(1) This appeal arises from the suit filed by the plaintiffs, who are respondents nos. 1, 2 and 3 before me, for possession of survey No. 92 of mouza kopadi. The following facts are no more in dispute. One Ramji, the grandfather of plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 and the husband of plaintiff No. 3 was at the relevant time the owner of this survey number. He died in the year 1941 leaving him surviving his widow Bainabai, plaintiff No. 3 , and two sons Deorao and Bhaurao, who are defendants Nos. 2 and 3 respectively in the suit. Plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2, Pralhad and Dnyaneshwar, are the sons of Deorao. There was a partition of the joint family estate on 31st December 1951 whereunder the joint family properties were partitioned between Deorao and Bhaurao. As a result of this partition, the suit field along with other properties came to the share of Bharurao. On 5th of January 1952 Bhaurao sold away the suit field to defendant No.1, who is appellant before me, for the sum of Rs. 2500/-. Subsequent to this sale deed, on 26th March 1952, there was a partition between Deorao, Defendant No., 2 and his two sons, Pralhad and Dnyaneshwar, plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2, whereunder the properties, which came to the share of Deorao under the partition dated 31st December 1951, were divided by metes and bounds between Deorao and his two sons. In this partition, as the plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 were then minors, Bainabai acted as guardian. The present suit was filed in the year 1956 by two sons of Deorao and Bainabai, the mother of Deorao. The reliefs asked for in the suit are that the partition dated 31st December, 1951 between Deorao and Bhaurao is not binding on the plaintiffs, as under the said partition no share was allotted to the mother Bainabai. Secondly, the alienation made by Bhaurao of the suit filed in favour of defendant No. 1 was not valid and binding on the plaintiffs, and lastly there was a prayer for possession.
(2) The case of the first defendant was that the partition effected on 31st December 1951 between Deorao and Bhaurao was a valid partition. In fact, Bainabai plaintiff No.3 , had orally relinquished her interest in the joint family properties in favour of her two sons, Deorao and Bhaurao, after the death of Ramji, and that is why no share was allotted to Bainabai when the joint family properties were divided between the two sons, defendants Nos. 2 and 3, and the sale effected by Bhaurao in favour of defendant No. 1 was binding on the plaintiffs.
(3) The trail Court accepted the contentions of defendant No. 1 and dismissed the plaintiffs' suit. It held that after the death of Ramji, Bainabai had orally relinquished her interest in the joint family properties and the partition effected between defendants Nos. 2 and 3 on 31st December 1951 was valid and binding.
(4) The plaintiffs came in appeal from this decision of the trial Court dismissing the suit. The appellate Court has modified the decree that has been passed by the learned trial Judge. It held that the partition dated 31st December 1951 was a valid partition. However, it took the view that it was not established that Bainabai had orally relinquished her interest in the joint family properties after the death of Ramji and that was the reason why no share was allotted to her when the joint family properties were partitioned between the two brothers Deorao and Bhaurao. It further held that relinquishment of interest in the joint family properties, which consist of immovable properties, can only be made by a registered deed if the interest to be relinquished is worth more than Rs. 100/-. Such relinquishment cannot be made orally and, as in the present case, there was no registered deed Bainabai had not legally relinquished her interest in the joint family properties to which she was entitled. The appellate Court, therefore, modified the decree in view of the said finding as stated above. It is from this decision of the learned Additional District Judge that defendant No. 1 has come in appeal to this court.
(5) Mr. Gandhe, the learned Counsel who appears on behalf of the appellant, has contended before me that there is a patent error in the decision arrived at by the learned Additional District Judge, that he has come to the conclusion that Bainabai did not relinquish her interest in the joint family properties without appreciating the proper provision of law and the admitted facts on record, and secondly the learned Additional District Judge was in error in proceeding on the assumption that there can be no oral relinquishment. In my opinion, each one of these contentions must be upheld.
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(6) The question then arises whether it is open to the mother to relinquish her interest in the joint family properties orally when the joint family properties consist of immoveable properties like the suit fields and the value of her share therein is more than Rs.100/-. Mr. Deshpande drew my attention to the case reported in Dattatraya Govind v. Narayan Gangaram, AIR 1936 Nag 186. It was held by Vivian Bose J. in that case that 'except in the case of partition among the members of a joint Hindu family, where the unities of possession, interest, title and time are complete and except in the case of entrance to a religious order involving complete renunciation of the world, no person can divest himself of interests which have once vested in him by a mere disclaimer. A title once vested can be divested only by a recognized conveyance or one of the other means allowed by law. It cannot pass by admission, relinquishment, or disclaimer when the law requires a deed.' This case does not lay down that relinquishment cannot be made orally. All that it says is that the title once vested can be divested only by a recognized conveyance or by one of the other means allowed by law. It further says that the title once vested cannot pass by relinquishment when the law requires that relinquishment can only be made by a deed or by an instrument. Transfer of Property Act clearly recognizes oral transfers. Section 9 of the Act provides that 'a transfer of property may be made without writing in every case in which a writing is not expressly required by law.' It follows, therefore, that an oral transfer of property is rule unless there is law which expressly requires that it should be made in writing. Transfer of Property Act contains various transfers where writing is necessary. Under S. 54, a sale of tangible immoveable property of the value of Rs.100/- or upwards, or of a reversion or other intangible thing is required to be made only by a registered instrument. Under Section 59, a writing is necessary in the case of a simple mortgage by deposit of title-deeds where the principal sum secured in Rs.100/- or upwards. Under Sec. 107, a lease of immoveable property from year to year, or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent, is required to be made in writing. Under Section 123, a gift of immoveable property can only be made by a writing. Under Sec. 130, all transfers of actionable claims have to be made by writing and, under Sec. 118, all exchanges are subject to the same rules as are applicable to sales. Thus, when the law requires that there should be an instrument in writing and that instrument must be registered, the transfer can only be effected in that manner. But where no writing is required by the Transfer of Property Act or any other law, the transfer may be made orally. Mr. Deshpande is unable to point out any statute which requires that the relinquishment by the mother of her interest in the joint family property, when the property consists of immoveable property and the value of the share therein exceeds Rs. 100/- can only be made in writing or by an instrument registered.
(7) In Imperial Bank of India, v. Bengal National Bank, Ltd. : AIR1931Cal223 Rankin C.J. said that partition, release and surrender are all forms of transfer but that so far as the Transfer of Property Act is concerned, they come under no restrictions. A right to recover a share of immoveable property may be relinquished orally and without an instrument in writing.
(8) Mr. Deshpande, however, drew my attention to the provisions of Section 17 of the Registration Act. There is nothing in the Registration Act or the provisions of Section 17 thereof, which requires any particular transaction to be recorded in writing. That Act requires only that when certain transactions are so recorded, the writing shall be registered. There is nothing in the Transfer of Property Act or any other law that I am so far aware which requires that a mere extinguishment of an interest in the immoveable property shall be in writing. The relinquishment by Bainabai of her interest in the joint family property was merely abandonment of here interest in the joint family property in favour of her two sons. Such a relinquishment or abandonment of interest in the joint family property, even though it consists of immoveable properties and is of the value of Rs.100/- and upwards, can be effected without a written instrument, though if one is executed, it would undoubtedly require registration under Section 17 of the Registration Act, Gauri Bai v. Gaya Bai, AIR 1927 Nag. 44.
(9) Thus, the oral relinquishment by Bainabai of her interest in the joint family properties in favour of her two sons after the death of Ramji was valid and effective in law. Since the time of that relinquishment she ceased to have any interest in the joint family properties. The learned Additional District Judge was in error in taking the view that an oral relinquishment, even if proved, would not divest Bainabai of her interest in the joint family properties.
(10) In the result, the partition, dated 31st December, 1951, between Deorao and Bhaurao was a valid and effective partition whereunder each one of the two brothers became entitled to the properties that were respectively allotted to them. It is not in dispute that the suit field was allotted to Bhaurao under the said partition and Bhaurao has sold it to the present defendant No. 1 in the year 1952. In the result, Bainabai is not entitled to any interest in the suit field.
(11) The appeal is allowed. The decree passed by the learned Additional District Judge declaring that Bainabai had 1/3 rd share in the suit field and that she was entitled to recover possession of that share from defendant No.1 is set aside and the suit is dismissed with costs throughout.
(12) Appeal allowed.