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Smt. Noor Jahan Begum Vs. Abrar Ahmad Khan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 559 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1982All149
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 65 and 67
AppellantSmt. Noor Jahan Begum
RespondentAbrar Ahmad Khan and anr.
Appellant AdvocateA.N. Bhargava, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateSyed Uddin, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
civil - document as evidence - sections 65 and 67 of evidence act, 1872 - document produced in court as evidence - execution as well as its attestation proved - no requirement to prove handwriting also - held, sufficient to make contents admissible as evidence. - - the lower appellate court also found the plaintiff's evidence to be un-reliable. qadeer, advocate, who is well acquainted with the urdu language and was not a counsel for either party in this case......is in two parts. the first part relates to the proof of signature and theother part relates to the proof of handwriting. where a document is proved to be executed by proving the signature or thumb-impression of the executant and proved to have been attested by witnesses by proving their signatures or thumb impression, it is not necessary to also prove the hand-writing of the per-son who has written it. proof of execu-tion of a document, or where it is required to be attested, proof of attestation also, are sufficient to make the contents of it admissible. if that were not so, typewritten documents would be entirely inadmissible in evidence. it had been stated by the witnesses who proved the nikahnama that the contents of it were already written and were read out to the parties before.....
Judgment:

Deoki Nandan, J.

1. This is a plaintiff's second appeal in a suit for recovery of dower, which was alleged to have been fixed at Rs. 10,000/-. The trial court decreed the suit for Rs. 500/- and the lower appellate court has confirmed that decree. The only dispute in this ease is whether the amount of dower settled was Rs. 10,000/- as claimed by the plaintiff. A Nikahnamg Ext. 4 was executed in this case but unfortunately the copy of it, which was produced is soiled and not easily decipherable. The trial court took the view that although the execution and attestation of the Nikahnama was proved by the witnesses, its contents were not proved because the handwriting of the person who wrote the Nikahnama was not stated to be his. The lower appellate court accepted that view of the trial court and also took the view that oral evidence was inadmissible in view of the fact that the terras of the Nikah were reduced to writing. The lower appellate court also found the plaintiff's evidence to be un-reliable.

2. The first question which arises in this appeal is whether the contents of the Nikahnama, if decipherable, can be read in evidence and if not whether the oral evidence led by the parties could be taken into consideration, and if so whether the plaintiff's evidence has wrongly been rejected by the lower appellate court.

3. The two courts below have relied on Section 67 of the Indian Evidence Act for holding that the contents of the Nikah-nama were not admissible in evidence inasmuch as the hand-writing was not proved. Section 67 of the Indian Evidence Act is in the following terms :

'If a document is alleged to be signed or to have been written wholly or in part by any person, the signature or the handwriting of so much of the document as is alleged to be in that person's handwriting must be proved to be in his handwriting.'

The section is in two parts. The first part relates to the proof of signature and theother part relates to the proof of handwriting. Where a document is proved to be executed by proving the signature or thumb-impression of the executant and proved to have been attested by witnesses by proving their signatures or thumb impression, it is not necessary to also prove the hand-writing of the per-son who has written it. Proof of execu-tion of a document, or where it is required to be attested, proof of attestation also, are sufficient to make the contents of it admissible. If that were not so, typewritten documents would be entirely inadmissible in evidence. It had been stated by the witnesses who proved the Nikahnama that the contents of it were already written and were read out to the parties before they and the witnesses signed it. That was sufficient proof of the execution and attestation of the Nikahnama. It was not necessary to further prove the handwriting of the per-SOB who had written the Nikahnama. The view of both the courts below on this point proceeds on a wrong interpretation of Section 67 of the Indian Evidence Act. The next question which arises in this case is whether the amount of the dower specified in the Nikahnama is decipherable in view of the soiled condition of the document. One of the grounds of appeal in this Court was that it is decipherable. I took the assistance of Mr. M. A. Qadeer, Advocate, who is well acquainted with the Urdu language and was not a counsel for either party in this case. He stated before me that the amount of dower specified in the Nikahnama could be Rs. 10,000/- and it could in no case be Rs. 500/-. I have no reason to doubt his statement and accept it to be correct.

4. The amount of the dower specified in the Nikahnama having been found to be Rs. 10,000/-, no other point survives for consideration. The oral evidence led by the plaintiff that the amount of dower settled was Rs. 10,000/- is corroborated by the Nikahnama and must, therefore, be accepted.

5. In the result the appeal succeeds and is allowed. The decree under appeal is modified. The plaintiff's suit is decreed for recovery of Rs. 10,000/- as dower with costs throughout against the defendant-respondent Abrar Ahmad Khan alone, who was the second defendant in the trial court and is the first respondent in this court and who alone had contested the suit and who now representsthe 2nd respondent also, vide Court's order dated 28-3-1980.


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