1. In this case the question raised is, whether the gift of a house in a case in which the donor reserved to himself the right of remaining in the house for the term of his life, and which was unaccompanied by any act of physical delivery, or any symbolical act by which physical delivery could be held to be implied, is valid.
2. No case supporting the view of the respondent that such a gift is valid has been brought to our knowledge.
3. In the present instance the donees appear to have never in any way had delivery of the house, and the only incident which can be regarded as symbolical of delivery is registration of the deed of gift.
4. With regard to registration it was contended by the respondent that the Full Bench Ruling in Narain Chunder Cuckerbutty v. Dataram Roy I.L.R. 8 Cal. 597 had laid down that possession was necessary neither for a sale nor a gift. We find, however, that the learned Judges in that case confined themselves strictly to a case where there has been a sale of property for valuable consideration, and where the document evidencing that sale has been registered. Their Lordships appear to have referred to the general course of dealings with regard to property, and to have considered that the general usage of the province had had the effect of dispensing with actual delivery in the case of sales for valuable consideration. No case, however, has gone the length, so far as we are aware, of saying that a gift by a Hindu, unaccompanied either by possession on the part of the donee or any symbolical act, such as handing over documents of title, or by permitting the donee to receive rents, or other like act, is in itself a valid transaction, even though the deed of gift be registered. On the other hand, we think that the decision in Kishto Soondery Debia v. Ranee Kishto Motee (Marsh., 367) must be taken as laying down that in such a case as this no valid binding transaction has taken place, until the donee has either actually or symbolically taken possession of the gift.
5. We think, therefore, that the decree of the lower Appellate Court must be reversed, and that of the original Court restored with costs throughout.