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Duvvada Harikristna Chowdary Vs. Sripada Venkata Lakshmi Narayana Pantulu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1911)ILR34Mad402
AppellantDuvvada Harikristna Chowdary
RespondentSripada Venkata Lakshmi Narayana Pantulu and ors.
Cases ReferredCocanada v. Maddirela Narasimha Rao
Excerpt:
.....act xv of 1877, schedule ii, article 144--adverse possession, burden of proving, in a suit for partition. - - 2. two of the issues framed in the suit were whether the suit was barred by limitation and whether the suit was bad as being a suit for partial partition. the article of schedule ii of the limitation act applicable to a case like the present is article 144, and, to succeed, it was incumbent upon the first defendant to prove that the fifth defendant was in denial of his title excluded from the enjoyment of his share of the suit land, jogendranath rai v. we think the court below was right in holding that the first defendant failed to discharge the burden which rested upon him. he never stated that he was excluded from enjoyment of the suit lands, his object in..........execution thereof brought to sale and purchased the fifth defendant's one- fifth share in the two suit villages. the plaintiffs in the suit out of which these appeals arise sued for partition and for possession of the fifth defendant's one-fifth share in the said villages. balakrishnamma, adoptive father of the second defendant, and defendants nos. 1, 3 and 5 were members of an undivided 'family. in 1871 they effected a partition. the bulk of the family property was divided by metes and bounds, but the suit villages and some other immoveable property were kept undivided for convenience of enjoyment and were held by the divided members as tenants in common, though the actual management was vested in balakrishnamma, who was to pay to each of the tenants in common his share of the income......
Judgment:

1. The father of the plaintiffs obtained a decree against the fifth defendant and in execution thereof brought to sale and purchased the fifth defendant's one- fifth share in the two suit villages. The plaintiffs in the suit out of which these appeals arise sued for partition and for possession of the fifth defendant's one-fifth share in the said villages. Balakrishnamma, adoptive father of the second defendant, and defendants Nos. 1, 3 and 5 were members of an undivided 'family. In 1871 they effected a partition. The bulk of the family property was divided by metes and bounds, but the suit villages and some other immoveable property were kept undivided for convenience of enjoyment and were held by the divided members as tenants in common, though the actual management was vested in Balakrishnamma, who was to pay to each of the tenants in common his share of the income. In January 1893, Balakrishnamma died and the management was thereafter with the first defendant.

2. Two of the issues framed in the suit were whether the suit was barred by limitation and whether the suit was bad as being a suit for partial partition. The Court found both these issues in the negative, and gave a decree for partition. The arguments on behalf of the appellants have been confined to an attempt to show that the findings upon the above issues are wrong.

3. We shall first deal with Appeal. No. 184 which, is by the first defendant. This defendant in his written statement admitted that the fifth defendant used to recover payments towards his share of the income of the suit lands as long as Balakrishnamma was alive. He contended however that after Balakrishnamma's death in 1893 the fifth defendant had no enjoyment and that therefore the suit brought in 1906 was time-barred. The article of schedule II of the Limitation Act applicable to a case like the present is Article 144, and, to succeed, it was incumbent upon the first defendant to prove that the fifth defendant was in denial of his title excluded from the enjoyment of his share of the suit land, Jogendranath Rai v. Baladeo Das I.L.R. (1908) Cal. 961, Sellam v. Chinnammal I.L.R. (1901) Mad. 441, Ittappan v. Manavikrama I.L.R. (1888) Mad. 153, This was the view taken by the Court below, and it has not been seriously disputed before us. We think the Court below was right in holding that the first defendant failed to discharge the burden which rested upon him. The fifth defendant stated as a witness for the defence that after the partition of 1871 he never received any share of the produce either from Balakrishnamma or from any one else. In so stating he went further than the first defendant himself. There can be no doubt that his sympathies are now with the defendants rather than with the plaintiffs, and no reliance can be placed upon his evidence. Exhibits II and S are relied upon. These are written statements filed by the fifth defendant in Original Suit No. 1 of 1894 and Original Suit No. 10 of 1895, respectively. In these statements the fifth defendant alleged that the partition of 1871 was never acted upon, and that he and other members of the family were managing portions of the family lands. He never stated that he was excluded from enjoyment of the suit lands, His object in putting in these written statements was to claim a larger share than he was entitled to under the partition of 1871, This is all the evidence relied upon to prove adverse possession and it is manifestly insufficient,

4. The remaining question is whether the suit is bad as being a suit for partial partition. The fifth defendant was entitled as tenant in common to a one-fifth share not only in the suit villages but also in certain inam lands. The suit is for partition of his one-fifth share in the suit villages only that being all that the plaintiff's father bought. In support of the contention that the suit is bad we have been referred to a passage in Ramasami Chetli v. Alagirisami Chetti I.L.R. (1904) Mad. 361 and to an unreported decision of this Court--The President, Taluq Board, Cooanada v. Maddirila Narasimha Rao (1905) S.A 176(unreported). In Ramasami Chetti v. Alagirimmi Chetti I.L.R. (1904) Mad. 361 it is said: 'It is no doubt the law that the transferee from one or more co-sharers of a portion only of the co-tenancy cannot maintain a suit for partition of the portion transferred to him.' For this statement of the law, Parbati Churn Deb v. Ain-ud-deen I.L.R. (1881) Cal. 577 is relied upon. As was however pointed out in Radhakantashaha v. Bepro Das Roy (1904) 1 Cri.L.J. 40, it was not laid down in that case as a matter of law that a partition of a portion of a revenue-paying estate, when that portion is capable of partition without much inconvenience to other sharers, is absolutely barred by law and Syed Habibur Rasul Abul Faiz v. Ashita Mohan Ghosh and Ors. (1908)120 C.W.N. 640, and Uma Sundari Debi v. Benode Lal Pakrashi I.L.R. (1907) Cal. 1026, are further authority that a suits like the present is not bad. The President, Taluq Board, Cocanada v. Maddirela Narasimha Rao (1905) S.A. 175 (unreported), is clearly distinguishable. There the suit was to recover specific land left by the testator under his will to the plaintiff, and it was held that the plaintiff could not succeed because the immoveable property of the testator's family had not been divided and the testator himself could not have claimed any specific portion of the undivided property as his share. We therefore hold that the suit is not bad and dismiss Appeal No. 184 with coosts.

5. Appeal No. 183 is by the second defendant, The only difference between this appeal and Appeal No. 184 is that there is no admission by the second defendant that the fifth defendant at any time enjoyed his share of the suit property. This however is immaterial seeing that the burden of proof is upon the second defendant.

6. We therefore dismiss this appeal also with costs.


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