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Baldeo Das Bajoria and ors. Vs. Sorojini Dasi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1929Cal697
AppellantBaldeo Das Bajoria and ors.
RespondentSorojini Dasi and ors.
Cases ReferredJogendra Chunder Ghose v. Fulkumari Dassi
Excerpt:
- .....bansha died in the year 1900 leaving him surviving his widow and three sons. hari narain got his share partitioned in the year 1905. the three sons of hari bansha purchased the share of hari narain, which had been partitioned previously by a conveyance dated 31st may 1922. on that very day the three brothers mortgaged the entire interest in the house to a third person, with which we are not concerned in this litigation. on 12th october 1923 these three brothers again mortgaged the property to defendant 5. on 1st september 1924 these three brothers again executed a second mortgage of this very property in favour of their mother. defendant 5 brought a suit on his mortgage on 10th november 1924 and a preliminary decree was made on 22nd january 1925. in the meantime defendant 4 was.....
Judgment:

B.B. Ghose, J.

1. This is an appeal by defendants 4 and 5 which arises out of a suit for partition. A preliminary decree has been made by the learned Subordinate Judge and the appeal is directed against that preliminary decree. The property which is the subject-matter of this appeal originally belonged to two brothers, Hari Narain and Hari Bansha. Hari Bansha died in the year 1900 leaving him surviving his widow and three sons. Hari Narain got his share partitioned in the year 1905. The three sons of Hari Bansha purchased the share of Hari Narain, which had been partitioned previously by a conveyance dated 31st May 1922. On that very day the three brothers mortgaged the entire interest in the house to a third person, with which we are not concerned in this litigation. On 12th October 1923 these three brothers again mortgaged the property to defendant 5. On 1st September 1924 these three brothers again executed a second mortgage of this very property in favour of their mother. Defendant 5 brought a suit on his mortgage on 10th November 1924 and a preliminary decree was made on 22nd January 1925. In the meantime defendant 4 was appointed as Receiver by an order of the Court in accordance with the terms contained in the indenture of mortgage dated 12th October 1923. The Receiver remained in possession of the property on behalf of the mortgagors and the mortgagee. The present suit for partition was brought by one of the sons of Hari Bansha on 17th April 1925 and two items of properties were included in his suit. There is no dispute with regard to item 1 with which the present appellants have no concern and the whole dispute centres round item 2 which had been mortgaged to defendant 5. During the pendency of this suit for partition a final decree in the mortgage suit of defendant 5 was made on 19th March 1925 and the property was sold on 7th August 1926 and purchased by defendant 5, as the lower Court finds and as is contended for on behalf of the respondent. But it is stated that there were other purchasers who were trustees with regard to some charitable trust : but that is a matter with which we are not concerned and this was not discussed in the Court below. The Receiver was discharged by order of the Court and defendant 5 took possession of the disputed property as purchaser. In the partition suit the two brothers of the plaintiff were defendants 1 and 2 and his mother was defendant 3; defendant 4 was Receiver and defendant 5 was the mortgagee and subsequently became the purchaser.

2. The question which is in debate in this Court and which was the subject-matter of dispute in the Court below is whether the mother is entitled to a fourth share of the property including property No. 2, according to the provisions of the Hindu Law, on a partition being made among the sons. There is one small matter which has not been much debated that a half share of the property is not the ancestral property of the brothers and therefore if the widow of Hari Bansha is entitled to a share on a partition between her sons she would get a fourth share of item 2. But the real controversy is whether she would get any share under the circumstances of this case. The learned Subordinate Judge has held that the plaintiff and defendants 1 and 2 have got no subsisting right to property No. 2, which has been described as the-Strand Road premises, and their suit for partition with regard to that plot must fail. He has, however, made a decree to this effect that defendant 3, the mother,, would get a fourth share of both the properties Nos. 1 and 2 and the plaintiff and defendants 1 to 3 would each get a fourth share of the property No. 1. As I have already stated that assuming that the learned Judge is right, the lady would be entitled to get an Right share of the property No. 2. But it is contended on behalf of the appellants that under the circumstances of this case the lady would be entitled to get no share in property No. 2. Their case is that the principle of Hindu Law upon which the learned Subordinate Judge has relied is not applicable in this case and that his decision is, therefore, liable to be reversed. On behalf of the respondents-reliance is placed upon the well known case of Jogendra Chunder Ghose v. Fulkumari Dassi [1900] 27 Cal. 77. In that case-Banerji, J., laid down the principle on which according to the Hindu Law the mother is entitled to get a share on a. partition made among the sons born of her womb of the property inherited from the father. The learned Judge after quoting the text from Dayabhaga observes:

With reference to the above passage front the Dayabhaga, it has been held, and it must now be taken as settled law, that the mother right to claim a share arises only when her sons come to a partition, in other words that she cannot enforce her claim to a share so long her sons remain joint and do not ask for partition. But there is nothing said in this passage or in any other authoritative text of Hindu Law as to a mother's right to a share on partition being so absolutely non-existent before partition, that it may be defeated by any of her sons alienating his share before coming to a partition.

3. He then proceeds in this way:

In my opinion the correct view to take of this right would be to hold that it is an inchoate right as long as no partition is come to amongst the sons and it becomes actually enforceable only when the sons come to a partition ; or in other words that the right when it becomes enforceable by reason of a partition being come to among the sons, is [1900] 27 Cal. 77 enforceable not only as against the song, and as regards so much only of the joint property as at the date of partition is in the hands of the sons, but also as against any person deriving title from any of the sons and as regards the property to which they may have so derived title, subject to certain qualifications and limitations.

4. In that case during the pendency of the suit for partition by one of the sons another son sold his share in the joint property. It was held by the Court that by reason of the sale the interest obtained by the purchaser is subject to the rule of lis pendens and that he cannot stand on a higher footing than that of his vendor and when the partition is made, if his vendor was a party to the suit, the mother would get a share: that right cannot be defeated during the pendency of the suit by one of the sons transferring his interest in favour of a third party. This principle has been elaborated in a subsequent case Amrita Lal Mitter v. Maniaklal Mullick [1900] 27 Cal. 551 where Ameer Ali, J., sitting alone held that this principle is applicable where a stranger to the family purchases the interest of one of the sons and then seeks for partition of the joint family property. The question has again been discussed in the case of Jogobondhu Pal v. Rajendra Nath Chatterjee A.I.R. 1921 Cal. 351 by Mukerjee, J. But the principle has not been carried further than what was laid down by Banerji, J. In this case the appellants contend that he is entitled to the property by virtue of his purchase in the same state in which it was at the time of the mortgage or, in other words, that any subsequent alienation made by the mortgagor would not affect his interest. That proposition is uncontroverted. But if the mother could get any right in the present suit by reason of the partition, that would not be by the right created by the mortgagor but it would arise under the Hindu Law and I doubt whether the principle enunciated by the appellant would apply to such a case. In this case, in my opinion, the plaintiff had a right to bring the suit for partition at the time when he brought the suit. Although there had been a preliminary decree for partition the title of the plaintiff to his share of the property was not extinguished by that preliminary decree on mortgage but he had still a subsisting interest in the share of the property by reason of succession to his father. The plaintiff's right to bring the suit was not affected. The mother's right to claim a share, however, arises, as Banerji, J. laid down, only on a partition no matter whether the partition is made amicably or as the result of a decree by a suit The mere bringing of a suit for partition by one of the sons does not confer any right on the mother to have a share, according to the view expressed by Banerji, J. If the suit for partition is withdrawn the mother cannot claim any share, nor can she insist that the suit must be carried on to a decree. If the partition suit is dismissed by the Court for some reason or other, then the mother would not get any share in the property. It is only when the property is actually partitioned, the mother would get a share equal to that of her sons. She is not even a necessary party to the suit having no interest in the property when the suit is brought. She can only come in to watch the proceedings to safeguard her interest when the partition is effected.

5. Now, it is contended on behalf of the respondent that defendant 5 is bound by the rule of lis pendens as was applied in the case of Jogendra Chunder Ghose v. Fulkumari Dassi [1900] 27 Cal. 77 cited above. The difficulty in this case is that that principle cannot be applied to this case. Here defendant 5 has acquired the interest of the plaintiff as well as the defendants who had interest in the property. It is a fundamental principle that a man ; cannot sue himself and the defendant standing in the shoes of the plaintiff with regard to this property cannot continue the suit for partition with regard to this very property. The plea therefore, must fall to the ground by reason of the purchase of defendant 5 and, as the learned Subordinate Judge says, the plaintiff and defendants 1 and 2 cannot ask for partition of property 2. That being so, the mother would not be entitled to any share of property No. by reason of the fact that her sons had no interest in the property and this property could not be the subject of partition. Whether she would have a charge for her maintenance against the property in the hands of the purchaser is another matter. That question cannot arise in a suit for partition and if she has any right, the question must be left open to be debated in a subsequent suit.

6. The result, therefore, is that the judgment and preliminary decree of the Subordinate Judge should be modified to this extent that the suit for partition with regard to property No. 2, i.e., the Strand road premises, should stand dismissed and, therefore, any claim of defendant 3 will also stand dismissed, and the appeal is allowed to this extent. The appellant is entitled to his costs from the respondent who has appeared, hearing fee being assessed at three gold mohurs.

N.K. Bose, J.

7. I agree.


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