AZGAR BARID (D) BY LRS. VS MAZAMBI @ PYAREMABI

AZGAR BARID (D) BY LRS. VS MAZAMBI @ PYAREMABI

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 249 OF 2010
AZGAR BARID (D) BY LRS. AND OTHERS     ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
MAZAMBI @ PYAREMABI AND OTHERS    ...RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. This appeal challenges the judgment and order dated 17th
March   2009,   passed   by   the   High   Court   of   Karnataka   at
Bangalore in Regular Second Appeal No. 160 of 1995, thereby
allowing the appeal filed by the respondents herein.
2. The facts in brief giving rise to filing of the present appeal
are as under:
1
A suit for partition being O.S. No. 388/77 came to be filed
by plaintiff Nos. 1 to 8, who are respondent Nos. 1 to 8 herein
before the Prl. Munshiff at Kolar (hereinafter referred to as the
“trial court”), for partition and separate possession of the suit
properties.   Vide judgment and decree dated 11th  September
1987, the said suit came to be decreed, in part, declaring that
plaintiff No. 2 was entitled to 7/24th  share and plaintiff No.3
was entitled to 1/8th share in the suit schedule properties.  It
was further held that the plaintiffs were not entitled to any
share in suit Item Nos. 7 to 9 and 22.  Vide the said judgment
and decree, the appellant herein­defendant No.1 was directed to
render accounts in respect of the receipt and expenditure of the
money incurred by him on the suit schedule properties for the
period from the date of the suit till the date of effecting actual
partition of the suit schedule properties.   It was further held
that the appellant herein, who was defendant No.1, is liable to
divide   the   profits   earned   from   the   properties   in   favour   of
defendant Nos.2 and 3 to plaintiff Nos.2 and 3 as per their
respective shares.
2
3. Being aggrieved by the said judgment and decree of the
trial   court,   the   appellant­defendant   No.1   through   L.Rs.   had
filed Regular Appeal No. 60 of 1988 before the Prl. Civil Judge
at Kolar (hereinafter referred to as the “First Appellate Court”).
The said appeal was allowed by judgment and order dated 23rd
November   1994,   by   setting   aside   the   judgment   and   decree
dated 11th September 1987 passed by the trial court.  
4. The judgment and order passed by the First Appellate
Court came to be challenged before the Karnataka High Court
by filing Regular Second Appeal No. 160 of 1995.   The High
Court vide its judgment dated 18th March 1998, set aside the
judgment and order dated 23rd November 1994 passed by the
First Appellate Court and restored the judgment and decree
dated 11th  September 1987 passed by the trial court.   The
judgment passed by the High Court dated 18th  March 1998
came to be challenged before this Court by filing Civil Appeal
No. 6478 of 1998.  This Court vide its order dated 17th August
2004,   found   that   the   High   Court   had   allowed   the   appeal
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without framing the questions of law as required under Section
100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and set aside the
judgment dated 18th  March 1998, passed by the High Court
and remanded the matter to the High Court for disposal afresh
in accordance with law.  
5. On remand, the second appeal was heard afresh and the
High Court framed the following questions of law:
(1) Whether the plaintiffs 1 and 2 are entitled to
share   in   the   suit   schedule   properties,
particularly   when   Rehaman   Barid   through
whom   plaintiffs   1   and   2   claim   partition
predeceased his father ­ Mohiyuddin Pasha ­
the propositus? 
(2) Whether the first Appellate Court is justified in
negativing the case of the plaintiffs 3 to 8 for
partition and separate possession after having
found   that   the   documents   Exs.P­1   to   P­7
disclose the paternity of plaintiffs 4 to 8? 
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(3) Whether the first Appellate Court is justified in
dismissing the suit filed by plaintiffs 3 to 8
mainly   on   the   ground   that   the   Nikhanama
evidencing the marriage of plaintiff No.3 with
Mohiyuddin Pasha is not produced? 
(4) Whether the properties found in Mehar Deed
Ex.D­1   executed   by   Mohiyuddin   Pasha   in
favour   of   first   wife   Noorabi   are   liable   to   be
divided among the parties to the present suit?
6. After answering the aforesaid questions of law, the High
Court   vide   the   impugned   judgment,   held   that   all   the   suit
schedule properties were required to be divided amongst Azgar
Barid i.e. appellant­defendant No.1 and plaintiff Nos.3 to 8.
The High Court also held that plaintiff Nos.1 and 2 were not
entitled   for   any   share   in   the   suit   schedule   properties   as
Rehaman Barid, husband of plaintiff No.1 and father of plaintiff
No.2   predeceased   the   propositus   i.e.,   Mohiyuddin   Pasha.
Insofar as the shares of the parties are concerned, the High
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Court held that the properties are liable to be divided amongst
the legal heirs of Mohiyuddin Pasha in the following proportion:
1. Plaintiff   No.3­Mazambi   @
Pyarembi is entitled to
­ 1/8th share
2. Defendant No.1­Azgar Barid
is entitled to
­ 7/36th share
3. Plaintiff   No.4­Syed   Rehman
Barid @ Sabulal is entitled to
­ 7/36th share
4. Defendant   No.8­Rahiman
Barid   @   Ikbal   Pasha   is
entitled to
­ 7/36th share
5. Plaintiff No.5­Shakila Begum
is entitled to
­ 7/72nd share
6. Plaintiff No.6­Zamila Begum
is entitled to
­ 7/72nd share
7. Plaintiff  No.7­Akhila  Begum
is entitled to
­ 7/72nd share
7. Being aggrieved thereby, the present appeal is filed by the
appellant­defendant No.1­Azgar Barid, through L.Rs.
8. We   have   heard   Shri   Naresh   Kaushik,   learned   counsel
appearing on behalf of the appellant­defendant No.1 and Shri
Girish Ananthamurthy, learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the respondents­plaintiffs.
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9. Shri Kaushik submitted that the trial court had decreed
the suit only in favour of plaintiff Nos.2 and 3.  As such, in fact,
the trial court held that plaintiff Nos. 4 to 8 were not entitled to
any share in the suit schedule properties of Mohiyuddin Pasha.
The   said   judgment   and   decree   of   the   trial   court   was   not
challenged   by   plaintiff   Nos.4   to   8.     The   same   was   only
challenged   by   the   appellant   herein­defendant   No.1.     It   is
therefore submitted that the second appeal at the behest of
plaintiff   Nos.4   to   8   was   not   at   all   tenable.     He   therefore
submitted   that,   on   this   short   ground   alone,   this   appeal
deserves to be allowed.
10. Shri Kaushik further submitted that though on remand by
this Court, the High Court framed the questions of law, they
cannot be construed to be questions of law inasmuch as all the
said questions pertain to appreciation of evidence.  He therefore
submitted that this appeal deserves to be allowed and the wellreasoned judgment and order passed by the First Appellate
Court deserves to be maintained.
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11. Per contra, Shri Ananthamurthy submitted that the trial
court had rightly appreciated the evidence.  However, the First
Appellate   Court   had   reversed   the   same   on   the   basis   of
conjectures and surmises.  The High Court has therefore rightly
interfered with the same while reversing the judgment of the
First Appellate Court.  He further submitted that in a partition
suit, all the parties stand on a same pedestal and every party is
a plaintiff as well as a defendant.
12. We will first deal with the objection of the appellant that
since plaintiff Nos.4 to 8, whose claim was denied by the trial
court and who had not challenged the same by way of appeal,
are not entitled to relief in the second appeal.  This Court in the
cases of Bhagwan Swaroop and Others v. Mool Chand and
Others1 and  Dr.  P.  Nalla   Thampy   Thera   v.   B.L.   Shanker
and Others2
, has held that in a suit for partition, the position
of the plaintiff and the defendant can be interchangeable.  Each
party adopts the same position with the other parties.  It has
1 (1983) 2 SCC 132
2 1984 (Supp) SCC 631
8
been   further   held   that   so   long   as   the   suit   is   pending,   a
defendant can ask the Court to transpose him as a plaintiff and
a plaintiff can ask for being transposed as a defendant.  
13. This Court in the case of Chandramohan Ramchandra
Patil  and  Others   v.   Bapu  Koyappa  Patil  (Dead)   Through
LRs and Others3
, has held thus:
“14. Order 41 Rule 4 of the Code enables reversal of
the decree by the court in appeal at the instance of
one or some of the plaintiffs appealing and it can do
so in favour of even non­appealing plaintiffs. As a
necessary consequence such reversal of the decree
can be against the interest of the defendants vis­àvis non­appealing plaintiffs. Order 41 Rule 4 has to
be read with Order 41 Rule 33. Order 41 Rule 33
empowers the appellate court to do complete justice
between the parties by passing such order or decree
which ought to have been passed or made although
not   all   the   parties   affected   by   the   decree   had
appealed.
15. In our opinion, therefore, the appellate court by
invoking Order 41 Rule 4 read with Order 41 Rule
33 of the Code could grant relief even to the nonappealing   plaintiffs   and   make   an   adverse   order
against all the defendants and in favour of all the
plaintiffs. In such a situation, it is not open to urge
on   behalf   of   the   defendants   that   the   decree   of
3 (2003) 3 SCC 552
9
dismissal   of   suit   passed   by   the   trial   court   had
become   final inter   se between   the   non­appealing
plaintiffs and the defendants.”
14. In that view of the matter, we find that the contention
raised on behalf of the appellant with regard to plaintiff Nos.4
to 8 being not entitled to relief in the second appeal on the
ground that they have not challenged the judgment and decree
of   the   trial   court   before   the   First   Appellate   Court,   is   not
sustainable.   As   held   by   this   Court   in   the   case   of
Chandramohan   Ramchandra   Patil  (supra), the trial court
could grant relief even to the non­appealing plaintiffs and make
an adverse order against all the defendants and in favour of all
the plaintiffs.  Merely because the trial court had not granted
relief in favour of plaintiff Nos.4 to 8, would not come in their
way in the High Court allowing their claim.
15. That leads us to the other contention of the appellant.  It
is sought to be urged by him that the High Court, in the second
appeal, has framed questions of law, which are, in fact, not
questions of law but questions of fact.  
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16. In this respect, it will be relevant to refer to the following
observations   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Municipal
Committee,  Hoshiarpur   v.  Punjab  State  Electricity  Board
and Others4
:
“27. There   is   no   prohibition   on   entertaining   a
second appeal even on a question of fact provided
the   court   is   satisfied   that   the   findings   of   fact
recorded by the courts below stood vitiated by nonconsideration of relevant evidence or by showing an
erroneous   approach   to   the   matter   i.e.   that   the
findings of fact are found to be perverse. But the
High   Court   cannot   interfere   with   the   concurrent
findings of fact in a routine and casual manner by
substituting its subjective satisfaction in place of
that   of   the   lower   courts.   (Vide Jagdish
Singh v. Natthu Singh [(1992) 1 SCC 647 : AIR 1992
SC 1604] ; Karnataka Board of Wakf v. Anjuman­EIsmail Madris­Un­Niswan [(1999) 6 SCC 343 : AIR
1999   SC   3067]   and Dinesh   Kumar v. Yusuf
Ali [(2010) 12 SCC 740 : AIR 2010 SC 2679] .)
28. If a finding of fact is arrived at by ignoring or
excluding   relevant   material   or   by   taking   into
consideration irrelevant material or if the finding so
outrageously defies logic as to suffer from the vice of
irrationality incurring the blame of being perverse,
then the finding is rendered infirm in the eye of the
law. If the findings of the Court are based on no
evidence or evidence which is thoroughly unreliable
4 (2010) 13 SCC 216
11
or evidence that suffers from the vice of procedural
irregularity   or   the   findings   are   such   that   no
reasonable   person   would   have   arrived   at   those
findings,   then   the   findings   may   be   said   to   be
perverse. Further if the findings are either ipse dixit
of the Court or based on conjecture and surmises,
the judgment suffers from the additional infirmity of
non­application of mind and thus, stands vitiated.
(Vide Bharatha   Matha v. R.   Vijaya
Renganathan [(2010) 11 SCC 483 : AIR 2010 SC
2685] .)”
17. This Court in the case of Illoth Valappil Ambunhi (D) By
LRs. v. Kunhambu Karanavan5
, has observed thus:
“14. It is now well settled that perversity in arriving
at   a   factual   finding   gives   rise   to   a   substantial
question of law, attracting intervention of the High
Court under Section 100 of the CPC.”
18. Recently, this Court in the case of  K.N.   Nagarajappa
and Others v. H. Narasimha Reddy6
, to which one of us (L.N.
Rao, J.) was a party, has observed thus:
“17. In a recent judgment  of this court, Narayan
Sitaramji   Badwaik   (Dead)   Through   Lrs. v. Bisaram
2021 SCC OnLine SC 319, this court observed as
follows, in the context of High Courts' jurisdiction to
appreciate factual issues under Section 103 IPC:
5 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1336
6 2021 SCC OnLine SC 694
12
“11. A bare perusal of this section clearly
indicates   that   it   provides   for   the   High
Court to decide an issue of fact, provided
there   is   sufficient   evidence   on   record
before   it,   in   two   circumstances.   First,
when an issue necessary for the disposal
of the appeal has not been determined by
the lower Appellate Court or by both the
Courts below. And second, when an issue
of fact has been wrongly determined by
the Court(s) below by virtue of the decision
on the question of law under Section 100
of the Code of Civil Procedure.”
18. In the opinion of this court, in the present case,
the   High   Court   recorded   sound   and   convincing
reasons   why   the   first   appellate   court's   judgment
required   interference.   These   were   entirely   based
upon the evidence led by the parties on the record.
The appreciation of evidence by the first appellate
court   was   on   the   basis   of   it   having   overlooked
material facts, such as appreciation of documentary
and oral evidence led before the trial court, that the
execution of Ex.D­3 was denied……”
19. The   parties   have   claimed   through   Mohiyuddin   Pasha.
According   to   the   plaintiffs,   Mohiyuddin   Pasha   had   earlier
married Noorbi, who died in 1944.  Out of the said wedlock, two
sons   namely   Rahaman   Barid   and   Azgar   Barid­appellant
(defendant No.1) were born. Rahaman Barid was married to
Rahamathunnisa­plaintiff   No.1.   Out   of   the   said   wedlock,
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Noorjahan­plaintiff   No.2   was   born.   Rahaman   Barid   died   in
1945 i.e. prior to Mohiyuddin Pasha, who died in 1964.
20. According to the plaintiffs, after the death of Noorbi in
1944, Mohiyuddin Pasha married Mazambi @ Pyarembi­plaintiff
No.3.   Out   of   the   said   wedlock,   five   children   namely   Syed
Rahaman   Barid   @   Sabulal­plaintiff   No.4,   Shakila   Begumplaintiff   No.5,   Zamila   Begum­plaintiff   No.6,   Akhila   Begumplaintiff No.7 and Rahiman Barid @ Ikbal Pasha­plaintiff No.8,
were born.
21. The   appellant­defendant   No.1   has   not   disputed   that
Rahaman Barid was his brother.  However, he contended that
plaintiff  Nos.1  and  2  i.e.  wife  and  daughter respectively,  of
Rahaman   Barid   were   not   entitled   to   any   share   in   the   suit
schedule properties inasmuch as Rahaman Barid had died in
1944 i.e. prior to Mohiyuddin Pasha, who died in 1964.
22. The appellant­defendant No.1 has specifically denied that
Mazambi @ Pyarembi­plaintiff No.3 was married to Mohiyuddin
14
Pasha and that plaintiff Nos.4 to 8 were children of Mohiyuddin
Pasha.
23. It is further contended by the appellant­defendant No.1
that Mohiyuddin Pasha had executed a Mehar Deed in favour of
his first wife Noorbi, which was registered on 30th  July 1936,
and as such, the said properties ceased to be the properties of
Mohiyuddin Pasha.
24. The trial court, on the basis of the evidence recorded, had
come to a specific finding that after the death of his first wife
Noorbi, Mohiyuddin Pasha had married Mazambi @ Pyarembiplaintiff No.3 and plaintiff Nos.4 to 8 were born out of the said
wedlock.  While arriving at such a finding, the trial court has
relied on oral as well as documentary evidence.  The trial court
further came to a finding that from the judgment passed in an
earlier suit for partition i.e. O.S. No.514/1961, it was clear that
Mohiyuddin Pasha as well as the appellant herein­defendant
No.1 had taken a specific stand in O.S. No.514/1961 that the
said Mehar Deed was a nominal one and was never acted upon.
15
It was also contended in the said suit that the properties were
never handed over to the first  wife Noorbi and that  it was
created with a view to avoid the share to the first son Rahaman
Barid.
25. These findings of fact were reversed by the First Appellate
Court.  The First Appellate Court held that plaintiff No.3 had
failed to prove that she was married to Mohiyuddin Pasha,
since she had failed to produce any documentary evidence in
support thereof.   It further held that plaintiff Nos.4 to 8 had
failed   to   establish   that   they   were   the   children   of   deceased
Mohiyuddin Pasha. It was held that neither plaintiff No.3 nor
plaintiff   Nos.4   to   8   were   entitled   to   any   share   in   the   suit
schedule   properties.     Insofar   as   plaintiff   Nos.1   and   2   are
concerned, the First Appellate Court held that since they were
claiming through Rahaman Barid, who died in 1945 i.e. prior to
Mohiyuddin Pasha, who died in 1964, they are also not entitled
to any share in the suit schedule properties.
16
26. While holding that the finding of the First Appellate Court
that Mazambi @ Pyarembi­plaintiff No.3 was not married to
Mohiyuddin Pasha was erroneous in law, the High Court has
mainly relied on the oral as well as the documentary evidence.
27. Syed Ahmed Ali­PW­1, who was aged 75 years at the time
of   giving   evidence,   was   the   brother   of   Noorbi,   first   wife   of
Mohiyuddin Pasha.  As such, he was a maternal uncle of the
appellant   herein­defendant   No.1.   He   has   clearly   and
emphatically deposed that Mohiyuddin Pasha had two wives i.e.
Noorbi and Mazambi @ Pyarembi.  He has further deposed that
after the death of his sister Noorbi, Mohiyuddin Pashaa took
Mazambi   @   Pyarembi   as   his   second   wife.     He   has   also
specifically   deposed   that   he   has   attended   the   marriage   of
Mazambi   @   Pyarembi­plaintiff   No.3   with   Mohiyuddin  Pasha.
The   High   Court   found   that   in   spite   of   searching   crossexamination, nothing came on record to discard the evidence of
PW­1.   It was further found that the evidence of PW­1 was
supported by Nabi Sab­PW­2, who was also an independent
17
witness.     Appenna­PW­3,   who   was   also   an   independent
witness, supported the case of the plaintiffs.
28. The High Court found that the voluminous documents of
evidence including the birth certificates of plaintiff Nos.4 to 8,
the   transfer   certificates   issued   by   the   Government   Higher
Primary   School,   Thadigol   and   Higher   Primary   Boys   School,
Thadigol, established that plaintiff Nos.4 to 8 were the children
born to Mohiyuddin Pasha through Mazambi @ Pyarembi.  We
are of the view that, the High Court rightly interfered with the
findings as recorded by the First Appellate Court, inasmuch as
the   First   Appellate   Court   was  not   justified   in   reversing  the
findings of the trial court in that regard which were based on
proper appreciation of evidence.   We are of the view that the
First Appellate Court had failed in appreciating the evidence in
correct perspective.  The High Court was justified in reversing
the same.
29. Similarly, the High Court found that the Mehar Deed in
favour of deceased Noorbi, first wife of Mohiyuddin Pasha, was
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a nominal one and was not acted upon and the reversal of the
findings of the trial court by the First Appellate Court in that
regard, was erroneous.  It will be relevant to note that the trial
court, on the basis of the proceedings in the earlier suit for
partition i.e. O.S. No.514/1961, had found that in the said suit
for partition, deceased Mohiyuddin Pasha was defendant No.1,
whereas  the  appellant  herein­defendant   No.1  was  defendant
No.2.  In the said suit, the case pleaded by them was that the
first son of Noorbi and Mohiyuddin Pasha, namely Rahaman
Barid, was demanding separate share in the properties and was
residing separately.  It was therefore contended by them in their
respective written statements that to avoid any share in the suit
schedule properties, deceased Mohiyuddin Pasha had created
the Mehar Deed in favour of his first wife Noorbi.   The High
Court found that in view of the findings arrived in the said O.S.
No.514/1961,   which   were   based   on   the   admission   of
Mohiyuddin   Pasha   and   the   appellant   herein­defendant   No.1
herein, it was not open for the appellant herein­defendant No.1
again   to   contend   that   the   properties   belonged   to   Noorbi
19
exclusively as they were given to her in Mehar.  The High Court
further found that the appellant herein­defendant No.1 himself
had produced the judgment in O.S. No.514/1961 at Ex.D­16
and relied upon the same for opposing the present suit for
partition.  
30. It could thus clearly be seen that in the present case, the
First Appellate Court had reversed the findings recorded by the
trial   court   which   were   based   upon   correct   appreciation   of
evidence.  The High Court has given sound and cogent reasons
as   to   why   an   interference   with   the   findings   of   the   First
Appellate   Court   was   required.   We   also   find   that   the   First
Appellate   Court   has   failed   to   take   into   consideration   the
voluminous oral as well as documentary evidence, on the basis
of which the trial court had recorded its findings.  The findings
as   recorded   by   the   First   Appellate   Court   are   based   on
conjectures and surmises.  As such, we are of the considered
view that the perverse approach of the First Appellate Court in
arriving at the findings would give rise to a substantial question
20
of law, thereby justifying the High Court to interfere with the
same.  
31. In that view of the matter, we do not find any merit in this
appeal.  Hence, this appeal is dismissed.
32. No order as to cost.  Pending application(s), if any, shall
stand disposed of in the above terms.
….……..….......................J.
                                                       [L. NAGESWARA RAO]
    ………….........................J.       
[B.R. GAVAI]
NEW DELHI;
FEBRUARY 21, 2022.
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Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले

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