Sunday 12 March 2017

When alienation of property of joint hindu family will be for legal necessity?

Another contention of plaintiff Deodatta is that there was no legal necessity for his father Shankarrao to execute the sale deed. In this connection, plaintiff submits that Shankarrao embarked upon new ventures without any experience in different trades and suffered losses. He submits that family of Shankarrao was not a trading family. The income from agricultural land and other sources was enough to maintain the joint family, but to satisfy his desires and needs, he, on his own, recklessly entered into grain business, distribution of films and American futures. According to him, the sale was not independent, but correlated to earlier Aywarharik debts and since it was not for antecedent debts, sale was not binding on the plaintiff. Shri Deshpande, learned Counsel placed reliance on the following authorities in support of this challenge:
"(i) The Benares Bank Ltd. v. Hari Narain and others (MANU/PR/0021/1932 : AIR 1932 Privy Council 182).
(ii) Sabhachand Navalchand v. Sambhoo Gyanoba Bhoj (MANU/MH/0123/1936 : ACJ 1936 Bombay Law Reporter 118).
(iii) Ganesh Prasad Singh and another v. Sheogobind Sahu and others (MANU/BH/0195/1937 : AIR 1938 Patna 40).
(iv) Sankaranarayanan and another v. The Official Receiver, Tirunelveli and others (MANU/TN/0297/1977 : AIR 1977 Madras 171)."
57. In reply, learned Senior Counsel for respondent Chimotes placed strong reliance on the decision in Venkatesh Dhonddev Deshpande v. Sou. Kusum Dattatraya Kulkarni and others (MANU/SC/0409/1978 : AIR 1978 SC 1791) and would submit that house sold by Shankarrao was for legal necessity and it is equally binding on his legal heirs too.
58. From the evidence brought on record, it can be seen that suit house was ancestral. In 1936, after Shankarrao attained majority, house came to his management. In 1949, he entered into business of cinema and grain shop. It further appears from the evidence that Shankarrao was also dealing in business of American futures. It is also apparent that Shankarrao was required to borrow loan from time to time as he was unsuccessful in businesses. The question is whether loans borrowed by Shankarrao were for the joint family as a Karta or in his individual capacity to satisfy his own desires ? Here it would be relevant to look into the debts with which sale deed is actually concerned. As stated above, agreement to sell was executed on 24/1/1951 when the house was attached in execution of decree filed by Krishna Keole. To get the sale postponed, Shankarrao executed agreement to sell of house in favour of Wasudeo and Ramchandra Chimote. Accordingly, he received Rs. 2000/- from Chimotes, paid the same to Krishna Keole and got the sale postponed. On 9/7/1951 he paid remaining amount of Rs. 6200/- to Krishna Keole in full satisfaction of the decree. He executed sale deed on that day in favour of Chimotes, received Rs. 6200/- and paid to Krishna Keole. Thus, from the sale deed, it is clear that to satisfy the debts received from Krishna Keole, Shankarrao being in need of money was required to sell the house so as to satisfy the decree in favour of Krishna Keole.
Letters Patent Appeal No. 77 of 1995 in First Appeal No. 22 of 1980, 
Decided On: 30.08.2016
Prabhatai and Ors.
 Chimote & Sons and Ors.
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:B.P. Dharmadhikari and Indira Jain, JJ.
Citation: 2017(2) MHLJ 83 Bom
Read full judgment here: click here
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