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Sunita Gangwal vs Chottey Lal on 22 January, 2018

* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

+ RFA No.1059/2017

% Reserved on: 15th January, 2018
Pronounced on: 22nd January, 2018

SUNITA GANGWAL ….. Appellant
Through: Ms.Kadambari Puri, Ms.Sarika,
Mr. Lokesh Malik, Advocates.

versus

CHOTTEY LAL ….. Respondent
Through: Ms.Gita Dhingra, Advocate.

CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE VALMIKI J.MEHTA

To be referred to the Reporter or not? YES

VALMIKI J. MEHTA, J

1. This Regular First Appeal under Section 96 of the Civil

Procedure Code, 1908 (CPC) is filed by the defendant in the suit

impugning the judgment of the trial court dated 13.02.2015 whereby

trial court has decreed the suit of the respondent/plaintiff filed seeking

possession of the suit property being the entire ground floor of House

No. I-2/182/183, Madangir, New Delhi as shown in red and green

colour in the site plan Ex.PW1/6. Damages/mesne profits were also

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 1 of 26
granted at Rs.2,000/- per month pendente lite and future till handing

over possession of the suit property.

2. The facts of the case are that the respondent/plaintiff filed

the subject suit for possession and mesne profits with respect to the

suit property pleading that he was owner of the suit property in terms

of the usual documentation being the agreement to sell, power of

attorney, receipt etc dated 20.06.1981 (Ex.PW-1/1 to Ex.PW-1/4). In

the plaint, it was pleaded that the appellant/defendant persuaded her

husband, being the son of the respondent/plaintiff, to separate from his

parents and that one house of the respondent/plaintiff should be

transferred in the name of the appellant/defendant. On account of the

aforesaid fight on 03.02.2004, intervention took place of the members

of the community and after controlling the situation, the Panchayat of

the community decided that the son of the respondent/plaintiff viz the

husband of the appellant/defendant should live separately from the

respondent/plaintiff. Accordingly, the appellant/defendant on the same

day i.e 03.02.2004 left with her parents to their house along with all

her possessions being jewellery, clothes etc. The son of the

respondent/plaintiff namely Sh. Sanjay also started living separately in

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 2 of 26
a rented accommodation. Respondent/plaintiff on account of mental

torture caused by the appellant/defendant disowned his son Sh. Sanjay

from the properties of the respondent/plaintiff in terms of the

publication in the newspaper „Rashtriya Sahara‟ on 14.04.2004. It is

further pleaded in the plaint that the appellant/defendant joined the

company of her husband in the rented house on 17.04.2004 but on

account of her not being able to adjust with her husband, she once

again left the company of the son of the respondent/plaintiff on

24.07.2004. Appellant/defendant is pleaded to have filed false

complaints against the respondent/plaintiff and his family members

before the Crime Against Women (CAW) Cell. Before the CAW

Cell, the son of the respondent/plaintiff gave in writing that the

appellant/defendant can join his company in the rented house and the

matter was adjourned to 24.10.2006, but on 22.10.2006, the

appellant/defendant along with her family members broke open and

forcibly entered into the ground floor of the suit property. PCR was

called and proceedings under Section 107/151 of the Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) were initiated. Plaint thereafter makes

reference to various other criminal complaints including a complaint

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 3 of 26
filed by the respondent/plaintiff under Sections

452/324/427/448/506/120-B/34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC)

before the concerned Metropolitan Magistrate at New Delhi where the

appellant/defendant along with her associates are facing trial. For the

sake of security, it is pleaded in the plaint, that the respondent/plaintiff

and his family members shifted to another house belonging to the

respondent/plaintiff at I-2/205, Madangir, New Delhi on a plot

admeasuring 25 sq. yards. In view of the aforesaid facts,

respondent/plaintiff served a legal notice dated 29.12.2012 upon the

appellant/defendant for vacating the ground floor of the suit property

in unauthorized occupation of the appellant/defendant, but since the

same failed to yield the desirable result, hence the subject suit was

filed.

3. Appellant/defendant contested the suit by pleading that

all the properties including the suit property were Joint Hindu Family

properties. It was further pleaded in the written statement by the

appellant/defendant that the respondent/plaintiff and his sons are well

off earning handsome amounts. It was pleaded that out of the common

pool, various properties were purchased including in the native village

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 4 of 26
in Rajasthan. It was further pleaded that the suit property was the

matrimonial home of the appellant/defendant and she was entitled to

live in the same in view of the provisions of Protection of Women

from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Suit was therefore prayed to be

dismissed.

4. After pleadings were completed, issues were framed and

parties led evidence including documentary evidence. These aspects

are noted in paras 4 to 10 of the impugned judgment and these paras

read as under:-

4. From the pleadings of the parties, following issues were
framed on 02.06.2014 :-

(1) Whether the property is joint Hindu family properties? OPD.
(2) Whether the plaintiff is entitled for the decree of possession as
prayed for? OPP.

(3 Whether the plaintiff is entitled the mesne profit? OPP.
(4) Whether the plaintiff is entitled for the decree of permanent
injunction? OPP.

(5) Relief.

5. Plaintiff examined himself as PW-1 who filed his
affidavit in his examination-in-chief reiterating the content of the plaint
and relied upon following documents :-

Sl.No. Documents Exhibit Inference/remarks
No.

1. Agreement to sell, GPA, PW1/1 to Purchased for Rs.13,860/-

affidavit and receipt, all PW1/4 when his son i.e. husband of
dated 20.06.1981 of defendant was around 3 years of
property No. I-II/182-183 age. As per documents, when
executed by Ram Chand this property was purchased it
Verma in favour of was a plot with some
plaintiff (Suit property) malba/ superstructure on it.

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 5 of 26

2. GPA, receipt and affidavit PW1/5 Purchased for Rs.22,000/-

dt.15.12.1986 of property when his son i.e. husband of
No.I-II/205, Madangir, defendant was
New Delhi measuring 25 around 8 years of age.

sq. yds. executed by Sh. The purchase of second
Mool Chand in favour of property after 5 years for
plaintiff Rs.22,000/- in the year 1986
shows that the plaintiff was
having sufficient earnings
and therefore, he would
have definitely raised
construction upon the
property I-II/182-183 before
the purchases of I-II/205 as
in these documents the
defendant is shown the
residence of I-II/182-183.
3. Site plan of suit property PW1/6

4. ID card of plaintiff and his PW1/7 Showing their age of 55 and 59
wife PW1/8 years as
on 01.01.2008 (Irrelevant)

5. Water and Electricity PW1/9 In the name of plaintiff.

bills of suit property Colly

6. Copy of application written PW1/11 It is a letter signed by the
to Chowki Incharge by defendant, her father and the
father of defendant on plaintiff also in the form of
03.02.2004. settlement, wherein the father of
the defendant is mentioning that
he is taking his daughter i.e.
defendant with him. No cross-

examination was done on this
document.

7. Medical record of wife of PW1/12 This document was proved in ord
plaintiff of Safdarjung er to prove the incident of
Hospital dt. 23.10.2006 22.10.2006 when defendant
with the history of assault allegedly forcibly entered into the
on abdomen and chest at 9 suit property. No cross
a.m. examination was done on this
document.

   8.     Copies of complaint lodged PW1/13      It mentions about the incident of
by the plaintiff dated 22.10.2006 when defendant and
22.10.06 made to SHO PS his brother Virender allegedly
Ambedkar Nagar entered
forcibly into the suit property.
9. Copies of complaint lodged PW1/14 It mentions that because of
by the plaintiff dated defendant's quarrel some nature,

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 6 of 26
23.10.06 made to SHO PS the biradhari had separated them
Ambedkar Nagar and DCP and they started living separately
on first, second
262 Madangir on rent. It also
mentioned about the incident
of 22.10.2006 when she allegedly
forcibly entered into the suit
property.
10. Certified copy of PW1/15
summoning order of
defendant in complaint case
filed by the plaintiff
11. Copy of Complaint PW1/16 It mentions about the incident of
dt.31.10.2006 made to SH 22.10.2006 when defendant
O PS Ambedkar Nagar and his brother Virender entered
forcibly into the suit property.
It is signed by 30
neighbourers.
12. Copy of interim protection PW1/17
of Ld. ASJ, New Delhi
13. Copy of discharged PW1/18 Irrelevant
summary medical record of
plaintiff of Batra
Hospital dt.08.11.2012 i.e.
after 2 days of his
admission.
14. Copy of Newspaper dated PW1/19 Vide which the plaintiff
14.04.2014 "Rashtriya disowned his son Sanjay and his
Sahara" wife Sunita i.e. defendant from
his estates
15. Copy of divorce petition PW1/20 Irrelevant
pending between defendant
and son of plaintiff
16. Copy of legal notice dt. PW1/21
29.12.2012 along with to
postal receipts, courier PW1/24
receipt and AD card
17. Copies of complaints made PW1/25 It is about the incident of
to SHO and Commissioner colly 27.04.2008
of Police by plaintiff on
28.04.2008 against
defendants.

6. During his cross examination, he admitted that he does not have
the registered sale deeds of the suit properties. He deposed that he
purchased the property on the basis of GPA, Agreement to Sell, Will
etc. He admitted that both the properties belong to MCD Slum Department

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 7 of 26
and they are not capable of being sold. He stated that defendant after
marriage came to the suit property. He is admitted that all his family
members are having a common counsel in the criminal case including his
son Sanjay. He deposed that he did not sent any communication to Sanjay
and his wife regarding disowning. He volunteered that he orally informed
both of them as they were residing 4-5 houses
away from his residence. He deposed that he does not have any document
to show that the suit properties were constructed by him. He volunteered
that he had constructed them in piecemeal and still some part is not
complete. He admitted that he has not filed any document in the present
case to show that the defendant took all her belongings in the year 2004.

7. Sh. Ashok Kumar, son of plaintiff was examined as PW-2 who
filed his affidavit in his examination-in-chief stating that it was his father
Chottey Lal who is exclusive owner of the suit property
and it was him who purchased the suit property and constructed the same.
During his cross examined he remained stick to his stand and denied that
suit property was purchased from the common funds of the family.

8. Thereafter PE was closed.

9. In Defence Evidence, defendant examined herself as DW-1who filed
her affidavit in her examination-in-chief reiterating the contents
of the WS and relied upon copies of proceedings of petition filed U/Sec.
12 DV Act as EX.DW1/A (colly) and copies of proceedings of Criminal
Court as EX.DW1/B (colly) initiated by the plaintiff against her. It is
pertinent to mention here that in EX.DW1/B, there is a statement of
plaintiff recorded in Pre Charge Evidence wherein a suggestion was put to
him by the counsel for the accused
(defendant herein) which is reproduced as follows:-

Q. I put it to you who told you or informed you that accused Sunita
had left the abovesaid house I-II/262, Madangir, New Delhi and had
gone to reside with the parents?

Ans. Nobody told me about the abovesaid development. It was
after 2-2 ½ years when Sunita came to our house and quarrelled with
us that I came to know that she had come from her parents house. I
had not given any complaints to the police against Sunita or her
parents before 22.10.2006. It is correct that on 19.10.2006 I had
attended the office of Women Cell, Amar Colony as I was summoned
on the complaint of Sunita.....

It is correct that accused Sunita after getting married with my son
Sanjay had come to reside in our house at H. No.I-II/182, Madangir,
New Delhi and till date she is residing there as my daughter-in-law.

10. During her cross examination she stated that her husband told
her that all of them had contributed money for the construction of the
house. She stated that she is living in portion shown in red
and green color as shown in the site plan. She admitted that she had filed
a complaint dt. 19.09.2006 before CAW Cell against plaintiff and

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 8 of 26
his family members and copy of the same was proved as EX.DW1/XP­1."

5. The first issue to be decided by the trial court was as to

whether the suit property was an Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

property, and in this regard trial court has held that the suit property

was not an HUF property inasmuch as respondent/plaintiff had

succeeded in proving by means of documents (Ex. PW1/1 to

Ex.PW1/4) that the suit property was purchased by him. Trial court

further notes that the birth of the husband of the appellant/defendant is

of the year 1978 and therefore since the suit property was purchased in

the year 1981 when the husband of the appellant/defendant was only

three years of age therefore appellant/defendant cannot successfully

argue that her husband had paid monies towards purchase and

construction of the suit property. Trial court notes that no evidence

has been led on record to show that any contribution was made by the

appellant/defendant‟s husband towards construction of the suit

property and as per the evidence, the suit property appears to have

been constructed before the majority age of the husband of the

appellant/defendant. Trial court further notes that the

appellant/defendant admits the financial status of the

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 9 of 26
respondent/plaintiff for purchase of the property and for construction

thereon. For all the aforesaid reasons, the trial court held, and rightly

so, that the suit property is not an HUF property. The relevant

discussion in this regard in the judgment of the trial court reads as

under:-

"18. ISSUE NO. 1: Whether the property is joint Hindu family properties?
OPD.

The burden of proving this issue was upon the defendant. It is argued on
behalf of defendant that the joint nature of the family is to be assumed and
the burden was upon the plaintiff to show that he had acquired the suit
property from his personal funds and he never
had any intention to blend the same into the joint family property in view
of the judgment of Kavita Gambhir Vs. Hari Chand Gambhir. Though, in
reply it is argued on behalf of plaintiff that the suit property was purchased
in the year 1981 i.e. around 34 years back from his personal funds. It is
submitted that the date of birth of husband of the defendant is of the year
1978 and it cannot be assumed that at the time of purchase
of the property in the year 1981 when he was around 3 years old he
would have contributed anything towards the purchase of the same.
Therefore, it can be safely assumed that property was purchased by the
plaintiff. It is also an admitted fact that defendant got married to the son
of the plaintiff in the year 2002 and at that time the property was fully
constructed as it is today and the age of her husband
was around 24 years and their entire family was living in the said property.
The defendant has not led any evidence with respect to the year of
construction, though, it can be assumed that property was constructed
during the childhood of husband of defendant as there is no evidence that
property was constructed when the defendant's husband had attained
majority i.e. in the year 1996 and afterward. The plaintiff has successfully
proved the documents through which he purchased the property in
question and which has not been challenged in his cross examination by
the defendant. Rather the case of the defendant is that all the family
members including the husband of
defendant contributed towards the construction of the suit property,
hence the property should be treated as joint Hindu family property.
It is also an admitted position that plaintiff's family is residing in the suit
property on different floors and the documents proved
by him clearly shows that when these properties were purchased the age of

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 10 of 26
the children of the plaintiff were too small that it cannot be
assumed that they would have contributed anything towards its
consideration. There is no evidence on record to show that defendant's
husband contributed anything towards the construction of the suit property
anything and most likely as per the facts of the case the property would
have been constructed prior to the date of attaining majority of the
husband of the defendant. As the financial status of the plaintiff
was sound as per the own submissions of the defendant and the same can
also be assessed from the facts that he purchased two properties within a
span of five years that to in early 80s. Needless to say that no evidence
has been led on behalf of defendant to show that suit property is a Joint
Hindu property and the allegations of the defendant
in this regard proved to be only bald allegations and could not
be substantiated by cogent evidence. Hence this issue is decided against
the defendant."

6. As regards issue nos. 2 to 4 of entitlement of the

respondent/plaintiff to the decree of possession etc, the trial court has

held that the appellant/defendant had left the residence/possession of

the suit property, as is proved from the document Ex.PW-1/11 being

the letter to the Chowki Incharge, Police Station Madangir which

bears the signatures of the appellant/defendant and her father

admitting to the factum of the appellant/defendant leaving the suit

property, and that there was no cross-examination of the

respondent/plaintiff that this document does not state the correct facts.

In fact, trial court has further rightly relied upon the document filed by

the appellant/defendant herself Ex.DW-1/XP-1 being a complaint

dated 19.09.2006 given by the appellant/defendant to the ACP, CAW

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 11 of 26
Cell, Amar Colony wherein appellant/defendant gave her address not

of the suit property but the address of house No.B-181, Gali No.18,

Amrit Puri, Garhi, East of Kailash, New Delhi and which was the

address of the appellant/defendant‟s father. Accordingly the trial court

has held, and rightly so, that the appellant/defendant had left the suit

property but thereafter had forcibly entered the suit property which

was in the possession of the respondent/plaintiff. Accordingly, trial

court has in the opinion of this Court rightly held that possession of

the appellant/defendant was that of a trespasser and she was therefore

liable to vacate the suit property by possession of the same being

handed over to the respondent/plaintiff.

7 (i). Though the trial court has not so held, but really the

reliance by the trial court for arriving at the conclusion of entitlement

of respondent/plaintiff to possession of the suit property is upon the

oft cited judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of S.R. Batra

Another vs. (Smt.) Taruna Batra (2007) 3 SCC 169 wherein the

Supreme Court held that a daughter-in-law has no right to the property

which is exclusively owned by her parents-in-law and which property

of the parents-in-law is not a shared household under the Protection of

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 12 of 26
Women from Domestic Violence Act. I may note that a Division

Bench of this Court in the case of Navneet Arora vs. Surender Kaur

Ors. 2014 (213) DLT 611 distinguished the judgment in S.R. Batra

case (supra) by observing that in S.R. Batra case (supra) the wife had

left the matrimonial home and therefore was not entitled to again re-

enter the matrimonial home, whereas in Navneet Arora case (supra)

decided by the Division Bench of this Court the wife had never left the

matrimonial home and which was therefore held to be a shared

household entitling the wife of the son i.e the daughter-in-law to

continue to remain in possession of the property owned by her

parents-in-law.

(ii) The relevant observations of the Supreme Court in the S.R.

Batra case (supra) are paras 21 to 30 and these paras read as under:-

"21. It may be noticed that the finding of the learned Senior Civil Judge
that in fact Smt. Taruna Batra as not residing in the premises in question is
a finding of fact which cannot be interfered with either under Article 226
or 227 of the Constitution. Hence, Smt. Taruna Batra cannot claim any
injunction restraining the appellants from dispossessing her from the
property in question for the simple reason that she was not in possession at
all of the said property and hence the question of dispossession does not
arise.

22. Apart from the above, we are of the opinion that the house in
question cannot be said to be a 'shared household' within the meaning of
Section 2(s) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,
2005 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'). Section 2(s) states:

"2(s) „Shared household‟ means a household where the person
aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship
either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 13 of 26
household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved
person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in
respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both
jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes
such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the
respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the
aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household.

23. Learned Counsel for the respondent Smt. Taruna Batra has relied
upon Sections 17 and 19(1) of the aforesaid Act, which state:

17. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the
time being in force, every woman in a domestic relationship shall have
the right to reside in the shared household, whether or not she has any
right, title or beneficial interest in the same.
(2) The aggrieved person shall not be evicted or excluded from the
shared household or any part of it by the respondent save in
accordance with the procedure established by law.
xxxx
19(1) While disposing of an application under Sub-section (1) of
Section 12, the Magistrate may, on being satisfied that domestic
violence has taken place, pass a residence order-

(a) restraining the respondent from dispossessing or in any other
manner disturbing the possession of the aggrieved person from the
shared household, whether or not the respondent has a legal or
equitable interest in the shared household;

(b) directing the respondent to remove himself from the shared
household;

(c) restraining the respondent or any of his relatives from entering
any portion of the shared household in which the aggrieved person
resides;

(d) restraining the respondent from alienating or disposing off the
shared household or encumbering the same;

(e) restraining the respondent from renouncing his rights in the
shared household except with the leave of the Magistrate; or

(f) directing the respondent to secure same level of alternate
accommodation for the aggrieved person as enjoyed by her in the
shared household or to pay rent for the same, if the circumstances
so require:

Provided that no order under Clause (b) shall be passed against any
person who is a woman.

24. Learned Counsel for the respondent Smt. Taruna Batra stated that
the definition of shared household includes a household where the person
aggrieved lives or at any stage had lived in a domestic relationship. He
contended that since admittedly the respondent had lived in the property in
question in the past, hence the said property is her shared household.

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 14 of 26

25. We cannot agree with this submission.

26. If the aforesaid submission is accepted, then it will mean that
wherever the husband and wife lived together in the past that property
becomes a shared household. It is quite possible that the husband and wife
may have lived together in dozens of places e.g. with the husband's father,
husband's paternal grand parents, his maternal parents, uncles, aunts,
brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces etc. If the interpretation canvassed by the
learned Counsel for the respondent is accepted, all these houses of the
husband's relatives will be shared households and the wife can well insist
in living in the all these houses of her husband's relatives merely because
she had stayed with her husband for some time in those houses in the past.
Such a view would lead to chaos and would be absurd.

27. It is well settled that any interpretation which leads to absurdity
should not be accepted.

28. Learned Counsel for the respondent Smt. Taruna Batra has relied
upon Section 19(1)(f) of the Act and claimed that she should be given an
alternative accommodation. In our opinion, the claim for alternative
accommodation can only be made against the husband and not against the
husband's in-laws or other relatives.

29. As regards Section 17(1) of the Act, in our opinion the wife is only
entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household, and a 'shared
household' would only mean the house belonging to or taken on rent by the
husband, or the house which belongs to the joint family of which the
husband is a member. The property in question in the present case neither
belongs to Amit Batra nor was it taken on rent by him nor is it a joint
family property of which the husband Amit Batra is a member, it is the
exclusive property of appellant No. 2, mother of Amit Batra. Hence it
cannot be called a 'shared household'.

30. No doubt, the definition of 'shared household' in Section 2(s) of
the Act is not very happily worded, and appears to be the result of clumsy
drafting, but we have to give it an interpretation which is sensible and
which does not lead to chaos in society."

(iii) In Navneet Arora case (supra), benefit was granted to the

daughter-in-law to stay in the property owned by the father-in-law on

the ground of the same being a shared household only on the ground

that the daughter-in-law had never left the matrimonial home. These

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 15 of 26
observations are contained in paras 11 to 17 and 119 and which paras

read as under:-

"11. Pithily stated, the question arising for the consideration of this
Court revolves around the interpretation of the term „shared household„ as
envisaged under Section 2(s) of the Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 and if the present case stands squarely covered by the
authoritative pronouncement of the Supreme Court of India reported as
(2007) 3 SCC 169 S.R Batra Anr. v. Taruna Batra (Smt.).

12. Section 2(s) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,
2005 reads as under:-

"2 (s) "shared household" means a household where the person
aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship
either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a
household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved
person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in
respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both
jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes
such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the
respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the
aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared
household."

13. Learned Counsel for Ms.Surinder Kaur had contended that in view
of the decision of the Supreme Court in Taruna Batra‟s case (Supra), a
daughter-in-law, as the present appellant before us, is precluded under the
scheme of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to
claim a „right of residence‟ in a premises exclusively owned by her
mother-in-law even though she has admittedly resided therein with her
husband and his family members in a domestic relationship. He would thus
submit that the impugned order passed by the learned Single Judge suffers
from no impropriety and is not liable to be interfered with in the present
proceedings.

14. Since Ms.Surinder Kaur has planked her submissions on the
decision of the Supreme Court in Taruna Batra‟s case (Supra) and we find
that the conclusion expressed by the learned Single Judge in the impugned
order is also essentially premised on the said decision, it would therefore
be incumbent upon us to carefully examine the dictum in Taruna Batra‟s
case (Supra) with a view to ascertain the factual conspectus and the issues
which fell for consideration of the Supreme Court, in order to appreciate
the observations contained in the said judgment.

15. A microscopic analysis of the said decision would reveal that
Ms.Taruna Batra was married to the son of S.R.Batra and his wife on April
14, 2000. After the marriage the couple started residing together as

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 16 of 26
husband and wife at second floor, B-135, Ashok Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi. It
was not in dispute that the said property exclusively belonged to
S.R.Batra„s wife i.e. the mother-in-law of Taruna Batra. It would be
pertinent to note that S.R.Batra and his wife resided separately on the
ground floor of the said property. It was an admitted position that
Ms.Taruna Batra had shifted to the residence of her parents owing to
matrimonial acrimony with her husband. It was only much later that she
sought to re-enter the suit property only to find a lock at the main entrance.
In wake of such attending circumstances, she filed a suit seeking
mandatory injunction to enable her to enter the house. It was the case of
S.R.Batra and his wife before the Supreme Court and the Courts below
that before any order came to be passed in the said suit, Ms.Taruna Batra
along with her parents forcibly broke open the locks of the suit property. It
was also contended by S.R.Batra and his wife that their son - Amit Batra,
the husband of Taruna Batra, had shifted to his own flat at Mohan Nagar,
Ghaziabad before the litigation between the parties had ensued.

16. Perusal of the judgment further reveals that the learned Trial Judge
vide order dated March 04, 2003, had held that Ms.Taruna Batra was in
possession of the suit property and consequently granted temporary
injunction in her favour. The said order of the learned Trial Judge was
assailed in appeal before the learned Senior Civil Judge, Delhi, who vide
order dated September 17, 2004 held that Ms.Taruna Batra was not
residing in the second floor of the suit premises and also observed that her
husband -

Amit Batra was not living in the suit property, therefore, the matrimonial
home could not be said to be a place where only the wife was residing.
Laying a challenge to the order of the Appellate Court, Ms.Taurna Batra
invoked the supervisory jurisdiction of this Court by filing a petition under
Article 227 of Constitution of India. The learned Single Judge of this
Court was pleased to hold that the second floor of the suit property was the
matrimonial home of Ms.Taruna Batra and the fact that her husband
shifted to Ghaziabad later would not make Ghaziabad the matrimonial
home.

17. The Supreme Court after taking into consideration the factual
matrix highlighted above, was pleased to observe in paragraph 21 of its
judgment that this Court fell in error by interfering with the findings of the
learned Senior Civil Judge who had categorically held that Ms.Taruna
Batra was not residing in the suit premises. The Supreme Court was of the
considered view that findings of fact rendered by Courts below could not
be upset in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 and 227 of the
Constitution.

XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX

119. Reverting back to the facts of the instant case, before Navneet
Arora married Gurpreet Singh, he was living as one family with his
parents Harpal Singh and Surinder Kaur. His brother Raman Pal Singh and

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 17 of 26
his sister Sherry were also residing in the same house. The kitchen was
one. The two sons and their father were joint in business and the kitchen
used to be run from the income of the joint business. They were all living
on the ground floor. Sherry got married and left the house. Navneet
married Gurpreet. Raman Pal married Neetu. The two daughter-in-laws
joined the company not only of their husbands but even of their in-laws in
the same joint family house i.e. the ground floor of B-44, Vishal Enclave,
Rajouri Garden, New Delhi. All lived in commensality. Navneet never left
the joint family house. She was residing in the house when her husband
died. She continued to reside there even till today. Under the
circumstances her right to residence in the suit property cannot be denied,
and as regards issues of title, we have already observed that the right of
residence under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,
2005, the same would have no bearing. She may enforce it in civil
proceedings. But her right of residence in the shared household cannot be
negated."

8. As already observed above, with reference to the findings

of the trial court on issue nos. 2 to 4, trial court has held that the

appellant/defendant had in fact left the matrimonial home and for

which purpose reference has been made to the document Ex.PW1/11

as also Ex.DW1/XP-1. Accordingly, the judgment of the Supreme

Court in the case of S.R. Batra (supra) squarely applies to the present

case and the judgment in the case of Navneet Arora (supra) is

distinguishable. In fact, I would like to add that if conduct of the

appellant/defendant as found in this case is permitted then there will

be lawlessness and anarchy because a daughter-in-law by using force

will be held to be forcibly entitled to enter into premises belonging to

the parents-in-law and this Court would not like to allow such a

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 18 of 26
situation to be called a legal entitlement of a daughter-in-law in a

shared household as defined under the Protection of Women from

Domestic Violence Act.

9.(i) Learned counsel for the appellant/defendant firstly argued

that the documents which have been proved by the

respondent/plaintiff as Ex.PW1/1 to EX.PW1/4 cannot confer

ownership rights because these documents cannot be taken to be a sale

deed, and to buttress this argument reliance is placed by learned

counsel for the appellant/defendant upon the judgment of the Supreme

Court in the case of Suraj Lamp and Industries Private Limited Vs.

State of Haryana and Another (2012) 1 SCC 656.

(ii) In my opinion this argument urged on behalf of the

appellant/defendant is misconceived because rights as arising from the

doctrine of part performance under Section 53A of the Transfer of

Property Act, 1882, cannot come to existence under an unregistered

agreement to sell etc only if the unregistered agreement to sell etc is

entered into after 24.9.2001 when by Act 48 of 2001 Section 53A of

the Transfer of Property Act was amended requiring that for taking

benefit of the doctrine of part performance under Section 53A of the

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 19 of 26
Transfer of Property Act the agreement to sell must be stamped and

registered. In the present case, agreement to sell is pre-enforcement of

Act 48 of 2001 with effect from 24.9.2001 and therefore it cannot be

argued on behalf of the appellant/defendant that the documents being

Ex.PW1/1 to Ex.PW1/4 do not create rights in the nature of ownership

in favour of the respondent/plaintiff in view of the legal position

emanating from Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act. This

aspect has been considered in detail by this Court in the judgment in

the case of Shri Ramesh Chand Vs. Suresh Chand and Anr., 188

(2012) DLT 538 wherein this Court has referred to the observations of

the Supreme Court in the case of Suraj Lamp and Industries Private

Limited (supra) that the observations of the Supreme Court in the case

of Suraj Lamp and Industries Private Limited (supra) in fact support

rights under an agreement to sell, General Power of Attorney and

Will, once these documents otherwise satisfy the requirement of

relevant provisions of law being Section 53A of the Transfer of

Property Act and Section 202 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and

which aspects are satisfied in the facts of the present case as there is

no breach of Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, inasmuch as

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 20 of 26
the documents Ex.PW1/1 to PW1/4 are dated 20.6.1981 i.e prior to

24.9.2001 when there was no requirement of an agreement to sell in

the nature of Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act to be

stamped and registered. The relevant observations of this Court in the

case of Shri Ramesh Chand (supra) are contained in paras 1 to 3 and

the same read as under:-

"1. This Regular First Appeal was dismissed by a detailed judgment
on 28.2.2011. A Special Leave Petition was filed in the Supreme Court
against the judgment dated 28.2.2011 and the Supreme Court has
remanded the matter back for a fresh decision by its order dated
31.10.2011. The order of the Supreme Court dated 31.10.2011 is based on
the issue of the Supreme Court passing the judgment in the case of Suraj
Lamps Industries Pvt. Ltd. Vs. State of Haryana and Anr. 183 (2011)
DLT 1 (SC), and as per which judgment the Supreme Court overruled the
Division Bench judgment of this Court in the case of Asha M. Jain Vs.
Canara Bank 94 (2001) DLT 841. Since the judgment of this Court dated
28.2.2011 had relied upon the Division Bench judgment in the case of
Asha M. Jain (supra), and which judgment was over ruled the Supreme
Court in the case of Suraj Lamps Industries Pvt. Ltd. (supra), the
matter was therefore remanded back to this Court.

2. Before I proceed to dispose of the appeal, and which would turn
substantially on the judgment in the case of Suraj Lamps Industries
Pvt. Ltd. (supra), it is necessary to reproduce certain paras of this
judgment of the Supreme Court, and which paras are paras 12, 13, 14 and
16, and which read as under:-

"12. Any contract of sale (agreement to sell) which is not a registered
deed of conveyance (deed of sale) would fall short of the requirements
of Sections 54 and 55 of Transfer of Property Act and will not confer
any title nor transfer any interest in an immovable property (except to
the limited right granted under Section 53A of Transfer of
Property Act). According to Transfer of Property Act, an agreement
of sale, whether with possession or without possession, is not a
conveyance. Section 54 of Transfer of Property Act enacts that sale of
immoveable property can be made only by a registered instrument and
an agreement of sale does not create any interest or charge on its
subject matter.

Scope of Power of Attorney

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 21 of 26

13. A power of attorney is not an instrument of transfer in regard to
any right, title or interest in an immovable property. The power of
attorney is creation of an agency whereby the grantor authorizes the
grantee to do the acts specified therein, on behalf of grantor, which
when executed will be binding on the grantor as if done by him (see
Section 1A and Section 2 of the Powers of Attorney Act, 1882). It is
revocable or terminable at any time unless it is made irrevocable in a
manner known to law. Even an irrevocable attorney does not have
the effect of transferring title to the grantee. In State of Rajasthan v.
Basant Nehata MANU/SC/0547/2005 : 2005 (12) SCC 77 this Court
held:

"A grant of power of attorney is essentially governed by Chapter X
of the Contract Act. By reason of a deed of power of attorney, an
agent is formally appointed to act for the principal in one
transaction or a series of transactions or to manage the affairs of
the principal generally conferring necessary authority upon another
person. A deed of power of attorney is executed by the principal in
favor of the agent. The agent derives a right to use his name and all
acts, deeds and things done by him and subject to the limitations
contained in the said deed, the same shall be read as if done by the
donor. A power of attorney is, as is well known, a document of
convenience.

Execution of a power of attorney in terms of the provisions of the
Contract Act as also the Powers-of-Attorney Act is valid. A power
of attorney, we have noticed hereinbefore, is executed by the donor
so as to enable the done to act on his behalf. Except in cases
where power of attorney is coupled with interest, it is revocable.
The done in exercise of his power under such power of attorney
only acts in place of the donor subject of course to the powers
granted to him by reason thereof. He cannot use the power of
attorney for his own benefit. He acts in a fiduciary capacity. Any
act of infidelity or breach of trust is a matter between the donor
and the donee."

An attorney holder may however execute a deed of conveyance in
exercise of the power granted under the power of attorney and convey
title on behalf of the grantor.

Scope of Will

14. A will is the testament of the testator. It is a posthumous
disposition of the estate of the testator directing distribution of his
estate upon his death. It is not a transfer inter vivo. The two essential
characteristics of a will are that it is intended to come into effect only
after the death of the testator and is revocable at any time during the
life time of the testator. It is said that so long as the testator is alive, a
will is not be worth the paper on which it is written, as the testator can
at any time revoke it. If the testator, who is not married, marries after

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 22 of 26
making the will, by operation of law, the will stands revoked. (see
Sections 69 and 70 of Indian Succession Act, 1925). Registration of a
will does not make it any more effective.

16. We therefore reiterate that immovable property can be legally and
lawfully transferred/conveyed only by a registered deed of
conveyance. Transactions of the nature of 'GPA sales' or
'SA/GPA/WILL transfers' do not convey title and do not amount to
transfer, nor can they be recognized or valid mode of transfer of
immoveable property. The courts will not treat such transactions as
completed or concluded transfers or as conveyances as they neither
convey title nor create any interest in an immovable property. They
cannot be recognized as deeds of title, except to the limited extent of
Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act. Such transactions cannot
be relied upon or made the basis for mutations in Municipal or
Revenue Records. What is stated above will apply not only to deeds of
conveyance in regard to freehold property but also to transfer of
leasehold property. A lease can be validly transferred only under a
registered Assignment of Lease. It is time that an end is put to the
pernicious practice of SA/GPA/WILL transactions known as GPA
sales." (emphasis added)

3. A reference to the aforesaid paras shows that unless there is a
proper registered sale deed, title of an immovable property does not pass.
The Supreme Court has however reiterated that rights which are created
pursuant to Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 dealing
with the doctrine of part performance (para 12), an irrevocable right of a
person holding a power of attorney given for consideration coupled with
interest as per Section 202 of the Contract Act, 1872 (para 13) and
devolution of interest pursuant to a Will (para 14). Therefore, no doubt, a
person strictly may not have complete ownership rights unless there is a
duly registered sale deed, however, certain rights can exist in an
immovable property pursuant to the provisions of Section 53A of the
Transfer of Property Act, 1882, Section 202 of the Contract Act, 1872.
There also takes place devolution of interest after the death of the testator
in terms of a Will."

(iii) I, therefore, reject the argument urged on behalf of the

appellant/defendant that the respondent/plaintiff could not be held as

the owner of the suit property.

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 23 of 26

10. The next argument which was urged on behalf of the

appellant/defendant was that appellant/defendant was in settled

possession and therefore could not be dispossessed in terms of the

subject suit, but I have found this argument very strange and liable to

be rejected because the doctrine of settled possession applies for

unlawful dispossession by a person and this doctrine will not apply

when dispossession of a trespasser is sought to be lawfully made

through a suit filed for possession by an owner. Accordingly, in my

opinion this argument urged on behalf of the appellant/defendant does

not have any substance whatsoever and is therefore rejected.

11. Learned counsel for the appellant/defendant then argued

that appellant/defendant had never vacated the suit property and

therefore the ratio of the Division Bench judgment of this Court in the

case of Navneet Arora (supra) will apply, however, I cannot agree

with this argument in view of the finding of the trial court by reference

to documents Ex.PW1/11 and Ex.DW1/XP-1, and which documents

shows that appellant/defendant had left the suit property and was in

fact residing as on 19.9.2006 with her parents at the house of the

parents in House No.B-181, Gali No.18, Amrit Puri, Garhi, East of

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 24 of 26
Kailash, New Delhi, and that since a civil case is decided on balance

of probabilities hence this Court would not like to interfere with the

categorical and clear finding of the trial court of the

appellant/defendant having left possession of the suit property noting

that the findings of the trial court are in no way perverse.

Accordingly, I reject this argument urged on behalf of the

appellant/defendant.

12. It was then argued on behalf of the appellant/defendant

that the son of the respondent/plaintiff Sh. Sanjay, and husband of the

appellant/defendant, was not living separately in any rented

accommodation, and therefore appellant/defendant cannot be asked to

vacate the suit property. This argument urged on behalf of the

appellant/defendant however is misconceived because in terms of the

ratio of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of S.R. Batra

(supra) a daughter-in-law has no right to the property of the parents-

in-law and it is the duty of the husband to provide for and give

residence to the wife. The ratio of the judgment of the Division Bench

of this Court in the case of Navneet Arora (supra) will also not apply

to support the appellant/defendant as the appellant/defendant is found

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 25 of 26
to have herself left the suit premises. This argument of the

appellant/defendant is also therefore rejected.

13. For the self-same reasons given in para 12 above another

argument urged on behalf of the appellant/defendant that the suit

property is a shared household is also rejected by reference to the ratio

of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of S.R. Batra

(supra) and the ratio of the Division Bench in the case of Navneet

Arora (supra) being not applicable to the facts of the present case.

14. In view of the aforesaid reasons, I do not find any merit

in the appeal and therefore the same is dismissed, leaving the parties

to bear their own costs.

JANUARY 22, 2018                            VALMIKI J. MEHTA, J
AK/pk

RFA No.1059/2017 Page 26 of 26

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