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Ramaswami Goundar Vs. Muthuvel Goundar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1959)2MLJ212
AppellantRamaswami Goundar
RespondentMuthuvel Goundar and anr.
Cases ReferredMeyyappan v. Sellappa
Excerpt:
- - he also held that the auction-purchaser muthuvel and the plaintiff savadammal had conspired together with the process-server and others and procured false return of the refusal of the sale notice, and effectively kept the appellant from knowledge of the sale. sellappa air1930mad489 .it is clear to me that a second appeal would lie in cases like these, and, after seeing the above rulings, mr......the prevaricatory evidence of the process-server and the attestor, of the alleged refusal of sale notice by the appellant, held that the alleged refusal was false,' and that the notice was not really tendered to, or refused by, the appellant. discussing the contradictory evidence regarding the tom-toming, and acting on the admission of suppan madari,. p.w. 3, that he did not really do any tom-toming, he held that there was no proclamation of sale by tom-tom also. he also held that the auction-purchaser muthuvel and the plaintiff savadammal had conspired together with the process-server and others and procured false return of the refusal of the sale notice, and effectively kept the appellant from knowledge of the sale. he held further that the lands sold for rs. 951 would be worth.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. This is an appeal by one Ramaswami Goundar, a judgment-debtor in O.S. No. 244 of 1949 on the file of the District Munsif, Dindigul, against the judgment and decree of the Subordinate Judge, Dindigul, in C.M.A. No. 6 of 1953 re versing the order of the District Munsif, Dindigul, in E.A. No. 222 of 1952, in E.P. No. 381 of 1951, in O.S. No. 244 of 1949, allowing an application of this appellant under Order 21, Rule 90 and Section 47, Civil Procedure Code and setting aside the sale held on 2nd January, 1952, of two kulis and odd of land belonging to the appellant, and charged with a maintenance of Rs. 60 per year, in favour of his setp-mother Savadammal, the decree-holder. The facts were briefly these.

2. In O.S. No. 244 of 1949, Savadammal got a maintenance decree for Rs. 5 per month against this appellant, and that amount was charged on a house site and two kulis and odd of land valued in the plaint at Rs. 350, but really worth much more. Savadammal was also allowed to put up a shed on the vacant site and reside therein. That is the house site charged -'with the maintenance. She was also allowed to recover Rs. 70-13-0 as the consolidated costs from an amount in Court. The appellant did not pay the maintenance amount. So Savadammal, aided by her relative, the present auction-purchaser Muthuvel Goundar, took steps, and E.P. No. 381 of 1951 was filed for recovering the arrears of Rs. 137-6-0 due by then. The two kulis and odd of lands were brought to sale. The notice under Order 21, Rule 66, Civil Procedure Code, was, according to the appellant, not served on him and a false endorsement that he refused the notice was procured by Savadammal and Muthuvel with the aid of the process-server. The tom-tom too was not done. The result was that the appellant did not know that his properties were being brought to sale and actually only one bidder bid at the Courtsale, namely, Muthuvel, the relative of Savadammal, and the man who had attested the false endorsement of refusal of the notice under Order 21, Rule 66. I may mention here that the appellant's contention was that the property brought to sale was worth Rs. 4,000 and was got by Savadammal and Muthuvel falsely valued at - Rs. 950 by an amin sent by Court. Muthuvel was the only bidder, and he bid for just a rupee above the upset price fixed by the Court on the amin's valuation. The sale was knocked down in Muthuvel's name, and Muthuvel obtained an order for delivery. It is at this stage of delivery, on 1st April, 1952, to Muthuvel, that the appellant says he came to know of the sale of his land. He therefore filed an application under Order 21, Rule 90 and Section 47, Civil Procedure Code, for setting aside the sale on the ground of fraud in publishing and conducting the sale.

3. The learned District Munsif, Dindigul, after discussing the prevaricatory evidence of the process-server and the attestor, of the alleged refusal of sale notice by the appellant, held that the alleged refusal was false,' and that the notice was not really tendered to, or refused by, the appellant. Discussing the contradictory evidence regarding the tom-toming, and acting on the admission of Suppan Madari,. P.W. 3, that he did not really do any tom-toming, he held that there was no proclamation of sale by tom-tom also. He also held that the auction-purchaser Muthuvel and the plaintiff Savadammal had conspired together with the process-server and others and procured false return of the refusal of the sale notice, and effectively kept the appellant from knowledge of the sale. He held further that the lands sold for Rs. 951 would be worth at least Rs. 3,500, as stated by the karnam, and possibly Rs. 4,000 as stated by the village munsif and the appellant himself. So, he held that there were material irregularities resulting in substantial injury, and set aside the sale. He held that limitation would not operate, as the petition had been made within thirty days of the date of the discovery of the fraud. So he allowed the petition with costs.

4. The auction-purchaser Muthuvel took the matter on Appeal. The Subordinate Judge, Dindigul, held after once again discussing the evidence; that the sufficiency of the service of the sale notice on the appellant was not proved, though he was not prepared to say that the process-server had not gone to the village at all. Discussing again the contradictory evidence of Suppan Madari, P.W. 3, regarding the tom-tom, he considered that there was tom-toming believing one portion of that man's evidence. He was also of opinion that as the land sold had been bought by the appellant himself for Rs. 900, its sale for Rs. 951 to the auction-purchaser Muthuvel could not be said to be for a low price or to have caused any substantial injury. Finally, he held that there was no adequate proof of material irregularity or substantial injury consequent on it, and allowed the appeal with costs throughout, setting aside the orders of the learned District Munsif. Hence this C.M.S.A.

5. I have perused the records, and heard the learned Counsel on both sides. Mr. K.S. Naidu, for the appellant, and Mr. V.C. Veeraraghavan for the auction-purchaser, argued the case fully and fairly. It is obvious that, in the light of the contradictory evidence, the conclusions of both the District Munsif, one way, and of the Subordinate Judge, the opposite way, can be supported on portions of the evidence. Suppan Madari, P.W. 3, supports the appellant's case in chief-examination, and the auction-purchaser's case in parts of the cross-examination. The fact also remains that, though the lands were sold, for Rs. 951 and had been bought for Rs. 900, there had been great appreciation of land values since the purchase. Against that must be set the fact that the sale to the auction-purchaser was subject to the maintenance charge of Rs. 60 per year in favour of Savadammal. That maintenance charge must be held to amount to a capitalised sum of Rs. 1,200. So the real price paid by the auction-purchaser Muthuvel was Rs. 2,151. This will take away much of the force of the argument of Mr. Naidu that the land was sold for a song. Still, there are circumstances enough to enable me to interfere with the judgment and decree of the lower appellate Court., and pass in its stead an order equitable to both sides.

6. Before doing that, I shall deal with the preliminary objection of Mr. V. C. Veeraraghavan that no Second, Appeal would lie in this case. The argument cannot be sustained. As Mr. K. S. Naidu rightly pointed out, wherever there is a defect in the service of a sale notice under Order 21, Rule 66, Civil Procedure Code and the petition for setting aside the sale relies on it also and puts in Section 47, Civil Procedure Code, a Second Appeal will lie, as held by single Judges of this Court in Venkataswami v. Nagayya : AIR1925Mad1142 and Viswanatha v. Murugappan : AIR1935Mad438 , and by a Bench of this Court in Meyyappan v. Sellappa : AIR1930Mad489 . It is clear to me that a Second Appeal would lie in cases like these, and, after seeing the above rulings, Mr. Veeraraghavan also does not persist in his contentions.

7. Now we come to the merits of the case. In my opinion the appellant was not willing to pay any maintenance to the respondent till the Execution Petition was filed, despite repeated requests and demands. He thought he could twist his fingers at the widow, Savadammal and forget that Savadammal had a formidable ally in the auction-purchaser Muthuvel. Muthuvel was more than a match for the appellant. There is little doubt in my mind that the appellant was not really shown the sale notice under Order 21, Rule 66, Civil Procedure Code and did not refuse it, and was not aware of the sale of his lands till 1st April, 1952, when the lands were delivered to Muthuvel. Then he rushed with the petition under Order 21, rule go, Civil Procedure Code, depositing the sale warrant amount in Court in lieu of security. It is not known whether he has withdrawn the sale warrant amount so deposited. Mr. Naidu was not able to give me definite information about this, nor is it known whether the Rs. 951 put into Court by Muthuvel has been with- ' drawn by the appellant or others. It is also clear that besides the sale warrant amount, the appellant had to pay Rs. 20 more to Savadammal for maintenance at Rs. 5 per month, till 1st April, 1952, the date of delivery. I think that the income from the lands can be easily set off against the maintenance amount of Rs. 60 due to Savadammal every year from 1st April, 1952. So there is no need for any mesne profits enquiry till the date of re-delivery to the appellant by me under this decree. I direct the appellant to deposit into the District Munsifs Court, Dindigul, by 3 p.m., on 15th July, 1958, Rs. 75 as consolidated costs in all the Courts to be paid to the auction-purchaser, Muthuvel, another Rs. 20 as maintenance due to Savadammal before 1st April, 1952 and not covered by the sale warrant amount, and the sale warrant amount, if withdrawn by the appellant, and the Rs. 951 deposited by Muthuvel towards his bid, if withdrawn by, the appellant. On all these sums 'being deposited by the said date, I direct the sale to be set aside, and the land delivered back to the appellant, charged with Savadammal's maintenance amount of Rs. 60 from 15th July, 1958, onwards and with no right for past mense profits till 15th July, 1958. If the sale warrant amounts of the bid amount of Muthuvel are still lying in the lower Court, the appellant need not deposit those amounts, and Savadammal and Muthuvel can draw back those amounts. If the appellant fails to deposit the amount as directed above, by 15th July, 1958, the order of the lower appellate Court will stand confirmed, and this C.M.S.A. will stand dismissed without costs. The appellant is free to deposit the above amounts less amounts in Court earlier than 15th July, 1958, as requested by Mr. Naidu, in which case the lands will be delivered back to him earlier, but the maintenance charge will also attach to the lands from the date of the earlier delivery.


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