1. The petitioner is the son of respondent Nos. 2 and 3, that is to say, respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are the father and mother of the petitioner respectively. The petitioner filed a separate return under Section 12 of the Ceiling Act and the Surplus Land Determination Tribunal registered Ceiling Case No. 163/75-76. The petitioner's father viz. Respondent No. 2 also filed separate return on the basis of which Ceiling Enquiry Case No. 277/75-76 was registered. In both the returns. the landholders had contended that as a result of family partition effected on 25-2-1970 certain properties fell to the share of the petitioner Bhalachandra. while certain other properties fell to the share of his father -- respondent No. 2. The Surplus Land Determination Tribunal, however, instead of deciding the cases separately thought it necessary to amalgamate both the proceedings since the partition prior to 26-9-1970 as alleged was not by a registered document. After holding the enquiry into both the returns. the Surplus Land Determination Tribunal came to the conclusion that there was no partition effected between the petitioner No. 1 and respondent No. 2 and as such the consolidated holdings were found to be admeasuring 152.08 acres. The Surplus Land Determination Tribunal also came to the conclusion that the document of partition dt. 25-2-1970 is not registered and does not seem to have been acted upon as per the crop statements. They found that the mutation changes were made in the year 1971-72. Thus, after adjustment of the Polkharab land and after allowing for the notional share of the petitioner. it held that an area of 65.29 acres was the surplus holding in the family of the petitioner and respondent No. 2. The petitioner therefore challenged the joint order passed in Ceiling Case No. 163/75-76 before the Revenue Tribunal. It was Ceiling Appeal No. N. C. A. 1655 & 1706/1976. They were decided by the learned Member of the Tribunal on 3-7-1976. The only question that was urged before the Revenue Tribunal was about the partition effected between the petitioner and the respondent No. 2 on 25-2-1970. The learned Member has rejected the contention and has stated that the document appears to be on a plain paper which can be prepared at any time and can be contended to be a partition. The perepratak, however, shows that in the year 1972-73 the mutation entries were changed in the names of the respective shareholders according to the said partition. Thus, the learned Member concluded that the partition was not acted upon immediately. He further held that except of the document of partition dt. 25-2-1970 there is nothing on record to show that the parties had in fact partitioned and separated their shares. According to the learned Member, he thought that the same appears to be a false document created to avoid the clutches of the Ceiling Act. He, therefore, ignored the partition as done by the Trial Court and consolidated their holdings. In his view, therefore, the order of the Surplus Land Determination Tribunal was proper and he dismissed the appeal.
2. It is these two orders of the Surplus Land Determination Tribunal and the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal which are impugned in the present petition.
3. I have taken care to reproduce the reasons given by the learned Member of the Revenue Tribunal in ignoring the said partition dt. 25-2-1970. The reasoning clearly show that the learned Member was viewing the said document of partition with suspicion that the landholders were trying to avoid the clutches of the Ceiling Act. This approach on behalf of both the authorities is clearly noticeable from the perusal of the orders. It is an established principle under the Hindu Law that members of the joint family can effect a partition of their holdings either by an oral arrangement or by an unregistered partition deed. In the instant case, the petitioners had contended that in spite of having acted upon the said partition, the mutation entries were not changed for almost a year or so. This is, however, for no fault of theirs. At any rate, once a partition by metes and bounds is effected and the separate shares are placed in separate possession of the sharers. the Hindu Law commands that the status of the Joint Hindu family is ruptured and the sharers become the exclusive owners of their respective properties. That being the dt. 25-2-1970 was not a registered document is of no avail to the Ceiling Authority. Further the perepatrak of 1971-72 shows that the mutation were effected in pursuance of the said partition. This was done before the Amending Act 1972 came into force. The said changes in mutation entries cannot be doubted as they are maintained by the Revenue Officers in the regular discharge of their duties. In that view of the matter the partition will have to be accepted as valid and proper, and the assessment of the holdings of the petitioner will have to be done accordingly. It does not matter whether one of the sharers gets more lands or less land than the other sharers. because in a Hindu Joint. Family, the partition is effected by mutual consent and one or the other may get more share view of the consent of all the parties concerned. Hence, I find that the reasonings of both the Tribunals below in ignoring the partition is bad in law as well as on facts, and both the orders, are therefore, liable to be quashed and set aside. In the result, therefore, the petition succeeds and is allowed. Both the impugned orders are quashed and set aside. The case be remanded to be concerned Surplus Land Determination Tribunal with direction that the entire assessment of Bhalchandra should be enquired into afresh in view of the finding that the partition was effected between him and his parents on 25-2-1970. No order as to costs.
4. Petition allowed.