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Palak Dhari and anr. Vs. Deputy Director of Consolidation, Varanasi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 5421 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1975All410
ActsHindu Succession Act, 1956 - Sections 4(2), 14 and 30; Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1951 - Sections 169(2)
AppellantPalak Dhari and anr.
RespondentDeputy Director of Consolidation, Varanasi and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK.B. Mathur and ;K.B. Sinha, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateSankatha Rai, ;R.S. Singh, Advs. and ;R.C. Srivastava, S.C
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
family - execution of will by female bhumidar - sub-section 2 of section 4 of hindu succession act, 1956 and sub-section 2 of section 169 of u. p. zamindari abolition and land reforms act, 1951 - a female bhumidar cannot bequeath her interest in property through will - provisions of hindu law cannot override. - - zamindari abolition and land reforms act which deal with the devolution of tenancy rights, namely, which deal with intestate as well as testate succession to bhumidhari holdings......upheld the view of the settlement officer (consolidation) that in view of section 14 of the hindu succession act the female bhumidhar became a full owner and was entitled to bequeath the agricultural holding by will. on that basis he repelled the claim of the petitioners.2. in ramji dixit v. bhirgunath, (1968 all lj 844) = (air 1968 sc 1058) the supreme court has upheld the view of this court that a female bhumidhar governed by sub-section (2) of section 169 is incompetent to bequeath a bhumidhari holding by will. sub-section (2) of section 169 aforesaid applies, inter alia, to a widow. in the present case smt. rameshwari devi had inherited the holding from her husband and had executed the will on 10th november, 1963 before her death on 18th december, 1963. in view of the decision.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Satish Chandra, J.

1. The question of law argued before me in this writ petition was whether a female Bhumidhar, who had inherited a holding from her husband, was competent to bequeath it by a will. The Deputy Director of Consolidation upheld the view of the Settlement Officer (Consolidation) that in view of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act the female Bhumidhar became a full owner and was entitled to bequeath the agricultural holding by will. On that basis he repelled the claim of the petitioners.

2. In Ramji Dixit v. Bhirgunath, (1968 All LJ 844) = (AIR 1968 SC 1058) the Supreme Court has upheld the view of this Court that a female Bhumidhar governed by Sub-section (2) of Section 169 is incompetent to bequeath a Bhumidhari holding by will. Sub-section (2) of Section 169 aforesaid applies, inter alia, to a widow. In the present case Smt. Rameshwari Devi had inherited the holding from her husband and had executed the will on 10th November, 1963 before her death on 18th December, 1963. In view of the decision in Ramji Dixit's case it is clear that she was incompetent to bequeath the holding by will and in this respect the decision of the consolidation authorities cannot be upheld.

3. Mr. Sankatha Rai, appearing for the respondents, contended that Sections 14 and 30 of the Hindu Succession Act would apply and govern the case and thereunder Smt. Rameshwari Devi was competent to execute the will. In Smt. Prema Devi v. Joint Director of Consolidation, (AIR 1970 All 238) a Division Bench of this Court has held that the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act cannot be made applicable to agricultural plots governed by the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. Another Division Bench in Uma Shanker v. Dy. Director of Consolidation, (1973 All WR (HC) 214) = (AIR 1973 All 407) construed Section 4(2) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which provides :

'For the removal of doubts it is hereby declared that nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to affect the provisions of any law for the time being in force providing for the prevention of fragmentation of agricultural holdings or for the fixation of ceiling or for the devolution of tenancy rights in respect of such holdings.'

The Division Bench held that Bhumidhari rights are tenancy rights in respect of agricultural holding and the provisions of Hindu Succession Act of 1956 cannot affect the provisions of U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act in respect of devolution of tenancy rights of Bhumidhari holdings. In that case the question was of intestate Succession, ant! the Bench held that the provisions of Sections 171 to 175 have an overriding effect and nothing in the Hindu Succession Act can take away their effect.

4. Section 4(2) speaks of any law providing for the devolution of tenancy rights. In Kaniz Zohra v. The Deputy Director of Consolidation, (1968 RD 9 (All)) a Division Bench of this Court held that a will regulates testate succession, and succession is a mode of devolution. In view of this decision it is apparent that testate succession being a mode of devolution is within the purview of Section 4(2) of the Hindu Succession Act. The result is that nothing contained in the Hindu Succession Act shall be deemed to affect the provisions of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act which deal with the devolution of tenancy rights, namely, which deal with intestate as well as testate succession to Bhumidhari holdings. Section 169 (2) of !he Zamindari Abolition Act deals with testate succession. It makes a female Bhumidhar mentioned in Sub-section (2) of Section 169 incompetent to bequeath a holding by will. None of the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act can affect or override this provision. In view of Section 4(2) of the Hindu Succession Act, which is a provision which overrides all other provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, neither Section 14 nor Section 30 of the Succession Act can be relied upon by the respondents to sustain the will executed by Smt. Rameshwari Devi. She was incompetent to execute the will. The will executed by her was totally ineffective to pass any interest in the holding in dispute.

5. It is common case between the parties that if the will executed by Smt. Rameshwari Devi is ignored the basic year entry in favour of the petitioners will have to be maintained.

6. In the result the petition succeeds and is allowed. The impugned orders of the consolidation authorities are quashed. The objection filed by the respondents is dismissed and it is directed that the basic year entry be maintained. The petitioners will be entitled to costs.


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