BARA SINGH Vs. KASHMIRA SINGH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
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(1.)This first defendants appeal by special leave is from the judgment and decree of the High court of Punjab and Haryana in R. S. A. No. 1286 of 1969 dated 9/12/1971. Respondents 4 to 6 Balwant Singh, Jagir Singh and Teja Singh, sons of Kehar Singh sold land measuring 38 kanals 3 marlas, being three-fifth share of 63 kanals 11 marlas of ancestral land situated at village Maherna Kalan, Tehsil and District Ludhiana, as per sale deed dated 4/06/1964 in favour of the appellant (first defendant) for Rs. 14,000. 00 as the vendors left their village Maherna Kalan and had not been cultivating the same and it was not yielding any profit. The sale deed contained a recital that the vendors sold the land with a view to purchase land in another village. On 8/11/1965 the vendors actually purchased 80 kanals of Nehri land for Rs. 11,000. 00. The parties are admittedly Jat Sikhs governed by Punjab customs.
(2.)Respondents 1 to 3 filed a declaratory suit on 3/08/1966 in the court of Sub-Judge, Ludhiana seeking a declaration that the sale of the suit land would not affect their reversionary rights after the death of respondents 4 to 6 as they were governed by the custom in the matter of alienation inasmuch as the suit land was ancestral in the hands of the alienors qua the plaintiffs (respondents 1 to 3 and that the sale was effected without consideration and without legal necessity; and respondents 4 to 6 (defendants 2 to 4 were restrained from alienating under the custom.
(3.)The appellant averred, inter alia, that the sale was for consideration and legal necessity as it was an act of good management on the part of the alienors; that respondents 4 to 6 who were not sonless and were men of good character and sober habits; that migrating from their village they had settled elsewhere as they were neither cultivating the suit land nor were in a position to manage and cultivate the same; and that the alienors had actually purchased 80 kanals of better quality nehri land which showed that the sale was an act of good management on the part of the vendors. It was also contended that the land in suit was not ancestral qua the plaintiffs nor was it governed by custom and that the plaintiffs had no locus standi.
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