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Talatam Sateyya Vs. Damisetti Satiraju and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Mad664
AppellantTalatam Sateyya
RespondentDamisetti Satiraju and anr.
Excerpt:
- - 10,000 was distinctly inadequate, the proper price according to him being about rs. capitalising the value of paddy at any particular date does not appear to be a safe way of arriving at the capital value of the land, because every one knows that the price of paddy is subject to frequent fluctuations, going up and down within a fairly wide margin. that was a very good reason for selling this property rather urgently;.....20, under ex. d, for rs. 10,000, in o. s. no. 35 of 1925 on the subordinate judge's file the minor satiraju has sued for partition and incidentally has alleged that this sale is not binding on him because it was not supported by consideration and was for a price considerably below the value of the land. in o. s. no. 36 of 1921, on the subordinate judge's file the purchaser, sateyya, has sued for possession of the land, and mesne profits. the subordinate judge heard the two suits together. the land sold consists of two adjoining survey nos. 454/1, 5 acres and 48 cents in extent, and 454/2, 5 acres and 45 cents in extent. it is not disputed that out of the rs. 10,000, the purchaser sateyya retained under the sale deed and still retains rs. 2,460 which he was to keep with him until.....
Judgment:

Reilly, J.

1. These appeals relate to the sale of about 11 acres of wet land in the Godaveri District by one Damisetti Satiraju for himself and his undivided son also called Damisetti Satiraju, to one Sateyya, a minor represented in this transaction by his father. The sale was in December 20, under Ex. D, for Rs. 10,000, In O. S. No. 35 of 1925 on the Subordinate Judge's file the minor Satiraju has sued for partition and incidentally has alleged that this sale is not binding on him because it was not supported by consideration and was for a price considerably below the value of the land. In O. S. No. 36 of 1921, on the Subordinate Judge's file the purchaser, Sateyya, has sued for possession of the land, and mesne profits. The Subordinate Judge heard the two suits together. The land sold consists of two adjoining survey Nos. 454/1, 5 acres and 48 cents in extent, and 454/2, 5 acres and 45 cents in extent. It is not disputed that out of the Rs. 10,000, the purchaser Sateyya retained under the sale deed and still retains Rs. 2,460 which he was to keep with him until the father Satiraju was ready to buy some other land with it. Of the remainder of Rs. 10,000, the Subordinate Judge has found that Rs. 7,300' represents a genuine transaction binding on the minor Satiraju. He has also found that the price of Rs. 10,000 was distinctly inadequate, the proper price according to him being about Rs. 14,500. He has disposed of the matter so far as the minor Satiraju is concerned in this way. In his opinion the purchaser has only paid about half the proper value of the two plots which are of nearly equal extent. The Subordinate Judge has, therefore, found the sale binding on the minor so far as one of the plots is concerned, that is, half the property sold, and with regard to the other plot he has found that it is binding on the father of Satiraju and not on the son; and, therefore, in making his preliminary decree for partition he has allowed the minor Satiraju half of one of the plots, that is survey No. 454/2, but has excluded the other plot, survey No. 454/1 from the partition altogether as belonging to the purchaser Sateyya.

2. In Appeal 308 of 1923, the purchaser Sateyya claims that he is entitled to the whole of the two plots, and it is urged that he has paid a proper price for them. It will be convenient first to consider the question of price. I understand the suggestion for the minor Satiraju to be that his father sold these lands nominally for Rs. 10,000, but really received some larger amount, which he put into his own pocket or spent for his own purposes. That is really implied in the allegation that the sale for Rs. 10,000 instead of being for an appropriate price was fraudulent and collusive. It appears to me that, when we are examining the sale of a large piece of land for a very considerable sum of money such as Rs. 10,000 made several years ago, we require very clear evidence to show that the sale was not for a proper price, especially if there is no evidence that the purchaser had any particular motive for entering into a fradulent transaction with the seller. In this case, nothing appears in the evidence to show that Sateyya's father, who carried through the purchase for his minor son, was likely to have been ready to assist the father Satiraju in swindling his son Satiraju. There is a certain amount of oral evidence on both sides in regard to estimates of the value of the lands sold. But mere oral expression of opinion in such cases does not appear to me to be of much value. The Subordinate Judge has arrived at his estimate of Rs. 14,500 by capitalising the annual yield of the land. It appears that these lands for some reason or other were out of possession of the father Satiraju and in the possession of his wife with whom he had quarrelled; the father Satiraju sent a notice Ex. BB. to his wife's father demanding Rs. 880 as the profits of the land for a year. The Subordinate Judge thinks that the income may be capitalised at 20 years' purchase which, if Rs. 880 was accepted as the annual income, would come to Rs. 17,600; but as a matter of fact the Subordinate Judge has adopted Rs. 720 as the income because he takes that to be admitted in the plaint and the purchaser agrees that 110 bags of paddy is the produce for a year. Capitalising the value of paddy at any particular date does not appear to be a safe way of arriving at the capital value of the land, because every one knows that the price of paddy is subject to frequent fluctuations, going up and down within a fairly wide margin. The safest way to value such land appears to me to find out, if possible, for what price adjoining land or neighbouring land of the same quality and value has been sold about the time of the purchase in question. (Then the judgment dealt with the evidence and proceeded:) Taking all the evidence available together it does not appear to me that when it is shown cleary that the father Satiraju when he sold the lands now in question for about Rs. 1,000 an acre, was selling below the market price; still less does it appear that these lands were sold fraudulently. In this connexion one other point has to be remembered. It appears that the father Satiraju owed a considerable sum of money to the Vijayanagaram Estate and that he had been informed that, if he paid the amount at once, Rs. 1,400, would be remitted and as a fact that amount was remitted. That was a very good reason for selling this property rather urgently; and even the most honest persons when they wish to sell property urgently, may not be able to get quite so much as they would if they could afford to wait for a favourable opportunity. I am unable, therefore, to agree with the Subordinate Judge that these lands were sold by the father Satiraju for less than the proper price.

3. Now in regard to the consideration, a large amount was admitted before the Subordinate Judge and he found that the consideration was binding on the minor Satiraju to the extent of Rs. 7,300 but he refused to believe in the debts; represented by Exs. K.(1) and L. (1) which the purchaser was to pay off. However, it is not seriously contended now for the minor Satiraju that the Subordinate Judge's finding can be supported on that point.

4. There still remains in the hands of the purchaser from the date of Ex. D a sum of Rs. 2,460 and that amount the purchaser has undoubtedly to pay. The most proper course in the circumstances appears to be to order him to pay that amount into the Subordinate Judge's Court, to be dealt with in the partition suit, with interest at 12 per cent per annum from the date on which he got possession of the land sold. In my opinion that should be provided for in the decree of the Subordinate Judge in the partition suit, which should also be varied by excluding from the property to be divided both the plots 454/1 and 454/2. It appears that since O. S. No. 36 of 1921 to which A. S. No. 383 of 1923 relates was instituted, the purchaser has obtained possession of the property, so, that what he should now get in that suit is merely a declaration that he is entitled to both the plots as purchaser. The purchaser Sateyya should, I think, get his costs from the respondents in Appeal No. 208 of 1923 and also his costs in O. S. No. 36 of 1921, in the Subordinate Judge's Court. In Appeal No. 383 of 1923, each party should bear his own costs.

Kumaraswami Sastri, J.

5. I agree.


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