Skip to content


Gadadhar Bhatta Vs. Sarat Chandra Mukherjee and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in35Ind.Cas.634
AppellantGadadhar Bhatta
RespondentSarat Chandra Mukherjee and anr.
Excerpt:
u.p. court of wards act (u.p. iii of 1899), sections 15, 35, 42, sub-section (1) - properties of ward outside territorial limits of the united provinces government--jurisdiction of court of wards over--superintendence after ward's death--sale--existence of debts--consent of heirs--presumption. - .....and whose estate had been taken charge of by the court of wards of the united provinces of agra and oudh and represented by the collector of mirzapur.2. during the pendency of the suit, the collector acting under the court of wards sold the property, of which rent is claimed, to the present plaintiffs and the present plaintiffs were substituted in place of the two widows. the case as opened by the learned vakil for the appellant showed a long and complicated title; but it is not necessary to go through all or the whole chain of title that was set out in the opening. it is sufficient to say that, on the 8th january 188.1, a patni was granted of the property by maharaja sir jatindra mohan tagore in favour of one bibi jarao kumari. on the 27th march 1892, bibi jarao kumari granted a.....
Judgment:

Fletcher, J.

1. This is an appeal by the defendant against the decision of the learned Subordinate Judge of the second Court of Chinsura, dated the 22nd November 1913. The suit was one for the recovery of certain rent due under a durpatni. The original plaintiffs were two Hindu ladies named Srimati Dulari Debi and Srimati Peari Debi, widows and heiresses of one Beni Madhab Das, who was a disqualified proprietor and whose estate had been taken charge of by the Court of Wards of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and represented by the Collector of Mirzapur.

2. During the pendency of the suit, the Collector acting under the Court of Wards sold the property, of which rent is claimed, to the present plaintiffs and the present plaintiffs were substituted in place of the two widows. The case as opened by the learned Vakil for the appellant showed a long and complicated title; but it is not necessary to go through all or the whole chain of title that was set out in the opening. It is sufficient to say that, on the 8th January 188.1, a patni was granted of the property by Maharaja Sir Jatindra Mohan Tagore in favour of one Bibi Jarao Kumari. On the 27th March 1892, Bibi Jarao Kumari granted a durpatni in favour of one Madan Mohan Bhatta. The present defendant admittedly represents Madan Mohan. The only question in this case is do the plaintiffs represent Bibi Jarao Kumari in the patni which was granted by Maharaja Sir Jatindra Mohan Tagore on the 8th January 1881.' Beni Madhab Das purchased the interest of this lady Bibi Jarao Kumari at a sale in execution of a money-decree on the 17th April 1905. Subsequently Maharaja Sir Jatindra Mohan Tagore, acting under the Patni Regulation, brought the property to sale and purchased it himself. After a long and complicated litigation, that sale was set aside. So the title remained in Beni Madhab Das, subject to certain mortgages which were held by the plaintiffs. On the 14th of July 1909, Beni Madhab Das made over charge of his estate to the Court of Wards of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The application and the assumption of charge by the Court of Wards were made under the provisions of Section 9 of the Act. Beni Madhab died on the 31st October 1911 and the property was acquired, by the present plaintiffs on the 17th May 1912. The present suit was institutld on the 15th April 1912 in the name of the two widows of Beni Madhab acting through the Collector of Mirzapur and the substitution of the present plaintiffs was made on the 12th July 1912.

3. The first question that has been urged in this appeal is that the Court of Wards of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh has no jurisdiction to deal with the property of a disqualified proprietor situated outside the limits of the territories subject to the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The argument, though bold, I am satisfied, on the wording of the Statute, has no foundation. The section relating to the matter is Section 15. That section enacts that 'the whole of the moveable and ' immoveable property of a ward should be deemed to be under the superintendence of the Court of Wards.' Now, what are the words in the Statute that cut down the clear words, the whole of the moveable and immoveable property.' First of all, it is said that it is an Act passed by the Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and that, therefore, the words 'the whole of the moveable and immoveable property' in the section must be deemed to mean the whole of the moveable and immoveable property within the territorial jurisdiction of the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. That manifestly is not the meaning. The Lieutenant-Governor of Agra and Oudh has got no authority to legislate for persons residing outside the limits of the Provinces of Agra and Oudh and to regulate the superintendence of their properties. It is quite true that the Statute does not deal with cases in which a person has got property outside the limits of the Provinces of Agra and Oudh; but if the disqualified proprietor has got property within the limits of the Provinces of Agra and Oudh so that the Court of Wards of those Provinces may take charge of his property, then there is nothing in the words of the Statute to cut down the perfectly general words of Section 15, in which it is enacted that the whole of the moveable and immoveable property of the disqualified proprietor should become subject to the superintendence of the Court of Wards. Take, for instance, the case of a disqualified proprietor residing in Agra with a heavy deposit in the Bank of Bengal in Calcutta. It is suggested that because the Bank of Bengal in Calcutta is outside the limits of the territory subject to the Lieutenant-Governor of Agra, the Court of Wards at Lucknow or Allahabad has no jurisdiction to deal with the money lying to the credit of the disqualified proprietor in Calcutta. Such a proposition is manifestly unsound. As Section 15 makes no distinction at all between moveable and immoveable property, it is quite clear that properties both within the limits of the Provinces of Agra and Oudh as well as outside thereof are subject to the administration set up by the Act in the event of a person coming under the terms of the Act. It is said that there would be a conflict between the Court of Wards of the Presidency of Bengal and the Court of Wards established in the United Provinces. It seems to me that there cannot be any conflict at all. If the Court of Wards of Bengal had taken charge of the property, of course, the acts of the Court of Wards of the United Provinces would have been subject to any local legislation that might be passed, or established by the Government of Bengal. It seems to me quite clear on the section that the words used therein must bear their ordinary signification and that the expression 'the whole of the moveable and immoveable property of the ward' means what it says and is not limited to the moveable and immoveable property situated within the limits of the territories subject to the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

4. Then it was argued that, even if that were so, the Court of Wards had no jurisdiction to sell the property at all. Section 35 of the Court of Wards Act of the United Provinces gives a general power to the Court of Wards to sell or mortgage any part of any property under its superintendence. The power conferred by the Act is subject to a proviso, namely, that where the property has been taken charge of by the Court of Wards under Section 9 of the Act, the sale should not be made without the consent of the proprietor. But subject to that, the Court of Wards has jurisdiction to sell any part of a property subject to its superintendence. The question in this case is whether, on the death of Beni Madhab Das on the 31st October 1911 when the property passed to his two widows, the original plaintiffs, this property remained subject to the superintendence of the Court of Wards. The section applicable to this matter is Section 42, Sub-section (1), which runs in these terms: When a ward dies or when a ward disqualified under Clause (a) or Clause (c) of Section 8 ceases to be disqualified before the liquidation is completed of the debts and liabilities with which the property is charged, the Court of Wards may either release such property or may retain it under its superintendence until such debts and liabilities have been discharged.' The Court of Wards did retain the superintendence of this property. The ordinary presumption must be made in favour of the acts of the Executive Government, namely, that they retained the superintendence because there were debts and liabilities and that these debts and liabilities had not been discharged; and; as a matter of fact, nobody has suggested that the debts and liabilities were discharged. A point was raised that, under the proviso to Section 35, the Court of Wards could only sell if the sale was made with the consent of the two widows. Assuming that that view is correct, it appears from the record quite clear that nobody in the Court below raised the question that the two widows were not consenting parties to the sale to the plaintiffs. The substitution of the plaintiffs was made in the place of the two widows after the institution of the suit and it is obvious that the two widows must have consented to the sale. Their consent is recited in the deed of conveyance and as nobody ever raised the question, no express evidence was given as to the widows having consented to the sale, There are two answers to the point that has been raised. The first is. that, if the defendant meant to raise this question, he ought to have raised ft in the Court below, The second is that this is an act of the Executive Government and the Court may presume that that act was regularly done and that before the officers exercised the jurisdiction under Section 35 they did, in fact, obtain the consent of the widows. There is no force in either of the points raised with reference to the power of the Court of Wards and the consent of the widows,

5. The third point that has been raised in this case is equally bad. It is said that in this case the defendant during two of the years of his possession was disturbed in possession. The disturbance in the first instance is said to have been made by Maharaja Sir Jatindra Mohan Tagore during the time after he had purchased the putni and before the sale was set aside by the .Court. The sale to the Maharaja was a good sale until it was set aside and the learned Judge of the Court below has found, and that finding has not been challenged by anybody, that the Maharaja restored the moneys he collected after the sale was set aside. The other disturbance by permanent title is the disturbance by the Collector of Mirzapur. during such time as he was acting as a Receiver appointed by this Court. The possession of a Receiver is the possession of the Court and when the property was in the custody of the Court, obviously a party cannot complain. The Receiver held the amounts he collected from the tenants subject to the orders of the Court and presumably awarded them to the persons who appeared to the Court to be ultimately entitled to them. In my opinion, the learned Subordinate Judge in this case arrived at a correct conclusion when he decreed the suit in favour of the plaintiffs. Nothing has been shown in the present' appeal to make one doubt that the conclusion arrived at by the learned Judge of the Court below is not correct and is not in accordance with the evidence given at the trial. In my opinion, the present appeal fails and must be dismissed with costs.

Teunon, J.

6. I agree.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //