Skip to content


Mehdi Hasan Vs. Ram Ker - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1700 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1982All92
ActsUttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1951 - Sections 166; Registration Act, 1908 - Sections 17(2); Transfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 41
AppellantMehdi Hasan
RespondentRam Ker
Appellant AdvocateS.A. Ansari and ;G.P. Bhargava, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateM.P. Singh, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....the trial court, the lower appellate court also concluded that the provisions of section 41 of the transfer of property act will not in terms apply, for smt. (1969 all lj 83), it was held that in a situation like the present where parties had independent tenancy rights in family property, to the extent of a share therein, it was open to them to enter into a family arrangement and such arrangement would not be bad in law. 3) dated february 13, 1962 which was filed by them before the consolidation officer and accepted by the latter, clearly was in the nature of an arrangement to settle the dispute amongst family members. the case is clearly covered by clause (vi) of section 17(2) of the registration act. further, that the transferee took reasonable care to ascertain that the transferor had..........sale deed. the trial court took the view that since smt. khatibunnisa was the real owner of the property in suit, the provisions of section 41 of the transfer of property act which had been put forward on behalf of the defendant-respondent, were inapplicable to the facts of the case. on these principal findings, it dismissed the suit. the plaintiff appealed.5. the lower appellate court, on reappraisal of the evidence on record, came to the conclusion that the compromise (ext. 3) arrived at between the parties during consolidation proceedings undoubtedly related to the plots in suit, yet the same having not been accepted by the consolidation officer, could not deprive smt. khatibunnisa of her rights to deal with the property as its owner. in the opinion of the lower appellate court,.....
Judgment:

V.K. Mehrotra, J.

1. This is a plaintiff's second appeal who has lost in both the courts below.

2. Plaintiff Mehdi Hasan brought a suit for cancellation of a sale deed dated May 13, 1966 by which one Smt. Khatibunnisa transferred plots Nos. 226-Ka and 226-Kha with a total area of 1.451 acres to defendant-respondent Ram Ker for a sum of Rs. 2500/-. The case of the plaintiff was that Khatibunnisa was the widow of his brother Abbas. The share of Abbas in the property was inherited by the widow. The widow brought a suit in the year 1960 (being suit No. 183 of 1960) against the plaintiff for an injunction restraining him from interfering with her possession in the share in the plots inherited by her as a widow. On July, 18, 1960 according to the plaintiff, a compromise was entered into between the widow and himself under which the widow accepted the stipulation of having life interest alone in theshare inherited by her in lieu of payment of some amount. This compromiseis Exhibit 2 on the record. Later, during proceedings under the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act. the partiesagain entered into a copromise on February 13, 1962 while the matter waspending before the Consolidation Officer. Under this compromise (Ext. 3on the record) it was agreed betweenthem that Khatibunnisa would have only1/4th share (instead of 1/2) in the property which was hitherto owned by theplaintiff and his brother: Itwas also agreed that she wouldbe entitled to be maintainedby the plaintiff from out of theincome of the property but she wouldhave no right to transfer it. It wasalleged that in spite of the agreementcontained in the aforesaid compromiseon the basis whereof final orders werepassed in consolidation proceedings.Khatibunnisa executed a sale deed infavour of the defendant-respondent onMay 13, 1966 which is Exhibit A. I. Bythis deed, as noticed earlier, she purported to transfer to the defendant thetwo plots for a sum of Rs. 2500/-.These two plots represented half sharein the entire property.

3. The suit was contested by the defendant respondent mainly on the ground that after the death of her husband, Khatibunnisa inherited his share as bhumidhar of one plot and as sirdar of the other. Bhumidhari Sanad was obtained for the plot of which Khatibunnisa was the sirdar. Thereafter, the impugned sale deed was executed for consideration. The name of Khatibunnisa had been recorded as the tenure-holder in the relevant revenue records. The plaintiff had no right in the share inherited by Khatibunnisa and was not, therefore entitled to seek the cancellation of the sale deed.

4. The trial court framed as many as six issues on the pleadings of the parties. It permitted the parties to adduce evidence in support of their respective cases. Parties filed documentary evidence and produced witnesses. On consideration of this evidence, the trial court came to the conclusion, in the first instance, that the compromise which was set up by the plaintiff did not relate to the plots in suit. It also concluded that Khatibunnisa had inherited the share of her husband in the property and has become bhumidharof both the plots. She was, therefore, competent to execute the impugned sale deed. The trial court took the view that since Smt. Khatibunnisa was the real owner of the property in suit, the provisions of Section 41 of the Transfer of Property Act which had been put forward on behalf of the defendant-respondent, were inapplicable to the facts of the case. On these principal findings, it dismissed the suit. The plaintiff appealed.

5. The lower appellate court, on reappraisal of the evidence on record, came to the conclusion that the compromise (Ext. 3) arrived at between the parties during consolidation proceedings undoubtedly related to the plots in suit, yet the same having not been accepted by the Consolidation Officer, could not deprive Smt. Khatibunnisa of her rights to deal with the property as its owner. In the opinion of the lower appellate court, the Consolidation Officer directed the entry of the name of Smt. Khatibunnisa as Bhumidhar over 1/4th share less 10 biswas and did not decide the case in terms of the compromise. As such according to the lower appellate court, Smt. Khatibunnisa was treated to be the bhumidhar of the property in suit.

6. The lower appellate court also felt that the defendant-respondent was a bona fide purchaser for value and, as such too, the transfer in his favour would be valid. Like the trial court, the lower appellate court also concluded that the provisions of Section 41 of the Transfer of Property Act will not in terms apply, for Smt. Khatibunnisa was not an ostensible owner but she was the real owner of the property in suit. The decree of the trial court was upheld by the lower appellate court on these main findings. The plaintiff has now approached this court in the present second appeal.

7. The plaintiff-appellant made an application under Order 41. Rule 27 C. P. C. with the prayer that certain documents may be permitted to be brought on record as additional evidence in the case. These documents were the certified copies of the order passed by the Consolidation Officer on February 13, 1962 during consolidation proceedings, of the order-sheet of his court relating to the case of that date and of the verification of the compromise by the parties before the Consolidation Officer on that date. After hearing counsel for the parties, this court, by its detailed order permitted reception of those three documents as additional evidence in the case, The defendant-respondent was afforded an opportunity to rebut the evidence if he so chose. It was stated on his behalf that no evidence in rebuttal was to be filed.

8. The submission which has, in the main been made in this court has been that the lower appellate court was in error in taking the view that the compromise which had been entered into between Smt. Khatibunnisa and the plaintiff was not accepted by the Consolidation Officer. The observation of the lower appellate court in that regard was said to be factually incorrect and based only upon an entry, pursuant to the order passed during consolidation proceedings, made in the C. H. Form 23.

9. Exhibit 3, as noticed earlier, is the petition of compromise dated February 13, 1962 which was filed before the Consolidation Officer by the parties. Its relevant recitals are as follows.

^^ekU;oj]

lsok esa lfou; fuosnu gS fd [kkrkuEcjku 55 o 195]197 esa dcnj 1@4 fgLlk esa ls 10 fcLokHkwfe dh ekfyd oks dkfot eq- [krhcqu tkstk vyh vCokl jgsxh 1@4 fgLlk esa 10 fcLok Hkwfe ls ge esagnh iq= tk ls dksbZ eryc ugh gSa vkSj [kkrkuEcjku 55 o 195] 196 cdnj 3@4 ls 10 fcLok T;knk dkekfyd oks dkfot esagnh iq= tk gSa jgsxs 3@4 fgLlk ls10 fcLok T;kng ls ge [krhcqu ls dksb okLrk oks ljksdj ugha gS vkSj u vkbUnkgksxk A vkSj eq- [krhcqu rk;rkr vius 1@4 fgLls ij dkfotjgsxh mldks vkjkft;kr dks eqUrfdy djus dk gd ughaa gksxk dsoy mldks ijofjl ds fy,fn;k tk jgk gSa A mldh yM+dh eqdqu gS vkSj rjhds ls [kkrkckj fn;k tk; A

izkFkhZ

egen esagnh iq= tk oks [kehcqutkstk

vyh vCckl

fnukad 13&2&62 bZ-

10. A perusal of these recitals makes it abundantly clear that the parties entered into an understanding to the effectthat Smt. Khatibunnisa will have nothing to do with 3/4th share in the property and that the plaintiff will have nothing to do with 1/4th thereof less 10 biswas. Further, that this 1/4th share over which she would remain in possession was being given to her for her maintenance and that she would have no right to alienate the same. The order that was passed by the Consolidation Officer on 13-2-1962 in the case was in these terms.

'As agreed upon before the parties, the name of Khatibunnisa wife of Ali Abbas be recorded in Khatas NOS. 55, 195, 196 and Khatas be partitioned in terms of compromise. Compromise to form part of judgment. Files be consigned in the record room after amaldara-mad. This order shall govern the cases Nos. 1260, 1238, 1248 also.'

The order-sheet contains an entry to the effect that the parties had verified the compromise and the case had been decided in terms of the compromise. It was directed that after Amaldaramad, the file should be consigned to the record room. It seems clear that during consolidation proceedings, what was directed by the Consolidation Officer was that the case be held decided in terms of the compromise between the parties and that due effect be given thereto before consigning the file to the record room. The entry in favour of Smt. Khatibunnisa in C. H. form No. 23 to the effect that she was bhumidhar of 1/4th share less 10 biswas is quite consistent with the order which was actually passed by the Consolidation Officer. The observation of the lower appellate court that the Consolidation Officer had not accepted the compromise, thus, seems to be erroneous.

11. The question that now arises for determination is whether this compromise can be said to have affected the right of Smt. Khatibunnisa to transfer her entire half share in favour of the defendant-respondent in any manner. The submission of the learned counsel for the defendant-respondent is that since the compromise involved a surrender by Smt. Khatibunnisa of her sirdari rights in one of the plots, the so-called compromise was invalid because no such surrender could be made except in favour of the Gaon Sabha. As such, the plaintiff could not place any reliance upon this compromise for assailing the sale deed executed by Smt. Khatibunnisa.

12. In Shiv Ram v. Ram Ratan. (1969 All LJ 83), it was held that in a situation like the present where parties had independent tenancy rights in family property, to the extent of a share therein, it was open to them to enter into a family arrangement and such arrangement would not be bad in law. In that case, the family property consisted of tenancy holding of which half share had been transferred to the contesting defendants. The plaintiff filed a suit for cancellation of that sale deed. The contesting defendant filed a suit for partition of the holding on the basis of the deed of sale In his favour. The suit was contested by the plaintiff but the parties entered into a settlement and the suit was decreed in terms of the agreement which was directed to form part of the decree. This compromise involved surrender of a part of the share on the part of one of the parties. It was urged that the surrender was not permissible in law. The compromise could not, therefore, affect the rights of of the parties,. This court held that the compromise amounted to a family arrangement which was permissible in law notwithstanding the fact that it might have the effect of surrender by one of the parties thereto of his share in the agricultural holding,

13. In the present case also the situation is akin to the one in the case of Shiv Ram. The plaintiff and Smt. Khatibunnisa had share in the property which belonged to the plaintiff and her husband. As members of a family, it was open to them to have arrived at an arrangement, as it were to keep the peace in the family. The compromise (Ext. 3) dated February 13, 1962 which was filed by them before the Consolidation Officer and accepted by the latter, clearly was in the nature of an arrangement to settle the dispute amongst family members.

14. It was urged by the learned counsel for the defendant-respondent that even on the assumption that the compromise dated 13-2-1963 was a family arrangement, it could not be pressed into aid by the plaintiff for admittedly it was not a registered document even though the subject matter thereof was of a value in excess of Rs. 100/-. It could not therefore, be looked into forany purpose whatever nor could the plaintiff claim to assail the sale deed in favour of the defendant-respondent on account of the stipulation contained therein. Reliance was placed, in support of his submission, by the learned counsel upon a Full Bench decision of this Court in the case of Ram Gati Chaube v. Ram Adhar Chaube : AIR1961All537 . It was observed by the Full Bench in that case that, inasmuch as, the compromise application, which was up for consideration before it, declared rights to immoveable property worth more than Rs. 100/-, it required registration under Section 17(1)(b) of the Registration Act and not being registered, it was ineffective and inadmissible in evidence.

15. The decision of the Full Bench does not help the defendant-respondent for, as observed in Hari Shanker v. Durga Devi : AIR1977All455 it was not dealing with A case where the compromise in question was specified and he document recorded the entire compromise between the parties. The learned single Judge who decided Hari Shankar's case held that a compromise application, which recorded the entire terms settled between the parties, in proceedings before a Competent Authority, could be exempted from the necessity of registration by virtue of the provisions of Section 17(2)(vi) of the Registration Act. M. P. Mehrotra, J. who decided that case observed (in para 7 of the Report) (All WC) : (Para 7 of AIR All) as follows.

'It is obvious that the criterion which has been laid down in Clause (vi) is whether the immoveable property in respect of which the compromise is being made is the subject matter of the suit or not. If an immoveable property is the subject matter of the suit then it is not relevant as to why the property is sought to be disposed of by the compromise between the parties.....In otherwords the nature, scope and context of the compromise between the parties are extraneous considerations when we have to decide whether a decree or order of a court made on a compromise between the parties and comprising immoveable properties needs registration or not. We have only to see whether the immoveable property is the subject matter of the suit or not.....'

16. It is not in dispute that the Consolidation Officer was competent to decide a dispute between the plaintiff and Smt Khatibunnisa in respect of the agricultural plots, in which Smt. Khatibunnisa was claiming a share. By virtue of the provisions of the U. P. Consolida-tion of Holdings Act, he was the competent authority to decide the dispute. The decision of the authorities under U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act is final. It has been seen earlier that the subject matter of the dispute before the Consolidation Officer in the case decided by him on the basis of the compromise dated February 13, 1962 was the same as in the present suit. The case is clearly covered by Clause (vi) of Section 17(2) of the Registration Act. Registration, therefore, of the compromise (Ext. 3) containing the terms of arrangement between the parties in respect of their family property was not necessary in law.

17. The settlement between the plaintiff and Smt. Khatibunnisa was that the latter would have no right to transfer the family property. Since she had no right to do so, the transfer made by her through the deed of sale dated May 13, 1966 was illegal.

18. The question is whether the transfer in favour of the defendant-respondent is protected by any provision of the Transfer of property Act on the ground that the defendant-respondent was a bona fide transferee for value. The court below were not in error in taking the view that the case would not be covered by Section 41 of the Transfer of Property Act. In terms, that provision applies to a case where the transfer is made by an ostensible owner with the consent, express or implied of the real owner. Even if it is assumed that Smt. Khatibunnisa was the ostensible owner for purposes of the applicability of Section 41, it has to be kept in mind that before any advantage of that provision could be extended to the defendant-respondent, it was necessary to find that the transfer had been made by her with the express or implied consent of the plaintiff; further, that the transferee took reasonable care to ascertain that the transferor had power to make the transfer and acted in good faith.

19. The lower appellate court has, while dealing with the third point posedby it for consideration observed that at the relevant time, namely in the fasli years 1373 to 1376, when the transfer was made in favour of defendant-respondent, Smt. Khatibunnisa was entered as the bhumidhar of the disputed plots in the Khatauni. This, according to the lower appellate court, was sufficient to make a purchaser, like the defendant-respondent, to be led to the honest belief that she was the owner of the property and thus could pass good title.

20. In Nageshar Prasad Pande v. Raja Pateshri Partab Narain Singh, (AIR 1915 PC 1031 the Privy Council had occasion to deal with Section 41 of the Transfer of Property Act. It observed (at p. 105) that :--

'The Court below was of opinion that the mortgage is binding on the appellant inasmuch as Rudra Narain Singh's name was entered in the Revenue papers after the death of Rup Kanwari and he was the ostensible owner of the property. The learned Subordinate Judge apparently relies on the provi-visions of Section 41 of the Transfer of Property Act, but he overlooks the proviso to that section which is to the effect that a transferee from an ostensible owner can defeat the real owner only if after taking reasonable care to ascertain that the transferor had power to make the transfer, he acted in good faith. There is nothing in this case to show that the plaintiff made any inquiry whatever to ascertain the title of his mortgagor, Rudra Narain Singh. It is true, the name of Rudra Narain Singh was entered in the Revenue papers, but if inquiry had been made, it would have appeared that at the time when mutation of names was applied for objec-tions were preferred on behalf of the Raia of Basti and that the name of Rudra Narain Singh was entered simply because he was in possession. Further inquiry as to Rudra Narain's title would have led to the discovery of the fact that there was a will, by virtue of which the Raia of Basti was the owner of the property after the death of Rup Kunwari. It cannot be said that the name of Rudra Narain Singh was entered as ostensible owner with the consent of the real owner, the Raia of Basti. On he contrary his name was entered in spite of opposition put forward by the Raja. The present plain-tiff is a person who has been lending money to the family for a long time. He resides in the same locality and was apparently acquainted with all the circumstances of the family concerned. He cannot therefore, claim to be a bona fide transferee without notice so as to be in a position to defeat the title of the real owner.'

21. The law, thus, laid down was that the mere entry of persons names in the revenue record was not enough to absolve the intending purchaser from the necessity of making further enquiry about the title of the vendor in order to succeed on the ground that he was a bona fide transferee for consideration.

22. In Har Narain Prasad v. Ashiq Husain (AIR 1942 Oudh 313) a Division Bench, after noticing a number of decisions summarised the law on the subject to be that the burden was always on the transferee to show that he acted in good faith and a transferee who acted on a mere entry in the village record as evidence of the title of his transferor could not be held to have acted in good faith. That seems to be the view taken by this Court as also several other courts in the country.

23. In the present, case it is clear from the statement of defendant-respondent Ram Ker in the witness box that he did not make due enquiry as was expected of him in law. From the statement made by him during his cross-examination, it is clear that the terms with the plaintiff and his deceased brother were very cordial and they were on visiting terms. Further that they used to consult each other in their respective affairs. It was also stated by him that after the death of Ali Abbas, there used to be frequent disputes between the plaintiff and Smt. Khatibunnisa and whenever he was available, he used to assist in settling their disputes. He also stated that he did not find out about the fact as to whose name was mutated in place of AH Abbas on his agricultural plots after his death. H' disclaimed knowledge about any dispute between the plaintiff and Smt. Khatibunnisa after the death of Ali Abbas in regard to the latter's share in the Civil Court. He gave out that he found the name of Smt. Khatibunnisa recorded over the plot in dispute but acknowledged that he never attempted to find outwhether there was any dispute between the plaintiff and Smt. Khatibuimisa about these plots during consolidation proceedings. It is clear that the defendant-respondent did not act like a prudent person nor did he make proper enquiry before obtaining a sale deed from Smt. Khatibunnisu. The mere fact that the name of Smt. Khatibunnisa was recorded at the relevant time in the revenue papers was not enough in law to enable the defendant-respondent to plead that he was a bona fide purchaser of the property for value and that the sale deed in his favour could not therefore, be assailed by the plaintiff.

24. In terms of the compromise (Ext. 3), the widow of plaintiff's deceased brother Ali Abbas had no right to transfer any part of the property including the half share. In this situation, it is clear that the sale deed (Ext. A-31 executed by her is not sustainable in law. 'The vendor had no right to transfer the property covered by this deed.

25. In the result, it has to be held that the plaintiff is entitled to the decree sought by him and that the courts below were in error in refusing to give relief to him. Their decree cannot be upheld. The appeal deserves to be and is allowed for the relief of declaration in terms of relief (a) in the plaint. It is declared that the impugned sale deed dated May 13, 1966 is illegal and has no effect on the rights of the plaintiff to the property in suit. Since it is not in dispute that a sum of Rs. 2500/- had been paid by defendant-respondent No. 2, as sale consideration under that sale deed it is obvious that he will be entitled to that amount from the plaintiff. The amount of Rs. 2500/- shall be paid to the second defendant within a period of three months. In case the plaintiff fails to pay that amount within the time aforesaid, the second defendant shall be entitled to interest at the rate of 6% from today tin the date of its payment by the plaintiff to him.

26. In the peculiar circumstances of the case. I direct that the parties shall bear their own costs of this court.


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