Decided on April 25,2006


Referred Judgements :-


Cited Judgements :-



Arijit Pasayat, J. - (1.)Challenge in this appeal is to the legality of judgment rendered by a learned Single Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh in second appeal filed under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (in short the CPC).
(2.)Background facts in a nutshell are as follows :- One Ajit Singh was a common ancestor of the appellants and the respondents. The respondents as plaintiffs had filed a suit for declaration to the effect that they are owners to the extent of 17/24 share in the 107 Kanals and 2 Marlas of land, out of 151 Kanals 5 Marlas of land in dispute which had been allotted to their common ancestor Ajit Singh at the time of consolidation. Ajit Singh was a man of full vices, a spend- thrift person and had sold his land to one Bishan Singh without consideration and legal necessity. Joginder Singh, ancestor of the present appellants 1 to 5 and 7 had filed a suit for declaration that said sale was without consideration and legal necessity and as such void and had no effect on the reversionary rights. The said suit was decreed up to the High Court. Before this Court a compromise was arrived at between Joginder Singh and Bishan Singh in which the latter admitted that the land was ancestral property and the sale was ineffective. He, therefore, relinquished his right in the same after accepting a sum of Rs.30,000/- from Joginder Singh, the original defendant No.1. With a mala fide intent Joginder Singh initially got the mutation sanctioned in his name in relation to the entire land and, thereafter had got a portion thereof mutated in favour of his son, Harpal Singh (defendant No.2) and his wife Smt. Harjinderjit Kaur (defendant No.3). Appellant No. 2 Manraj Singh is the son of Harpal Singh. These entries, according to the plaintiffs were incorrect and had no effect on their rights as they had acquired 17/24 share in the suit land as reversioners on the death of Ajit Singh on 3-9-1986. The decree of this Court was not binding on them as they were not parties to the compromise. The plaintiffs had requested the defendants to admit their claim, but to no effect. Therefore, the suit for declaration and consequential relief of possession was filed. The suit was contested by the defendants who admitted the relationship inter se, as also the fact that the land in question was allotted at the time of consolidation in lieu of the land which was ancestral in the hands of Ajit Singh. It was also admitted that Ajit Singh had sold the land without legal necessity and consideration and that defendant No.1 Joginder Singh had filed suit for declaration which was decreed up to the High Court, and a compromise had been affected by Joginder Singh with Bishan Singh. They also admitted that after the compromise possession was taken by Joginder Singh. However, it was submitted that the High Court had observed that the sale in favour of Bishan Singh was void and would not affect the revisionary rights of Joginder Singh after the death of Ajit Singh. Before this Court only Joginder Singh was a party and it was he, who had entered into compromise with Bishan Singh, in pursuance whereof a decree was passed. On the basis of this decree Joginder Singh claimed that he had become owner of the suit land. Joginder Singh had also incurred huge expenses for making the land fertile and had installed electricity tubewell, electric motor of 7.5 horse power and also constructed 4/5 rooms for the storage of seed, fertilizer etc. He also claimed to have grown orchard in an area of four acres and planted 600/700 eucalyptus trees. Other defendants 2 to 6 claimed to have become owners by way of decree of a Court and mutual exchanges. It was stated that in view of the decision in favour of Joginder Singh in the earlier suit, the subsequent suit was not maintainable and the decision of this Court dated 22-3-1966 operated as res judicata. It was also submitted that plaintiffs were estopped from filing suit by their own acts and conduct and the suit was barred by time and also bad for non-joinder of necessary parties. Reference was made to Order 32, Rule 3 of the CPC with regard to the appointment of guardian for the minor defendants. It was pleaded that these mandatory provisions were not complied with and the suit was bad qua the minor defendants. 13 issues were framed by the trial Court which after examining evidence decided the relevant issues i.e. issues Nos. 3 to 6 as quoted below against the plaintiffs.
"3. Whether sale of the suit property by Ajit Singh in favour of Bishan Singh is null and void, and if so, its effect OPP

4. Whether plaintiffs are owners of the suit property OPP

5. If issue No.4 is proved whether plaintiff is entitled to the possession of the suit property as prayed for OPP

6. Whether plaintiff has no locus standi to file the present suit OPP"

(3.)Appeal filed by the respondents was allowed by learned Additional District Judge, Jalandhar holding that Joginder Singh was entitled to the benefit of the decree in the earlier suit and the findings in relation to the above issues were reversed. In the second appeal the High Court was of the view that the only question which arises for consideration is whether the settlement arrived at between Joginder Singh (defendant No.1) and Bishan Singh would entitle Joginder Singh alone to the benefit of the decree passed in the suit filed by him against Bishan Singh. The High Court felt that no question of law was involved and accordingly dismissed it.

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