Prem Chand Jain, A.C.J.
1. Is there any period prescribed under the law of limitation for filing a suit for possession on the basis of inheritance, is the question of law involved in this appeal ?
2. One Niranjan Singh died in 1949 leaving behind 309 Kanals 1 Marla of land and mutation of his inheritance was sanctioned in favour of the appellants on 15th February, 1956, Kashmira Singh respondent, claiming himself to be the son of Niranjan Singh from his second wife Smt. Mohinder Kaur, filed a suit for possession of his 1/3 rd share measuring 103 Kanals and 1 Marla of land on 12th June, 1969. The suit was contested by the appellants inter alia on the grounds that the respondent was not the son of Niranjan Singh. In the alternative, the appellants claimed absolute title by prescription. They also pleaded that the suit was barred by limitation. The trial Court after recording evidence held that the plaintiff-respondent was the son of Niranjan Singh. The issues of limitation as well as of adverse possession were also decided against the appellants. Consequently, the suit was decreed as prayed for. On appeal, the findings of the trial Court were affirmed by the learned District Judge. Still dissatisfied, the present appeal was preferred by the appellants.
3. When the appeal come up for hearing before S. P. Goyal, J. the only question debated was that the suit was barred by limitation and in support of this contention, reliance was placed on a recent judgment of R. N. Mittal, J., in Naginder Singh v. Chanand Singh, 1983 Cur LJ (Civ & Cri) 432. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the learned single Judge found that the decision in Naginder Singh's case (supra) needed reconsideration. Consequently, the matter was referred to be decided by a larger Bench. That is how we are seized of the matter.
4. The only contention raised before us by Mr. G. R. Majithia, learned Senior Advocate, on behalf of the appellants, was that the plaintiff after the death of Niranjan Singh was required to file a suit for possession on the basis of inheritance within twelve years of the date of death of the last male holder failing which he was not entitled to a decree for possession as prayed for by him.
5. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the respondent submitted that no period was prescribed under the Limitation Act, for filing a suit for possession on the basis of inheritance and that a suit for possession on the basis of title is governed by Article 65 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the relevant portion of which reads as under:--
Description of suit 65. For possession of immovable property or any interest therein based on title Period of limitation Twelve years Time form which period begins to run. When the possession of the defendant becomes adverse to the plaintiff.
6. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, I find force in the contention of the learned counsel for the respondent. It is well established principle of law that inheritance does not remain in abeyance and the heirs after the death of the last male holder succeed to the property of the deceased in accordance with law, Kashmira Singh, being the son of Niranjan Singh deceased, was entitled to 1/3rd share in the land in dispute. After the death of Niranjan Singh, he was not required to file any suit for possession on the basis of inheritance. He had become full owner of his share in the property on the death of the last male holder. For establishing his right as an heir, he was not required to file a suit. However, a situation may arise when the heir is not in possession of the property inherited. In that event a suit for possession may have to be filed and on contest the same may fail on the defendant proving that he has perfected his title by adverse possession. It is such type of suit which is governed by the provisions of Article 65 of the Limitation Act. In this view of the matter, with respect, I find that the view taken by R. N. Mittal, J. in Naginder Singh's case (1983 Cur LJ (Civ & Cri) 432) (supra) that it is well settled that a suit for possession on the ground of inheritance should be filed within a period of twelve years from the date when the inheritance opens, does not lay down any such rule. On the other hand, in all those decisions it was the plea of adverse possession of the defendants which was upheld. Thus I hold that no period of limitation is prescribed for filing a suit for possession on the basis of inheritance.
7. No other point arises for consideration. For the reasons recorded above, this appeal fails and is dismissed but, in the circumstances of the case, we make no order as to costs.
8. Appeal dismissed.