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Pearey Lall Vs. Kokla Kunwar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in18Ind.Cas.766
AppellantPearey Lall
RespondentKokla Kunwar and anr.
Excerpt:
admissibility - evidence--application to revenue court for mutation--settlement of dispute--registration--compromise. - - the lower appellate court was not satisfied that the unchastity imputed to the plaintiff had been established and held that the property had been the self-acquired property of mohan singh, inasmuch as he had obtained it personally as a grant from the government. no misrepresentation was proved, and if it was necessary for her to establish this contention her suit and the present appeal must certainly fail. the settlement of the dispute between the parties embodied in the application to the revenue court was a good agreement and is good evidence of what the parties considered should be done in the dispute they were engaged in......the plaintiff alleged that the compromise, as it is called, had been obtained from her by means of fraud, misrepresentation, et cetra. as i understand the judgments of the courts below, the plaintiff made no attempt to lay even the foundation of a case of fraud or misrepresentation, and there is undoubtedly a clear finding by the lower appellate court that no fraud or misrepresentation was proved. the settlement of the dispute between the parties embodied in the application to the revenue court was a good agreement and is good evidence of what the parties considered should be done in the dispute they were engaged in. this being the case and nothing having happened subsequent to this agreement which would give the plaintiff any right to resile from it, i must hold that the plaintiff's.....
Judgment:

Henry Griffin, J.

1. One Mohan Singh died in 1903 leaving a brother, Ram Prasad Singh, and a widow, Musammat Kokla. A dispute arose between these two on the death of Mohan Singh as to the property of the latter. Ram Prasad, alleging that the property was the joint family property and that Kokla Kunwar was unchaste, claimed the entire property. Kokla Kunwar, on the other hand, alleged that as the widow of Mohan Singh, who had acquired the property for himself, she was entitled to succeed. They put in an application in the Revenue Court before whom proceedings in mutation were being held. In this application, they stated that the family being a joint one they had agreed that each be recorded in respect of one half of Mohan Singh's property. After the mutation proceedings, Ram Prasad Singh sold his one-half of the property and Kokla Kunwar also sold hers. Kokla Kunwar instituted this suit in May 1911, claiming possession of the one-half of the property, which had been sold by Ram Prasad Singh to Pearey Lall, defendant No. 2, who is the appellant in this Court. The suit was defended in the Court of first instance by Pearey Lall alone. The plaintiff alleged that the property was the self-acquired property of her husband to which she was entitled on his death, that she had been induced by fraud and misrepresentation to agree to her brother-in-law being recorded in respect of one-half of the property and that she had no one to advise her at the time as to the propriety of this agreement. The Court of first instance, while holding that there was no fraud or misrepresentation proved to have been practised on her, found that the property was the joint property of the family and that the plaintiff had become unchaste. On these findings, the suit was dismissed. The plaintiff appealed. The lower Appellate Court was not satisfied that the unchastity imputed to the plaintiff had been established and held that the property had been the self-acquired property of Mohan Singh, inasmuch as he had obtained it personally as a grant from the Government. On the question of fraud, the Court below states: 'The plaintiff alleges that she acceded to the compromise on account of misrepresentations that were made to her. No misrepresentation was proved, and if it was necessary for her to establish this contention her suit and the present appeal must certainly fail.' In the latter part of the judgment, the learned Judge further observes: 'In the case now under consideration, there is nothing to show what the circumstances were in which the compromise was arrived at.' The learned Judge was further of opinion that the compromise amounted to a transfer of a right to immoveable property such as could only be effected by means of a registered instrument.' The compromise in the present case was simply an application put in the Revenue Court. It was not registered. On these findings, the lower Appellate Court decreed the plaintiff's suit. The plaintiff's suit had included a claim for mesne profits, the amount of which was not ascertained in the Court of first instance, and the lower Appellate Court without noticing this omission gave the plaintiff a decree for the full amount claimed. In appeal to this Court this last point is also one of the grounds taken in the memorandum of appeal. It is contended on behalf of the appellant that this petition to the Revenue Court should be looked upon in the nature of a family settlement on which the Court should act, and I am referred to a ruling of their Lordships of the Privy Council in Khunni Lal v. Kunwar Gobind Krishna Narian 33 A. 356; 15 C.W.N. 545; 8 A.L.J. 552; 21 M.L.J. 645; 38 I.A. 87; 13 C.L.J. 575; 13 Bom., L.B. 427; 10 M.L.J. 25; (1911) 2 M.W.N. 432; 10 Ind. Cas. 477 and to another case, Madan Lal v. Chhuttan Singh 10 A.L.J. 101; 15 Ind. Cas. 297. With reference to the view of the Court below that the document was one requiring registration, it is pointed out that the petition to the Revenue Court is not relied on as a deed of transfer of immoveable property, but simply as evidence of the agreement between the parties as to how the entry in the Government papers should be made of their respective rights thereto. A further ground taken is that the suit is barred by limitation inasmuch as the plaintiff comes in eight years after the settlement of 1903, Finally, it is contended that the conduct of the plaintiff is such as to operate as estoppel in favour of defendant No. 1. The ruling referred to in the judgment of the lower Appellate, Court, Rustam Ali Khan v. Gaura 8 A.L.J. 918; 33 A. 728; 12 Ind. Cas. 109 does not, in my opinion, bear on the present case. In that case, there was a dispute between the plaintiff and her two sisters in the matter of mutation of names in the Revenue Court. A compromise was entered into and the compromise dealt with other properties, over and above the landed property in respect of which the Revenue Court was concerned within the mutation proceedings and it was held that in respect of this latter property, the compromise could have no effect, inasmuch as the document of compromise had not been registered. It was observed in the course of the judgment that, as bearing on the issues raised in the case, the proceedings before the Revenue Courts, including the petition of compromise and the orders passed by the Court, were undoubtedly admissible in evidence and must be taken into account for what they may be worth. In my opinion, the contention advanced on behalf of the appellant in respect of the compromise is correct and must be sustained. By the petition to the Revenue Court neither of the parties thereto purported to convey any property. The petition simply contained a statement by the parties that they agreed that each should be recorded in respect of one-half of the property in dispute. Such documents are put in every day in the Revenue Courts and so far as my experience goes, registration of such instruments is not insisted on. If then registration of this document is not necessary, it can be looked to as evidence of the agreement between the parties so far back as 1903. The plaintiff alleged that the compromise, as it is called, had been obtained from her by means of fraud, misrepresentation, et cetra. As I understand the judgments of the Courts below, the plaintiff made no attempt to lay even the foundation of a case of fraud or misrepresentation, and there is undoubtedly a clear finding by the lower Appellate Court that no fraud or misrepresentation was proved. The settlement of the dispute between the parties embodied in the application to the Revenue Court was a good agreement and is good evidence of what the parties considered should be done in the dispute they were engaged in. This being the case and nothing having happened subsequent to this agreement which would give the plaintiff any right to resile from it, I must hold that the plaintiff's suit is not maintainable. I allow the appeal, set aside the decree of the lower Appellate Court and dismiss the plaintiffs' suit with costs in all Courts.


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