H.P.PUTTASWAMY Vs. THIMMAMMA
LAWS(SC)-2020-1-72
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on January 24,2020

H.P.Puttaswamy Appellant
VERSUS
THIMMAMMA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ANIRUDDHA BOSE,J. - (1.)The main dispute involved in this appeal concerns the question of necessity of presence of a purchaser of immovable property before the authority under the Registration Act, 1908 at the time of effecting registration of a deed of conveyance. In the suit, out of which this appeal arises, the plaintiff claimed declaration of himself as the lawful owner in possession of the suit property. The plaintiff is the appellant before us. This suit was instituted on 31st March 1989 and was registered as Original Suit No.132 of 1989 in the Court of Civil Judge (Junior Division) Malavalli. The plaintiff also claimed permanent injunction against the defendants restraining them from interfering with his peaceful possession of the suit property and enjoyment thereof. The property in question comprises of approximately 4500 square ft. of land in a village by the name of Hittanahalli Koppalu in Malavallu Taluk in the State of Karnataka. Originally, this property bore site No.21 which was subsequently numbered 23. The plaintiff's case before the Trial court was that this property was allotted to one Gende Veeregowdana Nathegowda under a village shifting scheme. In the suit, the plaintiff contended that he had come in possession of the subject property initially as a tenant and subsequently as the purchaser thereof. He has run a case before the Trial Court that he has been in possession of the suit property for about twenty years prior to filing of the suit. Respondent Nos. 7 to 9 in this appeal derived their interest in the property through one Madegowda (since deceased), son of the original allottee Gende Veeregowdana Nathegowda. In the suit, these three respondents were defendant Nos.1(a), 1(b) and 1(c). Their predecessor, Madegowda was originally impleaded as defendant No.1. The Respondent Nos. 1 to 6 are legal representatives of one Manchegowda (since deceased), who contested the claim of ownership of the plaintiff over the subject property. Said Manchegowda was impleaded as the second defendant in the suit. On his demise, respondent Nos.1 to 6 were substituted as defendant Nos.2(a) to 2(f). They have disputed plaintiff's possession of the suit property. They claim to be actual owners of the property through their predecessor.
(2.)There have been litigations in the past over the same property among the same set of parties or their predecessors. Madegowda had instituted a suit for declaration and permanent injunction against Manchegowda. The earlier suit registered as O.S. No.675 of 1971, was instituted in the Court of Munsiff at Mandya in the year 1971 (subsequently renumbered as O.S. No. 61/1974) in the Court of Munsiff, Malavalli. Madegowda had impleaded the plaintiff and Manchegowda as defendants in the said suit. Complaint of Madegowda in that suit was disturbance of his possession. After contest at different levels of the judicial hierarchy, that suit was ultimately dismissed on 23 rd March, 1989 at the instance of the plaintiff Madegowda only. The order of dismissal was made on as it appears from paragraph 4 of the plaint of the suit from which the present proceeding originates records:
"For objection if any objection filed. Heard Sri N.G., C.S.S. K.S.S. The defts. 2 right as a tenant shall not be affected by disposes of the suit as per memo filed by plff. Suit is dismissed without cost."
(quoted verbatim from the paper book)
(3.)In the present proceeding, basis of the plaintiff's claim was an agreement for sale executed on 10 th April, 1981 between the plaintiff and Madegowda in respect of the same property, which was followed by execution of a deed of sale on 28 th May 1981. We must point out here that the date of execution of sale deed in favour of the plaintiff has been referred to in the Trial Court judgment in some places as 21st May 1981. But that factor does not have any major impact on the outcome of the case as both these dates are subsequent to the date on which sale is claimed to have been executed by Madegowda (since deceased) in favour of Manchegowda (since deceased). That is the source of dispute in the subject suit. We shall, however, treat 28th May 1981 as the date of registration of the said deed as in course of submission, that was the date referred to by the learned counsel for the appellant. The subject suit was contested by the two sets of defendants, being legal representatives of said Madegowda (the first set) and the legal representatives of Manchegowda (the second set). First set of defendants disputed genuineness of the sale deed of 28th May 1981 which formed foundation of the plaintiff's claim. Plea was taken by the second set of defendants that the original owner, on 21st April, 1981, had executed a deed of sale in favour of Manchegowda (since deceased). This set of defendants have also disputed title of Madegowda over the suit property. It has been contended on their behalf that the Village Panchayat had cancelled the allotment to Gende Veeregowdana Nathegowda and had resolved to issue grant certificate in respect of the same site on 15th November, 1963 in favour of Manchegowda and the latter was put in possession thereof.
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