BHAGWAN KRISHAN GUPTA Vs. PRABHA GUPTA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
BHAGWAN KRISHAN GUPTA
Prabha Gupta and Ors.
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Sanjiv Khanna, J. -
(1.) THE appellant herein is son of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta, who expired in the year 1986. The respondents in the present appeal are his brothers and sisters i.e. other children of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta and children of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta. Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta was brother of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta, who expired in the year 1966.
(2.) MR . Murari Lal Gupta had executed a will dated 30th November, 1984. The will is not disputed by any of the parties including the appellant. What is subject matter of consideration in this appeal and as adjudicated by the impugned order dated 23rd March, 2006 passed by the learned Single Judge, are paragraphs 3 and 8 of the aforesaid will, which for the sake of convenience are reproduced below: That at present I am absolute legal owner of immovable property consisting of a residential house No. C -11, Green Park Ext. New Delhi.16 which was got constructed by me on a plot of land purchased by me out of my own income and sources. I further declare that half of the cost of the plot in this land was paid to me by my deceased younger brother Sh. Girdhari Lal Gupta. The construction of the building on the ground floor and the 1st floor and the barsati thereon was got done by me out of my own income and sources. However, the half of the cost of construction was paid to me by my deceased younger brother.
8. I have also cash deposited in my saving a/c in the State Bank of India, Green Park, new Delhi and I declare that all my four sons share the amount equally.
I have read the contents of my above will and found the same to be correct and as dictated by me. It is further stated that any controversies which may arise later on may be settled by the affected beneficiaries of this Will by discussion among themselves and on the principle of a decision by simple majority.
3. Learned Single Judge has held that the ground floor of the property No. C -11, Green Park Extension, New Delhi -110016 stands bequeathed to four sons of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta viz. Mr. Radha Krishan Gupta, Mr. Bal Krishan Gupta, Mr. Ram Krishan Gupta and Mr. Bhagwan Krishan Gupta. The first floor of the aforesaid property as per the will belongs to and is owned by the legal representatives of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta. To this extent also, there is no dispute between the appellant and the other respondents, though the learned Counsel for the appellant had submitted that paragraph 3 of the will does not make a bequest of the first floor in favor of legal representatives of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta but acknowledges their right. It is, however, submitted that by a will, an Immovable property could not have been transferred by Mr. Murari Lal Gupta in favor of the legal representatives of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta and, Therefore, the children of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta cannot claim any right in the property. It is further stated that as a gesture of goodwill, the appellant is not claiming any right on the first floor of the property against the children of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta but the said respondents cannot claim any right, title or interest on the second barsati floor. In alternative, it is submitted that what has been granted or bequeathed to children of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta is only the first floor and not any other portion of the aforesaid property. The property was registered in the name of Mr. Murari Lal Gupta and as per the provisions of Transfer of Property Act read with the will, the entire property except the first floor stands bequeathed to the four sons of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta to the exclusion of every one.
(3.) THE respondents herein including the three brothers of the appellant (other three sons of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta) have opposed the present appeal. They have drawn our attention to the will and it is submitted that the intention of the testator was to admit that both he and his brother late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta were equal owners of the property and as per the terms of oral family settlement, ground floor had fallen in share of Mr. Murari Lal Gupta and the first floor had fallen in share of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta. Accordingly, the learned Single Judge had rightly interpreted the will and held that the barsati floor should be equally divided between the two families i.e. the four brothers of late Mr. Murari Lal Gupta and the children of late Mr. Girdhari Lal Gupta.;
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