CUSTOM SEARCH

SACRED NATURE OF FAMILY ARRANGEMENT UNDER LAW

The first decision is in Maturi Pullaiah v. Maturi Narasimham, AIR 1966 SC 1836. In para. 9 of the judgment at p 1839 of the report, Subba Rao J., as he then was speaking for the Supreme courts, after citing the passage from Halbury's Laws of England which we have set out hereinabove, observed (p. 1839): "This passage indicates that even in England, Courts are averse to disturb family arrangement but would try to sustain them on broadest consideration of the family peace and security. This concept of a 'family arrangement' had been accepted by Indian courts but has been adapted to suit the family set up of this country which is different in may respects from that obtained England As in England so in India, courts have made every attempt to sustain family arrangement rather than to avoid it, having regard to the broadest consideration of family peace and security."

Kale v. Deputy director of Consolidation, AIR 1976 Sc 807, the Supreme Court had dealt with the legal position regard it family arrangement. Fazal Ali J., speaking for himself and Krishan Iyer J. had at p. 812, cited the following passage from Kerr on Fraud: "The principles which apply to the case of ordinary compromise between strangers, do not equally apply to the case of compromises in the nature of family arrangement. Family arrangements are governed by a special equity peculiar to themselves, and will be enforced if honestly made, although they have not been meant as a compromise, but have proceeded from an error of all parties, originating in mistake or ignorance of fact as to what their rights actually are, or of the points on which their rights actually depend."

In Sahu Madho Das v. Mukund Ram, AIR 1955 SC 481, the question of family arraignment by Hindu was dealt with by the Supreme Court, Bose J., speaking for the Supreme Court observed: "But if there was a family arrangement assassinated to by the daughters and later accepted and acted on by the sons when they attained majority, their claim to separate and independent, absolute titles is understandable. It does not matter whether the claims were well founded in law because what we are considering at the moment is not the legal effect of the arrangement but whether there saw one in fact."… "It is well settled that a compromise or family arrangement is based on the assumption that there is an antecedent title of some sort in the parties and the agreement acknowledges and defines what that falling to his share and recognising the right of the others as they had previously asserted, it, to the portion allotted to them respectively. That explains why no conveyance is required in these case to pass the title from the one in whom it resides to the persons receiving it under the family arrangement, it is assumed that the title claimed by the person receiving the property under the arrangement had always resided in him or her so far as the property falling to his or her share is concerned and, therefore, no conveyance is necessary. But, in our opinion, the principle can be carried further and so strongly do the courts lean in favour of family arrangement that bring about harmony in a family and do justice to its various members and avoid, in anticipation, future disputes which might ruin them all, that we have no hesitation in taking the next step (fraud apart) and upholding an arrangement under which one set of members abandons all claim to all title and interest in all the properties in dispute and acknowledges that the sole and absolute title to all the properties resides in only one of their number (provided he or she had claimed the whole and made such an assertion of title) and ar content to take such properties as are assigned to their shares as gifts pure and simple from him or her, or as a conveyance for consideration when consideration is present."

MERE MUTATION IN REVENUE RECORD DOES NOT CREATE TITLE

A.I.R. 1997 SC 2719 = 1997(7) SCC 137 (Balwant Singh and another etc. Vs Daulat Singh (dead) by L.Rs. and others) wherein the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held as follows: “Mutation of a property in the revenue record does not create or extinguish title nor has it any presumptive value on title. It only enables the person in whose favour mutation is ordered to pay the land revenue in question. Thus, mere mutation of property in revenue records does not create or extinguish title nor has it any presumptive value on title. In such circumstances, merely because the patta has been changed, in pursuance, it will not confer or extinguish title of the plaintiffs/respondents herein or the third defendant/appellant herein………...”

LAW RESPECTS POSSESSION EVEN IF THERE IS NO TITLE TO SUPPORT IT

Lallu Yeshwant Singh (dead) by his legal representative v. Rao Jagdish Singh and others, (1968) 2 SCR 203, Court has held that a landlord did commit trespass when he forcibly entered his own land in the possession of a tenant whose tenancy has expired. The Court turned down the submission that under the general law applicable to a lessor and a lessee there was no rule or principle which made it obligatory for the lessor to resort to Court and obtain an order for possession before he could eject the lessee. The Court quoted with approval the law as stated by a Full Bench of Allahabad High Court in Yar Mohammad v. Lakshmi Das, (AIR 1959 All 1, 4), "Law respects possession even if there is no title to support it. It will not permit any person to take the law in his own hands and to dispossess a person in actual possession without having recourse to a Court. No person can be allowed to become a Judge in his own cause."

In the oft-quoted case of Nair Service Society Ltd. v. K. C. Alexander and Ors.,(1968) 3 SCR 163, Court held that a person in possession of land in assumed character of owner and exercising peaceably the ordinary rights of ownership has a perfectly good title against all the world but the rightful owner. When the facts disclose no title in either party, possession alone decides. The Court quoted Left's maxim 'Possessio contra omnes valet praeter eur cut ius sit possessionis (He that hath possession hath right against all but him that hath the very right)" and said. "A defendant in such a case must show in himself or his predecessor a valid legal title, or probably a possession prior to the plaintiff's and thus be able to raise a presumption prior in time".

In M. C. Chockalingam and Ors. v. V. Manickavasagam and Ors., (1974) 1 SCC 48, Court held that the law forbids forcible dispossession, even with the best of title.

In Krishna Ram Mahale (dead) by his LRs. v. Mrs. Shobha Venkat Rao, (1989) 4 SCC 131, it was held that where a person is in settled possession of property, even on the assumption that he had no right to remain on the property, he cannot be dispossessed by the owner of the property except by recourse to law.

In Nagar Palika Jind v. Jagat Singh, Advocate, (1995) 3 SCC 426, Court held that disputed questions of title are to be decided by due process of law, but the peaceful possession is to be protected from the trespasser without regard to the question of the origin of the possession. When the defendant fails in proving his title to the suit land the plaintiff can succeed in securing a decree for possession on the basis of his prior possession against the defendant who has dispossessed him. Such a suit will be founded on the averment of previous possession of the plaintiff and dispossession by the defendant.

PATTA OR DEED OF GRANT IS NOT A TITLE DEED SAYS KAR HIGH COURT LONG BACK

In 1966 (1) Mys LJ 772 (Hazarat Asraruddin v. Hussein Khan) it has been held that a patta is not a document of title or a -deed of grant but that it is a record of demand by the Government that such and such amount is due as land revenue on such and such area. Hence, the entries in the Municipal registers cannot be placed on a higher footing than a patta maintained under the Land Revenue Code.

1964 Mys LJ (Supp) 74 (Ramakrishniah v. Madhavakrishniah) it has been held that neither the extract from the property tax register maintained by the Municipality nor the receipts of municipal takes are either evidence of tide or possession and that such registers are primarily maintained for the purpose of levy and recovery of taxes and that the column for entry of the name of the persons liable to pay the taxes reads: 'assessee, owner or occupier'. It was further held that an entry in such a register can have only some corroborative value if independent evidence was adduced to show how it came to be made.

CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS