Decided on March 18,1970

Meenakshisundaram And Ors.,Meenakshisundaram And Others Appellant
Srinivasaga Reddiar And Ors.,Srinivasaga Reddiar (Died) And Others Respondents


K. Veeraswamy, J. - (1.) This appeal by the plaintiffs arises out of a suit brought by them as reversioners for a declaration that an alienation by the 2nd defendant or her husband's properties was not for necessity and for recovery of possession of the suit properties. Disagreeing with the trial court, the first appellate court granted a decree on the view that the alienation was not for necessity Venkatadri, J., without going into the question of necessity reversed the judgment of the first appellate court on the ground that in view of the fact that the widow continued to be in possession even after the sale, the property had vested in her absolutely with the result the reversioners would not be entitled to succeed to it. But the learned Judge granted leave to appeal. The sale dated 2nd May, 1956, executed by the widow to the 1st defendant was for a sum of Rs. 6,000 of which the bulk of the consideration was recited to be in discharge of three earlier promissory notes. There was due respectively on each of the promissory notes Rs. 1,353, Rs. 1,288 -10 -8 and Rs. 962 -10 -8, The dues just mentioned were as on the date of the discharge of the promissory notes. The balance of Rs. 2,425 -10 -8 was paid to the 2nd defendant before the Sub -Registrar at the title of the registration of the sale.
(2.) The view of the learned Judge was rested on a subsequent release deed executed by the 2nd defendant from which it appeared on if she had continued to be in possession not with standing the earlier sale because of some disputes. The release deed mentioned further that the disputes had been settled with the aid of certain arbitrators and that on payment of a sum of Rs. 200 the release was executed and possession was delivered to the purchaser. The learned Judge thought that since the widow was in possession when the Hindu Succession Act came into force on June 17, 1956, by reason of S. 14 , the widow became absolutely entitled to the property. We are unable to share this view. The widow had already sold the property as early as on May 2, 1956. Even the release deed subsequently executed asserted that fact, but only said that because of certain disputes, she had not delivered possession. It follows, therefore that the widow had no title whatever to the property and the fact that she was in possession when the Act came into force did not confer any title on her for that reason. S. 14 no doubt says that any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of Act, should be held by her as full owner thereof and not as limited owner. But it is obvious that, unless the possession of the widow is rested on some vestige of title in her it will not enable her to take advantage of this provision. The widow having parted with title to the property by executing the sale deed, she must be taken to have been in wrongful possession, or, at any rate, to be in possession without rightful basis or title therefore.To such a case, in our view, S. 14(1) will have no application. We think that this proposition is supported by the ratio of Eramma v/s. Veerupana : A. I. R. 1966 S.C. 1879, To the same effect in the decision of the Supreme Court in C.A. No. 108 of 1966 in which it has been held that under S. 14 a widow would get absolute right only if the property was in her possession either immediately, or immediately on the date the Act came into force, but not so, if she had already sold the property to others. Though that is our view on the scope of S. 14 and its applicability to the facts of this case, this does not enable the appellants to succeed. We are of the view that the sale was supported by necessity to a large extent. So far as the promissory note which related to raising of loan for deepening and repairing the well was concerned, the first appellate court was right in its finding that the necessity for such a loan was not established. In fact, the Subordinate Judge held that there was no well at all and if there was a well, there was no need for deepening it. As to the other promissory notes we are satisfied that the loans thereunder were raised for necessary purposes, namely, one was for the purpose of fulfilling the wishes of the husband of the widow in respect of a temple and the purpose for the other promissory note was to reclaim or improve the lands. We do not see why these purposes could not be regarded as purposes which would support the borrowing as binding on the estate of her husband. The sum of Rs. 2,425 -10 -8 paid before the Sub Registrar was intended for her maintenance. Having practically alienated all the properties, the widow was entitled to raise money for her maintenance. That would be a necessary purpose. We are on the whole, therefore, of opinion that the sale was supported by necessity to the extent of Rs. 4,645/ - .
(3.) It is contended that since the sale is supported by necessity only in part, we should act aside the sale and direct the appellants to pay a sum of Rs. 4,645, to the first defendant. We are not inclined to take this view. The facts do not show that the 1st defendant was not a bona fide purchaser. Whether a sale is supported by consideration only in part or not would depend upon the circumstances of each case, We are satisfied that the sale should be upheld. At the same time, since we have found that it is not supported by consideration to the extent of Rs, 1,335, we make a decree in favour of the appellants for recovery of Rs. 1, 300 with interest from to -dates at 7 1/2 per annum from the 1st defendant. This amount will be a charge upon the property covered by the sale. Subject to this modification of the decree, the appeal is dismissed with proportionate costs.;

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