1. This is a defendants' appeal arising out of a suit brought by the original plaintiff Mt. Mullo who died pending appeal and is now represented by her sons for recovery of possession of certain property left by her father Ganesh who had died soilless, and subsequently transferred by his widow during the time she was in possession of his estate, to Mahabir Prasad who in turn transferred it to the appellant.
2. The property to which this appeal, as argued before us, relates consisted of a few plots in all measuring 3.70 acres. It had been leased for ten years by Ganesh to a certain thekadar at an annual rent of Rs. 6. The lease was to expire in 1913. On 27th March 1911 his widow sold it to Mahabir Prasad for Rs. 200. It has been found by the lower appellate Court that money was urgently required for the plaintiff's marriage which could not be celebrated otherwise than by selling this property. On 4th December 1911 Mahabir Prasad, who it should be mentioned, resided in the city and not in the village in which the land is situate, sold it for Rs. 400 to the appellant who is one of the zamindars of the village in which the plots in dispute lie. It is not disputed that after the death of the widow the plaintiff became entitled to the land in suit as the daughter of Ganesh. She instituted the suit which has given rise to the present appeal on 28th October 1926 impugning the sale deed dated 27th March 1911 as invalid having been made without legal necessity. In defence it was pleaded by the present appellant that the aforesaid sale was valid as the plaintiff's mother was justified by legal necessity to transfer the property now in dispute for the purpose of raising funds to marry the plaintiff. It has been found by the lower appellate Court that 'there was valid necessity for executing the first sale deed' (dated 27th March 1911) 'by Mt. Bindo.' It proceeded to consider whether the price of Rs. 200 obtained by the plaintiff's mother under the saledeed dated 27th March 1911 was adequate. Having considered the circumstances of the case, especially the fact that Mahabir Prasad was able to sell the property eight months later for Rs. 400, it arrived at the conclusion that the sale was for inadequate consideration. It should be noted that the lower appellate Court has not definitely found that the market value of the property in 1911 was Rs. 400 or thereabout. On that finding the lower appellate Court set aside the sale on condition of the plaintiff paying Rs. 200 which, according to the lower appellate Court, had been obtained by the plaintiff's mother for a necessary purpose. The present second appeal has been preferred by the appellant.
3. The lower appellate Court seems to be of opinion that a sale by a Hindu widow, otherwise justified by legal necessity, should be set aside if the price obtained by her was inadequate. We are unable to accept the broad proposition stated in, these terms. While it is correct to say that a transfer by a Hindu widow for legal necessity and for an adequate price is binding on the reversioner, it does not necessarily follow that a sale otherwise justified must under all circumstances be set aside if it can be shown that the price fetched was not adequate. Circumstances might exist which make it absolutely necessary for the widow to sell her husband's property even for an inadequate price. Each case must depend upon its own circumstances. If the necessity for the sale of the property was so great that the husband's property must be sold, and if under the circumstances then existing it was not possible for her to obtain the full value of the property which had to be sold and she could not get more than what is considered to be an inadequate price, the sale would nevertheless be valid. In the case before us there is evidence that the plaintiff's mother could not secure a purchaser willing to pay more than Rs. 200. The finding of the lower appellate Court that the plaintiff's marriage had to be celebrated and that the expenses thereof could not be defrayed except by sale of the property in dispute must be accepted. We must therefore take it that the plaintiff's mother was obliged by circumstances to sell the property within a limited time. She sold it at about twenty years' purchase. But for the circumstance that the vendee from her was able to sell it for double the price eight months later to a cosharer in the village it would not have been reasonable to pronounce the opinion that the property was sold for an inadequate price. On the whole we think that there was not only legal necessity for the sale of the property but there was also legal necessity for selling it at the price at Which it was sold to Mahabir Prasad.
4. For the foregoing reasons we are of opinion that this appeal should be allowed in part. The decree of the lower appellate Court is set aside so far as it relates to the sale deed dated 27th March 1911 as to which the plaintiff's suit shall stand dismissed.
5. As parties have succeeded in part the appellant shall have throe-fourths of her costs in all Courts.