the suit is merely for declaration and is not maintainable under Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act cannot be sustained.

posted 2 Apr 2011, 09:13 by advocatemmmohan Mandagaddi murali mohan
     In that view of the matter, the finding of the 



High   Court   that   the   suit   is   merely   for   declaration 



and   is   not   maintainable   under   Section   34   of   the 



Specific   Relief   Act   cannot   be   sustained.   The   High 



Court's reliance on a decision of this Court in Ram 



Saran (supra) is also not proper.





12.    From   the   decision   in  Ram   Saran  (supra),   it   is 



clear   that   in   that   suit   the   plaintiff   merely 



claimed   a   declaration   that   they   are   the   owners   of 



the   property   and   they   have   not   sought   for 



possession of the said properties.(see para 4)





13.    For   the   reasons   aforesaid,   this   Court   holds 



that   the   suit   is   not   hit   by   Section   34   of   the 





                                 7

Specific   Relief   Act.   The   decision   in  Ram   Saran 



(supra) was rendered on totally different facts and 



cannot be applied to the present case.





14.    We   are,   therefore,   constrained   to   observe   that 



the   High   Court   reversed   the   concurrent   finding   of 



the   Courts   below   on   an   erroneous   appreciation   of 



the   admitted   facts   of   the   case   and   also   the   legal 



question   relating   to   Section   34   of   the   Specific 



Relief Act.





15.    We,   therefore,   allow   the   appeal   set   aside   the 



order   of   the   High   Court   and   restore   that   of   the 



First   Appellate   Court.   There   shall   be   no   order   as 



to costs.






                                                  REPORTABLE



              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

               CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



              CIVIL APPEAL NO(s).1142 OF 2003





GIAN KAUR                         Appellant (s)



                             VERSUS



RAGHUBIR SINGH                    Respondent(s)





                       J U D G M E N T



GANGULY, J





1.    This   appeal   is   directed   against   the   judgment 



and   order   dated   26.08.2002   of   the   Punjab   and 



Haryana High Court in Regular Second Appeal No.1806 



of   2000.   By   the   judgment   under   appeal,   the   Hon'ble 



High   Court   reversed   the   judgment   and   decree   of   the 



Court   below   and   held   that   the   suit   for   declaration 



that   the   plaintiff   is   the   owner   in   possession   of 



land   measuring   16   kanals   situated   in   village 



Ajnoha,   is   not   maintainable.   The   plaintiff   is   in 



appeal before this Court. The material facts of the 



case are as under.



                                1

.
2.    Labhu,   an   agriculturist   of   village   Sarhola 



Mundia,   Tehsil   &   District   Jalandhar,   Punjab   had 



three   sons,   namely,   Khusi   Ram,   Raghubir   Singh   and 



Kashmir   Singh   and   a   daughter   called   Pritam   Kaur. 



The   shares   of   the   sons   were   partitioned   by   the 



Revenue   Authorities   as   early   as   on   30.4.1990   and 



share   of   Khushi   Ram   was   separated   from   Raghubir 



Singh each getting 16 kanals. Khushi Ram executed a 



Will   in   favour   of   Gian   Kaur   and   appointed   her   as 



his   Mukhtiar-e-am.   Subsequently,   relations   between 



them   became   strained   and   he   cancelled   his   Will   and 



his Power of Attorney. The appellant is daughter of 



Pritam   Kaur   and   Khushi   Ram   was   living   with   Pritam 



Kaur   in   her   house   and   Pritam   Kaur   was   serving   him. 



Both   Gian   Kaur   and   Khushi   Ram   opened   a   joint 



account   in   a   Bank   and   out   of   love   and   affection 



Khushi   Ram   subsequently   executed   a   Will   dated 



12.4.1990   in   favour   of   the   appellant-plaintiff. 



Under   these   circumstances,   the   appellant   claimed 



that   she   is   in   actual   physical   possession   of   the 



suit   land.   Even   after   a   compromise   was   arrived   at 





                                 2

.
between   the   parties   on   2.10.1991,   the   defendant 



brought   a   suit   for   declaration   challenging   the 



Will.   That   suit   was   withdrawn   on   1.12.1993   without 



any permission of the Court to file a fresh a suit. 



After   the   withdrawal   of   the   aforesaid   suit,   the 



filing   of   the   present   suit   for   declaration   and 



permanent   injunction   became   necessary   as   the 



defendant   threatened   to   dispossess   the   plaintiff 



from the suit property.





3.    Before   the   trial   Court,   the   stand   of   the 



defendant   was   that   the   property   is   a   Joint   Hindu 



Family   property   and   the   plaintiff   has   no   cause   of 



action to file the suit. It was also the contention 



of   the   defendant   that   Khushi   Ram   was   a   saintly 



person   and   wanted   to   donate   land   to   a   religious 



institution. The relationship between Khushi Ram and 



the plaintiff was admitted but the fact of opening a 



joint   bank   account   with   the   plaintiff   was   denied. 



The   trial   Court   framed   about   eight   issues   in   the 



matter. Those issues are as follows:





                               3

.
      "1.    Whether   Khushi   Ram   has   executed   any 

             will dated 12.4.1990? OPP

      2. Whether   the   Plaintiff   is   owner   in 

        possession of the Suit land? OPP

      3. Whether the Plaintiff is entitled to the 

        declaration as prayed for? OPP

      4. Whether   the   Suit   is   not   maintainable   in 

        the present form? OPD

      5. Whether   the   jurisdiction   of   the   Civil 

        Court is barred? OPD

      6. Whether the Suit property is joint Hindu 

        undivided   property?   If   so,   its   effect? 

        OPD

      7. Whether the Suit is not properly valued? 

        OPD

      8. Relief."





4.    As   would   appear   from   the   issues   set   out   above 



that   issue   relating   to   maintainability   of   the   suit 



was   framed   and   on   that   issue   finding   of   the   trial 



Court   is   that   the   issue   was   not   proved   by   the 



defendant   and   that   issue   remained   unproved   and   as 



such was decided against the defendant. 





5.    From   the   judgment   of   the   First   Appellate   Court 



also   it   appears   that   the   issue   of   maintainability 



was   not   raised   and   the   First   Appellate   Court 



affirmed   the   findings   of   the   trial   Court   and 



dismissed   the   appeal,   inter   alia,   holding   the 





                                 4

.
application   filed   by   the   defendant   for   leading 



additional evidence is also without any merit. 





6.    Hon'ble   High   Court   while   entertaining   the 



Second Appeal against such concurrent finding, came, 



inter   alia,   to   a   finding   that   the   suit   simpliciter 



for declaration is not maintainable under Section 34 



of   the   Special   Relief   Act   and   the   plaintiff   should 



have filed a suit for possession. By referring to a 



judgment of this Court in the case of  Ram Saran and 



another  vs.  Ganga Devi  - AIR 1972 SC 2685, the High 



Court dismissed the suit and allowed the appeal.





7.    The   plaint   which   as   been   produced   before   this 



Court   by   way   of   additional   documents   contained   the 



following prayer:





      "a)    A   decree   of   declaration   to   the   effect   that 

             the   plaintiff   is   owner   in   possession   of   16 

             Kanal   0   Marla   of   land   fully   detailed   and 

             described   in   headnote   of   plaint   and 

             situated in village Ajnoha H.B. No.52, P.S. 

             Mahilpur, District Hoshiarpur as entered in 

             latest   jamabandi,   in   view   of   Will   dated 



                                  5

.
              12.4.90   executed   by   Khushi   Ram   s/o   Ram 

              Ditta in her favour;

       b)     With         consequential         relief         decree         for 

              permanent   injunction   restraining   the   Deft 

              not   to   alienate   the   suit   property   or 

              interfering   in   peaceful   possession   of 

              plaintiff therein; and

       c)     In the alternative decree for possession if 

              the   plaintiff   is   dispossessed   by   Deft 

              during pendency of suit;





       may kindly be passed in favour of the plaintiff 

       and against the Deft with costs."





8.          It   appears,   prima   facie,   that   apart   from 



making   a   prayer   for   declaration   there   is   also   a 



consequential   prayer   for   a   decree   for   permanent 



injunction            restraining           the         defendant         from 



alienating   the   suit   property   or   interfering   in 



peaceful possession of plaintiff therein. 





9.     There   is   an   alternative   prayer   for   decree   for 



possession also. 





10.           From  the  prayers  made  in  the  plaint,  it  is 



clear   that   the   consequential   relief   of   permanent 



injunction   was   prayed   and   before   the   Trial   Court 




                                     6

.
the fourth issue relating to the maintainability of 



the   suit   in   the   present   form   was   raised     but   the 



same   was   not   pressed   by   the   defendant   nor   was   any 



such   question   raised   before   the   First   Appellate 



Court.





11.     In that view of the matter, the finding of the 



High   Court   that   the   suit   is   merely   for   declaration 



and   is   not   maintainable   under   Section   34   of   the 



Specific   Relief   Act   cannot   be   sustained.   The   High 



Court's reliance on a decision of this Court in Ram 



Saran (supra) is also not proper.





12.    From   the   decision   in  Ram   Saran  (supra),   it   is 



clear   that   in   that   suit   the   plaintiff   merely 



claimed   a   declaration   that   they   are   the   owners   of 



the   property   and   they   have   not   sought   for 



possession of the said properties.(see para 4)





13.    For   the   reasons   aforesaid,   this   Court   holds 



that   the   suit   is   not   hit   by   Section   34   of   the 





                                 7

.
Specific   Relief   Act.   The   decision   in  Ram   Saran 



(supra) was rendered on totally different facts and 



cannot be applied to the present case.





14.    We   are,   therefore,   constrained   to   observe   that 



the   High   Court   reversed   the   concurrent   finding   of 



the   Courts   below   on   an   erroneous   appreciation   of 



the   admitted   facts   of   the   case   and   also   the   legal 



question   relating   to   Section   34   of   the   Specific 



Relief Act.





15.    We,   therefore,   allow   the   appeal   set   aside   the 



order   of   the   High   Court   and   restore   that   of   the 



First   Appellate   Court.   There   shall   be   no   order   as 



to costs.





                                          .................J.

                                          (G.S. SINGHVI)     





                                          .................J.

                                         (ASOK KUMAR GANGULY)

NEW DELHI,

FEBRUARY 03, 2011.





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