1st appellate Court in R.A. 8 RSA263311 No.22/2007. This appeal was allowed by the first appellate Court and granted a decree to N.K.Giriraja Shetty as prayed for assigning its own reasons. Aggrieved by the Judgment and Decree of the first appellate Court, it is the legal representatives of Siddagangaiah, the purchaser of the suit properties from Thopamma, have filed this appeal.
3. This Court while admitting the appeal, on 11.08.2014 raised the following substantial questions of law for consideration:
1. When the trial Court did not arrive at a conclusion that the suit in O.S. No.245/1968 and the execution proceedings are collusive, whether the first appellate Court was justified in holding that the suit and the execution proceedings are collusive and in doing so, appreciated the evidence illegally and in capricious manner and thereby committed an illegality in the impugned Judgment and Decree?. 9 RSA263311 2. Whether the title of the transferee of the immovable property pendente lite, which is the subject matter in a suit for maintenance and charge is affected by a decree for charge on the said property?.
3. Whether the suit instituted by the respondent for the relief of declaration is maintainable in the absence of seeking the relief that the auction sale is void or not binding?.
4. When an application filed under Order XXI Rule 90 CPC was dismissed for default, whether separate suit filed by such applicant is maintainable in law?.
4. I have heard learned counsel for the parties.
5. Sri. T.Seshagiri Rao, learned counsel for the appellants having argued the matter at length has taken me through all that evidence recorded in the trial Court and also the findings arrived at. It is his submission that the trial Court has 10 RSA263311 rightly dismissed the suit holding that the suit instituted by N.K.Giriraja Shetty is not maintainable as his application filed in the execution case was dismissed for default and as the sale was made absolute, the question of instituting a separate suit for the relief of declaration and possession does not arise. He submits that the suit instituted by N.K.Giriraja Shetty is not maintainable and further that the trial Court rightly held that the Sale Deed executed by Siddagirigowda in favour of N.K.Giriraja Shetty was during the pendency of the suit and it is hit by the doctrine of lis pendens. He submits that the suit for maintenance in O.S. No.245/1968 was pending till 1976. It was contested by Siddagirigowda and ultimately a decree for maintenance at the rate of Rs.100-00 p.m. was granted and therefore, he submits that the first appellate Court committed an illegality in holding that it was a collusive suit and the proceedings in the execution case were also 11 RSA263311 collusive. He submits that in the absence of any evidence, the findings arrived at by the first appellate Court are illegal and the evidence appreciated is capricious. It is also his contention that the principle incorporated in Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act [hereinafter referred to as “the T.P. Act” for short]. is very much applicable to the sale transaction between Siddagirigowda and N.K.Giriraja Shetty and it is hit by the doctrine of lis pendens. He submits that it is a void transaction and does not bind the decree-holder and therefore, he submits that as the suit properties were purchased by Thopamma in the execution proceedings with the permission of the Court, she acquired an absolute right over the suit properties and therefore, he contends that the suit properties were the subject matter of the suit in O.S. No.245/1968 and as there was a charge 12 RSA263311 of maintenance granted to Thopamma, the execution of the sale is valid. He further contends that in view of dismissal of the application of N.K.Giriraja Shetty filed under Section 47 r/w. Order 21 Rule 90 CPC., a separate suit is not maintainable and N.K.Giriraja Shetty has no right to seek the relief of declaration of his title to the suit properties on the basis of the sale transaction, which was hit by the doctrine of lis pendens and the auction sale cannot be declared as void. He submits that the plaintiffs have not sought for any relief of declaration of auction sale as null and void and in the absence of such relief, a decree cannot be granted in his favour. Learned counsel has relied upon the decisions of the Apex Court and other Courts to substantiate his contentions, which will be referred to hereafter. For the aforesaid reasons, he has sought for setting aside the decree of the first 13 RSA263311 appellate Court and to restore the decree of the trial Court. On the other hand, Sri. S.S. Naganand, learned Senior counsel for respondent 1/1(a) referring to Section 52 of the T.P. Act and other relevant provisions relating to, submits that the sale transaction of the suit properties during the pendency of the suit is not hit by the doctrine of lis pendens and contends that N.K.Giriraja Shetty has acquired an absolute title over the suit properties under the sale transaction dated 09.11.1974 and the auction sale in the execution proceedings is void as there was no notice of the auction sale to the purchaser and therefore, he further submits that the suit instituted by N.K.Giriraja Shetty for declaration and possession is maintainable in law. He submits that N.K.Giriraja Shetty acquired an absolute title over the suit properties and can maintain an independent suit to declare his ownership and 14 RSA263311 there is no necessity for him to seek the relief in the execution case. Therefore, he submits that the first appellate Court was justified in reversing the findings of the trial Court and it has assigned cogent reasons to overcome the findings of the trial Court on all the relevant issues.
6. The first appellate Court has come to the conclusion that there is a collusive decree in O.S. No.245/1968. It is relevant to mention here that the suit was instituted in the year 1968 and it came to be decreed in 1976. It was pending in the trial Court for more than 8 years, the Judgment and Decree produced at Exs.P13 and 14 substantiate this fact. Merely because that Siddagirigowda did not prefer an appeal against that decree, it cannot be said that the decree obtained was collusive. But, anyhow, after Thopamma obtained the decree for maintenance, she filed an execution 15 RSA263311 case in Ex. No.96/1976 and though she sought for realization of arrears of maintenance by selling the properties owned by her husband- Siddagirigowda, on which there was a charge created under the decree, the sale was only in respect of the suit properties which were purchased by N.K.Giriraja Shetty under the Sale Deed-Ex.P1. The sale consideration is Rs.10,000-00 under Ex.P1. Admittedly, it is during the pendency of the suit. It is not a sale without consideration or is not a gratuitous sale transaction. But, the fact that leaving apart the other 11 properties of Siddagirigowda, seeking the auction sale of the suit properties only which were sold to N.K.Giriraja Shetty by her husband is a strong circumstance to hold that there was a collusion between the spouses i.e., Siddagirigowda and Thopamma in the execution proceedings. That apart, though she purchased the properties with the permission of the Court on 16 RSA263311 05.10.1977, her husband Siddagirigowda executed the Settlement Deed of both these properties in the name of his wife Thopamma on 05.01.1978. When she purchased the properties in the auction sale, there was no necessity for her husband to execute a Settlement Deed and this conduct on the part of Siddagirigowda in executing the Settlement Deed is another strong circumstance of his collusion with his wife Thopamma.
7. The perusal of the records in the Ex. No.96/1976 also reveal that Siddagirigowda had filed an application on 05.11.1977 under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC and instead of pursuing his application, got it dismissed as withdrawn on 31.03.1978. Though he was in arrears of maintenance of more than Rs.10,000-00 as on the date of the auction, he did not pay the arrears of maintenance and get the execution case closed. He did not try to sell his other properties to pay the arrears of maintenance to his wife. He did 17 RSA263311 not contest the execution petition, but, indicated his consent to sell the suit properties and executed the Settlement Deed on 05.01.1978. This conduct of Siddagirigowda in addition to getting the dismissal of his application filed under Order 21 Rule 90 CPC as withdrawn are sufficient to conclude that there was collusion between the parties in the execution proceedings though not before the decree in O.S. No.245/1968. It is seen that he colluded with his wife and enabled her to get the suit properties sold through auction by adjusting the arrears of maintenance towards the price of the said properties. To this extent, I am of the opinion that the first appellate Court was justified in holding that the execution proceedings were collusive and at the same time the findings of the first appellate Court that there was a collusive Decree in O.S. No.245/1968 is not acceptable as there are no such reasons to arrive at such a conclusion. 18 RSA263311 8. Thopamma had instituted the suit in O.S. No.245/1968 for maintenance and creation of charge. At the first instance, so far as the right to claim maintenance, it is under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 [hereinafter referred to as “the HAM Act” for short]. that she sought for a maintenance from her husband. This statutory right is conferred upon her under sub-Section (2) of Section 18 of the HAM Act. Under the aforesaid provision, it is necessary for a Hindu wife to prove certain conditions incorporated in sub-Section (2) of the HAM Act. She has to establish that her husband is guilty of desertion or that he treated her with cruelty, that he is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy or he has any other wife living or if he keeps a concubine or he ceased to be a Hindu or at least establish any other cause justifying her living separately. The husband has an obligation to maintain the wife and this obligation is personal in character and arises from a very 19 RSA263311 existence of the relationship between the parties. A right of a wife for maintenance is an incident of matrimonial relationship and the husband is under a legal obligation to look-after his wife. So far as this personal right of his wife to claim maintenance under Section 18 of the HAM Act is concerned, there is no provision either under the HAM Act or any other provision of law that this right of maintenance could be a charge on the properties of her husband.
9. Now, so far as creation of charge, Section 27 of the HAM Act provides the circumstances when maintenance could be a charge on the property and it reads; “Maintenance when to be a charge.-A dependant’s claim for maintenance under this Act shall not be a charge on the estate of the deceased or any portion thereof, unless one has been created by the will of the deceased, by a decree of court, by agreement between the 20 RSA263311 dependant and the owner of the estate or portion, or otherwise.” The aforesaid provision states that dependant’s claim for maintenance will not be a charge on the estate of the deceased unless it is created under a Will or by a decree of a Court or by an agreement between the parties. In particular, the aforesaid section deals with a charge of maintenance pertaining to the estate of the deceased, to mean in respect of a widow’s right of maintenance. Under the aforesaid provision, there is no question of charge in respect of maintenance right conferred upon a wife against her husband under Section 18 of the HAM Act. Furthermore, Section 28 of the HAM Act pertains to the dependant’s right to receive maintenance out of an estate, and such right can be enforced even against the purchaser of the estate if it is transferred, if the transferee had the notice of the right, or if the transfer is 21 RSA263311 gratuitous. This right to receive maintenance out of an estate cannot be enforced against the transferee for consideration and without notice of the right. So, the scrutiny of the provisions of Sections 27 and 28 of the HAM Act make it clear that they do not apply to the right of maintenance conferred upon a wife under Section 18 of the aforesaid Act. So, both under the HAM Act or any other provision of law, the right of maintenance of a wife has no nexus with the property of her husband. She is entitled to the maintenance from her husband irrespective of whether he owns the property or not.
10. In the backdrop of the aforesaid provisions of the right to maintain a Hindu wife under Section 18 of the HAM Act, it is necessary now to consider the provisions of Sections 39 and 100 of the T.P. Act., which are relevant for the purpose of appreciating the right of the Hindu 22 RSA263311 wife to create a charge on the properties of her husband and Section 39 of the T.P. Act reads as under: “Transfer where third person is entitled to maintenance.-Where a third person has a right to receive maintenance, or a provision for advancement or marriage, from the profits of immoveable property, and such property is transferred, the right may be enforced against the transferee, if he has notice thereof or if the transfer is gratuitious; but not against a transferee for consideration and without notice of the right, nor against such property in his hands.” The aforesaid provision relates to a circumstance where a third person had a right to receive maintenance from the profits of immovable property where such properties were transferred. The aforesaid provision concurs enforcement of such right against the person if he had a notice thereof or if the transfer is gratuitous. 23 RSA263311 Therefore, I am of the opinion that the right of maintenance of a Hindu wife which is a right, personal in character, does not fall within the purview of the aforesaid provision. But, anyhow, Section 100 of the T.P. Act has a specific reference to the charges. It is relevant to extract the aforesaid provision hereunder for the sake of convenience: “Charges.-Where immoveable property of one person is by act of parties or operation of law made security for the payment of money to another, and the transaction does not amount to a mortgage, the latter person is said to have a charge on the property; and all the provisions hereinbefore contained which apply to a simple mortgage shall, so far as may be, apply to such charge. Nothing in this section applies to the charge of a trustee on the trust- property for expenses properly incurred in the execution of his trust, and, save as otherwise expressly provided by any 24 RSA263311 law for the time being in force, no charge shall be enforced against any property in the hands of a person to whom such property has been transferred for consideration and without notice of the charge.” Under the aforesaid provision, there are two kinds of charges and they are (1) charges created by the act of parties (2) charges arising by operation of law. So far as the first kind of creation of charge is concerned, the law does not provide any particular form of words to create a charge, but if considering the circumstances under which a transaction has been entered into and if the intention is explicit either by conduct of the parties or from the documents, the intention is to offer security for repayment of the money, a charge can be inferred by the act of the parties. A charge created under a consent decree is said to be a charge created by act of parties. So, to attract this kind of charge by act of parties, it 25 RSA263311 is necessary for the parties to place on record some evidence relating to creation of charge intervivos. In my opinion though creation of a charge under a compromise decree may be a charge of the aforesaid kind, but, a charge created under a decree on contest does not fall within the purview of Section 100 of the T.P. Act. In the category of the kinds of charges arising by operation of law would exclude the charges by act of parties and transfers by operation of law may be for example by (1) forfeiture (2) insolvency (3) intestate succession (4) transfer or sale in execution, testamentary succession, etc. Anyhow, a charge created under a Will has been held to be a charge created by an act of party.
11. In the aforesaid circumstances, the charge sought to be created by Thopamma against the properties of her husband in the suit for maintenance in O.S. No.245/1968 neither falls within the kind of charges either by act of 26 RSA263311 parties or by operation of law. As no law has recognized a creation of charge in relation to the right of maintenance of the wife under Section 18 of the HAM Act., the charge sought to be created is not a charge by operation of law as well. Therefore, in my considered opinion, the provisions of Section 100 of the T.P. Act are also not applicable to a Hindu wife for creation of a charge on the properties of her husband.
12. When there is no agreement between Siddagirigowda and his wife-Thopamma, to create a charge of right to maintenance and when the law also does not prescribe a specific provision to create a charge of the right of maintenance under Section 18 of the HAM Act, the suit which was instituted by Thopamma was a suit for maintenance and she wanted some security from her husband to enforce the proposed decree. As regards her right of maintenance, she made a request to the Court to create a charge on the properties of her husband 27 RSA263311 as a security for her right of maintenance to be granted under a decree and such a charge on her request was created for the first time by the Court under the decree dated 24.06.1976. The charge was created for the first time in the suit for maintenance and this charge would take effect from the date of decree and not earlier thereto. That apart, the perusal of Section 100 of the T.P. Act would further make it clear that the charge would be on the properties as stated in the said provision and it denotes that the charge would be just a security to enforce a right of maintenance decree and the person who obtains a decree to create a charge on the property does not get right in the property, but it would be just a charge on the property [emphasis supplied].. So, by creation of a charge, there is no transfer of any interest in the property and therefore, it appears that creation of a charge cannot be an impediment to transfer the ownership and 28 RSA263311 possession of the property to any other person and at the most, the person who purchases the property, does so subject to the charge aforesaid and has the liability to pay the maintenance and it is only this right which was created by the Court under the decree at Ex.P14.
13. The Apex Court to point out distinction of a mortgage from a charge, made it clear and stated; “While in a case of charge, there is no transfer of interest of property or any interest therein, but only the creation of a right of payment out of the specified property, a mortgage effectuates transfer of property or an interest therein. No particular form of words is necessary to create a charge and all that is necessary is that there must be a clear intention to make a property security for payment of money in praesenti [AIR1970SC1041(JK (Bombay) Private Ltd. Vs. New Kaiser-I- Hind Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd.]..” 29 RSA263311 14. Now in the backdrop of the provisions of Section 18 of the HAM Act and Sections 37 and 100 of the T.P. Act., it is necessary to scrutinize the provisions of Section 52 of the T.P. Act relating to a doctrine of lis pendens. The aforesaid provision is extracted hereunder for the sake of convenience: “52. Transfer of property pending suit relating thereto.-During the pendency in any Court having authority within the limits of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir or established beyond such limits by the Central Government of any suit or proceedings which is not collusive and in which any right to immovable property is directly and specifically in question, the property cannot be transferred or otherwise dealt with by any party to the suit or proceeding so as to affect the rights of any other party thereto under any decree or other which may be made therein, except under the authority of the Court and on such 30 RSA263311 terms as it may impose [emphasis supplied]..” The doctrine of lis pendens incorporated in the aforesaid provision is an expression of the principle of the maxim “ut lite pendente nihil innovetur”. To mean pending litigation nothing new should be introduced and provides that pendente lite, none of the parties to the litigation, in which any right to immovable property, is in question, can alienate or otherwise deal with such property so as to affect his opponent. This principle is formed in public policy and equity” The essential ingredients of principle are as under: (i) the pendency of any suit or proceeding; (ii) the Court must have jurisdiction over the person or property; 31 RSA263311 (iii) the property must be specifically described and be necessarily affected by the termination of the suit or proceedings; (iv) the right to immovable property be directly and specifically in question in any suit or proceeding; (v) there be transfer made of such immovable property or the same be otherwise dealt with without the authority of the Court; (vi) the transfer impugned be made during the pendency of any such suit or proceeding; (vii) the suit or proceeding concerned is not collusive.” 15. Now to claim that the sale transaction under Ex.P1 is hit by principles of doctrine of lis pendens, though it is necessary for the appellants to establish the fulfillment of the aforesaid essential ingredients, there is no 32 RSA263311 dispute that the ingredients (i) to (iii) and (v) to (vii) having been complied. The only controversy with regard to the question is as to whether any right to immovable property is directly or specifically is in question in the suit. On this aspect of the matter, it is relevant to refer here that Thopamma claimed a statutory right to maintenance, which is personal in character and the question before the Court was as to whether she has fulfilled the requirements of Section 18 of the HAM Act and as to whether she was entitled to the maintenance in recognition of her statutory right under the aforesaid provision. If she had right to claim maintenance, then she needed security of the properties of her husband. Therefore, the further question was whether properties of the husband could be offered as a security to protect her right of maintenance, so that she could enforce it and get the maintenance. Therefore, in my opinion, there was 33 RSA263311 no question before the Court as regards the title of Siddagirigowda in those properties or their possession in the suit for maintenance. If this analogy is taken into consideration, I do not think that Section 52 of the T.P. Act would be a bar for the owner to transfer the properties when her suit for maintenance is pending. So far as the properties in the suit for maintenance, there was no question of Thopamma claiming any right in those properties, what she claimed was creation of a charge on the properties [emphasis supplied].. That apart in the said suit, there was no controversy between the parties as regards the title of the suit properties or its possession. There was no dispute at all between the parties with regard to the title over the lands. Therefore, it cannot be said that the properties were the subject matter of the suit for maintenance instituted by Thopamma against her husband Siddagirigowda. So, in the light of the aforesaid discussion and the provisions of Section 34 RSA263311 52 of the T.P. Act and the other provisions referred to supra, now it is necessary for me to take into consideration the contentions of learned counsel for the appellants on the basis of the decisions referred to therein.
16. Reliance is placed by learned counsel for the appellants on the decision of the High Court of Allahabad, reported in AIR1998Allahabad 211 [Hari Lal Vs. Balvantia and others].; wherein it was a case where the maintenance suit was filed against the husband and the property was transferred during the pendency of the suit, no consideration had passed under the transaction of the sale. The sale was gratuitous and the suit decreed was affirmed by the High Court. As sated supra, wherein Section 39 of the T.P. Act could be made applicable and if the transfer is gratuitous, the right to maintenance can be enforced against the transferee and therefore, as there was no passing of consideration, the High Court held that 35 RSA263311 the transfer was not binding on the parties and the maintenance granted can be enforced even against the properties transferred. The principle aforesaid is not applicable to the facts on hand. Reference is also made to the decision of the Apex Court, reported in 1956 SC593[Nagubai Ammal and others Vs. B.Shama Rao and others].; wherein, the facts reveal that the properties belong to one Munuswami, who died leaving behind him his third wife Chellammal, three sons by his pre-deceased wives, Keshavananda, Madavananda and Brahmananda, and three minor daughters, Shankaramma, Srikantamma and Devamma. The aforesaid 3 sons executed usufructuary mortgages in favour of Abdul Huq over a bungalow and vacant sites and on 03.09.1918 and on 06.06.1919, Chellammal, third wife presented a plaint in forma pauperis claiming maintenance. The question was with regard to transfer made of the properties by 3 brothers i.e., step sons and sons of Chellammal on the 36 RSA263311 death of her husband and the Apex Court held that relevant principle of lis pendens would apply to the facts. In para 9, the Apex Court said; “(9) Sri. K.S. Krishnaswamy Ayyangar, learned counsel for the appellants, did not press before us the contention urged by them in the courts below that when a plaint is presented in forma pauperis the lis commences only after it is admitted and registered as a suit, which was in this case on 17.6.1920, subsequent to the sale under Ex.VI-a contention directly opposed to the plain language of the Explanation to section 52. And he also conceded and quite rightly, that when a suit is filed for maintenance and there is a prayer that it be charged on specified properties, it is a suit in which right to immovable property is directly in question, and the lis commences on the date of the plaint and not on the date of the decree, which creates the charge [emphasis supplied]..” 37 RSA263311 The facts aforesaid would clearly indicate that the suit was filed on the death of her husband and Section 18 of the HAM Act does not apply to her. It is again Section 39 of the T.P. Act which would apply and in the context of this provision, the Hon’ble Apex Court accepted the submission made by learned counsel and observed that it was rightly said by the counsel. To mean that there was no controversy and what was suggested by the counsel was accepted by the Apex Court. The principle is not applicable to the facts on hand on two counts; firstly, there was no principle laid down by the Apex Court as there was no controversy on the point, secondly, that it was Section 39 of the T.P. Act which was made applicable, wherein there is a right with the person to enforce the claim of maintenance even as against the properties transferred. Hence, the principle laid-down does not support the appellants. 38 RSA263311 Reliance is placed on the decision of the Apex Court reported in (1977)3 Supreme Court Cases 99 [V.Tulasamma and others Vs. Sesha Reddy (dead) by L.Rs.]., the Apex Court while interpreting the provisions of Sections 14(1) and (2) of the Hindu Succession Act, made an observation relating to a widow’s right to be maintained out of the joint family property and said that this right would ripen into the charge if the widow taken necessary steps for having maintenance to ascertain and specially charge on the joint family property and even if no specific charge is granted, this right would be enforceable against the joint family property in the hands of a family or a purchaser taking into a notice of her claim. Even in para 62, though the Apex Court referred to the personal obligation of the husband to maintain his wife and her legal right to be maintained there from, the charge which is said to be created was in respect of maintenance of a family and it is observed that such right becomes a legally enforceable one. The 39 RSA263311 observation made by the Apex Court in the context of a right of a widow to claim maintenance and particularly in the context of appreciating the provisions of Sections 14(1) and (2) of the Hindu Succession Act. Whenever the principles of Section 52 is applicable in respect of a transaction made during the pendency of the suit, the transfer is said to be void and it is not binding on the parties to the suit, a person who purchases the property is not a necessary party to the suit. He has no right to be impleaded as a party in such suit. It is this principle, which is referred to by learned counsel on the basis of the Judgment of the Apex Court reported in (2006)13 Supreme Court Cases 608 [Sanjay Verma Vs. Manik Roy and others].. The aforesaid principle does not apply to the facts on hand for the reason that here it is the question with regard to right of maintenance and the maintenance suit wherein there is no controversy 40 RSA263311 with regard to title and possession of the properties held by the husband and such a question was not before the Apex Court while considering the applicability of Section 52 of the T.P. Act. Reference is also made to the decision of the High Court of Allahabad, reported in AIR (38)1951 Allahabad 141 [Mahesh Prasad Vs. Mt. Mundar].; wherein it was held; “A Hindu widow’s right to maintenance as against persons other than her own son is not ipso facto a charge upon the property. It is this right, which is not yet a charge, to receive maintenance out of the profits of immovable property which is spoken of in S.
39. Section 39 does not apply to a charge created by a decree.” Further, the High Court also took into consideration the provisions of Section 100 of the T.P. Act and held; 41 RSA263311 “Though a charge created by a decree is like any other charge and is not enforceable against a transferee for consideration without notice, where the decree directs the sale of the property, the property can be sold in execution even in the hands of a transferee from the judgment-debtor and the transferee cannot plead that he had no knowledge that a decree for sale had been passed against his transferor.” The principle relates to a Hindu widow’s right to maintenance and not a right to claim maintenance under Section 18 of the HAM Act. In AIR2006Punjab and Haryana 171 [Sarwan Singh Vs. Jagir Kaur and anr.]., the provisions of Sections 27 and 28 of the HAM Act and Section 39 of the T.P. Act were taken into consideration. The principle does not apply to the facts on hand particularly, for the reason that it is the right of maintenance under Section 18 of the HAM Act, which has reference in this case. As observed by 42 RSA263311 me earlier, with reference to Section 39 of the T.P. Act, a Hindu widow has a right to claim maintenance as against the persons in possession of the property left by her deceased husband and she can enforce such right even against the successors. Reference is also made to the Full bench decision of Allahabad Court reported in 1944(210) IC326 The perusal of the substantial question of law raised in the aforesaid case would reveal that it relates to a charge created by the decree of Court based upon an Award made upon an Agreement out of Court or otherwise is such a charge binding on enforceable against a bona fide transferee for value without notice. It is relevant to note that there was an agreement between the parties for creation of the charge and if on the basis of such an Agreement or act of the parties, a charge is created, it could be enforced under Section 100 of 43 RSA263311 the T.P. Act. An Award was passed on the basis of the Agreement entered into between the parties and that was sought to be enforced. Hence, the aforesaid principle does not help the appellants or support their contentions. Reliance is also placed on the decision of the High Court of Bombay reported in AIR (33) 1946 Bombay 207 [Kallawa Shidlingappa Angadi Vs. Parappa Sankappa].. In the aforesaid case, the sale to the plaintiff’s father was not during the pendency of the suit, but it was made after the Award and the Decree was passed and the question was whether the doctrine of lis pendens would apply. There was an agreement to create a charge and Section 100 of the T.P. Act would apply. The perusal of the facts would also reveal that the transfer was subsequent to the decree, creating a charge on the property and therefore it was held by the High Court that Section 52 of the T.P. Act 44 RSA263311 would apply. As in the case on hand, the sale was prior to the decree, the principle does not apply. Though learned counsel for the appellants referred to the Judgment of the High Court of Rajasthan reported in AIR2007Rajasthan 73 [Paras Mal & Anr. Vs. Ms. Sobhag Devi & Ors.]., the facts reveal that the suit was for declaration and injunction with reference to the immovable property and there was a transfer during the pendency of such suit. As there was a controversy with reference to the title and possession, it was held by the High Court that Section 52 of the T.P. Act and transfer made during the pendency of the suit is illegal. This principle does not apply to the facts on hand as Section 52 of the T.P. Act itself is not applicable in a suit for maintenance. Reliance is also made on the decision of the High Court of Bombay, reported in AIR1959Bombay 475 [Krishnaji Pandharinath Vs. Anusayabai and 45 RSA263311 another].; wherein their Lordship disagreeing with the view expressed by the High Court of Madras in Rattamma’s case reported in AIR1927Mad 502 held that Section 52 of the T.P. Act apply to the transfers made during the pendency of the suit. It was also a suit of maintenance and transfer made was during the pendency of the suit. But, I am unable to agree with the view expressed in the aforesaid decision and sufficient reasons have been assigned in this regard while appreciating the provisions of Sections 39 and 100 and also 52 of the T.P. Act in the context of right of a wife to claim maintenance under Section 18 of the HAM Act.
17. On the scrutiny of the principles laid- down by the Apex Court and also different other High Courts referred to supra, I am of the view that in a suit for maintenance of a wife under Section 18 of the HAM Act against her husband, Section 52 of the T.P. Act has no applicability 46 RSA263311 until the date of decree creating a charge granted, Section 52 of the T.P. Act comes into picture only if the sale is subsequent to such decree.
18. Sri. S.S. Naganand, learned Senior counsel for respondent No.1/1(a) has placed reliance on the decisions reported in; (1) (2) AIR1927Madras 502 [Rattamma Vs. Seshachalam Sarma and others.]. AIR1973Orissa 196 [Udavanath Samal Vs. Siri Dei and another].. wherein it has been held by the High Courts; “Where it is established that a husband is maintaining his wife out of his income and that both are living together the maintenance of the wife cannot be made as a charge on the property of the husband who has sold it for consideration. The right of a wife to be maintained is a personal right and neither Section 28 of the Hindu 47 RSA263311 Adoptions and Maintenance Act nor Sections 39 and 100 of the T.P. Act are attracted.” In the aforesaid decisions Sections 39 and 100 of the T.P. Act were also taken into consideration while laying down the principles. In the decision reported in AIR1940Nagpur 163 [Seth Ghasiram Vs. Mt. Kundanbai and others]., the High Court held that Section 39 of the T.P. Act does not deal with charges, but with a right which falls short of a charge. The charge does not arise until it is fixed by a decree or by agreement or by operation of law. So far as Section 100 of the T.P. Act is concerned, it is held; “A charge which is created by a decree is not created by act of parties nor can it be said to have been created by operation of law. Such charges does not fall under Section 100 of the T.P. Act.” 48 RSA263311 Reliance is also placed on the decision reported in (2007)10 Supreme Court Cases 448 [Lachhman Dass Vs. Jagat Ram and others].. The principle laid down does not apply to the facts on hand.
19. So, having given an anxious consideration to the submissions made by learned counsel for both the parties, in the context of decisions referred to supra, it may be concluded that Section 52 of the T.P. Act does not apply to transfers made during the pendency of the suit for maintenance filed by the wife against her husband under Section 18 of the HAM Act [emphasis supplied].. Therefore, the rights of Siddagirigowda in the suit properties stood transferred to N.K.Giriraja Shetty under the Sale Deed at Ex.P1. He acquired an absolute title to the suit properties under the sale transaction. The same is not hit by the doctrine of lis pendens. 49 RSA263311 20. In the execution petition filed by Thopamma in EX. No.96/1976, N.K.Giriraja Shetty, the purchaser was not impleaded as a party. He had acquired an absolute title to the suit properties under the Sale Deed at Ex.P1. The auction was held on 05.10.1977. Leaving the other properties of her husband Siddagirigowda, the auction sale was held and the suit properties were purchased by the decree-holder. As held supra, there was collusion between the decree-holder and her husband Siddagirigowda in the execution proceedings. So, on the date of auction, N.K.Giriraja Shetty was not a party to the execution proceedings and therefore, on the ground that no notice was given to him and also that the execution proceedings were collusive, the auction sale held is void ab-initio. The rights of an individual cannot be taken away without notice to him. When the auction sale is void ab-initio, there is no sale in the eyes of law. The sale has to be ignored. 50 RSA263311 21. In the circumstances, when the sale is void, it is not necessary for the party to seek a declaration as the transaction is non-est. If a party has an absolute right in such a property can seek the only relief of declaration of his title and other ancillary reliefs.
22. It is no-doubt true that N.K.Giriraja Shetty had filed an application under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC and it applies to a case where auction sale is either irregular or that there is a fraud in the auction. It is a discretion provided to a person whose interest in the property is affected by the auction sale. It also applies to the circumstances where the sale has to be set aside for any material irregularity. In the execution proceedings, it is only the parties to the decree in O.S. No.245/1968 that were the parties to the execution proceedings, the decree-holder i.e., Thopamma did not take any interest to implead the person, who had an 51 RSA263311 absolute interest in the properties sought to be sold in the execution. In the circumstances, it was not necessary for N.K.Giriraja Shetty to move the executing Court with a request to set aside the auction by filing an application under Order 21 Rule 90 CPC. As could be seen from the provisions of Order 21 Rule 92 CPC, where it provides that an application is filed under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC and if it is allowed, the Court has the authority to confirm the sale. The word “disallowed” used under the provision is an order disallowing the application on merits and not rejecting the application either as dismissed for default or dismissed as withdrawn.
23. As could be seen from sub-Rule 3 of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC., a suit to set aside an order made under the Rule cannot be instituted by any such person against whom such an Order is made. This provision is not applicable to the facts on hand 52 RSA263311 for the reason that the application disallowed was not on merits. Therefore, the contention that a suit cannot be filed to set aside an Order made under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC cannot be extended to the benefit of the appellants as the application was not decided on merits. That apart, N.K.Giriraja Shetty had an absolute title to the suit properties and the auction sale was void. In the circumstances, the contention of learned counsel for the appellants cannot be accepted.
24. Learned counsel for the appellants has placed reliance on the decision of the High Court of Madras reported in AIR1986Madras 300 [Muthusamy Udayar Vs. Pichaiammal and others].. The perusal of the facts reveals that the application filed by the party under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC was dismissed. The facts reported in the Judgment does not disclose as to whether the dismissal was either 53 RSA263311 for default or not pressed. There are no facts related to the dispute and therefore, the principle cannot be made applicable.
25. In AIR2005Allahabad 75 [Chandra Pal Vs. Bharat Singh and other]., the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC and Article 127 of the Limitation Act were taken into consideration. In the aforesaid matter as well, there was a considered order under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC.
26. In AIR1990Gauhati 90 [Bhabani Dasya Vs. Tulsi Ram Keot].; wherein, the facts reveal that the party who applied for setting aside the sale under the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC was a party to the suit, in which the decree was passed and sought to be executed. That is not the fact in the case on hand.
27. In AIR1976Gauhati 54 [Chandan Mall Bapna Vs. Abdul Gani Meah]., the High Court having 54 RSA263311 taken into consideration the provisions of Section 47 CPC., held that Section 47 covers the question of executability or non-executability of a decree and if the decree is void and passed without jurisdiction or is not in conformity with the mandatory provisions of law and if an objection is taken by the judgment-debtor to that effect, the executing Court shall have to decide the question under Section 47 and a separate suit cannot be maintained. The applicability of Section 47 was taken into consideration by the High Court in respect of the title to property, between the parties to the decree and not otherwise.
28. Reliance is also placed on the decision of the Apex Court in (2007)7 Supreme Court Cases 144 [Usha Sinha Vs. Dina Ram and others].; where it is a title suit, defendants 4 and 5 sold their share in the suit property while the suit was pending, the party who was an appellant in the Apex Court, the Apex Court held that the appellant 55 RSA263311 cannot succeed as his request cannot be under the provisions of Order 21 CPC., because he purchased the suit property during the pendency of the suit. This principle applies to only those cases where the property is the subject matter in a suit, wherein there was a dispute regarding the title and possession and a third party purchases the property during the pendency of the suit. Such purchase is a void ab-initio and therefore, it is subject to the decree that could be passed in the said suit. This principle does not apply to the facts on hand for the sole reason that the sale or purchase though was during the pendency of the suit, Section 52 of the T.P. Act had no application, in the case on hand.
29. In the decision of this Court reported in 2014(3) KCCR2009[Lingarajaiah Vs. H.N.Jambappa]., a principle is laid-down on the provisions or Order 21 Rules 89, 90, 91 and 95 CPC., wherein the circumstances where the 56 RSA263311 application was filed by the judgment-debtor in the suit under Order 21 Rule 90 CPC and this Court held that an application to set aside the sale has to be filed within 60 days as prescribed under Article 134 of the Limitation Act. For the decree-holder the limitation under Article 137 was one year to file the suit. In the case on hand, neither the judgment-debtor nor the decree-holder are parties who filed the application under Order 21 Rule 90 CPC.
30. So, the scrutiny of the provisions of Section 21 Rules 90 and 92 and the principles laid-down by the Apex Court and other High Courts on the aforesaid provisions would clearly indicate that there is no bar for N.K.Giriraja Shetty, who had an independent title to the suit properties on the basis of a valid sale transaction in the absence of he being a party to the suit can maintain a suit for declaration and other ancillary reliefs and therefore, I have to 57 RSA263311 conclude that the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC do not come in the way of N.K.Giriraja Shetty to maintain a suit.
31. Now, so far as the provisions of Section 47 CPC are concerned, it mandates that all the questions arising between the parties to the suit, in which the decree was passed or the representatives and [emphasis supplied]. relating to the execution, discharge of satisfaction of the decree shall have to be determined by the executing Court and not by a separate suit. Firstly, N.K.Giriraja Shetty was not a party either to the suit or in the execution proceedings, secondly, he had an independent title to the suit properties and he cannot be termed as a representative of Siddagirigowda, who sold the suit properties and conveyed a valid title in favour of N.K.Giriraja Shetty under the sale transaction. Siddagirigowda had an absolute authority to sell the suit properties as there was 58 RSA263311 no bar of Section 52 of the T.P. Act and therefore, N.K.Giriraja Shetty do not fall within the purview of any such persons either as a party to the suit or his representative and therefore, Section 47 CPC has no application.
32. Though Sri. S.S. Naganand, learned Senior Counsel for respondent 1/1(a) has referred to many other Judgments on the provisions of Order 21 Rule 90 CPC and Section 47 CPC., I do not think it relevant to consider the principles laid-down therein for the reasons that Section 47 and Order 21 Rule 90 CPC are so clear that they would not come in the way of the 1st respondent or their legal representatives and the literal and functional interpretation of the aforesaid provision, result into the only conclusion that the said provision would not come in the way of the 1st respondent.
33. Lastly, an effort was made by learned counsel for the appellants relying on the 59 RSA263311 decisions of the Apex Court reported in (2001)3 Supreme Court Cases 179 [Santosh Hazari Vs. Purushottam Tiwari (deceased) by L.Rs.].; wherein the Apex Court took into consideration the provisions of Sections 96 and 100 CPC., the facts reveal that the first appellate Court had simply reversed the findings of the trial Court and possession and dispossession and adverse possession without recording the findings and reasons. It was held by the Apex Court that the High Court also did not formulate substantial questions of law on the said aspect. In the circumstances, the Apex Court raised the substantial questions of law and remitted the matter to the High Court. I have scrutinized the Judgment of the first appellate Court. It has assigned the reasons for its conclusion. They are satisfactory and are sufficient to overcome the findings of the trial Court. In fact, the trial Court had mislead itself in applying Section 52 of the T.P. Act. It had even held that the suit 60 RSA263311 cannot be maintained on the principles of res- judicata, which had no application in the present suit at all. The trial Court was of the opinion that Order 21 Rule 90 CPC would come in the way of N.K.Giriraja Shetty. But, as Section 52 of the T.P. Act itself is not applicable and Siddagiridowda had transferred an absolute title to N.K.Giriraja Shetty. The auction sale was held without notice to N.K.Giriraja Shetty and in the absence of any of the rights of Siddagirigowda in those properties, the auction was void and therefore, the trial Court ignored this fact and held that the suit is not maintainable. The first appellate Court has assigned its reason for its conclusion to overcome the findings of the trial Court. In that view of the matter, substantial questions of law No.1 is answered in partly affirmative and partly negative, No.2 in negative, Nos.3 and 4 in affirmative. 61 RSA263311 Consequently, the appeal fails and it is accordingly dismissed. Sd/- JUDGE. Ksm*