Decided on April 18,1972



- (1.) The dispute in this appeal relates to the land Survey No. 163/1 admeasuring 13 acres assessed at Rs. 11-10-0 situate in the village of Degaon in North Sholapur Taluka of Sholapur District. The land was originally Shet Sanadi Inam granted tot he ancestor of the parties for rendering service as Kotwal of the village. Admittedly, succession to the land was governed by the rule of primogeniture and it was also impartible. It is also common ground that this was the only land belonging to the family of the parties.
(2.) One Vithoba was the propositus. He died long back leaving behind him three sons Dagdu, Dhondi and Damu. Dagdu died on 3rd March, 1961 leaving behind him his widow Muktabai, defendant No.6 and give sons viz. defendants Nos. 1 to 5, Defendant No. 5 died pending the suit. Dhondi is the plaintiff. Damu also died some time back leaving behind him his widow Parvati, defendant No. 8, and his son Hanmantu, defendant No. 7. The Watan was abolished under the Bombay Inferior Village Watans Abolition Act, 1958. (hereinafter called "the Act"), which came into force on 20th January, 1961. Admittedly, Dagdu was the eldest male member of the eldest branch of the family and the land stood in his name. Further, it is not disputed in this appeal that till about the year 1954-55 the family of the three brothers was joint and Dagdu was the Karta of the family. In 1954-55, there was a partition in the family and at that time the only property which could be partitioned being the ancestral house, the same was partitioned between the brothers. The land in dispute being Watan land was impartible and obviously, therefore, it could not be the subject-matter of the partition at that time. However, after the abolition of the Watan under the Act, the plaintiff Dhondi filed the suit, out of which this appeal arises, for partition and possession of his share in the land alleging that the land being the joint family property before and after the abolition of the Watan and the same having become partible after the abolition of the Watan and the same having become partible after the abolition of the Watan, he was entitled to 1/3rd share in it. He also alleged in the plaint that though the land continued in the name of Dagdu, he held it as a manager of the joint Hindu family of the brothers. He, therefore, prayed for a decree for possession of his 1/3rd share by equitable partition by metes and bounds and also for mesne profits.
(3.) The defence was that the land being Watan land and therefore impartible before the abolition of the Watan and the same being granted to Dagdu on his paying occupancy price, it was the self-acquired property of Dagdu and, therefore, the plaintiff was not entitled to any share in it.;

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