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Smt. Janak Dulari Vs. District Judge, Kanpur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 2348 of 1957
Reported inAIR1961All294
ActsHindu Succession Act, 1956 - Sections 14(1) and 14(2)
AppellantSmt. Janak Dulari
RespondentDistrict Judge, Kanpur and ors.
Appellant AdvocateJ.N. Misra, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateShambhu Pd., Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
property - succession - section 14 of hindu succession act, 1956 - petitioner inherited right to her parental property - decree prior to passing of act declared her right as limited - after demolition of 'zamidari' compensation awarded in respect of certain villages - part of compensation paid to appellant and remaining held in court - after passing of act her right became absolute - application by appellant for payment of balance of compensation amount - district judge opined a separate suit necessary for payment - appellant acquired property by inheritance and not under decree - any decree declaring her right as limited became ineffective after passing of act - filing of separate suit not necessary and appellant entitled to money. - .....smt. rukmini kuer died in the year 1912 and left behind two daughters, smt. sundar kuer and smt. janak dulari. bhajni kuer also died in 1923. after the death of maheshi lal pande, his widows smt. rukmini kuer and smt. bhajni kuer were the owners, and after the death of smt. rukmini kuer her daughters smt. sundar kuer and janak dulari became the owners. sundar kuer died also in the year 1925 without leaving any issue and according to the petitioner, thereafter janak dulari became the owner of the property. 3. the property involved in the suit is zamindari property in several villages. after the abolition of zamindari, compensation amounting rs. 11,900 was awarded. the compensation was for villages saraipur, patra, sarva and kamir, while a sum of rs. 9200 was awarded in respect of.....

V.D. Bhargava, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution filed by one Smt. Janak Duhri who is since dead.

2. There was one Maheshi Lal Pande who left two widows on his death in the year 1903; one was Smt. Rukmini Kuer and the other Smt. Bhajni Kuer. Smt. Rukmini Kuer died in the year 1912 and left behind two daughters, Smt. Sundar Kuer and Smt. Janak Dulari. Bhajni Kuer also died in 1923. After the death of Maheshi Lal Pande, his widows Smt. Rukmini Kuer and Smt. Bhajni Kuer were the owners, and after the death of Smt. Rukmini Kuer her daughters Smt. Sundar Kuer and Janak Dulari became the owners. Sundar Kuer died also in the year 1925 without leaving any issue and according to the petitioner, thereafter Janak Dulari became the owner of the property.

3. The property involved in the suit is Zamindari property in several villages. After the abolition of zamindari, compensation amounting Rs. 11,900 was awarded. The compensation was for villages Saraipur, Patra, Sarva and Kamir, while a sum of Rs. 9200 was awarded in respect of certain other villages in Kanpur tehsil. Thus, in all Rs. 21,000 was awarded as compensation for the whole village property belonging to Maheshi Lal Pande. Opposite parties Nos. 2 and 3, who appear to be distant reversioners contested the payment of this amount.

4. It may be mentioned that when Maheshi Lal Pande died, the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 had not come into force and even when Rukmini Kuer, Bhajni Kuer and Sundar Kuer died, that Act was not in force. Thereafter the rights of Sundar Kuer and Janak Dulari were that of a limited owner. A dispute having arisen between opposite parties Nos. 2 and 3 on the one hand and Smt. Janak Dulaii on the other, in 1926 she filed a suit that she was a limited owner till her life time after the death of Sundar Kuer daughter of Maheshi Lal Pande. The suit was decreed and it was declared that she was a reversioner for her life.

5. In 1948 Janak Dulari transferred certain property upon which opposite parties 2 and 3 filed a suit, No. 2 of 1948 in the court of Civil Judge, Kanpur and in that suit a declaration was sought that the sale could not be binding as against the next reversioners, as Janak Dulari was only a limited owner. That suit was also decreed. On 9-8-1955 an attempt was made by Smt. Janak Dulari to get this compensation amount and then a writ petition was filed in this Court in which it was held that a sum of Rs. 10,000 was to be paid to Smt. Janak Dulari and the rest be retained in the court of the District Judge.

6. After all these proceedings had taken place the Hindu Succession Act was passed which came into force on 17-6-56. That Act gave widows and daughters an absolute right in the property. Section 14(1) reads as follows:

''Any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner.'

After the coming into force of this law, an application was made to the District Judge that the balance of the compensation money, which was in deposit should be paid to the petitioner. The District Judge was of opinion that now Smt. Janak Dulari was entitled t6 the property, but he was of opinion that unless a separate suit had been filed, the money could not be paid. Against that order this writ petition has been filed.

7. There cannot be any doubt that by virtue of the power which has been given under the Hindu Succession Act Smt. Janak Dulari became the absolute owner of the property and any orders passed before the Act would not have any effect.

8. Reliance was placed by learned counsel for the opposite party on Sub-section (2) of Section 14 which is in the following words:

'Nothing contained in Sub-section (1) shall apply to any property acquired by way of gift or undera will or any other instrument or under a decree or order of a civil court or under an award where the terms of the gift, will or other instrument or the decree, order or award prescribe a restricted estate in such property.'

9. It was contended that there had been a decree in which this right had been called as a limited right and, therefore, Sub-section (1) of Section 14 will not give absolute right to the limited owner, Sub-section (2) of Section 14 will only apply when the property itself is acquired by means of a decree. Here the property had not been acquired by a decree, but had been acquired by inheritance and, therefore, any decree which had been passed declaring a right therein would not be effective. Accordingly in my opinion it is not necessary for Janak Dulari to file any separate suit. The money was in the custody of the District Judge for payment to the rightful owner and she is the rightful owner after the coming into force of the Hindu Succession Act, and is entitled to the money.

10. I, therefore, quash the order of the District Judge dated 10-7-59 and direct that the money which is in deposit with the District Judge was liable to be paid to Janak Dulari. After her death her heirs have been brought on record who are next reversioners and, in any event, they are entitled to the money as absolute owners, they being the nearest heirs of Maheshi Lal Pande. Accordingly, the petition is allowed, but I make no order as to costs.

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