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C. Sundarammal Vs. Arunachala Mudali and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Mad1138
AppellantC. Sundarammal
RespondentArunachala Mudali and ors.
Cases Referred and Ballumal v. Ram Kishen A. I. R.
Excerpt:
- .....bought in good faith, and the only point for consideration is whether in so doing they exercised reasonable care. admittedly, whatever else they did, they failed to scrutinize the title-deeds., it is.argued on behalf of the appellant that they failed to exercise reasonable care i do not think that in this country the argument in this unqualified form can be accepted. it is true that in certain calcutta cases ram charan das v. joy ram majhi 17 c. w. n. 100 and badha mudhali v. kalpataru 17 c. l. j. 209 the english rule has been quoted that an omission to call for title-deeds constitutes constructive notice. but it is obvious that a crite ion which would be reasonable, in england cannot always be applied to the circumstances in which sales take place in this country. if, for instance, a.....
Judgment:

Curgenven, J.

1. The respondent in this case purchased certain property from the husband and son of one Nagammal who is the appellant's (plaintiff's) mother. The property really belonged not to the vendors but to Nagammal and the question is whether the purchasers are entitled to the benefit of the provisions Section 41, T. P. Act. It is not disputed that they bought in good faith, and the only point for consideration is whether in so doing they exercised reasonable care. Admittedly, whatever else they did, they failed to scrutinize the title-deeds., It is.argued on behalf of the appellant that they failed to exercise reasonable care I do not think that in this country the argument in this unqualified form can be accepted. It is true that in certain Calcutta cases Ram Charan Das v. Joy Ram Majhi 17 C. W. N. 100 and Badha Mudhali v. Kalpataru 17 C. L. J. 209 the English rule has been quoted that an omission to call for title-deeds constitutes constructive notice. But it is obvious that a crite ion which would be reasonable, in England cannot always be applied to the circumstances in which sales take place in this country. If, for instance, a solicitor accepts responsibility for securing proof of clear title his omission to call for and examine the title-deed would necessarily involve him in a charge of negligence.

2. Another case of the Calcutta High Court, Niras Purbe v. Mt. Tetri Pasin 20 C. W. N. 103 has been referred to and in that case the Court accepted certain considerations as going to show that due care had been exercised notwithstanding the failure of the purchaser to require production of the deed. The only principle, I think, that can be arrived at from the case law is the general one that each case must be decided upon its own particular circumstances. It may be, as was held in Partab Ghand v. Sanjida Bibi [1901] 28 All. 442 and Ballumal v. Ram Kishen A. I. R. 1921 All. 311 that mere verification that the property was registered either in the revenue accounts or in the municipal registers in the name of the ostensible owner would not be sufficient, especially where, as was found in those cases, suspicious circumstances existed which would have put the purchaser upon further enquiry.

3. In the present case both Courts have concurred in finding that there were a number of circumstances which justified the purchasers in coming to the conclusion that the property belonged to the vendors. There was in the first place the fact that the patta for about 20 years had been registered in the father's name and that he had apparently been in possession of it as was shown by the kist receipts among other things; that in respect of the property covered by all the sales except one, there had been prior mortgages by the father and son. The sales were effected in the presence of the Village Munsif and the karnam, and it was to be supposed that those officers must have known to whom the property belonged so that the purchasers were entitled to rely on their presence, and their failure to interpose any objection as some proof of its ownership by the vendors. The vendors themselves were persons of some status. Lastly the wife, who apparently could have been the only alternative owner and who must have known that the sales were taking place was present at the sales and made no objection. These points have all been considered by the lower Courts and the .conclusion which they have come to, that reasonable care was shown by the purchasers appears to me to be a fair inference from the facts and certainly one which I am not prepared to interfere with in Second Appeal. The Second Appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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