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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hindu Law - Partition suit - Presumption of Joint family -Exclusion of property from partition-burden lies on whom- Trial court and High court found that there was a partition by metes and bounds in the year 1985 itself - then the burden lies on the plaintiff who wants to claim certain property still in joint status as it was excluded from partition but not on the defendants - Apex court held that .Therefore, the presumption would be that there was complete partition of all the properties. Consequently, the burden of proof that certain property was excluded from the partition would be on the party that alleges the same to be joint property. Therefore, in our opinion, the High Court clearly committed an error in placing the burden of proof on the petitioners, who were defendants in the suit to prove that the Nageshwarwadi property at Aurangabad was a self-acquired property of Eknathrao. In view of the aforesaid, we allow the appeal and set aside the findings recorded by the trial court on Issue No. III.= Kesharbai @ Pushpabai Eknathrao Nalawade (D) by LRs. & Anr. …Appellants VERSUS Tarabai Prabhakarrao Nalawade & Ors. ...Respondents= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41325

 Hindu Law - Partition suit - Presumption of Joint family -Exclusion of property from partition- burden lies on whom  once the partition was proved - Trial court and High court found that there was a partition by metes and bounds in the year 1985 itself - then the burden lies on the plaintiff who wants to claim certain property still in joint status as it was excluded from partition but not on the defendants - Apex court held that .Therefore, the presumption would be that there  was  complete partition of all the properties.  Consequently, the burden of proof that certain property was excluded from  the  partition would be on the party that  alleges  the  same  to  be  joint  property.  Therefore, in our opinion, the High Court  clearly committed an error in placing the  burden  of  proof  on  the petitioners, who were defendants in the suit  to  prove  that the Nageshwarwadi property at Aurangabad was a  self-acquired property of Eknathrao. In view of the aforesaid, we allow the appeal and  set  aside the findings recorded by the trial court on  Issue  No.  III.=

The plaintiffs  filed  a  suit  for  partition  and  separate
        possession of half share of the plaintiffs in  the  following
        properties :-
           (I)   Agricultural land Gat No.453 whose survey  number  is  210
                 adms. 19 acre 1 guntha situated at village Chikalthana  Tq.
                 Kannad.
           (II)  Land bearing Gat No.146 of whose survey number is 65 adms.
                 27 acre 39 gunthas situated at Nimdongri Tq. Kannad.
           (III)       House property bearing No.725 adms. 26.39 sq. meters
                 situated at Chikalthana Tq. Kannad.
           (IV)  Open plot bearing CTS No.709 adms. 64.3 squ.  meter  known
                 as ‘Girnichi Jaga’ situated at Chikalthana Tq. Kannad.
           (V)   House bearing No.4.13.78 of whose CTS No.  is  4705  adms.
                 138.2  sq.  meters  along  with  house  structure  standing
                 thereon situated at Nageshwarwadi Aurangabad.=
After   the   death   of
        Prabhakarrao, the plaintiffs claimed to  have  requested  the
        petitioners i.e. defendants to undo  the  injustice  done  to
        Prabhakarrao at the time of the family  arrangement.  Instead
        of  partitioning  the  joint  properties  equitably,  it  was
        claimed that after the death of Eknathrao, defendant No.1  to
        12, which include petitioner No.1 and 2, were trying to enter
        their names  in  the  revenue  records  with  regard  to  the
        Nageshwarwadi Property at Aurangabad.  Since  the  defendants
        had declined the request for partition, the  plaintiffs  were
        constrained to file the suit.=
Writtenstatement
It was also claimed that the  partition  of
        the suit property had taken place on 22nd  April,  1985,  the
        respective shares were allotted, and  final  distribution  of
        the property was made. It was contended  that  the  partition
        having been completed, the suit ought to be dismissed.=
The trial court records the issues and the findings
        as follows:-
                       ISSUES                              FINDINGS
      1. Do plaintiffs prove that the suit
           Properties are the joint family
           Properties?                               In Negative


      2. Do defendants prove that there
          Was already partition on 22.4.85
          And all shares holders are in
          Possession of their respective
          Shares?                             In affirmative


      3.  Do they further prove that suit
           Property mention at Sr.No.5 is
           self acquired property of deceased
           Eknath?                                 In affirmative


      4.  Whether suit is maintainable?       In affirmative


      5.  Whether the suit is barred by
           limitation?                             In negative


      6. Whether plaintiffs are entitled to
           partition and possession of half
           share in the suit properties?           In negative


      7. Whether plaintiffs are entitled to
           future mesne profit?                    In negative


      8. What decree and order?               As per final order.


           On the basis of the aforesaid findings,  the  suit  of  the
      plaintiffs was dismissed with costs.
The High Court formulated the points for consideration
        in appeal which are as follows:
           (i)   Whether the property at Nageshwarwadi, Aurangabad is self-
                 acquired property of Eknathrao and as such  is  not  liable
                 for partition?
           (ii)  Whether the  transaction  entered  into  on  22.4.1985  by
                 Eknathrao,   Trimbakrao   and   Prabhakarrao   was   family
                 arrangement not amounting to partition?
           (iii)       Whether Civil Application No.10005 of 2007 filed for
                 filing additional evidence should be allowed and in case it
                 is allowed  can  the  partition  list  dated  22.4.1985  be
                 admitted in evidence?
     9. Upon consideration of the entire material, the High Court has
        answered point No.(i) in the negative and Point Nos.2  and  3
        in the affirmative. As a result of  the  aforesaid  findings,
        the suit in respect of agricultural lands and house  property
        at Chikalthan and Neem Dongri has  been  dismissed.  
However,
        the plaintiffs/respondent Nos. 1 to 3 are held to be entitled
        to partition of Nageshwarwadi House  at  Aurangabad.  It  has
        been further directed that  the  respondents  who  are  legal
        representatives of deceased Prabhakarrao are entitled to half
        share on the one hand and the remaining half share is  to  be
        divided equally by the petitioners and respondent No.1  to  6
        on the other.
Apex court held that

 It
        is a settled principle of law that once a  partition  in  the
        sense of division of right, title  or  status  is  proved  or
        admitted, the presumption is  that  all  joint  property  was
        partitioned or divided.  Undoubtedly the joint and  undivided
        family being the normal condition of a Hindu  family,  it  is
        usually presumed, until the contrary is  proved,  that  every
        Hindu family is joint and undivided and all its  property  is
        joint. This presumption,  however,  cannot  be  made  once  a
        partition  (of  status  or  property),  whether  general   or
        partial, is shown to have  taken  place  in  a  family. 
Bhagwati Prasad Sah &  Ors.  Vs.  Dulhin  Rameshwari  Kuer  &
        Anr.[1], wherein it was inter alia observed as under:
           “8. Before we discuss the evidence on the record, we  desire  to
           point out that on the admitted facts of this case neither  party
           has any presumption on his side either as regards  jointness  or
           separation of the family. The general principle  undoubtedly  is
           that a Hindu family is presumed to be joint unless the  contrary
           is proved, but where it is admitted that one of the  coparceners
           did separate himself from the other members of the joint  family
           and had his share in the joint property partitioned off for him,
           there is  no  presumption  that  the  rest  of  the  coparceners
           continued to be joint. There is no presumption on the other side
           too that because one member of  the  family  separated  himself,
           there has been separation with regard to  all.  It  would  be  a
           question of fact to be determined in each case upon the evidence
           relating to the intention of the parties  whether  there  was  a
           separation amongst the other co-parceners or that they  remained
           united. The burden  would  undoubtedly  lie  on  the  party  who
           asserts the existence of a particular state  of  things  on  the
           basis of which he claims relief.”




    20. This principle has been reiterated by this Court in  Addagada
        Raghavamma & Anr. Vs. Addagada Chenchamma & Anr.[2]


    21. In this case, the trial court as well as the High  Court  has
        held that there was a complete partition in  the  year  1985.
        Therefore, the presumption would be that there  was  complete
        partition of all the properties.  Consequently, the burden of
        proof that certain property was excluded from  the  partition
        would be on the party that  alleges  the  same  to  be  joint
        property.  Therefore, in our opinion, the High Court  clearly
        committed an error in placing the  burden  of  proof  on  the
        petitioners, who were defendants in the suit  to  prove  that
        the Nageshwarwadi property at Aurangabad was a  self-acquired
        property of Eknathrao.
    22. In view of the aforesaid, we allow the appeal and  set  aside
        the findings recorded by the trial court on  Issue  No.  III.
        The judgment of the Trial Court is confirmed on Issue No. III
        also.  Consequently,  the  suit  filed  by   the   plaintiffs
        (respondents herein) shall stand dismissed.

2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41325
SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, A.K. SIKRI
                             REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                       CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3867 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP (C) No.27916 of 2009)


      Kesharbai @ Pushpabai  Eknathrao
      Nalawade (D) by LRs. & Anr.                         …Appellants


                             VERSUS
      Tarabai Prabhakarrao Nalawade & Ors.        ...Respondents


                               J U D G M E N T
      SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, J.
     1. Leave granted.


     2. This appeal has been filed against the  judgment  and  decree
        dated  23rd  March,  2009  of  the  High  Court   of   Bombay
        (Aurangabad Bench) rendered in First Appeal  No.468  of  2004
        whereby the High Court has partly allowed the First Appeal of
        the plaintiffs/respondent   Nos. 1 to 3. The High  Court  has
        dismissed the suit  of  the  plaintiffs  in  respect  of  the
        agricultural lands and house property at Chikalthan and  Neem
        Dongri. At the same time, the High Court has  set  aside  the
        judgment of the trial court on Issue  No.3  relating  to  the
        question as to whether house bearing No.4.13.78  bearing  CTS
        No.4705  admeasuring  138.2  sq.   meters   alongwith   house
        structure  standing  therein   situated   at   Nageshwarwadi,
        Aurangabad  is  the  self  acquired  property   of   deceased
        Eknathrao.


     3. The admitted facts are that plaintiff Nos. 1 and 2 to  4  are
        the wife and children of  deceased  Prabhakarrao  s/o  Saluba
        respectively. Defendant Nos. 7 and 8 to 12 are the  wife  and
        children of  deceased  Trimbakrao  s/o  Deorao  respectively.
        Defendant Nos. 13 to 15 are the subsequent purchasers of land
        from the plaintiff. For better understanding of the  inter-se
        relationship between the parties, it would be appropriate  to
        reproduce here the genealogy table of the family, as  noticed
        by the trial court:






                                  Mahipati
      Deorao             (son)             died             on
      Sauba (son) died
      15.7.1974
      on 6.10.1980


      Shewantabai                  (wife)                  died
       Ansabai (wife) died
      Prabhakar (son) died


      Eknathrao      (Son)                Trimbakrao      (son)
      Tarabai  Santosh  Satish  Manisha
      Died    on      /11/97             died    on    31.5.86
      (P-1)       (P-2)       (P-3)      (P-4)
      Indubai (wife) D-1                 Kamlabai (wife) D-7
      Kiran Kranti Asha Jyoti Bharti
      D-2     D-3     D-4    D-5     D-6
                                       Pramod   Vinod    Rajendra
      Vidya   Vijaya
                                     D-8           D-9       D-10
        D-11     D-12


     4. The plaintiffs  filed  a  suit  for  partition  and  separate
        possession of half share of the plaintiffs in  the  following
        properties :-
           (I)   Agricultural land Gat No.453 whose survey  number  is  210
                 adms. 19 acre 1 guntha situated at village Chikalthana  Tq.
                 Kannad.
           (II)  Land bearing Gat No.146 of whose survey number is 65 adms.
                 27 acre 39 gunthas situated at Nimdongri Tq. Kannad.
           (III)       House property bearing No.725 adms. 26.39 sq. meters
                 situated at Chikalthana Tq. Kannad.
           (IV)  Open plot bearing CTS No.709 adms. 64.3 squ.  meter  known
                 as ‘Girnichi Jaga’ situated at Chikalthana Tq. Kannad.
           (V)   House bearing No.4.13.78 of whose CTS No.  is  4705  adms.
                 138.2  sq.  meters  along  with  house  structure  standing
                 thereon situated at Nageshwarwadi Aurangabad.


     5. It was claimed that property at Sl.Nos.I and II were  jointly
        purchased by deceased Deorao and deceased Saluba in the  name
        of Deorao. The house at  Sl.No.III  was  said  to  have  been
        constructed on a plot jointly purchased by the two  brothers.
        Both the brothers were residing  in  the  same  house  during
        their life time. With regard to property at Sl.No.V,  it  was
        stated that both the brothers had purchased the plot on which
        the house is constructed. It was  further  claimed  that  the
        plot was purchased in the name of Eknathrao  and  his  family
        was residing in that house. In short,  it  was  claimed  that
        during the life time of Deorao and Saluba, all the properties
        were jointly cultivated and were jointly enjoyed by  all  the
        family  members.  Trimbakrao  was  residing  at  Kannad   and
        Eknathrao was residing at Aurangabad due to their employment.
        Similarly, Prabhakarrao was in service at  different  places.
        It was also the case of  the  plaintiffs  that  there  was  a
        family arrangement between Eknath, Trimbak and  Prabhakarrao.
        Property  at  Sl.No.I  was   allotted   to   Trimbakrao   and
        Prabhakarrao to the extent of  half  share  each.  Similarly,
        land at Sl.No.II was allotted to Trimbakrao (7 acres) and  to
        Prabhakarrao      (6 acres and  39  gunthas).  Eknathrao  was
        allotted 14 acres.  After  the  family  arrangement,  it  was
        alleged that everyone was in  possession  of  the  respective
        parts of land and their names were  entered  in  the  revenue
        record. It is the further claim of the plaintiffs that in the
        same family arrangement  house  at  Sl.No.III  was  given  in
        possession of Trimbakrao and Prabhakarrao to  the  extent  of
        half share each. Eknathrao  was  put  in  possession  of  the
        entire  open  space  known  as  ‘Girnichi  Jaga’.    It   was
        specifically  pleaded  that  house  at  Sl.No.V  (hereinafter
        referred to as Nageshwarwadi Property) was not  part  of  the
        family arrangement. It was exclusively in possession  of  the
        deceased Eknathrao  and  now  in  possession  of  petitioners
        herein, defendant Nos. 1 and 2 in the suit.


     6. The plaintiffs also claimed that Prabhakarrao during his life
        time did not raise any objection with regard to  the  unequal
        allotment in the share of the joint properties in the  family
        arrangement. It was stated that Prabhakarrao was an alcoholic
        and,  therefore,  remained  under  the  domination   of   the
        petitioners. It is also admitted in the plaint that after the
        death of Prabhakarrao, out of necessity to  survive,  certain
        agricultural lands are sold by the  plaintiffs  to  defendant
        No.13 to 16. This was necessary to clear up the dues  of  the
        co-operative societies and hand loan of other relatives taken
        by  the   deceased   Prabhakarrao.   After   the   death   of
        Prabhakarrao, the plaintiffs claimed to  have  requested  the
        petitioners i.e. defendants to undo  the  injustice  done  to
        Prabhakarrao at the time of the family  arrangement.  Instead
        of  partitioning  the  joint  properties  equitably,  it  was
        claimed that after the death of Eknathrao, defendant No.1  to
        12, which include petitioner No.1 and 2, were trying to enter
        their names  in  the  revenue  records  with  regard  to  the
        Nageshwarwadi Property at Aurangabad.  Since  the  defendants
        had declined the request for partition, the  plaintiffs  were
        constrained to file the suit.
     7. In the written statements filed by  the  defendants,  it  was
        pointed out that there was no ancestral joint family  nucleus
        to  purchase  the  agricultural  lands  and  the   house   at
        Sl.No.III. It is further claimed that the suit properties are
        not coparcenery properties in which  Deorao  and  Saluba  had
        equal shares. It was contended that at the most property  can
        be deemed as a joint property of  Deorao,  Saluba,  Eknathrao
        and Prabhakarrao. It was also claimed that the  partition  of
        the suit property had taken place on 22nd  April,  1985,  the
        respective shares were allotted, and  final  distribution  of
        the property was made. It was contended  that  the  partition
        having been completed, the suit ought to be dismissed. On the
        basis of the pleadings of the parties, the trial court framed
        8 issues. The trial court records the issues and the findings
        as follows:-
                       ISSUES                              FINDINGS
      1. Do plaintiffs prove that the suit
           Properties are the joint family
           Properties?                               In Negative


      2. Do defendants prove that there
          Was already partition on 22.4.85
          And all shares holders are in
          Possession of their respective
          Shares?                             In affirmative


      3.  Do they further prove that suit
           Property mention at Sr.No.5 is
           self acquired property of deceased
           Eknath?                                 In affirmative


      4.  Whether suit is maintainable?       In affirmative


      5.  Whether the suit is barred by
           limitation?                             In negative


      6. Whether plaintiffs are entitled to
           partition and possession of half
           share in the suit properties?           In negative


      7. Whether plaintiffs are entitled to
           future mesne profit?                    In negative


      8. What decree and order?               As per final order.


           On the basis of the aforesaid findings,  the  suit  of  the
      plaintiffs was dismissed with costs.

     8.  Aggrieved  by  the  aforesaid  judgment  and   decree,   the
        plaintiffs filed First Appeal No.468 of 2004 before the  High
        Court. The High Court formulated the points for consideration
        in appeal which are as follows:
           (i)   Whether the property at Nageshwarwadi, Aurangabad is self-
                 acquired property of Eknathrao and as such  is  not  liable
                 for partition?
           (ii)  Whether the  transaction  entered  into  on  22.4.1985  by
                 Eknathrao,   Trimbakrao   and   Prabhakarrao   was   family
                 arrangement not amounting to partition?
           (iii)       Whether Civil Application No.10005 of 2007 filed for
                 filing additional evidence should be allowed and in case it
                 is allowed  can  the  partition  list  dated  22.4.1985  be
                 admitted in evidence?
     9. Upon consideration of the entire material, the High Court has
        answered point No.(i) in the negative and Point Nos.2  and  3
        in the affirmative. As a result of  the  aforesaid  findings,
        the suit in respect of agricultural lands and house  property
        at Chikalthan and Neem Dongri has  been  dismissed.  However,
        the plaintiffs/respondent Nos. 1 to 3 are held to be entitled
        to partition of Nageshwarwadi House  at  Aurangabad.  It  has
        been further directed that  the  respondents  who  are  legal
        representatives of deceased Prabhakarrao are entitled to half
        share on the one hand and the remaining half share is  to  be
        divided equally by the petitioners and respondent No.1  to  6
        on the other.


    10. Aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment of the  High  Court,  the
        petitioners who were defendants in the suit  have  filed  the
        S.L.P. (C) No.27916  of  2009  giving  rise  to  the  present
        appeal.


    11. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties.
    12. Mr. Shekhar Naphade, learned senior counsel appearing for the
        appellants submitted that in Paragraph  25  of  the  impugned
        judgment, the High Court has accepted the fact that there was
        a complete partition between the parties.  The High Court has
        held  that  the   family   arrangement   amounts   to   final
        distribution  of   property   amongst   sharers.   Plaintiffs
        themselves have also treated the property allotted to them as
        their exclusive property.  Treating the property allotted  to
        their share as their exclusive property, they have sold  some
        portions of the land to respondent Nos. 13 to 16.   The  High
        Court  also  held  that  the  plaintiffs  are  estopped  from
        challenging the  existence  and  validity  of  the  partition
        effected in the year 1985.  The High  Court  even  held  that
        they are not entitled to fresh partition  of  the  properties
        which were admittedly covered by the partition of 1985.   Mr.
        Naphade submitted that having held that  there  was  a  final
        partition between the parties, the High  Court  committed  an
        error of jurisdiction in reversing the findings  recorded  by
        the trial court on Issue No.III.  According to  Mr.  Naphade,
        the High Court has wrongly placed the burden of proof on  the
        petitioners, who were defendants in the suit  to  prove  that
        Nageshwarwadi  property   was   self-acquired   property   of
        Eknathrao. Learned senior counsel  also  submitted  that  the
        High Court ignored the  evidence  produced  by  the  parties,
        which would establish that the parties  had  always   treated
        the Nageshwarwadi property as the self-acquired  property  of
        Eknathrao.
    13.  On  the  other  hand,  learned  counsel  appearing  for  the
        respondents has submitted that the trial  court  had  wrongly
        decided  the  Issue  No.III  against  the  plaintiffs.    The
        defendants (petitioners herein) have  failed  to  prove  that
        Eknathrao had sufficient independent income to have  acquired
        the Nageshwarwadi property.  It is  submitted  that  although
        the defendants had claimed that Eknathrao was  employed  with
        the Indian Army, no proof with regard to the  employment  was
        produced.
    14. We have  considered  the  submissions  made  by  the  learned
        counsel for the parties.
    15. Mr. Naphade is quite correct in his submission that the  High
        Court having accepted the findings of the  trial  court  that
        there  was  completed  partition  between  the  parties,  has
        committed an error of jurisdiction in putting the  burden  of
        proof on the defendants on Issue No. III.
    16. The trial court on appreciation of the  entire  evidence  had
        concluded that “the evidence  on  record  discloses  that  as
        contended, family arrangement alleged to have taken place  in
        the year 1985 in presence of three brothers and by  accepting
        it, every one took possession of their respective shares  and
        was enjoying the same.  Not only this but  their  names  were
        mutated to revenue records.  Everything was done in  presence
        of deceased brother.”


    17. The trial court also finds that mutation entry bearing No.726
        and No. 1116 were effected on the strength of  the  partition
        deed dated  22nd  April,  1985.   Furthermore,  the  mutation
        entries were confirmed by issuing notices to the parties.  It
        was specifically noticed on  the  mutation  entries  that  no
        objection was taken by any of the parties.  The trial  court,
        in our opinion, has  rightly  concluded  that  no  objections
        having been taken at the time when the mutation entries  were
        confirmed, the plaintiffs are estopped from saying that these
        entries are effected on wrong basis of  partition.   Noticing
        the conduct of the parties, even  further,  the  trial  court
        held that the plaintiffs by  selling  the  land  allotted  to
        them, treating the same to be their exclusive property.  This
        property was sold without the consent of defendant Nos. 1  to
        12.  Thus treating the same to be  their  exclusive  property
        and not coparcenary property.


    18. On Issue No.III, the trial court has held that  there  is  no
        evidence except the bare words of the plaintiffs to show that
        Nageshwarwadi property is purchased by  the  deceased  Deorao
        and deceased Saluba in the  name  of  Eknathrao.   The  trial
        court, in our opinion, has correctly held that all the  other
        joint property had been  purchased  either  in  the  name  of
        Deorao  or deceased Saluba.  There was no explanation  as  to
        why the property  at  Nageshwarwadi  was  purchased  by  them
        exclusively in the name of Eknathrao.  On the  basis  of  the
        evidence, the trial court found that Eknathrao  was  residing
        exclusively  in  the  aforesaid  property.   At   that   time
        Prabhakarrao  himself  was  living  in  rented  premises.  No
        explanation is given as to why Prabhakarrao was not living in
        the aforesaid house,  in  case,  it  was  joint  property  of
        Eknathrao and Prabhakarrao.  The  trial  court  also  noticed
        that it was not only Nageshwarwadi property,  which  was  not
        made part of the partition but also the house  of  Trimbakrao
        at Kannad was kept outside partition.  The trial  court  also
        held  that  Eknathrao  had  independent  means  to   purchase
        Nageshwarwadi property.  He was employed with the Military as
        a Head Clerk from 1944 to 1956.  On the basis of  the  entire
        evidence,  the  trial  court  came  to  the  conclusion  that
        Nageshwarwadi property  was  the  self-acquired  property  of
        Eknathrao.   The  High  Court  had  reversed  the   aforesaid
        findings  on  the  basis  that  the  petitioners,  who   were
        defendants in the civil suit had not led any evidence to show
        that  Eknathrao  had  independently  purchased  Nageshwarwadi
        property at Aurangabad.  The  High  Court  has  reversed  the
        findings of the trial court on  the  basis  that  petitioners
        have failed to  prove  that  Eknathrao  was  working  in  the
        Ammunition Factory, Khadki, Pune from 1944 to 1956.  The High
        Court further held that in this  case,  a  presumption  would
        arise  that  Nageshwarwadi  property  was   joint   property,
        purchased from  the  income  derived  from  the  other  joint
        property, which form the nucleus. Therefore, it was  for  the
        petitioner to prove that Nageshwarwadi property was  acquired
        without the aid of the joint family.


    19. In our opinion, the aforesaid presumption is wrong in law  in
        view of the  fact  that  the  High  Court  has  affirmed  the
        findings of the  trial  court  that  in  1985,  there  was  a
        complete partition and the parties had acted on the same.  It
        is a settled principle of law that once a  partition  in  the
        sense of division of right, title  or  status  is  proved  or
        admitted, the presumption is  that  all  joint  property  was
        partitioned or divided.  Undoubtedly the joint and  undivided
        family being the normal condition of a Hindu  family,  it  is
        usually presumed, until the contrary is  proved,  that  every
        Hindu family is joint and undivided and all its  property  is
        joint. This presumption,  however,  cannot  be  made  once  a
        partition  (of  status  or  property),  whether  general   or
        partial, is shown to have  taken  place  in  a  family.  This
        proposition of law has been applied by this court in a number
        of cases.  We may notice here the judgment of this  Court  in
        Bhagwati Prasad Sah &  Ors.  Vs.  Dulhin  Rameshwari  Kuer  &
        Anr.[1], wherein it was inter alia observed as under:
           “8. Before we discuss the evidence on the record, we  desire  to
           point out that on the admitted facts of this case neither  party
           has any presumption on his side either as regards  jointness  or
           separation of the family. The general principle  undoubtedly  is
           that a Hindu family is presumed to be joint unless the  contrary
           is proved, but where it is admitted that one of the  coparceners
           did separate himself from the other members of the joint  family
           and had his share in the joint property partitioned off for him,
           there is  no  presumption  that  the  rest  of  the  coparceners
           continued to be joint. There is no presumption on the other side
           too that because one member of  the  family  separated  himself,
           there has been separation with regard to  all.  It  would  be  a
           question of fact to be determined in each case upon the evidence
           relating to the intention of the parties  whether  there  was  a
           separation amongst the other co-parceners or that they  remained
           united. The burden  would  undoubtedly  lie  on  the  party  who
           asserts the existence of a particular state  of  things  on  the
           basis of which he claims relief.”




    20. This principle has been reiterated by this Court in  Addagada
        Raghavamma & Anr. Vs. Addagada Chenchamma & Anr.[2]


    21. In this case, the trial court as well as the High  Court  has
        held that there was a complete partition in  the  year  1985.
        Therefore, the presumption would be that there  was  complete
        partition of all the properties.  Consequently, the burden of
        proof that certain property was excluded from  the  partition
        would be on the party that  alleges  the  same  to  be  joint
        property.  Therefore, in our opinion, the High Court  clearly
        committed an error in placing the  burden  of  proof  on  the
        petitioners, who were defendants in the suit  to  prove  that
        the Nageshwarwadi property at Aurangabad was a  self-acquired
        property of Eknathrao.
    22. In view of the aforesaid, we allow the appeal and  set  aside
        the findings recorded by the trial court on  Issue  No.  III.
        The judgment of the Trial Court is confirmed on Issue No. III
        also.  Consequently,  the  suit  filed  by   the   plaintiffs
        (respondents herein) shall stand dismissed.


                                                             ……………………………….J.
                                              [Surinder Singh  Nijjar]








                                                            ………………………………..J.
                                               [A.K.Sikri]
      New Delhi;
      March 14, 2014.










































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[1]    [1951] 2 SCR 603
[2]    AIR 1964 SC 136

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