The suit property was originally owned by Shivram who had a daughter
Sumitrabai and a son Chhatrapati.
The plaintiff, the grandson of
Sumitrabai, filed a suit for declaration of ownership, possession and
damages in relation to the suit property against defendant nos.1 to 5.
plaintiff challenged the validity of the Will dated 18.08.1977 purported to
have been executed by Phoolbasa Bai in favour of the sons of her brother
Gayaprasad, defendant nos.1-4.
The plaintiff also challenged the validity
of the sale deed purported to have been executed by Phoolbasa Bai in 1987
in favour of defendant no. 5 in relation to a portion of the suit property.
The suit was contested firstly by filing joint written statement by
the original defendants namely Phoolbasa Bai and Gaya Prasad stating that
after the death of Shiv Ram the entire property was succeeded by
Chhatrapati (his only son) as Sumitrabai was a married daughter. It was
further pleaded that Phoolbasa Bai, being the lawful wedded wife of
Chhatrapati, became the owner of the suit property after Chhatrapati's
death in 1945. During the pendency of the suit, when Phoolbasa died, she
was substituted by defendant nos.1 to 4, who also filed separate written
statement in addition to earlier written statement filed by the original
defendants. Defendant no.5 also filed separate written statement claiming
to be the owner of the portion of property by virtue of a sale deed
executed in his favour in 1987.
Now the question arises, what should be the legal position after the death
of Smt. Phoolbasa and her son namely Mannulal when it has been held that
the alleged will executed in favour of defendants nos.1 to 4 was not
Certainly these properties were succeeded by her from her husband
or from her father-in-law, therefore, according to Section 15(2)(b) of the
Hindu Succesion Act, this shall devolve, in the absence of any son or
daughter of the deceased (including the children of any predeceased son or
daughter) upon the heirs of her husband.
In this case, if we look to the
pedigree set forth in the plaint, the succeeding heir of her husband,
namely Chhatrapati, would be sister's daughter which finds place as serial
no.4 in Entry IV of Class II of Schedule.
When Radha Bai, the sister's daughter is said to be alive on the date of succession according to the plaint allegations itself, then the plaintiff, in the reversionary right
will not get the ownership of the property.
the original owner Shiv Ram had only one son namely, Chhatrapati and
one daughter Sumitrabai. Phoolbasa Bai died during the pendency of the suit
in the year 1992. The relationship of Chhatrapati and Phoolbasa Bai has
not been denied. It has also not been denied that they had been living
together as husband and wife in a joint family.
In the fact of the case there is strong presumption in favour of the
validity of a marriage and the legitimacy of its child for the reason that
the relationship of Chhatrapati and Phoolbasa Bai are recognized by all
persons concerned.-2015 SC MSKLAWREPORTS