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Ude Chand and ors. Vs. Mst. Rajo - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Family
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetters Patent Appeal No. 206 of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1966P& H329
ActsRegistration Act, 1908 - Sections 17 and 49; Hindu Succession Act, 1956 - Sections 14(2)
AppellantUde Chand and ors.
RespondentMst. Rajo
Appellant Advocate Anand Swroop and; R.S. Mittal, Advs.
Respondent Advocate Nagindar Singh and; S.K. Pipat, Advs.
Cases ReferredIn S. A. Subrahmania Aiyar v. Savitri Ammal
Excerpt:
.....thus,. in cases where the state or regional transport authority has not communicated the order of refusal passed to the persons concerned, the period of limitation for filing an appeal would commence from the date when the parties concerned acquire knowledge of passing of the said order. - with regard to the land in possession of the collaterals, the learned judge remarked that the appeal in respect of this land also must fail, because of the finding that the compromise could not be enforced for want of registration and, consequently, no valid title had passed to the collaterals who held this land in pursuance of the compromise......both by smt. rajo and kesho ram and they denied the alleged karewa during the pendency of this suit, a compromise was effected between the parties on 17-6-1955. whereby smt. rajo was allowed to continue in possession of 40 bighas of land till her lifetime and after her death it had to go to the collaterals and kesho ram in equal shares the remaining land viz., 25 bighas 10 biswas. was to immediately pass on to the collaterals and kesho ram in equal shares. as regards the house, it was agreed that it belonged to kesho ram, smt. rajo was left with another residential house which was, however, not the subject matter of the suit, but it was settled that she would have only a life interest therein and after her death it would also go to the collaterals and kesho ram in equal shares. it.....
Judgment:

P.C. Pandit, J.

1. This order, will dispose of two connected Letters Patent Appeals Nos. 206 and 231 of 1961.

2. One Des Raj was the owner of 65 Bighas and 10 Biswas of land and a house in village Dharana. Tehsil Jhajjar, District Rohtak. On his death, the land was mutated in favour of his widow, Smt. Rajo. In November 1954. Ude Chand and others, who were the collaterals of Des Raj. brought a suit for possession of this property on the ground that Smt. Rajo had contracted a Karewa marriage with their brother Kesho Ram and had thus forfeited her rights in the property.

The suit was resisted both by Smt. Rajo and Kesho Ram and they denied the alleged Karewa During the pendency of this suit, a compromise was effected between the parties on 17-6-1955. whereby Smt. Rajo was allowed to continue in possession of 40 bighas of land till her lifetime and after her death it had to go to the collaterals and Kesho Ram in equal shares The remaining land viz., 25 bighas 10 biswas. was to immediately pass on to the collaterals and Kesho Ram in equal shares. As regards the house, it was agreed that it belonged to Kesho Ram, Smt. Rajo was left with another residential house which was, however, not the subject matter of the suit, but it was settled that she would have only a life interest therein and after her death it would also go to the collaterals and Kesho Ram in equal shares. It was also provided in the compromise that Smt. Rajo would not have the right to alienate the land and the house in any manner.

The Subordinate Judge, who was trying that suit, did not record the compromise in the form of a decree, but he passed an order on 17-6-1955 as follows:--

' According to the conditions of the compromise, which the parties will observe, the suit of the plaintiffs is dismissed. The parties would bear their own costs.'

This decree was followed by a mutation, which was sanctioned on 31-1-1966 in terms of this compromise. Thereafter, Smt. Rajo continued to remain in possession of the property, which had fallen to her share. In February, 1958 Smt Rajo filed a suit out of which the present appeals have arisen, for a declaration that she was the full owner of 40 bighas of land in her possession and not only the holder of a life eslate therein. She also claimed possession of 25 bighas and 10 biswas of land, which had been given to the collaterals, Ude Chand and others, and her allegations were that the compromise had been obtained from her by fraud and was, consequently, not binding on her. She had become an absolute owner of the property in dispute by virtue of the provisions of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, which had come into force on 17-6-1956.

3. The suit was resisted by Ude Chand and others, who pleaded, inter alia, that the compromise was duly executed between the parties in the previous case and was binding on Smt. Rajo.

4. The trial Court did not accept the plea of fraud and held that the compromise in the previous litigation between the parties was binding upon Smt. Rajo. It was held that she had become a full owner of 40 bighas of land in view of the provisions of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act. Regarding the rest of the property, which had passed on to the collaterals before the Hindu Succession Act came into force, the suit was dismissed.

5. Against this decision, both the parties filed appeals, which were disposed of by the learned District Judge, Rohtak. He held that the compromise required compulsory registration and the same being unregistered was inadmissible in evidence and could not pass any title to the defendants. The plea of fraud set up by Smt. Rajo was rejected.

It was also held that Smt. Rajo had become the full owner of 40 bighas of land by virtue, of Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act. It was further found that she was entitled to gel back from Ude Chand and others 25 bighas and 10 biswas of land purported to have been transferred by her in their favour under the compromise On these findings, the appeal of Smt. Rajo was accepted, while that of Ude Chand and others dismissed. The result was that Smt. Rajo was declared to be the full owner of the whole of the land and was awarded a decree for possession of 26 bighas and 10 biswas in the hands of Ude Chand and others. Her claim to the house was, however, negatived.

6. Against this decision, two appeals were filed in this Court by Ude Chand and others, which were both disposed of by one judgment by Shamsher Bahadur J. on 4-4-1961. The learned Judge found that the compromise was ineffective for want of registration and that Smt. Rajo had become absolute owner of 40 bighas of land under Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act. With regard to the land in possession of the collaterals, the learned Judge remarked that the appeal in respect of this land also must fail, because of the finding that the compromise could not be enforced for want of registration and, consequently, no valid title had passed to the collaterals who held this land in pursuance of the compromise. In the result, the learned Judge dismissed both the appeals. That led to the filing of the present two appeals under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent.

7. The case of Smt. Rajo in the plaint was that Ude Chand and others had filed a suit for possession of 65 bighas and 10 biswas and one house against her on 19-11-1954 in which they alleged that since she had entered into Karewa with their brother, Kesho Ram, she had lost all rights in the property in dispute. While defending this suit, she denied all the allegations made against her and that suit was dismissed on 17-6-1955. During the pendency of that suit, the collaterals through fraud got a compromise deed executed and thumb-marked by her and in this deed it was written that on of the land she would get 40 bighas till her lifetime and the remaining land, that is, 25 bighas and 10 biswas. would go to the collaterals in equal shares. Regarding the house, it would remain in possession of Kesho Ram. Ude Chand and others in their written statement admitted that the said compromise referred to by Smt. Rajo was, in fact, entered into, but they denied that any fraud was played upon her. Their case was that she had voluntarily given her consent to this compromise and on the basis of the same their suit was dismissed.

From the pleadings of the parties, it would be apparent that both the sides were agreed as to the terms of the compromise that was effected in the previous suit. The only difference between them was that, according to Smt Rajo, this compromise was the result of a fraud practised on her by the collaterals; while, according to them, she had herself agreed to all the terms thereof and thumb-marked this document of her own sweet will The issue, therefore, to be tried was whether any fraud had been committed by the collaterals in this respect. Both the trial Court and the learned District Judge have given a concurrent finding of fact that the plea of fraud set up by Smt. Rajo had not been substantiated by her. That being the state of affairs, both the parties were bound by the terms of the compromise. The question as to whether this compromise required registration or not and, consequently, inadmissible in evidence was not set up by the parties in the pleadings. It is, therefore, that no issue was framed on this point. It appears that this matter was raised during the course of arguments before the learned District Judge.

But as I look at the matter, it is not necessary to go into this question, in view of the pleadings of the parties in the instant ease. It was ruled by a Division Bench of the High Court consisting of Shadi Lal Chief Justice and Martineau J. in Banarsi Dass v. Bul Chand, AIR 1921 Lah 64 (1). that where the terms of the lease as set out in the plaint were admitted by the defendant, it was unnecessary for the plaintiff to produce in evidence the document and although it might not be admissible so far as the plaintiff was concerned, the defendant's admission was enough and the Court need not look at the document, the admissibility of which might be a debatable question. Also see in this connection the decision of Jai Lal J. in Gurdas Mal v. Baij Nath, AIR 1928 Lah 662, in which it was held that where the contents of a document requiring registration, but not registered, had been admitted, the question of its admissibility or otherwise did not arise. Reference in this respect may also be made to a Bench decision of the Punjab Chief Court in Niaz Gul v. Ram Ditta, 52 Pun Re 1888.

To similar effect is the decision of the Madras High Court in Chedambaram Chetty v. Karunalyayalangapuly Taver, (1866-68) 3 Mad HO 342. where it was held:

' In a suit upon a razinama, the execution of which was admitted by the defendants, which purported to create an interest in immovable properly, the Civil Judge dismissed the suit because the document had not been registered in accordance with Act 16 of 1864, Section 13.

Held (reversing the decree of the Civil Judge) that the existence of the agreement not having been disputed, its production was not necessary and that the plaintiff was entitled to whatever relief the effect of the plaint and answer, taken together, would entitle him on the admission of the defendant.'

In S. A. Subrahmania Aiyar v. Savitri Ammal, (1909) 19 Mad LJ 228, a Madras Division Bench held that though a document evidencing a partition was inadmissible in evidence for want of registration, a decree might be given on the admission of the parties. As I have mentioned above, on the state of the pleadings in the present case, and the plea of fraud set up by Smt. Rajo not having been proved by her, she and the collaterals were both bound by the terms of the compromise on which there was no dispute between them.

8. Now, the question is what will be the effect of the passing of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, on the rights of the parties. So far as 25 bighas and 10 biswas of land is concerned, Smt. Rajo, admittedly, was not in its possession when this Act came into force. That being so, she has no right to this land and the collaterals become the owners thereof.

9. As regards 40 bighas of land, which was in possession of Smt. Rajo at the time of the enforcement of the Act. the case was not covered by Sub-section (2) of Section 14, but by Section 14(1) of the Act. She had not acquired title to this land on the basis of the compromise-deed. She was the widow of Des Raj, after whose death she acquired the widow's estate in this land along with his other properly, but this estate was converted into full ownership by the coming into force of the Hindu Succession Act. There is ample authority for the proposition that the word ' acquired ' in Sub-section (2) of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act has to be given a restricted meaning and would cover those cases only where the Hindu female had no interest previously in the property and it was for the first time by virtue of the gift, will or the other modes mentioned in this sub section that the property was acquired by her (see inter alia Raghunath Sahu v Bhimsen Naik. AIR 1965 Orissa 59.)

10. In view of what has been said above, the appeal of the collaterals (Letters Patent Appeal No. 231 of 1961) qua 40 bighas of land is dismissed, while regarding 25 bighas and 10 biswas (Letters Patent Appeal No. 206 of 1961) is accepted. In the circumstances of these cases, however. I will make no order a' to costs.

Mehar Singh, J.

11. I agree


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