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Monday, May 13, 2013

Suit: Suit for declaration of title - Suit property sold by DW-4 by registered sale deed in 1968 - Petitioner claiming title over property on the basis of registered sale deed executed by DW-4 in 1974 - Held: DW-4 was not competent to execute the subsequent sale deed in 1974 in respect of same property - Petitioner therefore did not acquire any title to the suit property - Deeds and documents. The petitioner filed a suit for declaration of title to the suit property. The basis of petitioner's claim was that suit property was sold by DW-4 to `SG' by a registered deed dated 10.5.1974 (Ext.A-1) from whom the petitioner purchased the suit property in 1984. The defence of defendant was that DW-4 sold the suit property by a registered deed dated 22.5.1968 (Ext.B-1) to one `TH' who then sold it on 17.5.1982 to `PP'. The defendant then purchased the suit property from `PP' by registered deed in 1985. The trial court dismissed the suit and held that in view of registered deed dated 22.5.1968 by DW-4, she was no longer competent to execute the subsequent sale deed in respect of same property in favour of `SG' through whom the petitioner claimed title. The First Appellate Court decreed the suit holding that the evidence of DW-4 was not reliable as she neither knew `TH' nor the scribe of the sale deed. However, the High Court accepted the evidence of DW-4 and held that since Ext.B-1 was prior in point of time in relation to the subsequent document executed in favour of `SG', the petitioner, who had acquired his title through `SG', did not acquire any title to the suit properties. On such finding, the High Court reversed the decision of the first Appellate Court. Aggrieved petitioner filed special leave petition.=Dismissing the special leave petition, the Court Held: Ext.B2 was a crucial document and was admittedly anterior in point of time to Ext.A1 subsequently executed by DW-4 when she had already divested herself of title to the suit properties. The petitioner did not, therefore, acquire any title to the suit property and the suit was rightly dismissed. [Para 11] [629 -A-B] CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTIO : SLP (Civil) No. 4549 of 2008. From the Judgment & Order dated 18.4.2007 of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad in Second Appeal No. 656 of 1997. A. Subba Rao for the Petitioner.


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) No.4549 of 2008
Atla Sidda Reddy .. Petitioner
Vs.
Busi Subba Reddy & Ors. .. Respondent
J U D G M E N T
ALTAMAS KABIR, J.
1. Despite service of notice, the respondents have
not appeared to contest the Special Leave
Petition which is directed against the judgment
and order dated 18th April, 2007, passed by theAndhra Pradesh High Court in S.A. No.656 of
1997.
2. In September, 1988, the petitioner filed O.S.
No.735 of 1988 in the Court of District Munsif,
Cuddapah, inter alia, for declaration of the
petitioner’s title to the plaint schedule
property and for permanent injunction to
restrain the defendant No.1 and his men from
interfering with the petitioner’s peaceful
possession therein and enjoyment thereof. The
III Additional District Munsif dismissed the
petitioner’s suit on 29.11.1990, upon holding
that the petitioner had failed to establish the
title of his predecessor-in-interest in the
suit land. The petitioner preferred an appeal,
being A.S.No.113 of 1990, in the Court of 1
st
Additional District Judge, Cuddapah, which was
allowed on 26th March, 1997. The judgment and
2order of the trial court was set aside and the
suit was decreed in favour of the petitioner.
3. It may be indicated that the defendant No.1
Koppolu Subba Reddy, died during the pendency
of the appeal before the 1
st Additional
District Judge, Cuddapah, and the Respondents
Nos. 2 to 4 herein were brought on record as
his legal representatives. The respondents
herein filed Second Appeal No.656 of 1997, in
the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the same was
allowed by the learned Single Judge on 18th
April, 2007. The judgment and decree of the
1
st Additional District Judge was set aside and
the judgment and decree of the trial court
dismissing the petitioner’s suit was restored.
4. In order to appreciate the submissions of Mr.
A. Subba Rao, learned advocate, appearing in
support of the Special Leave Petition, it is
3necessary to set out the facts of the case in
brief.
5. According to the petitioner, the suit property
belonged to the defendant No.1, Koppolu Subba
Reddy who sold the same to one Pasupula
Lakshmamma by a registered deed of sale dated
19.7.1966. Lakshmamma, in her turn, sold the
property to one Syed Ghouse Bi alias Chand
Begum, a minor represented by her guardian and
father Syed Ghouse, by a registered sale deed
dated 10.5.1974 and the same was allegedly
attested by the defendant No.1 himself.
Thereafter, Syed Ghouse Bi alias Chand Begum
sold the land to the petitioner by a registered
deed of sale dated 5.3.1984 and the petitioner
is in peaceful possession and enjoyment of the
said land in his own right since then. The suit
was resisted by the defendant by filing a
4written statement wherein it was admitted that
the suit lands originally belonged to the
defendant No.1 who sold the same to Lakshmamma,
but the said Lakshmamma sold all the lands,
except Survey No.93/6, to one Thondolu
Mahaboob Basha, son of Dathagiri by a
registered deed of sale dated 22.5.1968.
Subsequently, Thondolu Mahaboob Basha sold two
portions of the said land, namely, Survey
No.99/6 to an extent of 40 cents out of 52
cents and Survey No.99/6 to an extent of 47
cents, comprising the suit land, to Pallampalli
Pedda Veera Reddy, by a registered deed of sale
dated 17.5.1982. The defendant thereafter
purchased the said two plots of land from the
said Pallampalli Pedda Veera Reddy by a
registered deed dated 7.11.1985. The
defendant, accordingly, was the absolute owner
of the said land and he has been in possession
5and enjoyment of the property since then.
6. In the light of the pleadings of the parties to
the suit, the main issue which fell for
decision of the trial court was whether the
petitioner had acquired title to the suit
properties by virtue of the deed of sale dated
5.3.1984 executed in his favour by Syed Ghouse
Bi alias Chand Begum in view of the case of the
defendant that Lakshmamma had already sold the
suit property to one Thondolu Mahaboob Basha by
a registered deed of sale dated 22.5.1968
(Ext.B2). In other words, what the Court was
called upon to decide was whether Ext.B2
extinguished Lakshmamma’s right in the suit
property so that she no longer had any right to
execute and register the sale deed dated 10th
May, 1974 executed in favour of Syed Ghouse Bi
alias Chand Begum.
67. The trial court came to the finding that in
view of the registered sale deed dated
22.5.1968 executed by Lakshmamma in favour of
Thondolu Mahaboob Basha in respect of the suit
property, she was no longer competent to
execute the subsequent sale deed in respect of
the same property in favour of Syed Ghouse Bi
alias Chand Begum through whom the
plaintiff/petitioner claims title. The trial
court thereupon dismissed the suit.
8. The First Appellate Court, however, chose not
to rely on the evidence of Lakshmamma, (DW.4),
who in her deposition was not certain as to how
the sale deed was said to have been executed by
her in favour of Thondolu Mahaboob Basha as she
neither knew him nor the scribe, who is said to
have written the sale deed.
79. The First Appellate Court held that the
testimony of DW.4, Lakshmamma, did not inspire
confidence and, accordingly, discarded the same
as far as the sale deed in favour of Thondolu
Mahaboob Basha on 22.5.1968 (Ext.B2) is
concerned and relied on the subsequent deed
executed in favour of Syed Ghouse Bi alias
Chand Begum dated 10.5.1974 (Ext.A1), and
decreed the suit.
10. As indicated hereinbefore, the High Court
accepted the evidence of DW.4 Lakshmamma and came
to a finding that by virtue of Ex.B2 she had
transferred all her rights, title and interest in
the suit properties in favour of Thondolu Mahaboob
Basha and having divested her of the title to the
suit properties, she was no longer competent to
execute a further sale deed in respect of the same
property in favour of Syed Ghouse Bi on 16.3.1974
8(Ex.A1). The High Court having accepted the sale
deed dated 22.5.1968 in favour of Thondolu Mahaboob
Basha as being genuine, it came to the conclusion
that since the said document was prior in point of
time in relation to the subsequent document
executed in favour of Syed Ghouse Bi, the
plaintiff/petitioner, who had acquired his title
through Syed Ghouse Bi alias Chand Begum, did not
acquire any title to the suit properties. On such
finding, the High Court reversed the judgment and
decree of the first Appellate Court.
11. The factual aspect having been dealt with in
detail by the Courts below, ending in the findings
of the High Court, we are not inclined to delve
into the facts any further. As indicated by the
trial Court, Ext.B2 is a crucial document and was
admittedly anterior in point of time to Ext.A1
subsequently executed by DW.4 in favour of Syed
9Ghouse Bi when she had already divested herself of
title to the suit properties. The petitioner did
not, therefore, acquire any title to the suit
property and the suit was rightly dismissed.
12. Having regard to the above, the submissions
advanced on behalf of the petitioner do not warrant
any interference with the order of the High Court
impugned therein and the same is, accordingly,
dismissed, but without any order as to costs.
…………………………………………J.
(ALTAMAS KABIR)
…………………………………………J.
(CYRIAC JOSEPH)
New Delhi
Dated: 6TH May, 2010.
10

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