1. Briefly, the facts are that Dhanna Singh was the owner of the property in dispute which he sold for an amount of Rs.4,700/- to Milkhi Ram vide sale deed dated 1st Feb. 1956. Kewal Singh one of the sons of the alienor instituted a usual declaratory suit. A compromise was effected between the plaintiff and Milkhi Ram alienee, according to which it was agreed that the reversioners would be entitled to possession of the land in dispute on payment of Rs.3,500/- after the death of Dhanna Singh. He died on 1st Aug. 1965, leaving Kewal Singh and Sibu, sons, two daughters and a widow, Kewal Singh and Sibu filed a suit for possession of the land on payment of Rs.3,500/-against Milkhi Ram alienee, claiming that they inherited the property through a will dated 24th May, 1965.
2. The suit was contested by the defendants inter alia on the ground that the daughters and the widow of the deceased were entitled to the share as no will had been executed by the deceased in favour of his two sons. He further pleaded that Sibu was not entitled to any share as he had consented to the sale.
3. The learned trial Court held that after the death of Dhanna Singh, sons, daughters and widow of the deceased were entitled to inherit the property in equal shares but Sibu had consented to the sale and the widow and daughters had not filed the suit for possession. Therefore, of 1/5th share on payment of Rs.700/-. The plaintiffs went up in appeal before the Additional District Judge, Jullundur, who modified the decree of the trial Court and held that Kewal Singh was entitled to one-half of the property in view of the will of the deceased dated 24th May, 1965, on payment of Rs.1,750/-. He however, affirmed the finding of the trial Court that Sibu, in view of his consent regarding the sale, was not entitled to his share. Consequently, he partly accepted the appeal and passed a decree in favour of Kewal Singh for one-half of the property on payment of Rs.1,750/-. The defendant has come up in second appeal to this Court.
4. It is contended by Mr. H. L. Sarin, learned counsel for the appellant, that after the death of Dhanna Singh, the property alienated by him reverted to his estate in view of the declaratory decree dated 2nd June, 1958. His five heirs were entitled to 1/5th share each and consequently a decree in favour of Kewal Singh could be passed regarding his share, that is, 1/5th share. He further argues that when the will dated 24th May, 1965, was executed by the deceased, the property in dispute had been alienated and, therefore, it does not operate against that property.
5. I have given due consideration to the arguments of the learned counsel but regret my inability to accept the same. The facts of the case are not disputed. It is well settled that after the death of Dhanna Singh, the property alienated by him would revert to his estate. In this view, I am fortified by the observations of the Supreme Court in Giani Ram v. Ramji Lal, AIR 1969 SC 1144. In that case, a Hindu Jat of Hissar district alienated a share in ancestral land without legal necessity. His eldest son sued and obtained a declaratory decree that the sale was ineffective against his reversionary rights. The alienor died after the coming into force of the Hindu Succession Act leaving behind him his widow, three sons and two daughters. The Supreme Court held that under the customary law in force in the Punjab, a declaratory decree obtained by the reversionary heir in an action to set aside the alienation of ancestral property enured in favour of all persons who ultimately took the estate on the death of the alienor. The decree obtained by a competent reversioner did not make the alienation a nullity, it removed the obstacle to the right of the reversioner entitled to succeed when the succession opened and restored the property alienated to the estate of the alienor. It was further held that after the enactment of the Hindu Succession Act, the estate devolved upon the three sons, the widow and the two daughters and it could not be said that because in the year 1920 the wife and the daughters were incompetent to challenge the alienation of ancestral property, they could not inherit his estate when the succession opened after that Act came into force. The said view was followed by that Court in Teg Singh v. Charan Singh, AIR 1977 SC 1699.
6. In the present case, as the property of the deceased reverted to his estate, it will stand disposed of in accordance with the will executed by him. The legatees under the will were his two sons, and not the daughters and the widow. Consequently, the two sons became entitled to inherit the property of the deceased. Sibu, it is not disputed, had consented to the alienation. Consequently, he is not entitled to file a suit for possession regarding his one-half share. Thus, the plaintiff-respondent is entitled to get only half share on payment of Rs.1,750/-. In my view, the approach of the lower Appellate court is correct and there is no scope for interference with its judgment and decree.
7. For the aforesaid reasons, I do not find any merit in the appeal and dismiss the same. I, however, leave the parties to bear their own costs.
8. Appeal dismissed.