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Kunai Singh Vs. Lakshmi Prasad Singh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1943All111
AppellantKunai Singh
RespondentLakshmi Prasad Singh and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....and mt. shiamrati, daughters of mani ram and sheodhar and the other plaintiffs in the 1913 suit. the decree replaced the decree of the 1913 suit in that the collaterals sheodhari and others only got one-sixth while mt. shiamrati, mt. bhagirati and kalu got five-sixth.3. lachmi prasad singh and debi prasad singh, the sons of mt. shiamrati, have now brought this suit for a declaration that they are not bound by that compromise. undoubtedly they were no party at all to it and they were reversioners of mani ram to this extent, at any rate, that they were sons of a daughter who would with kalu get the property after the death first of the widow and then of the daughters, if the property had not meantime been transferred. i agree with the decision of the learned additional civil judge.....
Judgment:

Hamilton, J.

1. This is a second appeal by a defendant against a decision of the Additional Civil Judge of Jaunpur. The suit from which this appeal arises was brought in the Court of the Additional Munsif of Jaunpur by Lachmi Prasad Singh and Debi Prasad Singh. Lachmi Prasad Singh was apparently 20 years of age in 1941 when the decree of the appellate Court was passed and Debi Prasad Singh was apparently 7 years of age then, though it is possible that these ages were copied from some entry in the original suit which was filed in 1938. In any case Lachmi Prasad Singh was not born before 1918 and Debi Prasad Singh is 13 years younger. The suit was for a declaration that the plaintiffs' rights as reversioners were not affected by a certain compromise on which Suit No. 92 of 1916 was decreed. The first Court dismissed the suit on the ground that the plaintiffs were bound by that compromise but the lower appellate Court granted a decree declaring that the compromise decree No. 92 of 1916 of the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Jaunpur dated 18th December 1917 was not binding on the plaintiffs so far as their future reversionary rights in the property to which the said decree relates are concerned.

2. It is important to set out events which took place from the year 1912 till that compromise. Mani Ram owner of the property in suit, died some time before the year 1912 leaving a wife, Mt. Maktula and two daughters, Mt. Bhagirati and Mt. Shiamrati. On 27th February 1912 Mt. Maktula executed what purported to be a gift of the property of Mani Ram in favour of her daughters and I am informed that the gift purported to transfer full proprietary rights and not merely a life interest. Although one of the daughters, Mt. Bhagirati, had a son alive at that time namely Kallu Singh, a defendant in the present suit, Sheodhari and others brought a suit. The only paper of that suit that counsel has been able to find on the file is a dhakhalnama but it appears from the judgment of the first Court here that Sheodhari and others brought that suit which is No. 127 of 1913 for the cancellation of the said deed of gift and presumably they did so alleging that they were reversioners in spite of the existence of Kalu Singh. Anyhow, the suit ended in a decree on the basis of a compromise by which Sheodhari and his co-plaintiffs got full proprietary title over one-fourth of the property and Mt. Bhagirati and Mt. Shiamrati, the two daughters of Mani Ram, three-quarters of the property. In 1916 Kalu, son of Mt. Bhagirati, brought Suit No. 92 of 1916 which also ended in a decree in terms of a compromise. The plaintiff in that suit was Kalu Singh and the defendants were Mt. Maktula, widow of Mani Ram, Mt. Bhagirati and Mt. Shiamrati, daughters of Mani Ram and Sheodhar and the other plaintiffs in the 1913 suit. The decree replaced the decree of the 1913 suit in that the collaterals Sheodhari and others only got one-sixth while Mt. Shiamrati, Mt. Bhagirati and Kalu got five-sixth.

3. Lachmi Prasad Singh and Debi Prasad Singh, the sons of Mt. Shiamrati, have now brought this suit for a declaration that they are not bound by that compromise. Undoubtedly they were no party at all to it and they were reversioners of Mani Ram to this extent, at any rate, that they were sons of a daughter who would with Kalu get the property after the death first of the widow and then of the daughters, if the property had not meantime been transferred. I agree with the decision of the learned Additional Civil Judge that the plaintiffs in this suit were not parties to the compromise of 1916 and they were not represented by their mother who actually had by that time ostensibly got proprietary right as regards property of Mani Ram which, in the absence of valid transfer, would eventually have gone to Kalu Singh and the plaintiffs if they were alive. I do not think, however, that this is a case in which the declaration sought for should or, I might even say, could have been given. It is obvious that the gift by Mt. Maktula. in favour of her daughters, if unchallenged and acted upon, would have the result of destroying the rights of reversioners that would be alive at the time of the death of the last surviving person among the widow and the two daughters of Mani Ram. That gift was varied by the compromise of the suit in 1913 which was a cloud on the rights of the present plaintiffs just as much as the compromise in Suit No. 92 of (1916. A reversioner who considers that he is in danger by a transfer executed by a Hindu widow can seek a declaration and if there are transfers of parts of the property of the last male owner he is not compelled to sue for a declaration that all those transfers are invalid. He may choose to accept some of them as valid and may refuse to accept some of them, but in such a case the position is that as regards any of the property of the last male owner there is only one transfer which threatens the rights of the reversioner so that his rights, such as they are, are free from any cloud when the declaration is granted.

4. In this case, however, the plaintiffs choose to ask for a declaration that they are not bound by the compromise of 1916 and yet they allow the compromise of 1913 and the deed of gift by Mt. Maktula to stand unchallenged. They have, if I may so put it, asked that the third cloud should be dispelled and yet they have taken no action about the two earlier and equally dangerous clouds which, if they are not eventually challenged within the period of limitation, deprive the present plaintiffs of proprietary rights after the death of the daughters and the widow of Mani Ram. In my opinion it is not proper to grant the declaration granted by the Court below, namely that the compromise of 1917 is not binding so far as the future reversionary rights of the plaintiffs in the present suit are concerned when there may be in fact no reversionary rights in the plaintiffs, because firstly of the deed of gift of 1912 and secondly of the decree based on a compromise in 1913. I, therefore, allow this appeal and, setting aside the decision of the lower appellate Court, restore the decision of the first Court dismissing the suit, though not on the same grounds as those on which the first Court dismissed the suit. The defendants will get their costs in all Courts. In view of the points of law involved in this case, I grant leave to file a Letters Patent appeal.


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