RAMCHANDRA PANDURANG SONAR Vs. MURLIDHAR RAMCHANDRA SONAR
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
RAMCHANDRA PANDURANG SONAR (DECEASED) THROUGH HIS HEIRS AND LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES
MURLIDHAR RAMCHANDRA SONAR
Click here to view full judgement.
(1.)This is a case where the High Court in second appeal has interfered with a pure finding of fact recorded by the First Appellate Court for no worthwhile reason, and ignoring the mandatory provisions of S. 100 of the Civil Procedure Code.
(2.)The only question which was involved in the suit was whether the suit properties in which the plaintiff claimed one-fifth share, were the ancestral joint family properties or whether they were the self-acquired 'properties of his father, Ramchandra. The relevant facts are: defendant No. 1, Ramchandra had four sons including the plaintiff, and a daughter. The three other sons and the daughter are defendants Nos. 2 to 5. One of the sons, defendant No. 3 appears to support the plaintiff. During the pendency of the suit, Ramchandra died and his sons including the plaintiff have been brought on record as his heirs and legal representatives. The suit properties consisted of lands being (i) Survey No. 21/1 admeasuring 14 acres 3 gunthas, (ii) Survey No. 20/ 2 admeasuring 2 acres 36 gunthas, (iii) Survey No. 20/ 1 admeasuring 3. acres 30 gunthas and two houses all situated at Nizampur, Taluka Saaki, District Dhulia. It was the case of the plaintiff in his plaint that a joint family consisting of his father Ramchandra and his brother, Supadu owned several houses, and a land comprised in Survey No. 71 admeasuring about 14 acres. In the partition between Ramchandra and Supadu, two houses and Survey No. 71 came to the share of Ramchandra. The said two houses are included in the suit properties and it is not disputed on behalf of the respondent defendants that they are anccestral properties and the plaintiff has one-fifth share in the same. However, the case of the plaintiff that Survey No. 71 was the ancestral property was vehemently disputed and that has, been the sheet-anchor of contention of both the parties while. the plaintiff claims that rest of the suit properties were purchased by Ramchandra out of the income and subsequently the sale proceeds of the said land (since Admittedly the said land was sold by Ramchandra in 1953), it is the case of the defendants that the said land was in fact purchased jointly by Ramchandra and his brother, Supadu out of their own earnings, and in the partition between Ramchandra and Supadu that land came to the share of Ramchandra. Hence, according to the defendants, even assuming that the rest of the suit properties were purchased with the help of the income from Survey No. 71, they were the self-acquired properties of Ramchandra.
(3.)In support of his case that Survey No. 71 was the ancestral property, the plaintiff relied upon the fact that the said survey number had come to the share of Ramchandra in a general partition between him and his brother, Supadu in 1918. As against this, the defendants contended that Ramchandra's father Pandu died in 1904 and since the property all along stood in the name of Supadu it showed that it was purchased after Pandu's death in 1904. They also relied upon the fact that Ramchandra was a skilled goldsmith and was well known for his artisanship and commanded good business. His brother was also a goldsmith and both of them had purchased the said land with the earnings in goldsmithery. It was also their case that Ramchandra's father, Pandu had only two houses and no other property nor did he carry on any business even of goldsmithery. Hence, there was no question of purchasing Survey No. 71 out of the income from the ancestral property by Ramchandra and Supadu and the purchase was with the help of the income which they had earned from the business which they were carrying on by their own skill. It was also shown by the defendants that when Survey No. 71 was sold in 1953, no objection whatsoever was taken to the sale nor permission of any of the sons including that of the plaintiff was deemed necessary for the same. They further contended that they had hardly any income from Survey No. 71 and the properties which were purchased prior to 1953 could not have been purchased with the help of any such income assuming that it was an ancestral land. According to them, therefore, the suit properties were purchased only from the income from the business of goldsmithery. The three of the properties were purchased prior to 1953 while the rest were purchased long after 1953, i.e. in 1961, 1965 and 1967. Hence, their purchase had no relation to the sale of Survey No. 71 in 1953, again assuming that it was an ancestral property. It is for these reasons, according to them, that the suit properties except the two houses which were admittedly the ancestral properties were not the joint family properties in which the plaintiff could claim his share.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.