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Peddi Reddi Jogi Reddi Vs. Paneen Chinnabireddi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in90Ind.Cas.1016
AppellantPeddi Reddi Jogi Reddi
RespondentPaneen Chinnabireddi and ors.
Cases ReferredVarada Pillai v. Jeevarathnammal
Excerpt:
registration act (xvi of 1908), sections 17 and 19 - partition karar--registration, whether necessary--part-performance, doctrine of, applicability of--contract act (ix of 1872), sections 239 and 253--property managed jointly--co-ownership--partnership--agreement, implied, to share equally. - .....nos. 1 and 2 with their deceased brother bali reddi formed members of a joint hindu family. jogi reddi, the 3rd defendant, who is the appellant before us, is the son of their sister sanjamma, who married a christian. on the death of his father, jogi reddi and his mother lived with his uncles as members of one house-hold. it is admitted that when jogi reddi came to live in the family he had considerable properties. all these properties were managed by his uncles along with the family properties and fresh acquisitions were made to the family properties from the income of these properties and also by the joint labours and skill of the plaintiff, defendants nos. 1 and 2, and jogi reddi. in course of time, jogi reddi though a christian married his hindu cousin, the daughter of the.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. This second appeal arises out of a suit instituted by the plaintiff for a declaration that he and defendants Nos. 1 to 3 are each entitled to one-fourth of the plaint schedule, moveable and immoveable properties including debts, for the recovery of the plaintiff's one-fourth share of these properties making him liable for one-fourth of the debts mentioned in Schedule D and for a declaration that certain alienations are not binding on him.

2. The facts of the case are not seriously disputed. The plaintiff, defendants Nos. 1 and 2 with their deceased brother Bali Reddi formed members of a joint Hindu family. Jogi Reddi, the 3rd defendant, who is the appellant before us, is the son of their sister Sanjamma, who married a Christian. On the death of his father, Jogi Reddi and his mother lived with his uncles as members of one house-hold. It is admitted that when Jogi Reddi came to live in the family he had considerable properties. All these properties were managed by his uncles along with the family properties and fresh acquisitions were made to the family properties from the income of these properties and also by the joint labours and skill of the plaintiff, defendants Nos. 1 and 2, and Jogi Reddi. In course of time, Jogi Reddi though a Christian married his Hindu cousin, the daughter of the deceased Bali Reddi. This family composed of the Hindus and a Christian lived together in peace for a quarter of a century when the plaintiff demanded partition. A partition karar was, therefore, entered into between the various parties to the suit, but the attempt to divide the moveables, immoveables and the debts proving abortive, the plaintiff instituted the suit for partition which has given rise to this second appeal.

3. Briefly stated, the 3rd defendant's contentions were that the properties standing in his name which are admittedly large should be treated as his own properties that he should be given a share in the family properties or in any event the parties to the suit are bound by the partition arrangement entered into between them in April 1916. On these contentions the lower Appellate Court held that the partition karar being an unregistered document was inadmissible in evidence, that there is absolutely no satisfactory evidence to show that the family intended to keep the properties of Jogi Reddi separate, that all the properties were treated as the common properties of the whole family of which the 3rd defendant was a member and by a combination of those properties, and the labour and skill of all the members the family eventually became wealthy. The lower Appellate Court, therefore, gave a decree for the plaintiff substantially as asked for after declaring some of the alienations not binding on the plaintiff.

4. In second appeal the learned Vakil for the appellant has argued two points (1) that the learned Subordinate Judge is wrong in holding the partition karar inadmissible in evidence for want of registration; and (2) that the Subordinate Judge's finding that the plaintiff is entitled to one-fourth of the family properties is wrong in law and is not warranted by the legal character of the relationship of the parties to the suit which only shows a 'partnership'. The document in question is called a division settlement karar. Under this document certain properties were exclusively given to Jogi Reddi for his enjoyment and he was given one-fourth share of the debts, outstandings, and other moveables. Then a provision was made for the maintenance of Ellamma, the wife of Pedda Bali Reddi, and a land was given to Sanjeeva Reddi. The remaining properties moveables and immoveables were allotted in equal shares to the other three members. As this document creates rights in immoveable property admittedly worth more than Rs. 100, it has got to be registered and as it has not been registered it cannot be received in evidence of any transaction affecting immoveable property. It has been argued that there has been part-performance of the karar agreement but there is no evidence to support it. The Full Bench decision in Vizagapatam Sugar Development Company v. Muthurama Reddi 76 Ind. Cas. 886 : 45 M.L.J. 528 : (1924) M.W.N. 14 : A.I.R. (1924) (M.) 271 : 33 M.L.T. 53 does not at all deal with the admissibility in evidence of an unregistered document requiring registration. It is no doubt true that it was held in Konduri Srinivasa Charyulu v. Gottumukkalu Venkataraju 17 M.L.J. 218 that in a suit for specific performance of a contract to grant a lease, an unregistered deed containing the alleged agreement is admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving the contract for the breach of which the suit was brought; but this decision must be considered to be overruled by the Pull Bench decision in Narayanan Chetty v. Muthiah Servi 8 Ind. Cas. 520 : 9 M.L.T. 142 : 21 M.L.J. 44 : (1910) M.W.N. 743 the principle of which exactly applies to the argument now under consideration. In my opinion, the principle of this decision in Narayanan Chetty v. Muthiah Servi 8 Ind. Cas. 520 : 9 M.L.T. 142 : 21 M.L.J. 44 : (1910) M.W.N. 743 is not in any way shaken by the decision of the Privy Council in Varada Pillai v. Jeevarathnammal 53 Ind. Cas. 901 : (1919) M.W.N. 724 : 10 L.W. 679 : 24 C.W.N. 346 : 38 M.L.J. 313 : 18 A.L.J. 274 : 46 I.A. 285 : 2 U.P.L.R. (P.C.) 64 : 22 Bom. L.R. 444 I, therefore, hold that the Courts below were right in refusing to admit this document in evidence. As regards the second point, the argument has been put in this way by the learned Vakil. The family of the kind mentioned in this case is unknown to Hindu Law. At most, it can only amount to what may be called a partnership between these various members and if so, the division of the property should be made according to the provisions of Section 253(1) of the Indian Contract Act. If this principle is accepted, the 3rd defendant will get for his share all the properties which originally stood in his name. There are two objections to the acceptance of this view. In the first place, it is not quite clear whether the relationship of the parties comes strictly within the definition of a partnership as given in Section 239 of the Indian Contract Act. It may be that the parties in this case might have combined their properties, labour or skill, but their combination cannot be said to have gone beyond the mere stage of the co-ownership, and, even if it has, the relationship of partners is regulated by Section 253 only in the absence of any contract to the contrary. The lower Courts have found that there was no intention to keep the various properties separate and that all the properties were treated as the common property of the whole family which necessarily implied an agreement between the members that they were all to share the properties alike and appellant was a party to the agreement. Accepting this finding, I overrule this argument.

5. In the result, the second appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.

Phillips, J.

6. I agree.


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