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Ram Chandra Singh (Deceased by L. Rs.) Vs. Basdeo Singh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1241 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1982All437
ActsContract Act, 1872 - Sections 16 and 25
AppellantRam Chandra Singh (Deceased by L. Rs.)
RespondentBasdeo Singh and anr.
Appellant AdvocateV.K. Gupta, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateH.N. Tripathi and ;B.L. Srivastava, Advs.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredDaya Shanker v. Smt. Bachhi
Excerpt:
.....each time the appeal was listed, after failure of compromise talks, bat the findings that appellant had capacity to form rational judgment being based on statement in mutation proceedings recorded nearly two years after death of son remained impregnable. and for very good..........but his misfortune did not leave him. while he was residing with his nephews he executed a sale deed on 11th sept. 1967 of his entire agricultural land. probably he was in haste here also as soon after he came back he filed the present suit on 28th may 1970 for cancellation of the sale deed alleging that at time of execution of sale deed he lacked power of rational judgment and the sale deed executed by him was a fictitious document. the trial court found that the young and the only son of the applicant having died and he having been ill-treated became depressed, lost mental balance and shifted to live with his nephews who taking advantage of his mental condition got the sale deed executed in their favour, according to trial court there could have been no reason to sell the.....
Judgment:

R.M. Sahai, J.

1. Misfortune on appellant, since deceased did not come alone when his young and only son died in 1960 leaving a widow and a daughter. In order to assuage the feeling of his daughter-in-law and convenience in cultivation he permitted Rajpal Singh and Kayam Singh the two brothers of daughter-in-law to live with him but they appeared to have lost their patience soon and started ill-treating the appellant and even beating him which forced him to abandon his own house and live with Basudeo Singh his nephew and Kunwar Pal his grandnephew son of another brother. But his misfortune did not leave him. While he was residing with his nephews he executed a sale deed on 11th Sept. 1967 of his entire agricultural land. Probably he was in haste here also as soon after he came back he filed the present suit on 28th May 1970 for cancellation of the sale deed alleging that at time of execution of sale deed he lacked power of rational judgment and the sale deed executed by him was a fictitious document. The trial court found that the young and the only son of the applicant having died and he having been ill-treated became depressed, lost mental balance and shifted to live with his nephews who taking advantage of his mental condition got the sale deed executed in their favour, According to trial court there could have been no reason to sell the entire land and deprive himself of means of his livelihood. He further found that the consideration was grossly inadequate and the circumstances in which the sale deed was executed were suspicious. The finding was reversed in appeal as the son of appellant died two years prior to the execution of the sale deed and in the statement recorded on 7-5-69 in mutation proceedings the appellant had stated that he had executed the sale deed of his own free will and volition. The appellate court did not find any merit in the plea that the appellant lacked power to form rational judgment.

2. Sri K. M. L. Hajela the learned counsel for appellant argued the appeal with commendable thoroughness and persuasion nearly each time the appeal was listed, after failure of compromise talks, bat the findings that appellant had capacity to form rational judgment being based on statement in mutation proceedings recorded nearly two years after death of son remained impregnable. The statement is so clear and specific that it hardly leaves any option. Being made conscious of it the learned counsel argued that it having been made in spell of dominating influence exercised by respondent was squarely covered in broad spectrum of undue influence particularly when the appellate court did not set aside the finding of trial court that sale deed was executed without any consideration. Learned counsel maintained that due to death of his son and behaviour of Rajpal and Kayam Singh the appellant was not in a position to exercise his independent will therefore the burden to prove that the deed was written independently without exercise of any undue influence was on respondent as they were in an advantageous position and it is they who could establish that they did not abuse the confidence reposed in them. Reliance in this connection was placed on an unreported decision of this court in Daya Shanker v. Smt. Bachhi, First Appeal No. 307 of 1968 decided on 4-1-1980 : (since reported in AIR 1982 All 376) wherein the Division Bench after reviewing numerous authorities held, we are unable to comprehend as to why the broad principle which has been accepted and widely applied in the numerous decisions to which we have adverted should not also embrace within its sweep the cases of males who by reason of their physical or mental in capacity or infirmity or being placed in circumstances whereby they are greatly amenable to overpowering influence of another person are induced to enter into conveyance and transactions relating to their property.

3. Unfortunately, for appellant the principle laid down in this decision does not come to his rescue. From evidence on record it is clear that appellant was aged only 56 years when he decided to part with his entire property in favour of his nephews. There is not the slightest whisper that his health was shattered or he was infirm. Lack of rational judgment or mental incapacity has not been found to be proved. And for very good reasons. Grief due to death of only son and that also at the age of 56 must have been severe but its continuance for so long did not appear to be natural. Inference drawn by lower appellate court in this respect cannot be said to be perverse. As regards susceptibility to overpowering influence of nephews it may be that execution of sale deed might have been intended to dissuade Rajpal and Kayam from keeping them away from land in dispute but that by itself would not render the sale deed invalid so long it was executed deliberately, consciously and with open eyes. Under Expt. 2 to Section 25 of Contract Act a sale deed is not rendered void due to inadequacy of consideration. It may be helpful in ascertaining whether agreement was entered freely or not but where free consent and valid execution is established inadequacy of consideration becomes irrelevant. Apprehension of saving the land from Raj-pal and Kayam or preserving it for family's sake may have been motivative factors in creating a cover by execution of the sale deed but that did not render the transaction as vitiated by undue influence so long the respondents were not found to have been instrumental in getting it executed in their favour by abusing their advantageous position.

4. In the result this appeal fails and is dismissed but parties shall bear their costs throughout.


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