1. To understand the points raised in this appeal it will be necessary to examine the pedigree to be found at p. 11 of the printed paper-book. Tha court of first instance found that the brothers Jageshwar and Mohar were joint and Ganesh, the son of Jageshwar was the last surviving male member of the family consisting of the two brothers and a son, and nephew Ganesh. It appears that three sale-deeds were executed by two ladies. Mt. Bhagirathi, widow of Mohar, executed sale-deed No. 1 on the 4th of January, 1909, for a sum of Rs. 399, on the 20th of September, 1910, Mt. Upman, the widow of Jageshwar, and Mt. Bhagirathi executed the second sale-deed for the sum of Rs. 1,250; and on the 17th of June, 1918, the same two ladies executed the third sale-deed for tha sum of Rs. 299.
2. The first four plaintiffs are the sons respectively of Jagat and Sahdeo Ganesh died in February, 1910 and his mother, Mt. Upman died about two years before the institution of the suit. The plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 have transferred a portion of their interest in the property to the plaintiffs Nos. 5 and 6. Thus all the six plaintiffs instituted the suit out of which this appeal has arisen for recovery of possessions of the property sold under the three deeds, of sale. Their case, so far as Mt. Bhagirathi's sale-deed was concerned, was that Mt. Bhagirathi executed the sale-deed without any title.
3. The defence was that so far as the deed-by Mt. Bhagirathi was concerned, the suit was time-barred. The defendants further pleaded that the sales were supported by legal necessity and the plaintiffs were also estopped from maintaining the suit.
4. The Court of first instance decreed the suit on condition of payment of those portions of the sale considerations which it found to have been supported by legal necessity. In appeal the learned District Judge dismissed the suit with respect to the second sale-deed, he having held that it was supported by legal necessity.
5. The defendants have appealed with respect to the first and third sale-deeds while? the plaintiffs have filed a cross-objection with respect to the second sale-deed.
6. The first point that has been urged is, the question of limitation and relates to the sale-deed executed by Mt. Bhagirathi.
7. It will be noticed that the suit was files on the 21st of April, 1921, that is to say,, more than 12 years after the execution of the sale-deed by Mt. Bhagirathi, it being the finding of the Court of first instance, a finding which was not challenged in the Court of first appeal, that the brothers, Jageshwar and Mohar were joint and Mohar predeceased Ganesh. It is clear that Mt. Bhagirathi had no title whatsoever to the property. On the execution of the sale-deed by her the transferees obtained possession over the property sold. The transferees therefore had already been in possession of the property sold by Mt. Bhagirathi for more than 12 years at the date of the institution of the suit. The defendant's contention in this Court is, as it was in the Courts below, that they had completed a title for themselves by 12 years' adverse possession and the suit ought to have been dismissed.
8. The lower Appellate Court has not discussed the question of limitation, but the Court of first instance has. It got over the plea of limitation by coming to the conclusion that the plaintiffs could bring their suit within the same period of limitation as would have been allowed to Ganesh if he had been alive.
9. The correctness of this conclusion has been challenged in this Court.
10. It appears to us that the correct conclusion has to be arrived at on a correct reading of Sections 6 and 8 of the Limitation Act, Section 6(1) allows in the case of a minor an extended period of limitation, and lays down that the same period of limitation as would ordinarily be allowed to an adult would be allowed to a minor from the date on which he ceases to be a minor. By Section 8 it is however laid down that in no case the extended period would be more than three years. Clause 3 of Section 6 deals with the case like the one before us. It lays down that where a person afflicted with a disability dies, his representative will have the same period of limitation as is allowed for ordinary suits from the date of death of the person suffering from disability. Again Section 8 comes in and limits the extended period to three years. By reading the two sections together, the conclusion is that in a suit for possession, where a minor dies before attaining majority his representative would have either the total period of 12 years from the date of accrual of the cause of action or three years from the date of the minor's death, whichever is I greater. The point is dearly illustrated in illustration (c) under Section 8 of the Limitation Act. The illustration runs thus:
A right to sue as landlord to recover possession from a tenant accrues to A, who is an idiot. A dies three years after the accrues, his idiocy continuing up to the date of his death. A's representative-in-interest has, under the ordinary law nine years from the date of A's death within which to bring a suit. Section 6 read with this section does not extend that time except where the representative is himself under disability when the representation devolves upon him.
11. It will be noticed that in this illustration A is an idiot. He dies three years after the accrual of the cause of action. After his death nine years remained to his legal representative to file the suit. The latter must bring his suit within those nine years and he does not get any extension because, in any case he could not get more than three years' time under Section 8, after the death of his predecessor-in-title A. He has got 9 years and this is deemed to be sufficient.
12. Applying this rule of law therefore to the case before us Ganesh died in 1910. The cause of action accrued on the 4th of January, 1909, and 12 years' period from this date expired on the 4th of January, 1921. This period between 1910 and 4th January, 1921, being more than three years, the legal representative would not have a day beyond the 4th of January, 1921.
13. It is clear, therefore, that in the case of every one of the plaintiffs, reversioners who was more than 21 at the date of the suit the suit must be regarded as time-barred.
14. It is, however, pointed out that the plaintiff Lalji was 12 at the date of the institution of the suit. He was, therefore, a minor when Ganesh died. Under Sub-section 4, Section 6 of the Limitation Act where a representative is at the date of the death affected by disability the rules contained in Sub-Section 1 and 2 shall apply. Such being the case Lalji's suit must be regarded as within time.
15. The result is that as regards 1/4th share in the property dealt with by the sale-deed No. 1 the suit of Lalji alone is within time and the rest of the suit is barred by limitation.
16. Now we come to the third sale-deed. We think that the finding of the Court below is conclusive on the point. The learned Judge has discussed the evidence and has shown that the sale-deed is supported to the extent of the sum of Rs. 144-9-6 only by legal necessity.
17. Coming to the question of estoppel, we do not think that any case has been made out. It appears that the plaintiffs obtain' ed a lease from the vendees of a portion of the property sold. The lease has ceased to exist and possession has been recovered from the vendees by the plaintiffs. In respect of the third sale-deed, the appeal must be dismissed.
18. Coming to the question of the second sale-deed the learned Counsel for the respondents has relied on the Privy Council case of Hari Kishen Bhagat v. Kashi Pershad Singh A.I.R. 1914 P.C. 90. It appears that the learned District Judge has taken into consideration the fact that the second sale-deed executed by the two ladies was attested by Sahdeo, the next reversioner living at the time. Taking this fact into consideration and taking all the evidence on the point the learned Judge came to the conclusion that he was entitled to draw from the fact that Sahdeo had attest ed the sale-deed, that the sale-deed itself was supported by legal necessity. The Privy Council lays down simply this the mere attestation of a sale-deed by a reversioner is not by itself conclusive of the fact that he was aware of the nature o the transaction or that he was a consenting party to it. Their Lordships say:
Such consent should not be inferred from ambiguous acts or be supported b; dubious oral testimony such as appear to have been relied in this case.
19. In our opinion the learned District Judge was entitled to consider the fact that two ladies of the house were entering into a transaction and their close am very close relation, Sahdeo, was present a the transaction. Coupled with this circumstance the learned Judge was entitle to examine the remaining evidence am to draw his own inference. We are no prepared to say that his inference under the circumstances was wrongly drawn.
20. The cross-objection therefore must fail.
21. We allow the appeal in part and dismiss the claim of all the plaintiffs except Lalji Tiwari with respect to 3/4th of the property transferred by the sale-deed, dated the 4th of January, 1909. The rest of the appeal is dismissed. The cross-objection is also dismissed. Parties to receive and pay costs in proportion to their respective success and failure and in this Court they will be entitled to fees on the higher scale. The condition as to payment of purchase money will stand; and Lalji Tiwari will have to pay a fourth share of the purchase money found payable.