Decided on January 16,1957

BALBIR SINGH Respondents


- (1.) THIS is a regular first appeal from the decree of the Senior Subordinate Judge, ludhiana, passed on 11th November, 1949, dismissing the plaintiff's suit so far as property situated, outside the district of Ludhiana was concerned. The plaintiff had impleaded nine defendants out of whom defendants 3 to 9 are pro forma, and no relief was sought against them. The real contest is between the plaintiff on the one side and his half-brothers, defendants 1 and 2, on the other. The property which is the subject-matter of the suit has been classified in Schedule 'a' which forms part of the plaint, into four categories. Broadly speaking, the suit relates to, firstly, immovable property, lands and houses situated in the district of Ludhiana. In the second category is immovable property which is situated in Pakistan in Montgomery District. The third category consists of sums of money deposited by sardar Balwant Singh deceased father of the contesting parties in the Central Co-operative Bank, Pakpattan. District montgomery; the Punjab National Bank, Arifwala; the Imperial Bank, Arifwala, and monies left in trust with the firm Sher Singh, Pratap Singh of Arifwala. In this category there was also a claim relating to the pension of the deceased sardar Balwant Singh in the possession of the Government, presumably of West punjab. In the fourth category claim is laid by the plaintiff to his share of cash, ornaments, house-hold goods etc. , left behind by the deceased and alleged to have been received by defendants 1 and 2. Sardar Balwant Singh father of plaintiff and defendants l and 2. died in West Punjab on 30th of January, 1945, leaving behind properties mentioned in Schedule, 'a'. Plaintiff claimed that he was entitled to inherit one-third share of the entire movable and immovable property mentioned in the Schedule. He alleged that after the death of Sardar Balwant Singh defendants 1 and 2 gave out that they were the sole owners of the entire property. The parties admitted that they were governed by the customary law in vogue among the agricultural tribes of Punjab. The plaintiff sought the following reliefs with respect to the various properties which were the subject-matter of his suit. He sought declaration to the effect that he was owner with respect to his one-third share of the property which was in joint possession of the three brothers. He sought separate possession by partition of the joint property. He prayed for decree for rendition of accounts in respect of the sums said to be with defendants 1 and 2 which they had refused to render to him.
(2.) AMONG other objections raised by the contesting defendants 1 and 2 they also contended that the Court of the Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana had no jurisdiction except with respect to the property situate in that district. It was submitted that no relief could be granted with respect to the land in Montgomery district forming part of Pakistan territory. With respect to the sums of money it was denied that they had been transferred to East Punjab. On 24th of August, 1949, the plaintiff's counsel made a statement before the striking of the issues, that all the money lying in the Banks was still in Pakistan. It was during the course of the evidence that this position was not adhered to and the plaintiff as P. W. 1 stated that a sum of Rs. 36,000 lying in the Co-operative Bank at Pakapattan belonging to the parties had been transferred to India, but this allegation was denied by defendant No. l who appeared as D. W. 6.
(3.) ON 24th of August, 1949, counsel of defendants 1 and 2 made a statement that his clients had no objection to a decree for partition being passed in favour of the plaintiff in respect of the property situated in Ludhiana, as mentioned against items 1 and 2 under Allf and items 1 to 3 under Be in Schedule 'a' to the extent of his one-third share. It was also stated that the rest of the property and the entire money were left in the district of Montgomery and no money was ever transferred from Pakistan to India. The only issue which was framed in this case was of a preliminary nature and is reproduced below : "has this Court jurisdiction to try this suit except the property situate in ludhiana District?" the trial Court held that it had no jurisdiction as regards land left in Montgomery and further that it was not established that any monies had been transferred from pakistan to India, It was also held that the residence of defendants 1 and 2 in ludhiana District or their working for gain within the jurisdiction of the trial Court was not established though it was found that both the defendants owned agricultural and house property within the district. By order dated 11th of november 1949 the preliminary issue was decided against the plaintiff.;

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