Skip to content


Abdul Qavi Khan Vs. God Almighty Through Asaf Ali Khan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies;Property
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetter Patent Appeal Nos. 50 of 1951 and 80 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1962All364
ActsMusalman Wakf Validating Act, 1913 - Sections 3 and 4; Muhammadan Law
AppellantAbdul Qavi Khan
RespondentGod Almighty Through Asaf Ali Khan and ors.
Appellant AdvocateIqbal Ahmad, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA.K. Kirty and ;G. Kumar, Advs.
Excerpt:
(i) trust and societies - wakf - section 4 of musalman wakf validating act, 1913 - failure of the wakf in favour of intermediate beneficiary - effect - the wakf in favour of charity. (ii) wakf of mortgage property - cannot be created by mortgagee - dedication by wife of mortgaged property in lieu of dower - debt invalid. (iii) family - interpretation - section 3(a) of musalman wakf validating act, 1913 - person from a common progenitor - exhaust the categories of persons - settlor out of love and affection creating a wakf for their maintenance and support. - - that is the finding of the courts below and the learned single judge endorsed this holding :the reason why she made smt. 1. they traversed the allegations of fraud and undue influence and claimed (that the wakfs were perfectly.....manchanda, j. 1. these two special appeals are against the common order of a learned single judge dismissing the appeals filed by the plaintiff, abdul qavi khan and defendant no. 5 sehat ali khan and for the sake of convenience they are disposed of by a common judgment. l.p.a. no. 50 of 1951 is by the plaintiff and l.p.a. no. 80 of 1956 is by the defendant no. 5. 2. in order to appreciate the points involved the material facts may be stated. the relationship of the parties will be clear from the following genealogical table: nasir khan ___________________________________________|______________________________________ | | | | |abdul qavi khan mohd. shafi khan smt. matluban smt. maqbul unnisa= smt. mumtaz begam= (plaintiff) (defdt. 2) (defdt. 3) dr. niaz ali khan mohd. wali khan (issueless).....
Judgment:

Manchanda, J.

1. These two special appeals are against the common order of a learned Single Judge dismissing the appeals filed by the plaintiff, Abdul Qavi Khan and defendant No. 5 Sehat Ali Khan and for the sake of convenience they are disposed of by a common judgment. L.p.A. no. 50 of 1951 is by the plaintiff and L.P.A. No. 80 of 1956 is by the defendant No. 5.

2. In order to appreciate the points involved the material facts may be stated. The relationship of the parties will be clear from the following genealogical table:

NASIR KHAN

___________________________________________|______________________________________

| | | | |

Abdul Qavi Khan Mohd. Shafi Khan Smt. Matluban Smt. Maqbul Unnisa= Smt. Mumtaz Begam=

(Plaintiff) (Defdt. 2) (Defdt. 3) Dr. Niaz Ali Khan Mohd. Wali Khan

(Issueless) (Brother of

Dr. Niaz Ali Khan)

____________________|_____

| |

Sehat Ali Khan (Defdt. 5) Two daughters.

3. The aforesaid table shows that the plaintiff is the brother of Smt. Maqbul-Unnisa, hereinafter referred to as Wakif No. 1 and Smt. Mumtaz Begum, and these two sisters came to be married to two brothers. Wakif No. 1 was married to Niaz Ali Khan whereas Mumtaz Begum was the third wife, after the demise of the two earlier wives of Mohd. Wali Khan, the brother of Dr. Niaz Ali Khan. Mohd. Wali Khan had a daughter by name Fatima from his second wife, who had died, in child birth. Waqif No. 1 had no issue of her own. She had brought up Fatima almost from birth in her own house and as a member of the family. That is the finding of the courts below and the learned single Judge endorsed this holding :

'The reason why she made Smt. Fatima as the beneficiary under one of the waqfs is that Smt. Fatima's mother had died on the occasion of her birth and it was Smt. Maqbulunnisa who had taken up Smt. Fatima as her own child and hail brought her up as her own daughter. It may be pointed out that Smt. Maqbul-Unnisa had no children of her own. She celebrated the marriage of Smt Fatima and kept her along with her husband in her own house.'

On the 18th December, 1930 the first wakif executed a deed of wakf-alal-aulad Ex. 1, in respect of six agricultural plots, some Zamindari property and four shops all belonging to her. The beneficiaries thereunder were Smt. Fatima and her descendants.

4. On the 17th Pecember 1930, i.e., a day prior to the execution of Ex. 1 another wakf-alal-aulad (Ex. 2) was executed jointly by wakif No. 1 and her husband Dr. Niaz Ali Khan of the following properties:

(1) Shares of Waqif No. 1 and Niaz Ali Khan in a godown ;

(2) Zamindari rights in a village belonging to wakif No. 1, and

(3) Four houses, two belonging to wakif No. 1 and the remaining two which were in possession of Dr. Niaz Ali Khan as mortgagee but transferred by Niaz Ali Khan to wakif No. 1, treating himself as the full owner thereof, In lieu of her dower debt of Rs. 10,000/-. The beneficiaries under Ex. 2 were the descendants of Smt. Fatima and Mohd. Wali Khan.

5. Dr Niaz AH Khan died in 1931. Wakif No. 1 died on the 26th July 1941. The plaintiff brought the suit out of which the present appeals have arisen on the 14th March 1945. The plaintiff claimed 2/5th share in the property of wakif No. 1. He challenged the validity of the aforesaid deeds of wakf on the grounds:

(1) That Wakif No. 1 had executed the wakfnamas as a result of undue influence and fraud practised on hep by her husband.

(2) That the beneficiaries were the members of the family of the wakif, within the meaning of that expression in Section 3(a) of the Wakf Validating Act 1913, hereinafter referred to as the Act.

(3) That wakif No. 1 was only the usufructuary mortgagee in respect of two of the houses which formed the subject-matter of Ex. 2 and as such these two houses were incapable of forming the subject-matter of a wakf.

6. The main defendants were Sehat Ali Khan (defendant No. 5) the son of Mumtaz Begum and Asaf Ali (defendant No. 4) the beneficiaries under the wakfnama Ex. 1. They traversed the allegations of fraud and undue influence and claimed (that the wakfs were perfectly valid in law.

7. The trial court negatived the pleas of undue influence and fraud and held that the beneficiaries were members of the family of Wakif No. 1, and that wakif No. 1 had acquired proprietary rights in respect of the two houses given to her by her husband, and in the result the suit was dismissed with costs.

8. Dn appeal the learned District Judge upheld the order of the trial court except in respect of the two houses which had been transferred to her by her husband. Jn respect thereof it was held that wakif No. 1 had not acquired any proprietary title as the transferor had no such title be only being a mortgagee of those houses. In the result the plaintiff's suit was decreed only in respect of the two houses which could not have formed the subject matter of wakfnama Ex. 2. The rest of the suit was dismissed.

9. Against the aforesaid decision both the plaintiff and defendant No. 5 filed second appeals in the High Court. The plaintiff challenged the dismissal of his suit in respect of the properties other than the aforesaid two houses and the defendant No. 5 contested the legality of the order of the District Judge regarding those two houses.

10. The learned single judge confirmed the order of the District Judge and dismissed both the appeals. Leave to file a Letters Patent Appeal had however been given and hence these appeals.

11. The main questions, which were argued, and fall for determination in these appeals are:

(1) Whether the beneficiaries fall within the meaning of the expression 'family' as used in Section 3(a) of the Act.

(2) If the wakf is valid in respect of Smt. Fatima but invalid in respect of her descendants, then would the wakfs fail in their entirety even tothe exclusion of the ultimate beneficiaries, who are charities, admittedly charitable under the Mohammaden Law.

(3) Whether ihe two houses could have formed the subject matter of the wakfnama Ex. 2.

12. Mr. Gyanendra Kumar, the learned counsel in the plaintiff's appeal contended that Smt. Fatima, who was only the step daughter of the sister of wakif No. 1 could not be considered to be a member of the family of wakif No. 1. It was fairly conceded that there was no decided case exactly of any court covering such a beneficiary. It therefore, became necessary to consider all the cases bearing on the point, in order to determine the principle of law which would be applicable to the instant case.

13. At the outset it may be stated that the rulings including that of the Judicial Committee, which were given before the passing of the Act have no application whatsoever. The Act came to be passed so as to overcome the difficulties created by the decisions of the Judicial Committee; in particular ihe decision in Abdul Fateh Mohamad v. Rasmayadhur Chowdhury, 22 Ind App 76: ILR 22 Cal 619 (PC), where it was held that if the primary object of the wakf was the aggrandisement of the family and the gift to charily was 'illusory, the wakf for the benefit of the family would be invalid and no effect could be given to it. The Act was passed to remove this difficulty and to validate all private wakfs made for the benefit of the family. The relevant portion of Section 3 of the Act is as follows:

'3. (1) It shall be lawful for any person professing the Musalman faith to create a wakf which in all other respects is in accordance with the provisions of Mussalman law for, the following among other purposes:

'(a) For the maintenance and support wholly or partially of his family children or descendants and to provide that the ultimate benefit is in such cases expressly or impliedly reserved for the poor or for any other purpose recognised by the Mussalman law as a religious, pious or charitable purpose of a permanent character''.

(4) No such waqf shall be deemed to be invalid, merely because the benefit reserved therein for the poor or other religious, pious or charitable purposes of a permanent nature is postponed until after the extinction of ihe family, children or descendants of the person creating the wakf'.

14. It has not been disputed by the learned counsel for the plaintiff-appellant that the ultimate beneficiary is charity as recognised by Mussalman law. His contention is that Smt. Fatima, the main beneficiary, has no legal right to claim maintenance or support from wakif No. 1 and therefore the could not be considered to be a member of her family, and if the wakf in favour of the main beneficiary was invalid there could also be no acceleration in favour of the ultimate beneficiary which is charity. For the latter proposition he relied on the judgment of Chagla J., as he then was, sitting singly in the case of Ismail Haji v. Umar Abdulla, AIR 1942 Bom 155.

15. There is, as already observed, a clear finding of fact of the learned single judge as well as of the lower courts that Fatima was brought up from her birth and was married by waqif No. 1 and her (Smt. Fatima's) husband continued to reside with wakif No. 1 till her demise on the 26th July 1941. The only question therefore that can arise is whether on these facts, Smt. Fatima can be considered to be a member of the wakif's family within ihe meaning of Section 3 of the Act. The learned counsel for the plaintiff relies mainly on the case of Abdul Mabud Khan v. Nawazish Ali Khan for the proposition that the word 'family' in Section 3 of the Act includes only those for whose maintenance the settlor is legally responsible. That was a case where the question was whether collaterals of the fourth and fifth degree of the wakif could be said to be members of his family. As to the collaterals it was held that they were neither children nor descendants within the meaning of Section 3 of the Act, and that they could not he considered to be members of the wakifs family as the wakif could not be said to be responsible for their maintenance. The Rule of ejusdem generis appears to have been invoked in that case, though not so specifically referred to, in giving the meaning to the word 'family', as somewhat akin to ''children and descendants' which find place in Sub-clause (a) of Section 3 of the Act. Doing so it was observed:

''That is to say that its application will not extend beyond persons whose maintenance can be required as more or less incumbent on the plaintiff in the nature of things so as to partake of the character of the fulfilment of a pious obligation. It is difficult to see how the maintenance of such distant collaterals as cousins in the 4th or 5th degree can be viewed in any such light and the extension of the term such family would logically involve its extension to much more distant kindred also'.

15a. It is true that the stress was on such maintenance as is more or less incumbent. That, however, does not mean, as is contended by the learned counsel for the appellant, only such maintenance as could be legally enforced. The other aspect stressed in this judgment cannot be ignored that is maintenance which partakes of the character of the fulfilment of a pious obligation. The latter condition would certainly be satisfied in a case where a person takes upon himself, no doubt voluntarily, the obligation to bring up a new born, child and to maintain and support it. If such a child in the absence of any law of adoption could not legally enforce its right to be supported and maintained yet it cannot he denied that there would be a pious obligation to do so on the person who has brought such a child under his own roof. In any event, it could not be denied that such a person would be 'mainly responsible' for the maintenance of such a child.

16. The somewhat narrow view, taken in the aforesaid Oudh case, was immediately broken through by the Allahabad High Court in the case Mst. Mussarraf Begum v. Sikander Jehan : AIR1928All516 . In that case it was held that the word family had been used in theAct in its broad popular sense so as to include all relatives more or less dependent on the settlor and a daughter-in-law living with an Indian householder is undoubtedly a member of his family in that sense even, though she is the widow of a deceased son.

17. A later Oudh case in Imdad Ali v. Ashiq Ali, AIR 1929 Oudh 25 : ILR 4 Luck 101 definitely dissented from the view taken in the earlier Oudh case in in so far as it laid do.wn that the word 'family' in the sub-section includes only those persons residing in his house for whose maintenance the author of the trust is mainly responsible. The learned Chief Justice in this connection observed;

''We see no reason, whatever, for introducing this restriction. It does not appear to us material whether the person in question resides in the house or whether the author of the trust is mainly responsible for his maintenance. We have not the slightest hesitation in finding that a brother is member of the Muslim's family within the meaning of this section even when such brother lives in a different country and suppoits himself. He does not cease to be a member of the family thereby.'

In this case it was held that the son of a waqif's half brother, the son of waqif'is father's brother, the grandson of waqif's father's brother and waqif's half sister are all members of the waqif's family even though they live separate from the Waqif.

18. In Rashid Uddin v. Nazir Uddin AIR 1929 Lah 721 brother's widow was held to be a member of the family. In the case of Ghazanfar Hussain v. Mt. Ahmad Bibi AIR 1030 All 169 : ILR 52 All 368 the Oudh case of . (supra), was specifically dissented from by the Allahabad High Court. In this connection it was observed:

'With great respect, we find it difficult to subscribe to the above view. We are of opinion that the word ''family' was intended to be used in this section in a very large and extensive sense. The policy of the Act was to validate the creation of the waqf in perpetuity in favour of persons who happened to be the members of the family according to the popular acceptance of the term.'

In that case it was held that the nephews were the members of the waqif's family. Thus it will be seen that both the Avadh and the Allahabad High Courts refused to follow the somewhat narrow and restricted meaning given to the word 'family' in the earliest Avadh case. The reliance placed by the learned counsel on the earliest Avadh case therefore can be of little assistance to him.

19. A very wide interpretation has continued to be given by all the High Courts to the word 'family' ever since. Jn the case of the Lahore High Court in Mubarik Ali v. Ahmad Aii, AIR 1935 Lah 414, it was held, that Mubarik Ali who was the brother's son of the waqif, having been adopted by the latter, and as he resided with him during his life time was a member of the family. The case is important as the decisiontherein did not rest on relationship but on the fact that Mubarik Ali had lived with Amir Ali and had been treated by him as his son, and therefore he was held to be a member of the family. In the instant case also there cannot be the slightest doubt and in fact it has been so found that Fatima Bibi had been bred and brought up in the house of waqif No. 1 and a fortiori she had been treated as a daughter.

20. In AIR 1942 Bom 155, Chagla J., as he then was, accepted both the tests for determining whether the person was a member of a family within the meaning of the Act. It was held that the word 'family' would include (1) all those persons residing in the same house as 'children' and 'dependents upon him for maintenance, or (2) All those connected with the settlor through a common progenitor or by ties of common lineage. In this view of the matter it was held that the wakf to the extent that it was in favour of the sister's son who was residing with the settlor constituted a good and valid, waqf as the sister's son could be considered to be a member of the waqif's family. The sister's son as he was residing with the settlor could be considered to be a member of the waqifs family but not the heirs of the sister's son. In the result the learned Judge upheld the waqf in favour of the sister's son but held the waqf invalid in regard to his heirs as they were not members of the waqif's family. The ultimate trust in favour of charity was also held to be void. The two tests laid down were in consonance with the decisions of other High Courts with the exception of the earliest Avadh case, but the latter proposition, as to the invalidity of the trust even in favour of charity, because of the intermediate trust in favour of the heirs of the sister's son having been found to be invalid, is a proposition with which, with the profoundest respect. I cannot persuade myself to agree. This aspect I will advert to hereafter as for the moment what concerns me is the first question, viz. whether Fatima could be said to be a member of She waqifs family. Chagla J.'s decision) fully supports the defendant's case on this point.

21. In the case Mohd. Azam Khan v. Hamid Shah, AIR 1947 Ali 137 our High Court held that nephews of the settlor and their descendants in the broad popular sense could be held to be persons descended from one common progenitor and therefore they were members of the waqif's family irrespective of whether they lived in the settlor's house or whether the settlor was responsible for the maintenance or not. This case has no direct application to the facts of the instant case, as the case proceeded on the basis that the nephews were of common lineage with that of the settlor. The only importance of the case for the present purpose is that it reiterated that the word 'family' has been used in its broad popular sense.

22. In the case Rahmanul Hasan v. Zahurul Hasan, AIR 1947 All 281 Malik J. as he then was, endorsed the view that no doubt the word ''family' had a very wide meaning but he struck the note, of caution that the word 'family' could not be said to include any and every relation by blood or marriage howsoever remote find that Section 3was not intended to give the same exemption to the descendants or members of the beneficiary's family generation after generation and yet unborn. Strictly speaking this case also does not touch the first question under consideration except to the ex-tent that it lays down that a wide and not a restricted meaning is to be given to the word 'family'' in this section of the Act. However on the second question this case like the aforesaid Bombay case does afford some guidance.

23. From a view of these cases the principle deducible is that the word 'family' in Section 3(a) has to be given a wide and not a restricted meaning and that a person may belong to a 'family' either if he is from a common progenitor or if he is living under the same roof and is being supported and maintained by the settlor. As long as one of these two conditions is satisfied, the beneficiary would be a member of the family within the meaning of the Act. The three separate words used in the Act, viz., ''Family' 'children' or 'Descendants' would appear to exhaust the categories of persons on whom, normally a settlor would out of love and affection create a waqf for their maintenance and support.

It is unnecessary to decide for the purposes of this case whether a waqf could be created in favour of a stranger. It does not seem at all necessary that the beneficiary should be a relation, in order to qualify as a member of the asSessee's family for the purposes of this Act. Jn this connection a reference may be made to Section 3(4) of the U. P. Muslim Waqfs Act, 1936, where in the definition of 'family' it has been specifically provided that persons whether related to the waqif or not can be members of the family provided they reside with him and are maintained by him. This definition cannot be bodily imported when interpreting the word family in the Act, but it does provide some guidance in interpreting the provision of the earlier All India Act The definition in the U. P. Act 1946 is merely a reiteration of the general Muslim law relating to waqfs as noticed by Syed Amir Ali in his Mohammaden Law IV Edition, Volume II at page 276--viz., that a lawful wakf can be made in law to other peoples children and descendants, neighbours, strangers, dependents, servants etc. As the Act however specifically relates to rights of Mussalmans to make a settlement of property in favour of their family, children and descendants the only restriction there in introduced was to limit wakfs made under that Act to children and descendants and families of the settlor. The introduction of the word 'family' was meaningless if it was to have the same meaning as the words following i.e. 'children' or 'descendants'.

The rule of ejusdem generis in a case like this is wholly inapplicable. The general word 'family' precedes the specific words 'children' or 'descendants' and was introduced to embrace persons who are neither 'children' nor 'descendants' of the settlor. Therefore, the rule of ejusdem generis has no application whatsoever. It is only when generic words follow the more specific that the said rule comes into play and not when specific words follow a general term--vide Maxwellon Interpretation of Statutes 10th Edition p. 337. The word 'family' in the context in which it has been used in this section was intended to carry a very broad meaning. Some assistance in interpreting the word 'family'' can be derived from Law Lexicon in Corpus Juris Secundum Vol. 35 p. 737. The word ''family' in general is described in these words :

'The term is derived from the Latin word ''familia', and while it may be said to have a well defined, broad, and comprehensive meaning in general, it is one of great flexibility and is capable of many different meanings according to the connection in which it is used, its meaning, not being sufficiently certain or defined to permit its use as descriptive of particular persons, for some purposes. It may be considered as referring to a man's household at a particular period, or to his race or generation, and so it may be of narrow or broad meaning as the intention of the parties using the word, or as the intention of the law using it, may be made to appear; but unless the context manifests a different intention it is usually construed in its primary sense-.......'

'In its primary sense the term embraces a collection of persons as a single group with one head, living together, a unit of permanent and domestic character, under one roof, and has been most frequently defined as meaning, substantially a collection, or the collective body of persons living in one house, or under one head or manager, although this definition has been criticised. More specifically the word has been defined as a collective body of persons consisting of parents or children, or other relatives, domestic, or servants residing together in one house or upon the same premises, a collective body of persons, who form one house-hold, under one head and one domestic government, and who have reciprocal, natural or moral duties to support and care for each other........'

24. In the Concise Oxford Dictionary family is explained as 'being members of the household, parents, children, servants, etc.'

25. Jt is clear from what has been said above that the word 'family' has been used in the Act in its widest possible connotation and might well include a total stranger provided he is maintained and treated as a member of the family by the settlor. Jt is, however, unnecessary to go to that length or to decide that aspect in this Case. for here, on the facts found, Smt. Fatima was bred and brought up and married by the settlor and treated in all respects as a member of the family. There cannot therefore, be the slightest doubt that, so far as Smt. Fatima was concerned she was a member of the settlor's family within the meaning of the Act and the wakfs to that extent were unassailable.

26. The next question, however is whether the further provision in the wakfs in favour of her descendants and her husband's descendants could be held to be valid. The trust in favour of her and her husband's descendants could only be valid if they in their turn were members of the settlor's family, for they do not fall within the other cate-gory enumerated in Section 3 (a) of the Act of 'children' or 'descendants' of the settlor. It is manifest that Smt. Fatima or her descendants as such would not ipso facto become members of the settlor's family. The best that can be said is that Fatima's son Asif Ali (defendant no. 4) who was a minor, even at the time of the filing of the suit, had lived with the settlor along with his mother and therefore he could also consider himself to be of the family of the settlor. There is however no clear evidence on the point as to when exactly he was born; and much less that he was in fact treated or considered by the wakif to be a member of her family. In this state of the record, there is no alternative but to hold that except Smt. Fatima her descendants could not lay claim to belong to the family of the wakifs.

27. Apart from the plain reading of Section 3(a) of the Act that such a wakf can only be in favour of person or persons who are members of the family, there is the aforesaid authority of the Bombay High Court in AIR 1942 Bom 155 where the wakf in favour of the heirs of Husain Noor Mohammad was held to be void though the disposition in favour of Husain Noor Mohammad was held to be valid. This view is also in accord with the view expressed by Malik J. in AIR 1947 All 281 that the section of the Act was not intended to give the same exemption to the descendants or members of his family generation after generation and yet unborn. On an interpretation of the Act, and respectfully agreeing with the observations in the aforesaid two rulings, J would hold that the provision in the two wakfs conferring benefits on the descendants of Smt. Fatima and her heirs is void.

28. This leads me on to the next question as to whether the wakfs having failed in respect of some intermediate beneficiaries the trusts thereby are rendered entirely void or that fact operates to accelerate the trust in favour of the ultimate beneficiary which is charity. The learned counsel for the plaintiff-appellant relies entirely on the aforesaid ruling of Chagla J. where the intermediate dispositions in favour of the settlors having been held to be void the old disposition in favour of charity was also held to be void.

29. With the profoundest respect to the learned Judge I find myself unable to agree with the conclusion arrived at by him. The decision was mainly influenced by the fact that the Judicial Committee in Mohd. Ahsanullah Chowdhry v. Ch. Amar Chand Kundu, ILR 17 Cal 498 (PC) had not favourably commented on the view expressed by West J. in Fatima Bibee v. Advocate Ceneral of Bombay, ILR 6 Bom 42, The learned Judge also relied on the principle of English Law expressed in the phrase that a limitation following upon a limitation, void for remoteness, is itself void even though it may not by itelf transgress the rule against perpetuity. It was noticed that the Privy Council in a series of cases before the passing of Act VI of 1913 had held the wakfs to be void on the ground that they were intended for the aggrandisement of the family of the settlor and though the Privy Council when they could have given effect, but as they did not give effect to the ultimate trust for charity after sett-ing aside the intermediate disposition in favour of the settlor's family, Chagla J. was not prepared to hold that Ihe law since the passing of Act VI of 1913 had rendered the Privy Council decisions as no longer good law. With the profoundest respect, as already observed? the passing of Act VI of 1913 made all the difference. It recognised the very rule of perpetuity which the Judicial Committee had, refused to acknowledge in the series of cases that had come before it Syed Amir Ali, the learned author in his celebrated book on Mohammaden Law Vol. II, 2nd Edition at page 277 has categorically Set down that 'the wakf can under no circumstance fail.' Where no such express reservation for the poor or charity has been made, according to the learned author, the law steps in and suppling the deficiency of declaring that on failure of the object of the wakf it will continue for the benefit of the ultimate recipient of all charity viz. the poor. This proposition the learned commentator supports by reference to the original sources. West J.'s judgment in the aforesaid Bombay case was mainly based on the authority of this commentator and though the Privy Council may have cast some doubt on the correctness of this decision but after the passing of Act VI of 1913, the principle set out therein must be taken to have received statutory sanction.

It appears that the attention of Chagla J., in the Bombay case, was not drawn to Section 4 of Act VI of 1913, already reproduced hereinabove, where it was specifically provided that no wakf shall be deemed to be invalid merely because the benefit reserved therein for the poor or other charitable purposes of a permanent nature is postponed until after the extinction of the family, children or descendants. In Mohammad Afzal v. Din Mohammad, AIR 1947 Lah 117 Ram Lal J. after very carefully reviewing all the authorities on the subject came to the conclusion that even if the intermediate beneficiaries failed, the ultimate wakf in favour of charities would not be rendered invalid. A Division Bench of our Court in the case Kazi Munir Uddin v. Sunni Central Board Wakfs, U. P., 1959 All LJ 486 categorioally held that the failure of one object in the wakfnama did not mean the failure of the entire wakf--'The invalidity of certain gifts or benefactions would nob involve a destruction of the entire endowment as a whole.' It was categorically laid down, 'Muslim Wakfs Validating Act 1913 itself does not define the word 'family'', but, on the contrary, it clearly indicates that gifts are not to be invalid by reason of the postponement of the benefits to poor etc. until after the extinction of the family, children or descendants of the person creating the wakf.'

30. I would therefore hold that the failure of the wakf in favour of intermediate beneficiaries has the effect of accelerating the wakf in favour of the ultimate beneficiary i.e. the charity. The decree of the District Judge which was confirmed by the learned Single Judge, is directed to be modified so as to eliminate the intermediate beneficiaries but in all other respects the decree shall stand confirmed.

31. As regards the counter-appeal of defendant No. 5 the only question which falls fordetermination is whether under the Mohammaden Law a person can create a wakf of which he is only a usufructuary mortgagee, and does such mortgagee become the owner by the expiration of the period of redemption in the mortgage, so as to enable him to treat himself as owner for the purposes of effecting a valid transfer of such property. The facts as already stated are that Dr. Niaz Ali the husband of wakif No. 1 had by means of three mortgage deeds dated the 14th September 1906, 10th May 1908, 5th July 1908 taken over as usufructuary mortgagee two houses in question; each of these mortgages was for a period of 20 Years. On the 12th of June 1914 Dr. Niaz Ali purporting to act as full owner of the said two houses, transferred them to his wife wakif No. 1 in lieu of his dower debt due to her. According to learned counsel for defendant No. 5, the mortgagor's right under Art. 134 of the Limitation Act was to bring a suit within 12 years to recover possession of the properties which had been mortgaged by him and had subsequently been transferred by the mortgagee for valuable consideration. The 12 years having expired his remedy had become barred and, therefore, under the provisions of Section 28 of the Limitation Act as the period of limitation had expired for instituting a suit for possession, the mortgagor's right to such property had become extinguished with the result that the mortgagee became the owner thereof and could validly transfer the mortgaged houses as a full owner. This very contention was raised before the learned Single Judge and he has given cogent and convincing reasons, if I may say so with respect, for rejecting the contention advanced.

As already observed each of the mortgages was for 20 years and the mortgagor could not possibly have sued for redemption before the expiry of 20 years, even if the mortgagee during those 20 years had 'transferred' possession to some one else. No right to the mortgagor accrued to claim possession against such transferee. In these circumstances Article 134, which provides for a suit for possession, has no application, whatsoever, to the facts of this case, The rulings relied upon by learned counsel for the defendant Husaini Khanam v. Ali Husain Khan, ILR 29 All 471, and Skinner v. Naunihal Singh, 56 Ind App 192 : (AIR 1929 PC 158) have no application and in any event are clearly distinguishable, in these circumstances at best wakif No. 1 could be taken to have stepped into the shoes of her husband Dr. Niaz Ali in respect of these mortgaged houses. She could not possibly acquire greater rights therein than those possessed by her husband. His possession being that of a usufructuary mortgagee at best he could only transfer that interest and no more. It is well settled that a mortgagee cannot create a wakf of mortgaged property. The sine qua non for the creation of wakf is that the property must be owned by the wakif. A Full Bench of the Oudh High Court in, the case of Mt. Rahman v. Mt. Baqridan, AIR 1936 Oudh 213 has held that a valid wakf cannot be made in respect of the rights of a usufructuary mortgagee in a movable property. Similarly in Nosh Ali v. Shamsun-nesa Bibi : AIR1939All319 it was held by this Court that aMohammaden who had assumed possession of the entire property left by her husband in lieu of her dower could not dedicate any portion of that property of which her husband was not the full owner, and as such the dedication of suck, property was invalid under the Mohammaden Law. The learned Single Judge therefore rightly came to the conclusion that the appeal of the defendant No. 5 had no merit and was liable to be dismissed. I also hold accordingly.

32. In the result the appeal of the plaintiff is allowed in part inasmuch as the wakf in favour of the intermediate beneficiaries is held, to be invalid. The defendant's appeal is dismissed. In the circumstances of the case the parties shall bear their own costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //