Decided on May 19,1965

SUKHNI Appellant
SUKHBASI Respondents

Referred Judgements :-


Cited Judgements :-



S.S.Dhavan, J. - (1.)THIS is a plaintiffs' second appeal from the concurrent decisions of the courts below dismissing their suit for partition of certain holdings and for damages against the defendant-respondents for cutting away the crops sown by the plaintiffs. The facts which are common ground or found by the court below are these. The first plaintiff appellant. Smt. Sukhni is the mother of the second, Smt. Patti. They are the widow and daughter of one Sita Ram, and claim the land in dispute as his heirs. It is common ground that Sita Ram was the fixed-rate tenant to the extent of a half-share in the holdings in dispute. He died in or about the year 1945-46, and left, in addition to his widow and daughter, a mother, Smt. Sukhbasi, who is the first defendant in the suit. At the time of his death the daughter Smt. Patti was about 3 years old. Within a year of his death Smt. Sukhni married again. It is not clear what happened to her daughter after her mother had re-married whether she continued to live with her mother or with her grandmother Sukhhasi and the other relations of Sita Ram. On 23-7-1949 a suit was filed by Smt. Patti under the guardianship of a cousin of her late father alleging that her grand-mother had alienated her father's share in the holding in favour of her (grand-mother's) two nephews, and challenging the legality of this gift. She contended that as her mother had re-married she had forfeited her rights in Sita Rain's holding which devolved on Smt. Patti as his daughter. She asked for a declaration that the sale deed executed by her grand-mother Sukhbasi in favour of her two nephews was illegal, void and of no effect, and that she was the lawful heir of her late father's holding. The defendants in the suit were the grand-mother Sukhbasi, and her two donees. They are all defendants in the present suit. They resisted the earlier suit and denied that Smt. Patti had any right or interest in Sita Ram's holding, and even denied that she was his daughter. They pleaded that the gift deed executed by Sukhbasi the mother of Sita Ram, in favour of her nephews was valid, as Sukhbasi was the legal heir of Sita Ram after his widow had forfeited her rights on her re-marriage.
(2.)DURING the hearing of that suit, Sita Ram's widow--the mother of Smt. Patti and the first plaintiff in the present suit--was made a defendant on her own application and permitted to file a written statement. She pleaded that she was the rightful heir of Sita Ram and had not forfeited her rights on re-marriage. She relied on the personal law of inheritance governing the succession to Sita Rani's holding. The court held that she was not divested of her rights in the land on account of her re-marriage and continued to be a fixed rate tenant of the holding. On this finding, it further held that the daughter Smt. Patti (plaintiff in that suit) could not claim any rights in the holding during the life time of her mother, and dismissed her suit as incompetent. The other findings of the court in that suit were that the suit: was not barred by Section 183 of the U. P. Tenancy Act, nor by Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act; nor was it bad for non- joinder of parties. The court gave no finding on the defendants' plea that Smt. Patti was not the daughter of Sita Ram.
The judgment was delivered on 9-12-1953. On 11-3-1955 the present suit was filed by Smt. Sukhni and her daughter Smt. Patti. The defendants in the suit are Smt, Sukhbasi (mother of Sita Ram) and her two donees Smt. Hugraji and Smt. Ramraji. The co-owners of the plaintiffs in the other holdings have also been impleaded as defendants, in view of the prayer for the partition of the holding. The plaintiffs alleged that after the death of Sita Ram, the first plaintiff inherited his half share as his widow and had been in possession as bhumidhar. It was further alleged that her re-marriage had not affected her rights as an heir and she continued to be in possession. It was also contended that the mother of Sita Ram Smt. Sukhbasi was not the heir of Sita Ram but had illegally executed a deed of gift in favour of her nephews, the second and third defendants. The plainliff relied on the judgment in the earlier suit declaring that Smt. Sukhni was the heir of Sita Ram and had not forfeited her rights on remarriage and contended that this was binding on the parties as res judicata.

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had illegally cut away the crops standing on the holding in their possession. They asked for a decree for Rs. 199 as damages for the cutting of the crops; in the alternative, a decree for possession in case the court found that the plaintiffs were not in possession; and a decree for partition of the holding according to the shares of the holders. It may be noted that partition was claimed on behalf of the first plaintiff Smt. Sukhni, while the other two reliefs were claimed on behalf of both plaintiffs.

(3.)THE co-sharer defendants of the holding did not contest the suit. It was resisted only by Sukhbasi (mother of Sita Ram) and her two donees Smt. Hubraji and Smt. Ramraji THE contesting defendants pleaded that Smt. Patti's claim was barred by resjudicata, as in the earlier suit it had been held that she had no right or interest in the land. It was also contended that Smt. Patti was not the daughter of Sita Ram and had no rights, in the land, and that Smt. Sukhni had forfeited all rights in the holding on account of her re-marriage. It was also pleaded that the suit was barred by limitation.
The trial court held that suit was not barred by limitation and Smt. Patti was the daughter of Sita Ram. It also held that the first plaintiff. Sukhni, had forfeited her rights on her re-marriage and had no longer any right or interest in the land. It held that the second plaintiff. Smt. Patti was the rightful heir of Sita Ram and entitled: to a half share but it dismissed the suit of both the plaintiffs on the ground that Smt. Sukhni had no right or interest, and Smt. Patti had claimed NO relief in her own right but merely supported the claim of Sukhni.


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