Saturday 24 June 2023

Can a claim against persons who hold title to the suit property but are strangers to the partition suit be decided in the same suit?

Take for instance a suit filed for partition by a member of the Hindu Undivided Family. If one of the coparceners or an alienee from such coparcener, claims independent title to one of the properties bought in his individual name, it may be open to the Court while trying the suit for partition to decide whether such a property belongs exclusively to the defendant. To this limited extent, examining the title of a party to the suit schedule property is permissible even in a suit for partition. 

{Para 114}

115. But in a simple suit for partition, the parties cannot assert title against strangers, even by impleading them as proforma respondents. The strangers who are impleaded in a partition suit, may have nothing to say about the claim to partition. But they may have a claim to title to the property and such a claim cannot be decided in a partition suit.

 120. Therefore, we are of the view that the preliminary decree dated 28.06.1963 could not have determined the claim to title made by the legal heirs seeking partition, as against third parties. Any finding rendered in the preliminary decree, that the properties were Mathruka properties liable to be partitioned, was only incidental to the claim of the legal heirs and such a finding will not be determinative of their title to property as against third parties.

In the Supreme Court of India

(Before V. Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal, JJ.)

Civil Appeal Nos. of 2023

Trinity Infraventures Ltd. and Others Vs M.S. Murthy and Others.

Citation: 2023 SCC OnLine SC 738.

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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