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Monday, April 20, 2015

Sec.15 of Hindu Succession Act - Suit for Declaration and Injunction - Property stands in the name of deceased mother who died intestate - suit filed by son as the revenue records were mutated in his name and he is in possession and enjoyment of the same - suit against father and against the children of his second wife - Trial court dismissed the suit - Appellant court partly decreed the suit holding that plaintiff and his father each entitle to 1/2 share as per sec.15 of Hindu Succession Act - High court reversed the order and held that long standing mutation of revenue entries clearly disclosed that the plaintiff's father relinquished his share in the suit property - Apex court held that with out pleading and evidence , High court wrongly misdirected itself by presumptions and wrongly held that long standing mutation of revenue entries in the name of plaintiff deemed to be considered as relinquishment of rights as it is settled law that mere mutation of entries in revenue records does not confer with any title - as such the apex court set aside the High court order and upheld the orders of Appellant court - 2015 S.C. MSKLAWREPORTS

The respondent herein filed the suit against  the   appellants  seeking  for
the relief of declaration  of  his  title  to  the  suit  property  and  for
consequential  relief of permanent  injunction  restraining  the  appellants
herein from interfering with his physical possession.
 Briefly  the  case  of
the plaintiff is that the suit property belonged  to  Guramma  wife  of  the
first defendant and the mother of the plaintiff and on her death  the  first
defendant had given declaration before the  revenue  authorities  to  change
the Katha in the name of the plaintiff  in  respect  of  the  suit  schedule
property and mutation was effected accordingly and the revenue record  stood
in the name of the plaintiff for a long period of time.  
It is  the  further
case of  the  plaintiff  that  the  first  defendant   entered  into  second
marriage with one Jayamma and defendants 2 to 5 are their children and  they
denied the ownership of the plaintiff in the suit  property  and  therefore,
the suit came to be filed.
A common written statement was filed by the defendant stating that
the  suit
property was purchased in the name of Guramma  under  registered  sale  deed
dated 14.11.1959 and sale consideration was paid by the first defendant  and
after the death of Guramma, the first defendant married Jayamma in 1973  and
defendants 2 to 5 were born out of the wedlock and the plaintiff as well  as
the first defendant being the legal heirs of Guramma had  succeeded  to  the
suit property and the first defendant  gifted a  portion  of  suit  property
measuring 5 acres in favour of defendants 2 to 5  by  registered  gift  deed
dated 12.12.2003 and the suit is liable for dismissal.

The trial court framed seven issues and after  consideration  of   oral  and
documentary evidence  dismissed the suit. On the  appeal  preferred  by  the
plaintiff, the lower appellate court held that the  plaintiff and the  first
defendant being class-I heirs of  deceased  Guramma  are  entitled  to  half
share each in the  suit property and decreed the suit in part. 
the courts  were  not  correct  in
assuming that as a result of Mutation No. 1311 dated 19-7-1954,  Durga  Devi
lost her title from that date and possession also was given to  the  persons
in whose favour mutation was effected.
 This court speaking  for  the  Bench  has  clearly  held  as
"7. ... Mutation of a property in the revenue  record  does  not  create  or
extinguish title nor has it any presumptive value on title. It only  enables
the person in whose favour mutation is ordered to pay the  land  revenue  in
question. The learned Additional District  Judge  was  wholly  in  error  in
coming to a conclusion that mutation in favour of Inder Kaur  conveys  title
in her favour. This erroneous conclusion has vitiated the entire judgment."
Applying the above legal position,  we  hold  that  the  widow  had  not
divested herself of the title in the suit property as a result  of  Mutation
No. 1311 dated 19-7-1954. The assumption on the part  of  the  courts  below
that as a result of the mutation, the widow divested herself  of  the  title
and possession was wrong. If that be so, legally, she was in  possession  on
the date of coming into force of the Hindu Succession  Act  and  she,  as  a
full owner, had every right to deal with the suit properties in  any  manner
she desired."
 In the  result the impugned judgment and decree of the High Court  are
 set aside  and the judgment and decree of the  lower  appellate   court  is
restored and the appeals are allowed in  the above terms.  No costs.- 2015 S.C.MSKLAWREPORTS

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