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Sundar Yadav v/s Asha Kumari Case Analysis

Facts Of The Case
Chanchal Yadav executed a registered sale deed dated 12.06.1976 in favour of his wife's brother Baldeo Gope, but subsequently he died and his widow Asha Kumari was substituted in his place and on the same date i.e. 12.06.1976 the said Chanchal Yadav executed another registered sale deed with respect to 1 Katha 2 Dhoors of suit land in favour of his daughter Kamla Devi.

In the said circumstances she claimed that Chanchal Yadav was admittedly father of the plaintiffs, who had neglected him and hence the said Chanchal Yadav sold the suit properties to none else than his wife's brother and daughter for his own requirement and hence the father Chanchal Yadav was quite justified in exercising his special power as father and Karta under Article 256 of Mulla's Hindu Law by disposing of the suit property.

In this regard, he relied upon a decision of the Hon'ble Apex Court in case of V. Ramachandra Ayyar and another v. Ramalingam Chettiar and another, reported in A.I.R. 1963 SC 302. However, his son claimed that in the year 1952 Chanchal Yadav along with his sons constituted a joint family of which he was Karta and, in that capacity, he purchased the suit land by a sale deed of 1952 and hence even the learned court of appeal below specifically found that the suit property was a joint family property and not a self -acquired property of Chanchal Yadav.

The said Chanchal Yadav died in the year 1979 during the pendency of the suit and in his place his daughter Parwati Devi was substituted. It is also claimed that Chanchal Yadav left behind two sons, also two daughters. In the said circumstances it is claimed that the said are not legal and valid and did not confer any right, title or interest in the alleged vendees as the vendor Chanchal Yadav had no right to sell the coparcenary property against the specific provisions of law as described in Mulla's Hindu Law.

He also claimed that after having been found that the suit was neither barred by Law of Limitation nor the defendants could prove adverse possession, whereas the plaintiffs had been found to be forcibly dispossessed in the year 1977, there was no occasion for the learned court of appeal below to reject the claim of the plaintiffs.

Issues Of The Case
  1. Is the suit as framed maintainable?
  2. Have the plaintiffs valid cause of action?
  3. Is the suit barred by Law of limitation
  4. Whether the lands alleged to be transferred by sale deeds dated?
Contentions Of Plaintiff
  • The plaintiff contended that Chanchal Yadav had sold the suit land at low price against the interest of the family which cannot be held to be fair and proper, as according to his own deposition the suit land was worth Rs. 2,000.00 but no valid reason could be shown by the defendants for alienation at such meagre amount although the onus was squarely upon the alienee to prove the same.
     
  • He relies upon two decisions of the Hon'ble Apex Court as well as one decision of Karnataka High Court; in case of Radhakrishnadas and another v. Kaluram (dead) and after him his heirs and legal representatives and others, reported in A.I.R. 1967 SC 575; in case of Smt. Rani and another vs. Smt. Santa Bala Debnath and others, reported in A.I.R. 1971 SC 1028; He further claims that Ext.2 proves the value of the suit property at Rs.3,500.00 per Katha and the suit property was about 2 Kathas but was sold for only Rs.300.00 and hence it cannot be held legal and proper in absence of even any specific pleading of defendants in their written statement about legal necessity of Chanchal Yadav and the amount required which contravenes the specific provision of Article 256 of the Hindu Law.

Contentions Of Defendant
  • Chanchal Yadav (original defendant no.3) was admittedly father of the plaintiffs, who had neglected him and hence the said Chanchal Yadav sold the suit properties to no one else than his wife's brother and daughter for his own requirement and hence the father Chanchal Yadav was quite justified in exercising his special power as father and Karta under Article 256 of Mulla's Hindu Law by disposing of the suit property.

Judgement
The court held that suit property was not the exclusive property of Chanchal Yadav, rather it was the joint family property as the defendants had failed to produce any evidence to show that there was either any partition in the family or the said Chanchal Yadav had purchased the suit land from his own income.

Also, the genealogy of the family is admitted that Chanchal Yadav left behind two sons and two daughters, namely plaintiff nos.1 and 2 as well as respondent nos.2 and 3. It is also an admitted fact that Chanchal Yadav (original defendant no.3) was also the Karta of the joint family which included the said children. In the said circumstances, before considering the validity and legality of the transfer/alienation made by Chanchal Yadav, the question which has to be considered is as to whether the father who is the Karta of the family which included his children has got any special right to dispose of the property unlike other Kartas of the joint family according to the Principles of Hindu Law.

Plaintiffs have been unable to prove either any fraud having been practiced on Chanchal Yadav or Chanchal Yadav not being in his proper senses at the time of execution of the sale deeds, although the onus was squarely upon them to prove the same. In this court also, the plaintiffs-appellants could not raise any valid objection based on any material to challenge the aforesaid findings of the learned lower appellate court. Hence it has been rightly held that Chanchal Yadav had disposed of the suit property in favour of defendant nos.1 and 2 in his proper sense according to his free will without any fraud, etc. having been played by anyone upon him.

The court further held that the said provision specifically provides that a Hindu father who is the Karta of the joint family has special powers of alienating, the coparcenary/ancestral property, whether movable or immovable, including the interests of his children for the payment of his own debit, which had not occurred for immoral or illegal purposes. In the said circumstances it is quite apparent that the law has given wide and varied powers of alienation to a father Karta of the joint family, with the only conditions that the said alienation should not be for any immoral or illegal purposes and that it must be for payment of his own antecedent debt for purposes prescribed by texts of law.

Conclusion
Therefore, it can be concluded that from the facts of case that clear finding of fact that Chanchal Yadav (original defendant no.3) became old and his sons (plaintiffs) neglected him and did not maintain him and hence he was forced to live with his daughter Smt. Kamla Devi (defendant no.2) and for meeting the costs of maintenance and his other necessary requirements, including the debts, Chanchal Yadav had to execute the sale deeds in question in favour of defendant nos.1 and 2.

The text of Hindu Law is very clear in that regard and provides an obligation upon the sons to maintain their father, especially when the father becomes old and needy, but here it has been found that the sons had neglected their father and failed to discharge their pious obligations due to which the father was forced to live with his daughter, but to pay the debt of his daughter which she incurred in his maintenance, he had to sell the suit property as any self-respecting person would do.

In the said circumstances Chanchal Yadav being the Karta father was perfectly justified and had full authority to sell the joint family property to defendant nos.1 and 2 by the impugned sale deeds, which were also binding upon the plaintiffs and the said purchasers, namely defendant nos.1 and 2 had acquired full right, title and interest in the suit property and accordingly they were coming in possession thereof by virtue of the impugned sale deeds from the dates of their execution as had been rightly held by the learned court of appeal.

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