HARDEVI Vs. HARMINDER SINGH
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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(1.) The only point involved in this appeal is one of interpretation of Section 59(1) of the Punjab Tenancy Act. The question is whether the widowed mother of a deceased tenant having a right of occupancy in any land is entitled to succeed to the occupancy rights on the death of his widow. Section 59(1) of the Act says :-
"When a tenant having a right of occupancy in any land dies, the right shall devolve -
(a) On his male lineal descendants, if any, in the male line of descent, and,
(b) failing such descendants, on his widow, if any, until she dies or remarries or abandons the land or is under the provisions of this Act ejected therefrom, and,
(c) failing such descendants and widow, on his widowed mother, if any, until she dies or remarries or abandons the land or is under the provisions of this Act ejected therefrom;
(d) failing such descendants and widow, or widowed mother or, if the deceased tenant left a widow or widowed mother, then when her interest terminates under clause (b) or (c) of this Sub-section, on his male collateral relatives in the male line of descent from the common ancestor of the deceased tenant and those relatives :
Provided, with respect to clause (d) of this Sub-section, that the common ancestor occupied the land."
(2.) The facts which are not disputed are these. Munshi Ram, the last male occupancy tenant of the land in dispute, died somewhere in the year 1943 or 44. He was succeeded by his widow Uttam Devi who died in 1948.
(3.) Mutation was then sanctioned in favour of Mst. Hardevi appellant, mother of Munshi Ram, and she took possession of the land. On 30th August, 1948, Harminder Singh respondent the landlord brought the present suit for possession on the ground that under Section 59(1) of the Punjab Tenancy Act the right did not devolve on the widowed mother and, therefore, the right had extinguished. The Courts below have accepted the contention and decreed the suit. The defendant has now come in appeal to this Court.;
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