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Mysore (Religious and Charitable Inams) Abolition Act, 1955: Inam lands – Granted to eldest son with the consent of brother and other family members – Partition – Held: Inam lands cannot be regarded as individual property of grantee – In terms of provisions under the 1955 Act, inam lands liable to be granted to tiller of such lands who may be an archak/tenant/office bearer – Such grant is meant for benefit of family of tiller and not for his individual benefit – Thus, grant of land in favour of the eldest son, with the consent of other members of the family could not disentitle other members to exercise their right to claim share in the property/lands – Moreover, lands Tribunal granted occupancy right to grantee because his father was Archak of the temple and not because the conditions as laid down in s. 6(A) of the Act are fulfilled – Occupancy right, as granted to him, was not his individual right – Hence, the lands in question available for partition. Father of respondent Nos. 1 & 2 was serving as an Archak in a temple and had been cultivating the inam lands attached to the temple. After his death, the lands were granted by the authority to respondent No.1, the eldest son, with the consent of other members of the family. Respondent No.1 was also acting as the Manager of the ancestral and self-acquired property of his father. Appellant, son of respondent No.2, issued a legal notice to respondent No.1 demanding partition of the joint family properties including inam lands. Respondent No.1 refused to partition the immovable properties. The appellant filed a suit for partition claiming his share in the properties along with mesne profits. The Trial Court dismissed the suit holding that prior partition was established in view of the admission by respondent No.2 and as such the appellant could not demand partition. Aggrieved, the appellant filed an appeal, which was dismissed by the High Court. Review petition was also dismissed by the High Court. Hence the present appeal. Appellant contended that in respect of inam lands granted to respondent No. 1, the High Court had committed an error by holding that since the appellant and the respondent No.2 had not performed the duties as archak of the Inamdar Temple and they had not personally cultivated the lands, they were not entitled to grant of the inam lands. Counsel for respondent Nos. 1 and 3 submitted that respondent no.1 had got the properties, imam land in question, vacated from the tenants who had been cultivating it and thereafter he was personally cultivating the same and after coming into force of the Mysore (Religious and Charitable Inams) Abolition Act, an application for grant of occupancy rights was moved on his behalf and the right was conferred on him by the competent authority after proper inquiry and therefore, the appellant could not claim partition of the same; that respondent no.1 was admittedly the archak of the temple and he was also cultivating the properties personally for a continuous period of 3 years prior to the date of its vesting with him and therefore, he was entitled to apply for registration of his right in terms of provisions of the Act; and that the grant of such right is a personal right which cannot be characterized as an ancestral right because in this case, even if his father was alive, he could not have become entitled to grant of occupancy rights because he was not cultivating the lands. =Allowing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1.1 Under the scheme of the Mysore (Religious and Charitable Inams Abolition) Act, inam lands are liable to be granted to the tiller of such lands, be, as it may, as tenants, archaks or office bearers of the inamdar temple. Accordingly, this Court is of the view that such grants are meant for the benefit of the family of the tiller and not for him individually and for this reason, there can be no justification to disregard the rights of the junior members of the family if their eldest member was performing the duties of archak with the consent of others. For this reason and in view of the decision of this court in the case of Nagesh Bishto, this Court is of the view that grant of land to archak cannot disentitle the other members of the family of the right to the land and such granted land, therefore, is also available for partition. Furthermore, it also emerges from the judgment of the Trial Court that the tenants cultivating the land had stated that respondent no.2 had requested his father to allow him to cultivate the lands who accordingly gave his consent before the land tribunal also. Such being the position, if other members of the family had not objected to his becoming the archak of the temple because he was the eldest and also allowed him to cultivate the lands then, if subsequently he was, by virtue of the fact that he was the archak and also personally cultivating the lands, granted the lands, he cannot take away the rights of such other members of the family in the granted lands. (Para -13) [474-G-H; 475-A-D] Nagesh Bishto Desai Vs. Khando Tirmal Desai etc. (1982) 2 SCC 79 – relied on. 1.2 It is pellucid that respondent No.1 is relying only on Section 6A of the Act to submit that he was granted the occupancy rights. It is clear from Section 6A of the Act that respondent No.1 satisfied the conditions enumerated therein and for that reason, he was granted the occupancy rights. If seen in isolation, conclusion would be that since respondent No.1 had fulfilled the conditions of Section 6A of the Act, he was granted the occupancy rights and the question of bringing the other family members did not arise. However, this Court is not inclined to look at Section 6A in isolation. If seen in totality, it is discernible that the father of respondent No.1 gave his consent and allowed respondent no.1 to cultivate the land after taking the same from the tenants. Even the land tribunal, while passing the order granting occupancy rights, had not confined itself to the fact that the conditions in Section 6A were fulfilled. Rather, the land tribunal had observed that the father of respondent No. 1 was the archak and anubhavdar of the temple and this was a prime consideration in granting occupancy rights to the respondent No.1. Therefore, it would be wrong to hold that simply because the conditions in Section 6A were fulfilled, the respondent no. 1 was granted occupancy rights and it was his individual rights. The truth is that the respondent No.1 became the Archak after the death of his father because he was the eldest in the family and only then came the question of satisfying the conditions of Section 6A of the Act. (Para – 14) [475-E-H; 476-A-B] 1.3 It is wrong on the part of respondent No.1 to say that his father, even if he had been alive, would not have been granted occupancy rights because the lands at that time were cultivated by the tenants. For grant of occupancy rights, personal cultivation is just one condition. The other conditions include that if a person is managing the properties, which his father was doing, would also be entitled to the grant of occupancy rights. (Para – 15) [476-C-D] 1.4 Respondent No. 1 was made archak after the death of his father because he was the eldest member of the family. Being the archak, he cultivated the lands and obtained occupancy rights. In such circumstances, it would be highly unjust to deprive the other members of the family from getting their share in the properties by relying only on Section 6A of the Act. Therefore, this Court is also of the opinion that the granted lands are also available for partition and grant of occupancy to one member will not disentitle the other members. (Para – 15) [476-D-F] Appi Belchadthi & Ors. vs. Sheshi Belchadthi & Ors. (1982) 2 Karnataka Law Journal 565 – approved. Case Law Reference (1982) 2 SCC 79 Relied on Para – 12 (1982) 2 Karnataka Law Journal 565 Approved Para – 15 S.B. Sanyal, Rajesh Mahale for the Appellant. A.K. Ganguli, S.N. Bhat, N.P.S. Panwar and D.P. Chaturvedi for the Respondents.

Karnataka High Court, in Bangalore (India).

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 REPORTABLE

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5646 OF 2008
 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21197 of 2006)

K.V. Sudharshan ...Appellants

VERSUS

A. Ramakrishnappa & Ors. ...Respondents

 JUDGMENT

TARUN CHATTERJEE, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This is an appeal by special leave against the

 judgment and final order dated 24th of July, 2006 of

 the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore in RFA

 No. 126/2006 whereby the High Court had affirmed

 1
 the decision of the Trial Court dismissing the suit of

 the appellant for partition and separate possession

 along with mesne profits.

3. The relevant facts leading to the filing of this

 appeal, as emerging from the case made out by the

 appellant in the plaint, are as under :-

 Late Anjanappa had two sons viz.,

Ramakrishnappa and Venkataramachar, arrayed as

defendant Nos. 1 and 2 in the suit. Defendant

No.2/respondent No.2 is the father of the

plaintiff/appellant. Defendant No. 3/respondent No.3 is

the wife of Defendant No. 1/respondent No.1. When

Anjanappa was alive, he was serving as an Archak of

Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple situated in Belesivalaya

and there were Devadaya inam lands attached to the

temple, which were cultivated by him. After

Anjanappa's death, the said lands were granted to the

 2
respondent No. 1 with the consent of the Tehsildar

obtained on the ground that he was the eldest son of

Anjanappa. Apart from these inam lands, Late

Anjapppa also possessed ancestral and self acquired

properties and after his demise, the respondent No.1

was acting as the manager of the family but the joint

family of the appellant and the respondents possessed

all these properties as joint family properties described

in Plaint Schedule A to D of the plaint. Schedule A

consisted of ancestral properties viz., two agricultural

lands measuring 4.11 acres and 1.34 acres respectively

and five house sites. Schedule B property was a vacant

site. Schedule C property consisted of two agricultural

lands, which were inam lands, granted subsequently in

the name of respondent No.1. Schedule D properties

were moveable properties. There was no partition

effected by metes and bounds and the respondent No.1,

 3
taking advantage of the simplicity of respondent No.2

was managing all the properties and had also refused to

effect partition. On 4th of July, 1988, the appellant

issued a legal notice to the respondent No.1 demanding

partition of the joint family properties. The respondent

No.1 replied to the said notice alleging that the

moveable properties had already been partitioned on

23rd of April, 1962 and subsequently on 8th of May,

1996, the immoveable properties were also partitioned.

Since the respondent No. 1 refused to partition the

immovable properties, the appellant was constrained to

file the suit for partition and separate possession of his

share in Plaint A to D schedule properties along with

mesne profits.

4. The respondent no.1 and 3 entered appearance by

filing a written statement in which they denied the

 4
material allegations made in the plaint. In the written

statement, it was alleged by them that since partition

had already been effected between respondent no.1 and

respondent no.3 i.e. the father of the appellant and that

they were separately enjoying the properties that had

fallen to their respective shares. It was further alleged

that after the death of Anjanappa, respondent No.1,

became the archak of the said temple and he was

looking after and cultivating the lands attached to the

said temple i.e. `C' schedule properties of the plaint.

After coming into force of the Mysore (Religious and

Charitable Inams) Abolition Act, 1955, (in short `the

Act') the respondent No.1 filed an application for grant

of occupancy rights in respect of `C' schedule

properties as the Archak of the temple which was

conferred on him.

 5
5. The respondent No.2 supported the plaint case

and deposed that there was no partition of the

properties by metes and bounds and that the

respondent No.1 did not allow him to cultivate the

lands belonging to the joint family but only a small

portion of the same was allowed to be cultivated. The

reason behind staying under separate mess was stated

to be the quarrel between the women in the family.

6. The Trial Court by the judgment and order dated

25th of January, 1996 dismissed the suit filed by the

appellant on the ground that the parties were shown to

be in possession of separate portion of the lands and

having separate mess. Relying on the deposition of

respondent No.2, it held that prior partition was

established in view of the admission of respondent

 6
No.2 and as such the appellant could not demand

partition. Against this decision of the trial court, the

appellant filed an appeal before the High Court, which,

however, was dismissed. The appellant filed a review

petition in the High Court, which was also dismissed.

It is this decision of the High Court, which is

impugned in this appeal in respect of which leave has

already been granted.

7. Before we proceed further, we may note that the

notice in the instant appeal has been issued confined to

the claim in relation to Schedule `C' properties of the

plaint and accordingly, the dispute in the instant appeal

also revolves only concerning Schedule `C' properties

of the plaint.

 7
8. Let us, therefore, look at the rival submissions of

the parties advanced before us. The learned senior

counsel for the appellant, Mr. S.B. Sanyal, strongly

contended that in respect of the Schedule C properties

(inam properties granted to respondent No. 1), the

High Court had committed an error by holding that

since the appellant and the respondent No.2 had not

performed the duties as Archak of the Inamdar Temple

and they had not personally cultivated the said lands,

they were not entitled to the grant of the Inam lands. In

this regard, he submitted that the courts below were

not justified in holding that Inam lands were granted to

the respondent No.1 in his individual capacity as

Archak of the temple. In support of his contention, he

relied on a decision of this court in Nagesh Bishto

Desai Vs. Khando Tirmal Desai [(1982) 2 SCC 79].

 8
9. These submissions of the learned senior counsel

for the appellant were contested by the learned senior

counsel for the respondent Nos. 1 and 3, Mr. A.K.

Ganguli. Mr. Ganguli submitted that the respondent

no.1 had got the Schedule `C' properties vacated from

the tenants who were cultivating the same and was

personally cultivating them and accordingly, after

coming into force of the act, an application for grant of

occupancy rights was moved on his behalf which was

conferred on him by the competent authority after

proper inquiry and therefore, the `C' schedule

properties were the self acquired properties of the

respondent no.1 and accordingly, the appellant could

not claim partition of the same. Mr. Ganguli relied on

Section 6A of the Act and submitted that the

respondent no.1 was admittedly the archak of the

temple and he was also cultivating the properties

 9
personally for a continuous period of 3 years prior to

the date of vesting and therefore, he was entitled to

apply for registration of his rights under the act to the

competent authority. He vehemently contended that the

grant of such right is a personal right which cannot be

characterized as an ancestral right because in this case,

even if Anjanappa was alive, he could not have

become entitled to grant of occupancy rights because

he was not cultivating the lands and that the lands were

being cultivated by the tenants. He also submitted that

the authority relied upon would not apply to the

present case as it pertains to Karnataka Village Offices

Abolition Act whose scheme is entirely different from

the present act.

10. At this stage, we may note the findings of the

High Court as also the trial court with regard to the

 10
properties comprised in Schedule `C' only. The High

Court arrived at the following findings: -

 ".........once there is division of status, the
 same is applicable to the granted or
 tenanted lands also. It is also to be noted
 that Anjanappa died in the year 1964 and
 thereafter, admittedly and undisputedly it is
 defendant no.1 who alone was the Archak of
 the temple. Only after coming into force of
 the land reforms act, he has got the
 occupancy rights conferred on himself. On
 perusal of the evidence of both plaintiff and
 his father/defendant No.2, it is clear that
 there was absolutely no evidence to show
 that at any point of time either plaintiff of
 his father/defendant no.2 acted or
 performed the archakship of the temple and
 also enjoyed the lands................If one
 peruses the Karnakata Land Reforms Act
 and the Karnataka Hindu Religious
 Institution and Charitable Endowments act,
 under Section 6(a) of the Act which came
 into force on 7.12.1973 two types of people
 were entitled to grant of occupancy rights...
 ............As we find that neither plaintiff has
 performed the duties of Archak to the temple
 nor there is any material to show that along
 with the defendant no.2, he cultivated and
 enjoyed the lands, the grant of occupancy
 rights of these inam lands must be held in

 11
 the individual capacity of the Archak viz.,
 defendant no.1......."

11. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties

and after examining the judgment of the High Court as

well as of the trial court and other materials on record

including the depositions of respondent Nos.1 and 2

before the trial court, we are of the view that this

appeal deserves to be allowed for the reasons set out

hereinafter.

12. Let us first see if the submission of the appellant

regarding Schedule C properties, which, as noted

herein earlier, are the inam lands granted to the

respondent no.1 holds any water. In order to ascertain

this, we need to see whether the respondent no.1 had

been granted occupancy rights in his individual

 12
capacity as an Archak under Section 6A of the Act. It

is clear from the judgment of the High Court that it has

proceeded on the assumption that since only the archak

of the religious institution is entitled to be granted such

inam lands, it becomes self acquired and individual

property of such grantee. In Nagesh Bishto Desai Vs.

Khando Tirmal Desai etc. [(1982) 2 SCC 79], it was

held that inam lands granted to a member of joint

family upon abolition of inams cannot be considered as

indvidual property of such grantee and should be

considered as a joint family property available for

partition. In the present case, the grant in favour of

respondent no.1 was made because his father was the

archak of the temple and he, being the eldest in the

family, there was no objection expressed for granting

the land to him. In this view of the matter, we are of

the considered opinion that the inam lands cannot be

 13
regarded as the individual property of the grantee and

the High Court has committed an error by holding that

since the appellant has not performed functions as

archak, nor cultivated the land personally, he was not

entitled to seek partition. We are not inclined to accept

the submission of the learned counsel for the

respondent Nos. 1 and 3 that the decision in Nagesh

Bishto's case (supra) would not apply to the facts of

the present case.

13. There is another aspect of the matter. Under the

scheme of the Act, inam lands are liable to be granted

to the tiller of such lands, be, as it may, as tenants,

archaks or office bearers of the inamdar temple.

Accordingly, we are of the view that such grants are

meant for the benefit of the family of the tiller and not

him individually and for this reason, there can be no

 14
justification to disregard the rights of the junior

members of the family if their eldest member was

performing the duties of archak with the consent of

others. For this reason and in view of the decision of

this court in Nagesh Bishto's case [supra], we are of

the view that grant of land to archak cannot disentitle

the other members of the family of the right to the land

and such granted land, therefore, is also available for

partition. Furthermore, it also emerges from the

judgment of the Trial Court that the tenants cultivating

the land had stated that respondent no.2 had requested

his father, Anjanappa to allow him to cultivate the

lands who accordingly gave his consent before the land

tribunal also. Such being the position, if other

members of the family had not objected to his

becoming the archak of the temple because he was the

eldest and also allowed him to cultivate the lands then,

 15
if subsequently he was, by virtue of the fact that he

was the archak and also personally cultivating the

lands, granted the lands, he cannot take away the rights

of such other members of the family in the granted

lands.

14. We may look at this case from yet another angle.

It is pellucid that respondent no.2 is relying only on

Section 6A to submit that he was granted the

occupancy rights. When we look at Section 6A, it is

clear that the respondent no.2 satisfied the conditions

enumerated therein and for that reason, he was granted

the occupancy rights. If we look at this in isolation, we

may well come to the conclusion that since respondent

no.2 had fulfilled the conditions of Section 6A, he was

granted the occupancy rights and the question of

bringing the other family members did not arise.

 16
However, we are not inclined to look at Section 6A in

isolation. If seen in totality, it is discernible that the

father of respondent no.2 gave his consent and allowed

respondent no.2 to cultivate the land after taking the

same from the tenants. Even the land tribunal, while

passing the order granting occupancy rights, had not

confined itself to the fact that the conditions in Section

6A were fulfilled. Rather, the land tribunal had

observed that the father of respondent no. 2 was the

archak and anubhavdar of the temple and this was a

prime consideration in granting occupancy rights to the

respondent no.2. Therefore, it would be wrong to hold

that simply because the conditions in Section 6A were

fulfilled, the respondent no. 2 was granted occupancy

rights and it was his individual rights. The truth is that

the respondent No.2 became the Archak after the death

of his father because he was the eldest in the family

 17
and only then came the question of satisfying the

conditions of Section 6A.

15. Apart from this, it is wrong on the part of the

respondent no.2 to say that his father, even if he had

been alive, would not have been granted occupancy

rights because the lands at that time were cultivated by

the tenants. For grant of occupancy rights, personal

cultivation is just one condition. The other conditions

include that if a person is managing the properties,

which his father was doing, would also be entitled to

the grant of occupancy rights. We are, therefore,

clearly of the view that the respondent no. 1 was made

archak after the death of his father because he was the

eldest member of the family. Being the archak, he

cultivated the lands and obtained occupancy rights. In

such circumstances, it would be highly unjust to

deprive the other members of the family from getting

 18
their share in Schedule `C' properties by relying only

on Section 6A. Therefore, we are also of the opinion

that the granted lands are also available for partition.

In our view, grant of occupancy to one member will

not disentitle the other members. This principle can

also be found in the case of Appi Belchadthi & Ors.

vs. Sheshi Belchadthi & Ors. (1982) 2 Karnataka

Law Journal 565.

16. For the aforesaid reasons, the impugned

 Judgment is set aside and the appeal is remanded

 back to the High Court to decide the share of each

 party in respect of Schedule `C' properties within

 3 months from the date of supply of a copy of this

 judgment to it. The appeal is thus allowed to the

 extent indicated above. There will be no order as

 to costs.

 19
 ........................J.
 [Tarun
Chatterjee]

New Delhi; .....................
...J.
September 15, 2008. [Harjit Singh Bedi] 20
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