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Indian Case Summary

Ravinder Kaur Grewal vs Manjit Kaur on 31 July, 2020 – Case Summary

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In the case of Ravinder Kaur Grewal & Ors. vs Manjit Kaur & Ors., the Supreme Court of India delivered a judgment on 31st July 2020. The bench consisted of A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Sanjiv Khanna. The appeal was against the judgment and decree dated 27.11.2007 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in R.S.A. No. 946/2004. The substantial question of law was whether the document Ex.P­6 required registration as by way of said document the interest in immovable property worth more than Rs.100/­ was transferred in favor of the plaintiff.

Facts of the Case

The suit was filed by Harbans Singh, the predecessor of the appellants, against his real brothers Mohan Singh and Sohan Singh. Harbans Singh sought a declaration that he was the exclusive owner of land measuring 11 kanals 17 marlas comprising khasra Nos. 935/1 and 935/2 situated at Mohalla Road and other properties referred to in the Schedule. He claimed that there was a family settlement where his ownership and possession in respect of the suit land, including the constructions thereon, were accepted and acknowledged. The structures were erected by him in his capacity as the owner of the suit land.

However, the defendants raised a dispute claiming half share in respect of which Harbans Singh was accepted and acknowledged to be the exclusive owner. As a result, a memorandum of family settlement was prepared incorporating the terms already settled between the parties. After the execution of the memorandum of family settlement, the defendants once again raised new issues to resile from the family arrangement. As a result, Harbans Singh decided to file a suit for declaration on 9.5.1988, praying for a decree that he was the owner in possession of the land.

Issues

The main issue was whether the document Ex.P­6 required registration as by way of said document the interest in immovable property worth more than Rs.100/­ was transferred in favor of the plaintiff. The other issues were whether there was any family settlement between the parties and whether the plaintiff had become the owner of the suit land by adverse possession.

Court’s Observations

The court observed that the parties were closely related and that Harbans Singh had constructed 16 shops, a samadhi of his wife – Gurcharan Kaur, and a boundary wall on the property and was in possession thereof. The court also noted that the plot at Prem Basti belonged to Harbans Singh, which was given to Sohan Singh after taking possession thereof from Mohan Singh.

The court found that there was not only a univocal family arrangement between the parties, but it was even acted upon by them without any exception. The court also observed that the document Ex.P­6 was not required to be registered as it was merely a memorandum of family settlement and not a document containing terms and recitals of the family settlement made thereunder.

The court concluded that the document transferring title in an immovable property worth more than Rs.100/­, even if it was by way of relinquishment, required registration. Thus, no title passed on to the plaintiff under Exhibit P­6 i.e., the family settlement entered into between the parties. The court allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment and decree passed by the lower appellate court and restored that of the trial court.