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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Section 8 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 = selling of minor's property with definite share is void even by natural guardian with out permission of the court - a minor or any person having interest in minor can question the same - father died - 3 daughters and their mother as legal heirs - 1/4 th share each got - mutation to that effect - sale is void against the minor in the absence of court permission = SAROJ … APPELLANTS VERSUS SUNDER SINGH & ORS. … RESPONDENTS = published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40989

  Section 8 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956  = selling of minor's property with definite share is void even by natural guardian with out permission of the court - a minor or any person having interest in minor can question the same - father died - 3 daughters and their mother as legal heirs - 1/4 th share each got - mutation to that effect - sale is void against the minor in the absence of court permission  =

The trial court while deciding the 7th issue  noticed  evidence  of
other witnesses. 
It further noticed that 
the property was  devolved  on  the
wife, Smt. Rishal and Saroj,  Manoj  and  Sanoj  in  equal  share  of  1/4th each.  
According  to  the  entries  in  the  revenue  record  they  were  in possession of 1/4th  share of the land. 

  Section 8 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 
deals  with
      the  powers of natural guardian of a Hindu minor and the said  section
      mandates that the natural guardian has power to do all acts which  are
      necessary or reasonable and proper for the benefit of the minor or for
      the realisation, protection or benefit of the minor’s estate, etc. The
      provision  reads as follows:

      “8 . Powers of natural guardian.- 
(1) The natural guardian of a  Hindu
      minor has power, subject to the provisions of this section, to do  all
      acts which are necessary or reasonable and proper for the  benefit  of
      the minor or for the realization, protection or benefit of the minor's
      estate;
 but the guardian can in no case bind the minor by  a  personal covenant.


     
 (2) The natural guardian shall not, without the previous permission of
      the court,-
            (a) mortgage or charge, or transfer by sale, gift,  exchange  or
           otherwise any part of the immovable property of the minor; or


           (b) lease any part of such property for  a  term  exceeding  five
           years or for a term extending more than one year beyond the  date
           on which the minor will attain majority.


      
(3) Any disposal of immovable property  by  a  natural  guardian,  in
      contravention of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2),  is  voidable  at
      the instance of the minor or any person claiming under him.


     
 (4) No court shall grant permission to the natural guardian to do  any
      of the acts mentioned in sub-section (2) except in case  of  necessity
      or for an evident advantage to the minor.


                         xxx    xxx     xxx      xxx
                        xxx    xxx     xxx      xxx”



    As per clause (a) of sub-section (2) of Section 8 no immovable  property
of the minor can be mortgaged or charged,  or  transferred  by  sale,  gift,
exchange or otherwise without the previous permission of  the  Court. 
 Under
sub-section (3) of Section 8  disposal of such an immovable  property  by  a
natural guardian, in contravention of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)  of
Section 8,  is voidable at the instance of the minor or any person  claiming
under him.
  12. In the present case, though it is stated that the  property  has  been sold for the proper benefit of the minors, their protection, education  and marriage,there is  nothing on  record  to  suggest  that  previous permission of the Court was  obtained by the natural  guardian  before transfer by sale  in question.

  13. Where the father dies leaving behind only minor  daughters  and  their
      mother  as  natural  guardian, 
 the  share  of  the  daughters  became definite;  
the question of family partition retaining the character of joint Hindu Family property does not  exist.   
In  the  present  case,
      after the death of the father,
the property has  been  shared  amongst
      each member of the family   and  recorded  in  the  mutation  register
      having 1/4th share each.
 In such  circumstances,   the   provision  of
      sub-section (3) of Section 8 shall attract as  the   mother  sold  the
      property without previous permission of the  Court.  
Hence,  both  the
      sale deeds executed by the second respondent in favour  of  the  first
      respondent shall become  voidable at the instance of  the  minor  i.e.
      the appellant and the  Proforma-respondent nos.4&5.


  14. In view of the finding recorded above,  we set aside the judgments and
      orders passed by the trial court, First  Appellate  Court  and  Second
      Appellate Court.  Accordingly,  the suit stands decreed in  favour  of
      the appellant and proforma respondent Nos.4  and  5.   The  appeal  is
      allowed with no costs.



                                                           REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                       CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10582 OF 2013
                   (arising out of SLP(C)No.27949 of 2012)

SAROJ                                       … APPELLANTS

                                   VERSUS

SUNDER SINGH & ORS.                         … RESPONDENTS

                               J U D G M E N T


SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J.


         Leave granted. This appeal has  been  preferred  by  the  appellant
against the judgment and order dated 14th December, 2011 passed by the  High
Court of Judicature for Rajasthan, Jaipur Bench, Jaipur in S.B. Civil  First
Appeal No. 313 of 2009. The Appellate Court by the  impugned  judgment  held
that there is no illegality or perversity in the findings  recorded  by  the
trial court and affirmed the order of the trial court  which  dismissed  the
suit preferred by the appellant-original plaintiff seeking  cancellation  of
sale deeds executed  by  the  second  respondent  in  favour  of  the  first
respondent.

2.        The brief facts giving rise to the present appeal are as follows:
          The appellant along with her  two  sisters  (original  plaintiffs)
happened to be the daughters of respondent  No.2(original  defendant  No.2).
According to the appellant, she and her two sisters were minors  when  their
father Khilluram expired.
Thereafter, their mother i.e.  second  respondent,
of course the guardian, sold out the suit property which belonged  to  their
father by executing a sale deed on 9th  December,  1988.
According  to  the
appellant, since the suit property belonged to their  father  the  daughters
had shares in the  property,  the  mother  could  not  have  sold  the  suit
property to the first respondent. 
The appellant, therefore, with  two  other
sisters (proforma respondent Nos.4 and 5 herein) preferred Civil  Suit  No.6
of 2007 for declaration of the sale deed dated 9th December,  1988  as  null
and void in respect of the suit land.
The appellant pleaded that the  second
respondent as the mother of the appellant  and  two  other  sisters  has  no
right or authority to sell the suit land, as their shares are  part  of  it.
The sale of minors’ property cannot be  done  without  obtaining  the  prior
permission of the Court.
3.       The second respondent in her  written  statement  stated  that  the
appellant and two others were her  minor  daughters.  She  is  the  wife  of
Khilluram and the equal shares of the disputed land are  registered  in  the
name of the appellant and two daughters. 
She had sold  the  entire  disputed
land including the  shares  of  the  daughters  vide  sale  deed  dated  1st
December,   1988  which  was  registered  on   9th   December,   1988.   The
consideration amount received out of the said sale was spent to fulfill  the
requirements of the daughters-   i.e.  appellant   and  proforma  respondent
Nos.4 and 5 herein.
4.        In a separate written  statement  the  first  respondent  accepted
that the disputed land situated in village Ujjaili, Tehsil-Kot Kasim is  the
ancestral property of Khilluram. After the death of Khilluram the said  suit
land was devolved on appellant, two other sisters and the second  respondent
jointly in equal shares. 
The appellant and  the  two  other  daughters  were
minor and their  mother  i.e.  second  respondent  herein  was  the  natural
guardian.
The agricultural work was  done  jointly  by  the  appellant,  two
other daughters and the second respondent. It is stated that the  suit  land
was sold for proper maintenance of the minor daughters.
5.        On  behalf  of  the  plaintiffs-appellant  herein  and  two  other
sisters, Saroj (PW-1), Chandra  Kanat  (PW-2)  and  Pop  Singh  (PW-3)  were
examined. They placed on record the documents duly  exhibited  as  Exh.1  to
19. The  respondents  examined  Sunder  Singh  (DW-1),  Ramphal  (DW-2)  and
Ramotar (DW-3) and placed on record documents duly exhibited as  A-1  to  A-
10.
6.       Learned Additional District Judge framed 8 issues. The issue  Nos.1
to 3, 5 and 6   were decided in favour of the plaintiff-appellant herein:
         Issue No.7 reads as follows:
      “7. Whether the registered sale-deeds of the land Survey  No.5  and  6
           made by the Defendant No.2 to different parties  has  been  done
           with the motive to cause harm and usurp this land of  plaintiffs
           No.1 to 3, ownership and rights which is wrong and  contrary  to
           the established provisions of law, and the plaintiffs No.1 to  3
           are entitled to challenge these  two  sale-deeds  against  their
           interests and rights.”


         The said issue was decided against the plaintiffs and in favour  of
the defendants. The 8th issue relating to  plaintiffs’  entitlement  to  get
relief against the defendant Nos.1 and 2 was  thereby  decided  against  the
plaintiffs.
7.       By the impugned  judgment  dated  14th  December,  2011  the  First
Appellate Court also dismissed the appeal  filed  against  the  above  order
passed by the trial court on the ground  that  there  is  no  illegality  or
perversity in the findings recorded by the trial court.
8.       Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that  in  view  of  the
sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the Hindu  Minority  and  Guardianship  Act,
1956 it was not open for the second respondent to  mortgage  or  charge,  or
transfer by sale, gift of the minor’s property without  previous  permission
of the court.
9.       Per contra,  according to the respondents, for taking care  of  the
minor daughters and for their livelihood the  respondent  was  competent  to
sell the property. It  was  submitted  that  the  appellant’s  marriage  was
performed by the second respondent; the mother bought a  house  at  Daruhera
in the year 1995. There was no partition amongst the appellant  other  minor
daughters and mother with respect to the  subject  agricultural  land  which
was looked after by the mother jointly. Therefore, it was for  all  purposes
the joint property and not the property of  minors.  Significantly,  Ramphal
who is the real brother of Khilluram in his evidence stated that ever  since
the death of Khilluram the minors were being taken care  of  by  the  second
respondent-mother for  the  maintenance,  education,  etc.  and  the  second
respondent performed their  marriage.  It  is  further  contended  that  the
second respondent sold the subject land for  their  necessity,  maintenance,
etc. Likewise, the second respondent in her counter claim admitted that  the
money received from the sale of the subject land was spent  on  the  minors’
genuine requirements and she prayed for dismissal of the suit.
10.      The trial court while deciding the 7th issue  noticed  evidence  of
other witnesses.
It further noticed that 
the property was  devolved  on  the
wife, Smt. Rishal and Saroj,  Manoj  and  Sanoj  in  equal  share  of  1/4th each.  According  to  the  entries  in  the  revenue  record  they  were  in possession of 1/4th  share of the land. 
The total amount of  both  the  sale
deeds executed comes to Rs.66,000/-.
In the sale deeds it is mentioned  that
she is the birth mother of Saroj, Manoj and  Sanoj,  and  is  their  natural guardian.  
For their maintenance,  sustenance,  education,  etc.,  the  suit
land being unproductive and being in parts,   was  sold  by  two  registered sale-deeds marked as Exh. A-1 and A-2. 
 It was stated  that the  plaintiffs’
share was in joint account. The mother i.e. second respondent  is  the  head
of the family and she sold this land to the defendant  for  the  sustenance,
maintenance, education and marriage  of  her  daughters.
 In  view  of  such
evidence, the trial court decided the issue against the plaintiffs  and   in
favour of the defendants which  was affirmed by the First Appellate Court.
  11. Section 8 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 
deals  with
      the  powers of natural guardian of a Hindu minor and the said  section
      mandates that the natural guardian has power to do all acts which  are
      necessary or reasonable and proper for the benefit of the minor or for
      the realisation, protection or benefit of the minor’s estate, etc. The
      provision  reads as follows:

      “8 . Powers of natural guardian.- 
(1) The natural guardian of a  Hindu
      minor has power, subject to the provisions of this section, to do  all
      acts which are necessary or reasonable and proper for the  benefit  of
      the minor or for the realization, protection or benefit of the minor's
      estate;
 but the guardian can in no case bind the minor by  a  personal covenant.


   
 (2) The natural guardian shall not, without the previous permission of
      the court,-
            (a) mortgage or charge, or transfer by sale, gift,  exchange  or
           otherwise any part of the immovable property of the minor; or


           (b) lease any part of such property for  a  term  exceeding  five
           years or for a term extending more than one year beyond the  date
           on which the minor will attain majority.


     
(3) Any disposal of immovable property  by  a  natural  guardian,  in
      contravention of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2),  is  voidable  at
      the instance of the minor or any person claiming under him.


   
 (4) No court shall grant permission to the natural guardian to do  any
      of the acts mentioned in sub-section (2) except in case  of  necessity
      or for an evident advantage to the minor.


                         xxx    xxx     xxx      xxx
                        xxx    xxx     xxx      xxx”



    As per clause (a) of sub-section (2) of Section 8 no immovable  property
of the minor can be mortgaged or charged,  or  transferred  by  sale,  gift,
exchange or otherwise without the previous permission of  the  Court. 
 Under
sub-section (3) of Section 8  disposal of such an immovable  property  by  a
natural guardian, in contravention of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)  of
Section 8,  is voidable at the instance of the minor or any person  claiming
under him.
  12. In the present case, though it is stated that the  property  has  been sold for the proper benefit of the minors, their protection, education  and marriage,there is  nothing on  record  to  suggest  that  previous permission of the Court was  obtained by the natural  guardian  before transfer by sale  in question.

  13. Where the father dies leaving behind only minor  daughters  and  their
      mother  as  natural  guardian, 
 the  share  of  the  daughters  became definite;  
the question of family partition retaining the character of joint Hindu Family property does not  exist.   
In  the  present  case,
      after the death of the father,
the property has  been  shared  amongst
      each member of the family   and  recorded  in  the  mutation  register
      having 1/4th share each.
 In such  circumstances,   the   provision  of
      sub-section (3) of Section 8 shall attract as  the   mother  sold  the
      property without previous permission of the  Court.  
Hence,  both  the
      sale deeds executed by the second respondent in favour  of  the  first
      respondent shall become  voidable at the instance of  the  minor  i.e.
      the appellant and the  Proforma-respondent nos.4&5.


  14. In view of the finding recorded above,  we set aside the judgments and
      orders passed by the trial court, First  Appellate  Court  and  Second
      Appellate Court.  Accordingly,  the suit stands decreed in  favour  of
      the appellant and proforma respondent Nos.4  and  5.   The  appeal  is
      allowed with no costs.


                                               …………………………………………………………………….J.
                            (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)






                                               …………………………………………………………………….J.
                                   (V. GOPALA GOWDA)




NEW DELHI,
NOVEMBER 25,2013.

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