Sunday, 12 February 2017

Whether document which is registered subsequently will operate from date of execution?

 Section 47 of Registration Act, 1908 reads as under:Page 14
Page 14 of 20
“47. Time from which registered document
operates. – A registered document shall operate
from the time which it would have commenced to
operate if no registration thereof had been
required or made, and not from the time of its
registration”
 In view of the above provision of law, we are in agreement
with the submission of learned counsel for the Respondent
no.1 that the document registered on a subsequent date,
operates from the date of execution, not from the date of
registration.
Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8895 OF 2012
Principal Secretary,
Government of Karnataka and Another 
V
Ragini Narayan and Another 
Dated:September 20, 2016.
Citation:(2016) 10 SCC424

This appeal is directed against judgment and order dated
24.03.2010, passed by the High Court of Karnataka at
Bangalore in R.F.A. No. 788 of 2009 (DEC-INJ), whereby said
Court has dismissed the appeal. The appeal before the High
Court had arisen out of the decree passed by the XXVII
Additional City Civil Judge, Bangalore, in O.S. No. 2680 of
2000, whereby the suit seeking declaration that the plaintiff is
Donor Trustee, was decreed by the trial court in her favour.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the plaintiff (Respondent
No. 1 herein) Ragini Narayan filed a suit for declaration that
after death of her husband, she is the Donor Trustee of B.M.
Sreenivasaiah Educational Trust, Bangalore (for short “BMS
Trust”). It is not disputed that late Shri B.M. Sreenivasaiah, a
philanthropist, started BMS College of Engineering in the year
1946. After his death it was his son B.S. Narayan, who was
running the institution. In 1957, the institution was
transferred to BMS Trust by B.S. Narayan (since died). The
then Government of Mysore (now Government of Karnataka)
extended financial assistance to the Trust to clear its
encumbrances, and agreed to establish the BMS College for
Women by the Trust. It is stated that the appellant/
Government of Karnataka gave grant-in-aid for the three
colleges run by the Trust.
3. The plaintiff’s case is that she is legally wedded wife of
B.S. Narayan (the original Donor Trustee) as she got married
to him on 21.05.1984, after he divorced his first wife, namely,
Smt. Minnie Narayan. It is pleaded that the plaintiff
continued to live as his wife till his death on 23.08.1995. It is
further pleaded that vide Trust Deed dated 02.12.1957,
Dharmaprakasha Rajakaryasakta B.M. Sreenivasaiah
Educational Trust was created by B.S. Narayan, his mother
and step mother by transferring properties worth Rs.5000
crores. The Council of Trustees consisted of five members
(trustees) with B.S. Narayan as a Donor Trustee. In terms of
the Trust Deed B.S. Narayan and all his successors had the
right to appoint three of the trustees while the remaining one
trustee was to be appointed/nominated by the Government of
Karnataka (defendant No 2/appellant herein).
4. The Council of Trustees in the presence of the then Chief
Minister, in its meeting dated 12.10.1978 resolved to amend
the Trust Deed allowing B.S. Narayan to nominate any person
as Donor Trustee for life time and also provided for succession
to the Donor Trustee. The State Government (appellant)
approved said amendment vide communication datedPage 4
Page 4 of 20
25.09.1979 and supplementary Trust Deed was executed on
25.06.1981, but the amendment regarding succession to the
Donor Trusteeship was not carried out.
5. Dispute starts from the year 1994. On 10.12.1994 in
another meeting of Council of Trustees, a resolution was
passed to amend the Trust Deed to give effect to the
succession to Donor Trusteeship, with certain changes from
the earlier resolution mentioned in preceding para. In the
light of the amendment made in 1994, a Deed dated
30.01.1995 was registered providing that after the life time of
B.S. Narayan, his senior most lineal descendant or a member
of his family, nominated by him or his wife, shall be the Donor
Trustee. It is pleaded by the plaintiff that B.S. Narayan,
exercising powers under clause IV(iv) of the Trust Deed, vide
document dated 16.01.1995, nominated the plaintiff to be the
Donor Trustee in his place with effect from 16.01.1995. The
plaintiff has further pleaded that B.S. Narayan never revoked
said delegation till his death. The document dated 30.01.1995Page 5
Page 5 of 20
further provided that after death of B. S. Narayan his wife
shall be the Donor Trustee under the Trust Deed.
6. Admittedly, B.S. Narayan died on 23.08.1995 in
Workhardt Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for
cancer of colon. B.S. Narayan died issueless leaving behind
his mother Smt. Laxmamma and the plaintiff. Claiming
herself to be the Donor Trustee after the death of her
husband, the plaintiff wrote letter dated 28.08.1995 to Shri Y.
Ramachandra, Chairman of the Trust. Prof. P.V. Bhandari,
who was the Government nominee/trustee, forwarded the
letter of the plaintiff to the Government. Vide letter dated
30.09.1995, the plaintiff sought cooperation of the State
Government in discharging functions by her as a Donor
Trustee. However, there was no response from the
Government and in the meanwhile Y. Ramachandra,
Chairman of the Trust appears to have written a letter dated
15.09.1995 requesting the State Government to take over the
Trust. It appears that the appellants appointed M.R.Page 6
Page 6 of 20
Sreenivasa Murthy (respondent No. 2 herein) as Donor Trustee
vide communication dated 07.11.1995.
7. Communication dated 07.11.1995, issued on behalf of
the appellants appointing Respondent No. 2 as Donor Trustee,
was challenged by the plaintiff Ragini Narayan in Writ Petition
No. 40933 of 1995 which was disposed of by the High Court
leaving the plaintiff to avail the remedy available before the
Civil Court, and a Committee of Chairman and Trustees
appointed by the court was directed to manage the affairs of
the Trust, in the meantime. Consequently the suit was filed.
8. Apart from the appellants, Respondent No. 2 (defendant
No. 3 before the civil court) contested the suit. He filed his
separate written statement. The pleas taken by him are in
substance the same as raised by the appellants (defendant
Nos. 1 and 2). It is pleaded by the defendants that under
proviso to clause VI (xii) of the Trust Deed approval of the
State Government was necessary for any amendment in the
Trust Deed. It is further pleaded that as per original clause
(IV)(1) B.S. Narayan, the designated original Donor TrusteePage 7
Page 7 of 20
was to hold the office during his life time, whereafter his senior
most lineal descendants were to succeed as Donor Trustee.
And in absence of any lineal descendant trustee, the nominee
of State Government was to act as Donor Trustee. The case of
the defendants is that the State Government had given its
approval to the amendment dated 12.10.1978 in respect of
para IV(iv) of the Trust Deed which was incorporated in the
supplementary Trust Deed dated 25.06.1981. It is further
stated that insofar as proposed amendment to clause (IV)(1) is
concerned, since B.S. Narayan himself withheld nomination of
his first wife Minnie Narayan as Donor Trustee after his death,
as such, said amendment did not form part of the
supplementary Trust Deed dated 25.06.1981. It is stated on
behalf of the appellants and Respondent No. 2 that the
Council of Trustees had no authority to amend the original
Trust Deed without the consent of the Government of
Karnataka. As such, the amendment dated 10.12.1994
registered on 30.01.1995 relied on behalf of the plaintiff, being
without the approval of the State Government, is inoperative.Page 8
Page 8 of 20
Even otherwise as per the amendment of 1995, the power to
delegate the powers of Donor Trustee was to be exercised for a
limited period i.e. during life time of B.S. Narayan, and the
plaintiff as the wife of B.S. Narayan has no right to continue
as Donor Trustee after the death of her husband.
9. The trial court, as well as the High Court, has decided
the issue as to the validity of marriage of the plaintiff with B.S.
Narayan in her favour. Both the courts have also found that
B.S. Narayan had an authority to nominate his wife, and that
the delegation of powers of Donor Trustee in favour of the
plaintiff suffers from no illegality. The High Court has upheld
the decree passed by the trial court in favour of the plaintiff.
Hence this appeal through special leave.
10. Before further discussion, we think it necessary to
reproduce relevant paras from the original Trust Deed
07,1957: -
“IV(i) The management of “THE TRUST” shall vest in
“THE COUNCIL OF TRUSTEES” consisting of
five members. Sri B.S. Narayan “DONOR”
hereto during his life time shall be a member
of the council of trustees; and after him thePage 9
Page 9 of 20
successive senior most lineal descendant of
the said donor (1) shall be one such trustee
and shall have the powers and rights of donor
“1” under these paras. If this mode of
succession fails all the powers exercisable by
the Donor (1) under terms of this deed,
including powers of appointment of trustees
under this deed, shall vest with the
Government of Mysore.”
…. …. …. …. …. …. …
“IV(iv) For the purposes of sub para (i) of clause IV
supra Donor (1) shall have the power of
nominating in his place or any person for such
period or periods as may be specified or for the
life time of such member, to exercise all or any
of the powers vested in Donor (1) under this
deed as may be delegated and such nominee
shall subject to the foregoing be deemed to be
donor (1) within the meaning of the Deed.”
…. …. …. …. …. …. …
“VI(xii) Notwithstanding anything contained in these
presents “The Trustees” shall have power to
alter, amend or to add to any of the clauses of
this document consistent with the objects and
purposes of “The Trust”. “The Trustees” shall
have power to negotiate, conclude and
effectuate such agreements with Government
State or Union, local bodies or other
authorities or bodies for purposes of obtaining
financial and/or technical aid in any form as
they deem fit on such conditions as may
appear fit to them, for furtherance of the
purposes of the institutions created underPage 10
Page 10 of 20
“The Trust” and for that purpose shall have
power to include or to co-opt further trustee or
trustees; to cede or curtail or transfer all or
any such power to any government of body, as
may be found fit and proper and to effect such
alterations in the clauses of this deed, not
inconsistent with the objects and purposes of
“The Trust” as in their opinion may appear
necessary and desirable.
Provided that any resolution of “The
Trustees” touching the alteration of this deed
or amending of any of its clauses shall not be
operative unless concurred to by donor “1” and
approved by the Government of Mysore.”
 (emphasis supplied)
11. Now, we come to the relevant amendments in the Trust
Deed, including the one dated 10.12.1994 relied by the plaintiff
but disputed by the appellants and Respondent No. 2. The
table showing clause (IV) (i) as it existed in original deed, the
one after 1978 amendment, and disputed amendment of 1994
(registered on 30.01.1995) are shown below:
ORIGINAL DEED
DATED 2/12/57
AMENDMENTS
APPROVED IN
1978
AMENDMENT
REGISTERED ON
30/01/1995
The management of
“THE TRUST” shall
vest in the “COUNCIL
OF TRUSTEES”
consisting of five
The management of
“THE TRUST” shall
vest in the
“COUNCIL of
TRUSTEES”
The management of
“THE TRUST” shall
vest in the “COUNCIL
of TRUSTEES”
consisting of fivePage 11
Page 11 of 20
members. Sri B.S.
Narayan “DONOR”
hereto during his life
time shall be a
member of the
Council of Trustees;
and after him the
successive
senior-most lineal
descendant of the
said donor (1) shall
be one such trustee
and shall have the
powers and rights of
donor (1) under these
presents. If this
mode of succession
fails all the powers
exercisable by the
Donor (1) under
terms of this deed,
including powers of
appointment of
trustees under this
deed, shall vest with
the Government of
Mysore.
consisting of five
members. Sri B.S.
Narayan “DONOR”
hereto during his
life time shall be a
member of the
Council of Trustees
and after him, his
wife Minnie
Narayan and
there-after the
successive
senior-most lineal
descendant of the
said donor (1) or a
member of the
family nominated
by donor (1) or his
wife shall be one
such trustee and
shall have the
powers and rights
of donor (1) under
these presents. If
this mode of
succession fails all
the powers
exercisable by the
Donor (1) under
terms of this deed,
including powers of
appointment of
trustees under this
deed, shall vest
with the
Government of
Mysore.
members. Sri B.S.
Narayan “DONOR”
hereto during his life
time shall be a
member and thereafter
the successive
senior-most lineal
descendant of the said
donor (1) or a member
of the family
nominated by donor
(1) or his wife shall be
one such trustee and
shall have the powers
and rights of donor (1)
under these presents.
If this mode of
succession fails all the
powers exercisable by
the Donor (1) under
terms of deed,
including powers of
appointment of
trustees under this
deed, shall vest with
the Government of
Karnataka.
 (emphasis supplied)
12. It is clear from the record that in the year 1957 B.S.
Narayan was a bachelor. Later he got married to MinniePage 12
Page 12 of 20
Narayan before 1978 amendment, and divorced her in 1982.
There is concurrent finding of fact that B.S. Narayan got
remarried in 1984 to plaintiff Ragini Narayan. It is also
relevant to mention here, that there is no dispute that
amendments mooted by B.S. Narayan in 1978 were approved
by the State Government (appellant No.2) vide communication
dated 25.09.1979. It is argued by Shri K. K. Venugopal,
Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the appellants and
Shri S. Ganesh, Senior Advocate for respondent no.2 that
since there was no approval of the State Government to the
amendment of 1994, as such it cannot be said that such an
amendment was operative, or that B.S. Narayan could have
acted under the amended para (IV)(i) of the Deed to nominate
the plaintiff (Ragini Narayan) as a Donor Trustee. It is further
submitted that without the aid of Resolution dated 10.12.1994
read with delegation of power made by B.S. Narayan in favour
of the plaintiff, she has no entitlement to discharge functions
of the Donor Trustee. It is contended that the Deed of
Nomination dated 16.01.1995 in favour of Ragini Narayan,Page 13
Page 13 of 20
allegedly executed by B.S. Narayan is not a valid document. It
is pointed out that the amended deed based on Resolution
dated 10.12.1994 was not registered, by the date 16.01.1995
as the registration is said to have been done only on
30.01.1995. As such, delegation of power in favour of plaintiff
on 16.01.1995 is not valid. It is vehemently argued that since
the amendment registered on 30.01.1995 was a non-starter as
such the same was non-effective. Ragini Narayan, after the
death of B.S. Narayan could not have nominated herself as a
Donor Trustee.
13. In reply to above, Shri C.A. Sundaram, learned senior
counsel appearing for the plaintiff – Respondent no.1, pointed
out that under Section 47 of the Registration Act, 1908, the
document registered on a subsequent date relates to the date
of execution. It is further submitted that since the date of
Resolution was 10.12.1994, as such there was no impediment
on the part of B.S. Narayan to exercise his powers under the
amended Para IV(i).
14. Section 47 of Registration Act, 1908 reads as under:Page 14
Page 14 of 20
“47. Time from which registered document
operates. – A registered document shall operate
from the time which it would have commenced to
operate if no registration thereof had been
required or made, and not from the time of its
registration”
 In view of the above provision of law, we are in agreement
with the submission of learned counsel for the Respondent
no.1 that the document registered on a subsequent date,
operates from the date of execution, not from the date of
registration.
15. However, what is more required to be examined in the
present case is as to whether Resolution for amendment dated
10.12.1994 had its approval from the State Government or not.
We have already quoted proviso to Para VI (xii) of the original
Trust Deed which requires that any alteration of the deed or
amendment therein would require concurrence of Donor
Trustee and that of the State Government.
16. Though on behalf of the appellants and the Respondent
no.2, it is contended that the State Government had not given
any approval to the amendment relied upon on behalf of thePage 15
Page 15 of 20
plaintiff, but certain documents on record clearly show that
there was approval of the State Government to the disputed
amendment of 1994. One of such documents (dated13.8.1995)
is Annexure A-7 filed by the Respondent No.2 with the
additional documents, which is copy of the ‘Deed of
Appointment’ of the Government of Karnataka as successor
Donor Trustee of executant B.S. Narayan. In our opinion, the
appellants cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time.
On one hand they rely on this document to nominate M.R.
Srinivasa Murthy, and appoint him as Donor Trustee, and on
the other hand, they are not ready to accept the approval of
State Government to the Amendment Deed registered on
30.01.1995 on the basis of which the executant has exercised
the powers in nominating the Donor Trustee. Para 2 of
Annexure A-7 i.e. ‘Deed of Appointment’ dated 13.08.1995
executed by B.S. Narayan reads as under:
“…….WHEREAS the above executant is the
Donor Trustee of a Registered Educational
Trust, created under document dated
02.12.1957 and registered as Document
No.2944/57-58 in Book I, Volume 48, pages 10
to 35, registered in the Office of the
Sub-Registrar, Bangalore City South, and
WHEREAS the above document created the
B.M.S. Educational Trust, which document was
subsequently amended once by registered
document No. 498/81-82 dated 25.06.1981
and further amended by a second document
dated 30.01.1995 and registered as document
No.531/94-95, after following the formalities
required in regard to amendment, which
included the approval of the Government of the
State of Karnataka and ……….”
(emphasis supplied)
17. Another important document which throws light on this
point is Annexure P-7 dated 7.11.1995 which is copy of the
letter issued by the Government of Karnataka to the Member
Secretary of B.M.S. Trust, Bangalore appointing M.R.
Srinivasa Murthy, IAS, as Donor Trustee. Said document is
reproduced below:
“GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA
No.ED108TEC95 Karnataka Government Secretariat,
Sachivalaya-II,
 Bangalore, Dated: November 07, 1995
From:
The Principal Secretary to Govt. of Karnataka,
Education Department, Bangalore.
To
The Member Secretary,
B.M. Srinivasaiah Educational Trust,Page 17
Page 17 of 20
Bangalore.
Sir
Sub: Acceptance of appointment as a Donor
Trustee by the Government of Karnataka for B.M.
Srinivasaiah Educational Trust.
Ref: 1. Letter from Sri Y. Ramachandra, Chairman of
the Trust, dtd.15.09.1995
 2. Deed of Appointment dtd. 13.08.95 executed by
the late Donor Trustee Sri B.S. Narayan.
….
With reference to the above mentioned
Communication/documents, the Government of
Karnataka has accepted the nomination as the
Donor-Trustee of B.M. Srinivasaiah Educational Trust
and is assuming the role of Donor-Trustee with
immediate effect. Sri M.R. Sreenivasa Murthy, IAS, is
hereby appointed to function as Donor-Trustee on
behalf of the Government of Karnataka with immediate
effect.
Please extend all co-operation to him and assist
him in the discharge of his functions.
Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
(U.P. SHARMA)
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT
 EDUCATION DEPARTMENT.”
18. From the above mentioned letter, it is clear that Deed of
Appointment dated 13.08.1995 was referred by the State
Government, and it cannot be said that the State Government
had not approved the Resolution dated 10.12.1994 on thePage 18
Page 18 of 20
basis of which Deed of Amendment was registered on
30.01.1995. That being so, now we have to examine whether it
is the plaintiff who was validly nominated Donor Trustee or
the State Government? From the para (IV)(i) of the original
Trust Deed dated 02.12.1957, it is clear that B.S. Narayan was
to continue as Donor Trustee during his life time whereafter
he was to be succeeded by his lineal descendant, and if the
mode of succession fails then, power of the appointment of the
Trust Deed was to vest with the State Government.
Amendment of 1978 as shown in the chart quoted earlier,
makes it clear that name of Minnie Narayan was added in para
(IV)(i) as nominee to succeed from B.S. Narayan, and
thereafter senior most of the lineal descendant, and if the
mode of succession fail, the powers were to be exercised by the
State Government. It appears that after Minnie Narayan was
divorced by B.S. Narayan, and he (B.S. Narayan) got married
to Ragini Narayan (plaintiff) whereafter further amendment
was proposed and passed through Resolution dated
10.12.1994 (as mentioned in amended deed registered on
30.01.1995) and by this amendment i.e. of 1994 name of
Minnie Narayan was deleted, and it was mentioned that after
the life time of B.S. Narayan, his senior most lineal descendant
or a member of his family or his wife was to succeed, and if
mode of succession fails, then powers of Donor Trustee were to
be exercised by the State Government.
19. There is concurrent finding of fact of the courts below
that Ragini Narayan was the wife of B.S. Narayan Donor
Trustee, at the time of his death, as such it cannot be said
that mode of succession mentioned in para (IV)(i) failed.
Whether it is amendment of 1978 or 1995 the expression "or
his wife” is there. In our opinion the words-‘or his wife’ in the
amendment of 1978 to which the appellants admittedly
approved refer to wife of the Donor Trustee. Same expression
is retained in the 30.01.1995 amendment. The amendment of
1978 was, admittedly, approved by the State of Karnataka.
Insofar as the amendment of 1994 is concerned, we have
already held that by virtue of Ex.A-7 dated 13.8.1995, the
recital contained therein and in view of the letter of the State
Government dated 7.11.1995 the consent of the State
Government to the amendment of 1994 can be readily
inferred. Therefore, we do not find any error in the impugned
order passed by the High Court. However, we clarify that any
nominee appointed by the State Government as Trustee will be
entitled to function as ordinary trustee in the Council of
Trustees as provided in the Trust Deed but not as the Donor
Trustee till the succession as mentioned in the Trust Deed (as
amended) fails.
20. For the reasons as discussed above, the appeal is
dismissed.
……………….....…………J.
[Ranjan Gogoi]
.……………….……………J.
New Delhi; [Prafulla C. Pant]
September 20, 2016.
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