R.K. Das, J.
1. This is an appeal by defendants 1. to 3 against a decision dated 11-4-1960 of Sri U. N. Misra, Subordinate Judge of Balasore, confirming the judgment of Sri K. P. Mohapatra, Munsif of Balasore.
2. Sambhu died sometime in the year 1941 leaving his widow Saraswati Bewa (plaintiff) and hig son Madhu. Madhu died sometime in .1952 leading his widow Sukuri (defendant No- 4). Sukur sold a part of the suit land under Ext. A on 23-12-52 for a consideration of 'Rs. 500/- in favour of defendant 1 comprising an area of 1.27 acres. On the same day she also sold under Ext B A O. 31 decimals of land to defendants 2 and 3 for a consideration of Rs. 100/-
The plaintiff has filed the present suit for declaration that the sale deeds executed by defendant 4 in favour of defendants Nos. .1 to 3 are fradulent, collusive and without any legal necessity, and the defendants 1 to 3 have acquired no right, title or interest in the suit-lands. She-has further claimed for recovery of possession and also for mesne profits; her alternative claim was a charge for her maintenance at the rate of Rs. 15/- per month, which however was abandoned at the trial stage. She further alleged that defendant 4 having remarried one Kartic Mohanty (P. W. 2) was civilly dead in Madhu's family.
3. Defendants 1. to 3 contested the suit on the ground that defendant 4 never remarried Kartic, and the alienations were for legal necessity and full consideration hiad passed, under them and they are in their possession. Defendant no. 4 was a minor and was represented by a pleader guardian, but in course of the suit she attained majority and filed her written statement contending that the sales were for legal necessity and consideration, that is, to meet the funeral expenses of her husband Madhu and for her own maintenance and she had delivered possession of the suit property to defendants 1 to 3. She however denied her remarriage with Kartic.
4. The trial court held that the sale-deeds, Exts. A and B, were without legal necessity and without consideration, and no title had passed to defendants 1 to 3 thereunder; and defendant No.4 had remarried to Kartic sometime in Baisakha of 1953, that is, a few months subsequent to the sale-deeds. The appellate Ccurt having confirmed these findings of the trial court, defendants 1 to 3, the alienees have preferred this Second appeal (5) On perusal of the judgments of the courts below it appears that the findings of fact arrived at by them are correct and cannot be challenged in, this appeal. Mr. S. K. Roys learned counsel for the appellants contended that (1) in view of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, (Act XXX of 1950) defendant 4 became the full owner of the suit property and thus had the unfettered right to make any alienations she liked and the plaintiff is no more competent to institute the present re-versionary suit; and (2) even it it is held that she has alienated the suit property in favour of defen-dants 1 to 3 without considration and legal necessity, in view of the findings of the courts below that sales were invalid, the possession of defendants 1 to 3 shall be deemed to be the possession of defendant No. 4 within the meaning of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, thus making her the full owner of the property.
The contentions of the learned counsel are based upon Sections 4 and 14 of the said Act, and it is necessary at this stage to notice the relevant provisions in the said sections here: Section 4 provides for the over-riding effect of this Act Over all other, laws in force, immediately before the commencement of this Act, which apply to Hindus, in so far as they are inconsistent with any of the provisions contained in the Act. That section has not abrogated all previous laws on Hindu Law. Section 14 provides that any property possessed by a female Hindu whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full Owner thereof and wot as a limited owner. Thus, this Act which came into force on 17-6-56 brought revolutionary changes in the Hindu Law of succession having far-reaching effects. It bestowed absolute right of ownership on Hindu women and enlarged their limited right known so long to Hindu Law.
Thus, Section 14 vested full ownership in a female Hindu of property held by her whether before or after the commencement of the Act, provided the property was in her possession on the date of the Act. In the present case the alienations were made and possession, was parted with by defendant 4 long prior to the passing of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with the clear terms of the provision of Section 14, it cannot be contended that the suit property was still in possession of defendant No. 4 when the Act came into force, her Own case being that she parted with the property after receiving full consideration under the afore-said sale-deeds in the year 1952.
6. These very contentions as are now raised, were raised before the Division Bench of this Court and were negatived as would appear from the case reported in 'Sansir Patelin v. Satyabati Nai-kani, AIR 1958 Orissa 75, where a reversioner challenged the (sale-deed on the ground that it was not for legal necessity; and their Lordships while dealing with the question of applicability of Sec. 4 of the Hindu Succession Act held that it is only those provisions which are inconsistent with the provisions of the Act that stand annulled by virtue of Section 4 and the other provisions must be taken to be prevailing. A careful perusal of the several provisions of the Act shows that it was never the intention of the Parliament to abrogate all other previous laws on Hindu Law prevailing before the Act came into force on 17-6-56. The conception of a reversioner thererfore still remains in respect of the properties in which the widow does not get the right of a full owner by virtue of the provisions of Section 14 of the Act. Thus, their Lordships held :
'Where a female heir transfers the property inherited by her before the Act came into force without any legal necessity, She does not get any absolute 'status in respect of it as it cannot be said that the property was in her possession. Further, the provisions of the Act are not meant to enhance the rights of the purchasers who at the time of their purchase knew full well that the transaction was not for legal necessity. In such a case the transferee would be entitled to the interest that the female heir had at the time when the transfer took place, namely, the limited interest of the female heir and as the provisions of the Act do not apply to such cases, the old law prevailing among the Hindus regarding the rights of a reversioner must remain intact and must be followed by Courts of Justice.'
Their Lordships on coming to the above decision had relied upon the case reported in Venkayamma v. Veerayya, (S) AIR 1957 Andh Pra 280 and Gostha Behari Bera v. Haridas Samantra, (S) AIR 1957 Cal 557, wherein it was held that Section 14 has no application to a case where the female owner has parted with her property before the ACT. The Kerala High Court also took the same view as will appear from the case reported in Thailambal Ammal v. Kesavan Nair, AIR 1957 Kerala 86.
In this connection an observation by a Division Bench of this Court in the case reported in Laxmi Debi v. Surendra Kumar (S) AIR 1957 Orissa 1, is pertinent. In that case a reversioner during the lifetime of a widow came with a suit for declaration of his right as reversioner, and their Lordships held that if actually the widows had alienated any of the properties before corning into force of the Act and which were not in their possession at the time of the Act came into force, they do not become full owners in respect of those properties by virtue of Section 14 of the Act But as no such question regarding alienation arose in that appeal, the matter was left open.
In a Full Bench decision of the Patna High Court reported in Harak Singh v. Kailash Singh, AIR 1958 Pat 581, the scope and extent of the .application of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act came up for consideration. In that case the plaintiff asked for a declaration that the deed of gift executed by a widow is not binding on the reversioner and is not valid beyond the life-time of the donor. Their Lordships held that a female Hindu cannot be deemed to be a owner of the property of which she made an absolute alienation before the date of commencement of the Act, and Section 14 cannot apply to such property and the limited Interest of the widow In such property is not enlarged to an absolute interest. The Act was not certainly intended to benefit the alienees or to unduly enrich the alienees who with their eyes open purchased the properties from the limited Owner without justifying necessity before the Act came into force, and at a time when the vendors held only limited interest of a Hindu woman,
IN coming to this decision, their Lordships of the Patna High Court relied upon the aforesaid decisions of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala High Courts noticed above. In view of this Full Bench decision ot the Patna High Court as also of the Division Bench decision of this Court, which is also the view of the various High Courts in India on the subject, it is no longer open to the learned counsel for the appellants to raise this contention. In fact, these decisions give complete answer to the questions raised by him.
7. Learned counsel for the appellants also relied upon a decision of the Supreme Court reported in G. T. M. Kotturuswami v. S. Veerayya, AIR 1959 SC 577, in. support of his contention that the possession of the vendee in a case of this nature shall be deemed to be the possession of the vendor (defendant No. 4), In Supreme Court Case a reversioner challenged an adoption made by the widow and the nature of possession contemplated under Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act came up for consideration before their Lordships. In that case the possession of the adopted son was however permissive and their Lordships held that even if it is assumed that the adoption was invalid and the adopted son was in actual posses. sion, his possession was merely permissive and the widow must be regarded as being in constructive possession through the adopted son, Their Lord-ships of the Supreme Court in that case noticed the aforesaid decisions of the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh, Calcutta and Patna and accepted as .correct the proposition of law as laid down in the Full Bench decision of the Patna High Court reported in AIR 1958 Patna 581.
In the present case it is not a case of permissive possession of the defendants-appellants. They are in possession on their own right by virtue of the sale-deeds. Defendant 4, as stated earlier, had herself admitted to have parted with her interest and possession in the said property in favour of defendants 1 to 3. In view of this portion, the decision of the Supreme Court noticed above cannot be said to support the contention raised on behalf of the appellants. No doubt, the possession under Section 14 of the Act need not necessarily be physical, but may also include the possession of a licensees mortgagee, lessee etc., from the female owner, but there must be something to show that she was still in control of the property as owner. Where, however, the property itself has 'been sold away and the possession delivered to the vendee, the vendor can in no sense be said to be still in control or possession of the property. In view of the findings of the Courts below that defendant 4 had already married sometime in Baisakha of 1953, it cannot be disputed that she had incurred a Civil death in her husband's family, of course after the alienations in question. Therefore in the circumstances, as aforesaid, it must be held that defendant 4, who had only a limited interest, had sold the Same without any legal necessity and consideration. Therefore the sales are not binding on the plaintiff.
8. Thus there is no merit in this appealwhich is accordingly dismissed. But in view ofthe fact that the respondents have not appearedto contest this appeal, I will direct that each partywill bear his own costs throughout.