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Monday, December 16, 2013

Land acquisition act - 30(1) reference - Will with limited rights to the mother - reversioner is the son/ appellant - Due to acquisition claim was laid by son/appellant - reference was dismissed - pending appeal mother/1st respondent died - Appeal was allowed due to change of circumstances = Kuppala Sivasankar ...appellant. Kuppala Venkatamma and others....Respondents = judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=10618

Land acquisition act - 30(1) reference - Will with limited rights to the mother - reversioner is the son/ appellant - Due to acquisition claim was laid by son/appellant - reference was dismissed - pending appeal mother/1st respondent died - Appeal was allowed due to change of circumstances =
The appellant, on the one hand, and his
mother, the 1st respondent, on the other hand, are the beneficiaries under
Ex.A.1.  While for the respondents it is only a life interest, in respect of the
appellant it was vested remainder.  Even as regards the contents and recitals in
Ex.A.1, there is no dispute.
the 1st respondent is no more and respondents 2 and 3, who also happen to be
legal representatives of the 1st respondent, did not lay any independent claim,
nor they have exhibited any interest to pursue the line of their mother.  The
discussion virtually becomes academic in nature.

In the award enquiry, the appellant submitted a claim stating that an extent of
Ac.0.51 cents of the acquired land has fallen to his share in the partition with
his father and brothers, respondents 2 and 3, and in respect of the remaining
extent of Ac.0.49 cents, his father executed a Will (Ex.A.1) creating life
interest in favour of his mother and vested remainder in him.  He has also
stated that since the title over the land of Ac.0.49 cents has vested in the
Government, he alone is entitled to receive compensation for that also.
the trial Court held that the appellant is
not entitled to receive compensation in respect of Ac.0.49 cents of land.
Hence, this appeal.
The objective underlying Section 14 of the Succession Act was to enlarge the
scope of the limited rights, which the Hindu women were enjoying by the time the
Succession Act came into force, be it by operation of the Hindu Women's Rights
to Property Act, 1937, or other codified and customary law.  By and large, the
Hindu women were not conferred with absolute rights.  Section 14(1) of the
Succession Act directed that any limited rights that were being enjoyed by Hindu
women vis--vis any item of immovable property would stand enlarged to absolute
right.  To this general proposition, exceptions are carved out under sub-section
(2) of Section 14 of the Succession Act.  
After referring to the following passage from Mayne on Hindu law,  

"On a reading of sub-section (1) with Explanation, it is clear that wherever the
property was possessed by a female Hindu as a limited estate, it would become on
and from the date of commencement of the Act her absolute property.  However, if
she acquires property after the Act with a restricted estate, sub-section (2)
applies.  Such acquisition may be under the terms of a gift, will or other
instrument or a decree or order or award."

Their Lordships took the view that the benefit under Section 14(1) of the
Succession Act would be for only to cases 
where a Hindu woman was possessed of a   
property with limited rights by the time the Succession Act came into force. 
 In
other words, it was held that such benefit is not available for dispositions
that are made subsequent to the Succession Act.  
Apart from that, if the
instrument, which came into existence after the Act came into force, makes an
arrangement, whereunder limited rights are conferred upon a Hindu woman, they do
not enlarge into absolute rights, if one goes by the language employed in sub-
section (2) of Section 14 of the Succession Act.

We therefore, allow the appeal and set aside the decree passed by the trial
Court.  In its place, a decree is passed to the effect that the appellant alone
shall be entitled to receive the compensation for the land in question i.e.
Ac.0.49 cents in survey No.1356 of Kamathampalli Village, Kadiri Mandal.  There
shall be no order as to costs.


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY AND THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE M.S.K.JAISWAL                    

Appeal Suit No.2502 of 2000

04-12-2013

Kuppala Sivasankar ...appellant.

Kuppala Venkatamma and others....Respondents  

Counsel for appellant:  Sri S.Srinivas Reddy

Counsel for Respondent No.1 : Sri M.V.Suresh

<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

?Cases referred
1. (1977) 3 SCC 99
2. (2006) 8 SCC 75


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY        

AND
HE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE M.S.K.JAISWAL      

Appeal Suit No.2502 of 2000

JUDGMENT: (Per the Hon'ble Sri Justice L.Narasimha Reddy)  

Claimant No.1 in O.P.No.35 of 1995 on the file of the Senior Civil Judge,
Kadiri, filed this appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
(for short 'the Act').

An extent of Ac.1.00 of land in survey No.1356/2 of Kamathampalli Village,
Kadiri Mandal, was acquired by the Government for providing house sites to the
weaker sections.  The declaration under Section 6 of the Act was published, on
21.04.1994.

In the award enquiry, the appellant submitted a claim stating that an extent of
Ac.0.51 cents of the acquired land has fallen to his share in the partition with
his father and brothers, respondents 2 and 3, and in respect of the remaining
extent of Ac.0.49 cents, his father executed a Will (Ex.A.1) creating life
interest in favour of his mother and vested remainder in him.  He has also
stated that since the title over the land of Ac.0.49 cents has vested in the
Government, he alone is entitled to receive compensation for that also.

The 1st respondent, on the other hand, pleaded that though a limited right was
created under Ex.A.1, dated 06.12.1986, executed by her husband, in respect of
Ac.0.49 cents, by operation of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (for
short 'the Succession Act'), it has enlarged into an absolute right and she is
entitled to be paid compensation for that piece of land.  Respondents 2 and 3,
brothers of the appellant, did not make any claim for compensation.

In view of the rival claims before him, the 4th respondent referred the matter
to the Court of Senior Civil Judge, Kadiri, under Section 30 of the Act.
Through its order, dated 30.06.2000, the trial Court held that the appellant is
not entitled to receive compensation in respect of Ac.0.49 cents of land.
Hence, this appeal.

Sri S.Srinivas Reddy, learned counsel for the appellant, submits that under
Ex.A.1, only life estate was created in favour of the
1st respondent, mother of the appellant, and that she was not entitled to claim
absolute rights over the property.  He has placed reliance upon several
judgments rendered by the Supreme Court as well as this Court in support of his
contention that sub-section (1) of Section 14 of the Succession Act, does not
have its application in respect of the dispositions in favour of the Hindu women
subsequent to the enactment of the Succession Act.  On merits also, he contends
that the disposition under Ex.A.1 was not in recognition of any pre-existing
right, vis--vis the property.

During the pendency of the appeal, the 1st respondent died.  Her estate is
already represented by the appellant as well as respondents 2 and 3.  The
appellant filed a memo to that effect.

Sri M.V.Suresh, learned counsel for the 1st respondent, has reiterated the
contention of his client that was made before the trial Court.
The dispute in the O.P. was only in respect of Ac.0.49 cents of land.  The claim
of the appellant in respect of Ac.0.51 cents was not contested by anyone, and in
fact, compensation was paid to him.  The appellant, on the one hand, and his
mother, the 1st respondent, on the other hand, are the beneficiaries under
Ex.A.1.  While for the respondents it is only a life interest, in respect of the
appellant it was vested remainder.  Even as regards the contents and recitals in
Ex.A.1, there is no dispute.  The whole controversy was as to whether the life
interest created under Ex.A.1 has enlarged into an absolute right by operation
of Section 14(1) of the Succession Act.

Before the trial Court, the appellant deposed as PW.1 and the
2nd respondent as PW.2.  The appellant filed Ex.A.1, and on behalf of the
respondents, Exs.B1 and B.2 were filed.

The trial Court repelled the contention of the appellant.  The only question
that arises for consideration before us is as to, Whether the
1st respondent is entitled to the benefit under Section 14(1) of the Succession
Act? 

Strictly speaking, no discussion as such is necessary, in view of the fact that
the 1st respondent is no more and respondents 2 and 3, who also happen to be
legal representatives of the 1st respondent, did not lay any independent claim,
nor they have exhibited any interest to pursue the line of their mother.  The
discussion virtually becomes academic in nature.

The objective underlying Section 14 of the Succession Act was to enlarge the
scope of the limited rights, which the Hindu women were enjoying by the time the
Succession Act came into force, be it by operation of the Hindu Women's Rights
to Property Act, 1937, or other codified and customary law.  By and large, the
Hindu women were not conferred with absolute rights.  Section 14(1) of the
Succession Act directed that any limited rights that were being enjoyed by Hindu
women vis--vis any item of immovable property would stand enlarged to absolute
right.  To this general proposition, exceptions are carved out under sub-section
(2) of Section 14 of the Succession Act.  
The Supreme Court explained the
purport of Section 14 in its entirety in
V. Tulasamma v.  Sesha Reddy1.
Thereafter, the principle was explained in
several other judgments by the Supreme Court as well as this Court.  It is not
necessary to deal with them in detail.  In  Sadhu Singh v. Gurdwara Sahib
Narike2, the Supreme Court dealt with it extensively and the judgment in
Tulasamma's case (1 supra) was also discussed.
After referring to the following passage from Mayne on Hindu law,  

"On a reading of sub-section (1) with Explanation, it is clear that wherever the
property was possessed by a female Hindu as a limited estate, it would become on
and from the date of commencement of the Act her absolute property.  However, if
she acquires property after the Act with a restricted estate, sub-section (2)
applies.  Such acquisition may be under the terms of a gift, will or other
instrument or a decree or order or award."

Their Lordships took the view that the benefit under Section 14(1) of the
Succession Act would be for only to cases 
where a Hindu woman was possessed of a   
property with limited rights by the time the Succession Act came into force
 In
other words, it was held that such benefit is not available for dispositions
that are made subsequent to the Succession Act.  
Apart from that, if the
instrument, which came into existence after the Act came into force, makes an
arrangement, whereunder limited rights are conferred upon a Hindu woman, they do
not enlarge into absolute rights, if one goes by the language employed in sub-
section (2) of Section 14 of the Succession Act.

We therefore, allow the appeal and set aside the decree passed by the trial
Court.  In its place, a decree is passed to the effect that the appellant alone
shall be entitled to receive the compensation for the land in question i.e.
Ac.0.49 cents in survey No.1356 of Kamathampalli Village, Kadiri Mandal.  There
shall be no order as to costs.

The miscellaneous petition filed in this appeal shall also stand disposed of.

____________________  
L.NARASIMHA REDDY, J.    
_______________  
M.S.K.JAISWAL, J.
Dated:04.12.2013

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