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The Collector of Meerut in Charge, Court of Wards and Special Manager of Estate of Bibi Naushaba Begum Vs. Lala Hardian Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1945All156
AppellantThe Collector of Meerut in Charge, Court of Wards and Special Manager of Estate of Bibi Naushaba Beg
RespondentLala Hardian Singh and ors.
Excerpt:
- - in our judgment the sale deed was perfectly valid and in no way contravenes the provisions of section 37. 4. we have at the inception of this judgment given our reasons for holding that a sale in favour of a ward of court is not void......into a contract, no such disability attaches to him in the matter of transfer of property, and a sale deed executed in his favour is valid and enforceable. in the present case we are concerned with a person who was a ward of the court. section 37, court of wards act, enacts thata ward shall not be competent to transfer or create any charge on, or interest in, any part of his property which is under the superintendence of the court of wards, or to enter into any contract which may involve him in pecuniary liability....2. it would be noted that the disabilities cast on a ward by this section extend only to a transfer of, or creation of a charge on, his property by the ward or to his entering into a contract which may impose a pecuniary liability on him. there is nothing in the section to.....
Judgment:

Iqbal Ahmad, C.J.

1. This appeal must prevail and the objection filed by the appellant under Section 11, Encumbered Estates Act, must be ' allowed. There is ample authority in support of the view that, even though a person may be disqualified to enter into a contract, such disqualification does not debar that person from being transferee under a conveyance. The reason for this view is that totally different considerations apply when a matter passes from the domain of contract into that of a conveyance. It is on this ground that it has been held that even though a minor is incompetent to enter into a contract, no such disability attaches to him in the matter of transfer of property, and a sale deed executed in his favour is valid and enforceable. In the present case we are concerned with a person who was a ward of the Court. Section 37, Court of Wards Act, enacts that

a ward shall not be competent to transfer or create any charge on, or interest in, any part of his property which is under the superintendence of the Court of Wards, or to enter into any contract which may involve him in pecuniary liability....

2. It would be noted that the disabilities cast on a ward by this section extend only to a transfer of, or creation of a charge on, his property by the ward or to his entering into a contract which may impose a pecuniary liability on him. There is nothing in the section to indicate that the Legislature intends to prohibit a ward from becoming the transferee of property. The facts that have given rise to the present appeal lie within a narrow compass. One Mohammad Saddiq Ali Shah married three wives, his third wife being Naushaba Begum whose property was and is under the charge of the Court of Wards. After Naushaba Begum had become a ward of the Court, Saddiq Ali executed a sale deed of the property in dispute in her favour for a sum of Rs. 14,000. Out of the sale consideration, Rs. 4600 were paid in cash by Naushaba Begum to Sadiq Ali, and the balance of the sale consideration was left with Naushaba Begum with the direction that the latter should pay that amount to certain creditors of Saddiq Ali. Saddiq Ali Shah filed an application under Section 4, Encumbered Estates Act, and during the pendency of that application he died and his sons were substituted as the applicants in his place. In his application Saddiq Ali had not shown the properties sold by him to Naushaba Begum, but on written statements being filed by certain creditors that property was included by the Special Judge in the list of the properties belonging to the applicants. The Collector of Meerut in charge of the Court of Wards then filed an objection under Section 11, Encumbered Estates Act, maintaining that the properties sold to Naushaba Begum belonged to her and could not be included in the list of the properties of the applicants under the En-' cumbered Estates Act. The creditors opposed the objection of the Collector on the ground that as Naushaba Begum was, on the date of the sale deed, a ward of the Court, the sale in her favour was void in view of the provisions of Section 37, Court of Wards Act. This contention of the creditors prevailed in both the Courts below. The Collector of Meerut, being dissatisfied with the decrees of the Courts below, filed the present appeal in this Court. The appeal came for hearing before a Bench of which one of us was a member and then the following issue was remitted to the lower appellate Court:

Whether the sale deed, dated 29th June 1927, executed by Saddiq Ali Shah in favour of Bibi Naushaba Begum represented a genuine transaction and was acted upon or not?

3. The finding returned by the lower appellate Court on this issue is in favour of the plaintiff-appellant and is to the effect that the sale deed was genuine arid was acted upon. The sole question that remains for consideration in the appeal, therefore, is whether the decision of the Courts below that the sale deed offended against the provisions of Section 37, Court of Wards Act, and was void, is correct. In our judgment the sale deed was perfectly valid and in no way contravenes the provisions of Section 37.

4. We have at the inception of this judgment given our reasons for holding that a sale in favour of a ward of Court is not void. It is however argued on behalf of the defendant-respondents that, inasmuch as a portion of the sale consideration was left with Naushaba Begum and she was under a personal liability to pay that amount to the creditors of Saddiq Ali Shah, the sale deed did involve Naushaba Begum into pecuniary liability within the meaning of Section 37, Court of Wards Act. We are unable to agree with this contention. Ordinarily, a vendor has a statutory lien with respect to the unpaid purchase money and this lien is enforceable in view of the provision of Section 55 (5), Clause (b), T.P. Act. It has, however, been held by this Court that, apart from this statutory charge, there is a personal liability on the vendor to pay the unpaid purchase money: vide Raghukul Tilak v. Pitam Singh ('31) 18 A.I.R. 1931 All. 901. It may be that a vendee, who is competent to enter into a contract, incurs a personal liability with respect to the unpaid purchase money and such personal liability is enforceable at the instance of the vendor. But if the vendee happens to be a minor or a ward of Court and is, as such, disqualified from entering into a contract, it is manifest that he cannot incur a personal liability with respect to the unpaid purchase money. In such a case the only remedy open to the vendor is to recover the unpaid purchase money by enforcement of the statutory charge against the property sold. In the case before us Saddiq Ali Shah or his legal representatives were entitled to realize the unpaid purchase money by enforcing the vendor's lien, but they could not, by virtue of the provisions of Section 37, claim a personal decree with respect to the unpaid purchase money as against Naushaba Begum. For the reasons given above we hold that the rights of the case were with the appellant and not with the respondents. Accordingly we allow this appeal, set aside the decrees of the Courts below and allow the objection filed by the appellant with costs in all Courts.


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