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Madan Lal Sindhwani and ors. Vs. Mohinder Lal Arora and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal No. 3 of 1976
Judge
Reported in14(1978)DLT190
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 64; Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 - Sections 15
AppellantMadan Lal Sindhwani and ors.
RespondentMohinder Lal Arora and ors.
Advocates: P.K. Makhija, Adv
Excerpt:
.....that property was not liable to attachment and he lifted attachment - an appeal was filed against the same - it was held that section 15 of the displaced persons (compensation and rehabitalisation) act, 1954 applied to the property which form part of compensation pool - it did not apply to the property transferred out of compensation pool - the attachment effected on the property was valid and order of the sub judge was reversed. - - this sale-deed recited that bhagat singh had obtained the property at an auction held by the managing officer of the office of the settlement commissioner (government built property, ministry of rehabilitation, government of india that after the death of bhagat singh, harnam singh's name had been registered with the land and development office as lessee..........the property in question had been granted by the president of india on a 99 year lease to sardar bhagat singh, father of hakim singh the judgment-debtor. this lease dated 3-10-1962 had been granted under the provisions of the displaced persons (compensation and rehabilitation) act, 1954 read with rule 140 of the rules made there under. the plea of arora was that the property formed part of the compensation pool vested in the central government and as such exempt by reason of the provisions contained in section 15 of the above act. before dealing with this contention, which has found favor with the subject it is necessary to explain how the first respondent has entered into the picture and also to set out the details of the execution proceedings taken by the decreeholder in so far as.....
Judgment:

S. Ranganathan, J.

(1) This is an appeal from an order of the Sub Judge dated 13-2-1976 allowing an application under Order 47 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure in the following circumstances.

(2) Govind Ram Sindhwani had obtained a decree for Rs. 15,000.00 with costs and future interest against Sardar Hakim Singh. As early as 21st November, 1966 the decree-holder had also effected an attachment of a plot of land measuring 1866.6 sq. yards being plot No. 3, in block No. 6 of the Industrial Area on Najafgarh Road at Kirti Nagar, Delhi.

(3) Govind Ram died on 8-2-1968 and the judgment debtor Hakim Singh also died on 15-2-1973. The legal representatives of the decree-holder are the appellants in the present appeal. They are aggrieved by the order of the Sub Judge who has upheld, in a review application, a plea taken to the effect that the property was not liable to attachment. This plea had been taken in execution proceedings not by the legal representatives of the judgment-debtor, (who are respondents No. 2 to 6 in the appeal) but by one Mohinder Lal Arora (the first respondent herein). He had contended that the property in question had been granted by the President of India on a 99 year lease to Sardar Bhagat Singh, father of Hakim Singh the judgment-debtor. This lease dated 3-10-1962 had been granted under the provisions of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 read with Rule 140 of the Rules made there under. The plea of Arora was that the property formed part of the compensation pool vested in the Central Government and as such exempt by reason of the provisions contained in Section 15 of the above Act. Before dealing with this contention, which has found favor with the subject it is necessary to explain how the first respondent has entered into the picture and also to set out the details of the execution proceedings taken by the decreeholder in so far as they are relevant for the determination of the present issue.

(4) As stated earlier the plot of land was attached by the decree-holder on the 21st June, 1966. Immediately thereafter on 24th November, 1966 Smt. Kaushalya Devi a sister of the judgment debtor filed objections to the attachment but they were dismissed. Subsequent thereto on 13th October, 1967 a deed of relinquishment was purported to be executed by Hakim Singh and three of his sisters (including Smt. Kaushalya Devi) in favor of Harnam Singh, brother of Hakim Singh. In this document it was recited that Bhagat Singh who was the owner of the aforesaid plot had died on 19-6-1964, that before his death he had a desire that the said plot should be transferred and mutated in the name of Harnam Singh, that he had been unable to fulfilll this wish because of his sudden death and that in view of this Hakim Singh and his sisters release and relinquish their rights in the property in favor of Harnam Singh. The above relinquishment deed was followed by a sale-deed executed on the 2nd April, 1969 by Harnam Singh in favor of Sri M.L. Arora, the first respondent. This sale-deed recited that Bhagat Singh had obtained the property at an auction held by the Managing Officer of the office of the Settlement Commissioner (Government Built Property, Ministry of Rehabilitation, Government of India that after the death of Bhagat Singh, Harnam Singh's name had been registered with the Land and Development office as lessee in place of Bhagat Singh on the basis of affidavits, declaration and no objection letters given by Hakim Singh and his sisters and that the vendor thus having failed to unfettared rights to transfer or sell the said lease hold plot, he proceeded to do so in favor of the first respondent for consideration of Rs. 60,000.00 . It is in pursuance of the above sale-deed that the first respondent filed objections in the course of the execution proceedings.

(5) The first set of objections were filed by Mohinder Lal Arora under Order Xxi Rule 58 of the Code of Civil procedure in September, 1972. The grounds of objection was that the property in question did not belong to Hakim Singh but belonged to Harnam Singh and that he having purchased the same by means of sale-deed dated 2nd April 1969, the property was not liable to attachment. After recording evidence of the parties the Sub Judge passed them order on 23rd May, 1975 and dismissed the objections as baseless. He took note of the fact that the transfer to the first respondent was after the date of attachment and held that it was void under Section 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(6) Again on 30th May, 1975 the first respondent filed another objection petition. In this it was stated that the plots vested with the Central Government and that as per the provisions of Section 15 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act the property was exempt from attachment and not liable to be proceeded against for any claim in any manner whatsoever. This objection petition was also dismissed by the Sub Judge by an order dated 21st November, 1975. The learned Sub Judge held that the transfer of the plot to the first respondent was illegal as held earlier on the 23rd May, 1975 and that no right having accrued to the objector he had no locus standi to raise any objections about the attachment.

(7) Immediately thereafter on the 25th November, '75 the first respondent made another application to the Court under order Xlxii read with Section 151 Code of Civil procedure praying for a review of the orders dated 23rd May, 1975 and 21st November, 1975. In this application it was stated that as property was not legally attachable under Section 15 of the Act earlier referred to there was an error apparent on the face of the record and that the earlier order dated 21st November, 1975 required to be reviewed. It is this application which has been allowed by the learned Sub Judge. He held that from the lease-deed in favor of Bhagat Singh which was on record it was clear that the Government only sold lease-hold rights to Bhagat Singh and the property still continued to vest in the Government. As such in his view the protection of Section 15 of the Act was available to the.applicant. The learned sub Judge thereforee held that the property was not liable for attachment and lifted the attachment which had been effected as early as 1966. It is against this order of the Sub Judge that the present appeal has been filed.

(8) Sri Makhija appearing for the appellants raised two contentions. He submitted that the learned Sub Judge was not justified in allowing the review application. The objection petition filed by the first respondent on the 30th May, 1975 had raised the point based on Section 15 of the Displaced Persons Act and this objection petition had been rejected after full consideration. Though the point regarding the scope of Section 15 was not specifically dealt with in the order it must be deemed to have been rejected. Moreover there was no mistake apparent from the record which called for rectification or review under Order XLVII. The second contention of Sri Makhija was that the learned Sub Judge was not right in applying the provisions of Section 15 to the present case inasmuch as the property, which perhaps originally formed part of the compensation pool, had ceased to be a part thereof after grant of 99 years' lease in favor of Bhagat Singh.

(9) There has been no appearance on behalf of the respondents and after hearing Shri Makhija and considering the matter I am of opinion that this appeal should be allowed. In the first place I am unable to see any ground for review of the earlier order passed by the learned Sub Judge on the 21st November 1975. It is no doubt true that the order passed on that date did not 'specifically deal with the contention based on Section 15 of the Displaced Persons Act but the petition had been rejected on another ground. It had been rejected on a more fundamental ground that, since the transfer of the property in favor of the first respondent was void as having been made after the attachment, the objector had no locus standi to maintain his objection petition. In view of this finding that the petitioner had no locus standi to maintain the petition the question of considering his grounds of objection on merits did not arise. So long as this part of the earlier order stands, the dismissal of the petition will hold the field and the question of lifting the attachment could not arise.

(10) Even on the merits I am of opinion that the contention of Shri Makhija that the property no longer formed part of the compensation pool is correct. There seems to be no doubt that the property originally formed part of the compensation pool constituted under Section 14 of the Displaced Persons Act. There was an auction and a lease-deed in favor of Bhagat Singh in the form contained in Appendix-XI to the displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Rules, 1955. The learned Sub Judge has held that since the property originally formed part of the compensation pool and since what was granted to Bhagat Singh was only lease hold right, the property as such continues to form part of the compensation pool. On this point it is sufficient to refer to the terms of Section 20 of the Displaced Persons Act. This section empowers the Managing Officer, subject to the rules framed under the Act, to transfer 'any properly out of the compensation pool' interalia by the sale or lease of such property. From the language of this section it is quite clear that when a property is leased out by the Managing Officer it gets transferred out of the compensation pool. Section 15 applies only to property 'which forms part of the compensation pool.' It does not apply to property which has been transferred out of the compensation pool in one of the modes prescribed under Section 15. The learned Sub Judge was in error holding that the property was not liable to attachment because of Section 15. thereforee, hold that the attachment effected on the property on 21st November, 1966 in pursuance of the decree was valid and continues to subsist, reverse the order of the learned Sub Judge and direct that the review petition of M.L. Arora stands dismissed.

(11) The appeal is allowed but, in the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.


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