Skip to content


Nallamuthu Pillai and ors. Vs. R. Aravamudhu Iyengar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberAppeal No. 256 of 1947
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad263; (1951)IIMLJ205
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 73
AppellantNallamuthu Pillai and ors.
RespondentR. Aravamudhu Iyengar and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK. Bhashyam and ;R. Desikan, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateK. Krishnaswami Iyengar and ;N.C. Raghavachari, Advs.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredKoru Issaku v. Seetharamaraju
Excerpt:
.....security to cover such..........agree with the contention that a sale of items 2512/1 and 2512/2 must be taken to amount to a sale of plot no. 19 also in lieu of a portion of the said two items. this seems to be an unwarranted extension which is not justified by the authorities and, in my opinion, it is unsafe to extend the doctrine of substituted security to cover such cases. considerable inconvenience will be caused in the investigation of title if that should be recognised. i am aware that there are decisions which go to the extent of holding that where notwithstanding a partition, an undivided share in some item or items purports to be sold and purchased, delivery may however be taken of the separated share in these items although the partition had taken place earlier than lie proclamation of sale, or sale......
Judgment:

Panchapagesa Sastry, J.

1. Defendants are the appellants. Plaintiffs-respondents brought the suit for a declaration of their title to the suit property and for recovery of possession of the same from the defendants with past and future profits. According to the plaint they became entitled to the suit property plot No. 19 in what is known as the eastern extension scheme, Madhurai, in the following manner. Originally the first defendant was the owner of Town Survey No. 2512/1 of about 32 cents and 2512/2 of 73 cents. He had borrowed from the plaintiff's father a sum of Rs. 5,000 on the 1st September 1923 and had agreed to give a mortgage over the above properties, in addition to the promissory note which he executed. It was stated, by the plaintiffs that without giving the mortgage as agreed to, the first defendant conveyed the properties to one Kuthuva Ransachari by a deed of sale of March 1924 directing him however to discharge the promissory note debt in favour of the plaintiff's father. As the amount was not so paid the plaintiffs' father filed a suit O. S. No. 119 of 1926 Sub-Court, Mathurai, on the basis of the promissory note and on the agreement to give a mortgage and prayed for a decree for recovery of the amount both personally and by way of a charge on the properties. He obtained a decree accordingly and in execution of the charge portion of the decree he brought the above properties to sale, purchased them himself and also obtained delivery through Court. It, however, happened that these survey numbers and others had beenacquired by the Municipality for an extension scheme even in 1943. Instead of paying compensation in money there appears to have been anagreement between the Municipality and the various owners that the latter should be allotted sites in the areas acquired after providing- for roads, streets, etc. In pursuance of the scheme aforesaid plot No. 19 had been allotted to the first defendant in lieu of about 23 cents of land taken away from town survey No. 2512/1. The plaintiffs' case is that by virtue of this transaction his title to plot No. 19 is made out and he had been in possession thereof peacefully and the first defendant trespassed upon it sometime in 1946. Hence the suit.

2. The first defendant's defence was that ha was in possession of the property in his own right and not in any sense as a trustee or agent of the plaintiffs or in any fiduciary capacity for them. He has been so in possession for over the statutory period as well. He had executed a sale-deed in favour of the 2nd defendant for valuable consideration. The 2nd defendant pleaded that he was a purchaser in good faith for consideration and had no knowledge of any infirmity of title on the part of the 1st defendant or of any claim or right in the plaintiffs. The 3rd defendant was merely a lessee of the properties in his possession. The defendants denied the trespass. The lower Court framed appropriate issues and ultimately found in favour of the plaintiffs. The defendants have therefore filed this appeal.

3. The point for determination Is whether the plaintiffs have title to plot No. 19 in the circumstances set out and found and whether the 2nd defendant is a 'bona fide' purchaser for value.

4. It appears from the documents filed and it is not really challenged now that town survey Nos. 2512/1 and 2512/2 of about 32 cents and 73 cents were made a charge for the amount due to the plaintiffs' father in O. S. No. 119 of 1926 and the properties were brought to sale and purchased by the decree-holder who also claims to have obtained delivery of possession of the property. Admittedly the plaintiffs are in possession of Town S. Nos. 2512/1 and 2512/2 except to the extent of 23 cents which were taken away by the Municipality. In lieu of these 23 cents they claim that they have got a title to plot No. 19 which according to them became really substituted for the 23 cents taken by the Municipality. Their case is put forward under different heads. It is urged that Section 13 of the Transfer of Property Act is applicable and thereby plot No. 19 became their property. It was urged again that the principle underlying it would apply in any event as also the principle recognised by the decisions of the Court in relation to what is known as substituted security doctrine recognised by the Judicial Committee in. 'Byjnath Lall v. Ramoodeen Chowdry, 1 Ind App. 106 and 'Koru Issaku v. Seetharamaraju', I. L. R. (1948) Mad 454. It is also argued that the principle of the Trusts Act recognised in Sections 83 and 90 would also apply.

5. Section 73 of the Transfer of Property Act cannot in terms apply. It must be remembered that this acquisition by the Municipality and the accrual of title to the Municipality was as admitted by the respondents, in 1927 at the latest. Even in 1913 the properties would seem to have been acquired and the arrangement between the Municipality and the various owners had become finalised by about 1922. All the properties that were to be allotted to the respective owners had been settled and referred to in a schedule even before 1922. It was according to this scheme that plot No. 19 was finally allotted to the first defendant. The agreement to give a charge was only in 1923 and the decree of the Sub-Court, Mathurai, was in1927. Notwithstanding this substitution the de-cree purported to create a charge over the entirety of the town surrey numbers 2512/1 and 2512/2 and made no reference at all to piot No. 19. The sale proclamation followed the description in the decree and the entirety of the two plots of 32 and 73 cents were proclaimed for sale and purchased Delivery also purports to be of the said extents. The sale certificate in particular mentions only the town survey numbers 2512/1 and 2512/2 of 32 and 73 cents respectively and makes no reference at all to plot No. 19 which is in a different survey number altogether. Notwithstanding these things it is urged that plaintiffs are entitled to plot No. 19. Section 73 of the Transfer of Property Act not being applicable in terms the next contention was that the principle of substituted security should apply. What exactly is this principle? It has been recognised that where an undivided share belonging to a coparcener or to a co-owner in some or all items of joint property is sold and subsequently a bona fide partition takes place between the coparceners or the co-owners the alienee would not be entitled to the properties actually sold where they are allotted to other persons than his own vendor but only to follow the properties allotted to the share of the vendor in part or in whole as the case may be. This principle would apply not merely to cases of sales but also to mortgages and charges. In the case of a mortgage the right to follow the substituted security and claim an interest in it will not be a mortgage in the strict sense but would only be a charge. A bona fide purchaser for value may not be affected by such a right in the mortgagee to claim a charge over substituted property. The present case is one where originally there was only a charge created or rather an agreement to give a charge on the part of the 1st defendant, the borrower. It was She Court that declared the charge and that enforced it in execution proceedings. What the Court put up for sale was only the particular survey numbers 2512/1 and 2512/2 in their entirety. The decree-holder was apparently not aware of the acquisition by the Municipality and of the allotment of plot No. 19 to the 1st defendant in lieu of a portion of the two survey numbers over which a charge was agreed to be given and was given by Court. Whatever may be the cause actually the properties brought up for sale had no relation to plot No. 19. The sale certificate also made no mention of plot No. 19. The right to have a charge over the substituted security is now sought to be extended into a right to the property itself when the property as such was not sold but the original mortgage properties were sold and purchased and taken delivery of. I am not aware of any authority for extending the principle to this extent. It may be that the decree-holder was entitled to have a modification of the decree by getting a charge over the remaining portions of 2512/1 and 2512/2 and also over plot No. 19 and then bring them to sale. I cannot agree with the contention that a sale of items 2512/1 and 2512/2 must be taken to amount to a sale of plot No. 19 also in lieu of a portion of the said two items. This seems to be an unwarranted extension which is not justified by the authorities and, in my opinion, it is unsafe to extend the doctrine of substituted security to cover such cases. Considerable inconvenience will be caused in the investigation of title if that should be recognised. I am aware that there are decisions which go to the extent of holding that where notwithstanding a partition, an undivided share in some item or items purports to be sold and purchased, delivery may however be taken of the separated share In these items although the partition had taken place earlier than lie proclamation of sale, or sale. But thatis as far as one can conveniently or safely go. It would be dangerous to extend that to cases where altogether different and distinct Items are allotted and a sale of one cannot be treated as 'ipso facto' a sale of the other. Sale certificates are not to be ignored or construed so lightly. I cannot therefore agree with the contention that the mere fact of purchase of the two town survey numbers would automatically amount to make the purchaser the owner of plot No. 19.

6. It was urged that in any event the first defendant must be deemed to be in the position of a trustee or at any rate in a fiduciary capacity towards the plaintiffs and his acquisition or plot No. 19 was or must be deemed to be on behalf of the plaintiffs' father. In this case the acquisition was very much earlier. Why the parties made no reference to this during all the relevant periods from the inception of the loan down to its final realisation is rather strange and is really unexplained. Assuming that there is a fiduciary relationship, it cannot be held that it would justify a declaration of title to the property straightaway in favour of the plaintiffs' father or of the plaintiffs. They had only a right to have a charge over those properties established either by the application of the doctrine of substituted security or the principles underlying Section 73 of the Transfer of Property Act or Ss. 88 and 90 of the Trusts Act but I cannot go so far as to say that the title itself is transferred or compulsorily transferable at the Instance of the plaintiffs by the 1st defendant to them. It may be that the 1st defendant is having an advantage which is undeserved or unmerited. But that cannot be a ground for declaration of plaintiffs' title to the property in question as owners. What other rights they may have over this plot it is not necessary to canvass in this litigation.

7. Mr. Bhashyam for the appellants contended that probably they might have had a right to a charge over this property but at the same time he hastened to add that the plaintiffs had really realised the full amount due to them after exhausting the hypothecs by proceeding against other properties of the 1st defendant and bringing them to sale. Those matters are not in evidence before me in the record. That may or may not be so. I am not now called upon to define the rights of parties except to the extent of finding out whether a right of ownership is established in plot No. 19. In my opinion, it is not so established.

8. Reliance was placed on the fact that the plaintiffs were in possession and in enjoyment of the plot and that the 1st defendant himself had given a letter Ex. P. 19 in 1940 to the effect that the plaintiffs' father was in possession of this plot and that he the first defendant had no manner of right therein. The first defendant sought to deny the genuineness of this letter but the lower Court found it to be genuine and on the evidence read out to me I see no reason to dissent from that conclusion. This however Is not the same thing as an operative document of sale and cannot by itself amount to a transfer of title. On the question of possession I agree with the lower Court that possession was at any rate with the plaintiffs' father from 1942 possibly even from 1940. The payment of tax by the first defendant for a number of years down to 1942 is in favour of the first defendant's contention that he was in possession even after the so called delivery proceedings of 1934. Plaintiffs' case was that even in 1934 plot No. 19 was taken delivery of. This in my opinion is not established. The utmost that can be said is they must have got possession by about 1940. At any rate after 1942 the 1st defendant would seem to have acquiesced in plaintiffs'possession. On the strength of this possession atone no decree could be given. I answer point 1 accordingly.

9. Point a. The 2nd defendant claimed to be a bona fide purchaser for value, the lower Court has round against him. A perusal of his evidence is sufficient to show that the conclusion cannot be otherwise. I do not believe that he paid consideration or that he is a bona fide purchaser. If plaintiffs were otherwise entitled to plot No. 19 the 2nd defendant cannot succeed on the ground of his being a bona fide purchaser for valuem.

10. In the result in view of my finding that theplaintiffs have no title to plot No. 19 the suit fora declaration of title and possession fails. Theappeal is therefore allowed with costs here. Thedecree of the lower Court is set aside. There willbe no order as to costs of the trial Court as theconduct of the 1st and 2nd defendants is far frombeing bona fide.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //