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Suit for Declaration of title and injunction -Status of Wife – with out production of marriage register of temple in which the marriage was taken place – producing other records does not confirm the status of wife – Legal heirs of deceased filed the suit against alleged second wife of deceased in respect of A-schedule ancestral properties of deceased and B – schedule properties of deceased first wife – Trail court decreed the suit – first appellant court decreed the suit against B schedule only and dismissed the suit against A schedule – in second appeal – High court reversed the first appellant court order and confirmed the order of trial court – holding that first defendant is not the wife of deceased Gounder – Apex court held that when there is perverse in the judgment of first appellant court – High court in second appeal interfere the same and further held that Highcourt rightly uphled that first defendant is not the wife of Gounder – except producing receipts from temple showing payment of marriage tax with out placing the marriage register before the court and mere producing other documents like voter list, bank books, mortgage deed etc., in which she was depicted as wife of Gounder not amounts to prove of marriage – non-producing birth certificates is also fatal to show that she was the wife and also her long co-habitation does not cloth her with the status of wife to claim property and as such dismissed the appeal and confirmed the judgement of high court = CIVIL APPEAL NO.1103 OF 2004 Easwari … Appellant :Versus: Parvathi & Ors. … Respondents = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41758

  Suit for Declaration of title and injunction -Status of Wife – with out  production of  marriage register of temple in which the marriage was taken place – producing other records does not confirm the status of wife –  Legal heirs of deceased filed the suit against alleged second wife of deceased  in respect of  A-schedule ancestral properties of deceased and B – schedule properties of deceased first wife – Trail court decreed the suit – first appellant court decreed the suit against B schedule only and dismissed the suit against A schedule – in second appeal –  High court reversed the first appellant court order and confirmed the order of trial court – holding that first defendant is not the wife of deceased Gounder –  Apex court held that when there is perverse in the judgment of first appellant court – High court in second appeal interfere the same and further held that Highcourt rightly uphled that first defendant is not the wife of Gounder – except producing receipts from temple showing payment of marriage tax with out placing the marriage register before the court and mere producing other documents like voter list, bank books, mortgage deed etc., in which she was depicted as wife of Gounder not amounts to prove of marriage – non-producing birth certificates is also fatal to show that she was the wife and also her long co-habitation does not cloth her with the status of wife to claim property and as such dismissed the appeal and confirmed the judgement of high court =

The  plaintiffs,  respondents  herein,   filed

 Original  Suit  No.  59  of  1985  before   the

                            District Munsif Court at  Polur  

as  the  legal

                            heirs  of  deceased  Ponnangatti  Gounder.  

The

                            disputes pertained to the properties which were

                            held by deceased Ponnangatti  Gounder  and  his

                            first wife who  pre-deceased  him.  

Ponnangatti

                            Gounder acquired the suit “A” schedule property

                            through succession from his ancestors. 

The suit

                            property mentioned as schedule “B” property was

                            purchased by Muniammal by registered conveyance

                            deed dated September 14,  1970.  

Both  were  in

                            possession and enjoyment of Ponnangatti Gounder

                            and  Muniammal  and  

after  their   death   the

                            plaintiffs were and are in  possession  of  the

                            said properties. 

After the death of  Muniammal,

                            it is alleged by the first  defendant  and  her

                            brother, the second  defendant  that  the  said

                            Ponnangatti Gounder married the first defendant

                            as a result whereof she made a claim  over  the

                            suit property.

The respondents herein (plaintiffs before the  Trial  Court)  filed  a

suit for declaration and injunction with regard to the properties  described

as schedule “A” and schedule “B” properties and the Trial Court  passed  the

decree in favour  of  the  plaintiffs  for  both  the  schedule  properties.

The  Lower  Appellate   Court

confirmed  the  “B”  schedule  property  in   favour   of   the   plaintiffs

(respondents herein) but reversed the decree with  regard  to  “A”  Schedule

property culminating in filing the second appeal.

 whether  the  first  defendant,  the

appellant herein, is the second wife of  the  deceased  Ponnangatti  Gounder

and whether she is entitled to  have  a  share  in  the  suit  “A”  schedule

property.

The High Court dealt with the matter at length.

            It is stated by the appellant herein before the

                            Trial Court that Muniammal died ten  years  ago

                            i.e. in 1976. 

It  is  further  stated  that  on

                            December 15, 1977 Ponnangatti  married  to  the

                            first defendant, the appellant  herein  in  the

                            Devasthanam   of   Sri    Perianayaki    Saneda

                            Kanagagiri Eswarar at Devikapuram. 

To prove the

                            factum  of  marriage,  she  produced  a  temple

                            receipt before  the  High  Court  being  Ex.B-8

                            which was produced from the lawful  custody  of

                            the trustee of the  temple.  

Exs.B-9  and  B-10

                            were also produced and said to be the  accounts

                            for the gifts made at  the  time  of  the  said

                            marriage. 

The first  defendant/respondent  also

                            produced Exs.B-1 and B-2 which are  the  voters

                            list of 1978 and 1983 wherein it  appears  that

                            the first defendant was described as  the  wife

                            of Mannangatti and Ponnangatti. 

The pass  books

                            of the bank accounts for the year 1984 and 1985

                            being Exs. B-3 and B-4 and bankers’ reply  were

                            also produced to show that the first  defendant

                            was  described  as   wife   of   the   deceased

                            Ponnangatti  Gounder.  

The  High   Court   duly

                            assessed  all  documents  and  held   that   no

                            reliance can be placed on the Exh.B-3 to B-6 as

                            they only represent the unilateral  description

                            of the first defendant as wife  of  Ponnangatti

                            Gounder. 

Similarly, Ex.B-7 was a mortgage  deed

                            executed just prior to the filing of  the  suit

                            where also the unilateral  description  of  the

                            first defendant as wife of Ponnangatti  Gounder

                            can be seen.  

Similarly, Exs.B-9 and B-10  also

                            cannot be relied upon because it  is  not  very

                            difficult to prepare these  documents  for  the

                            said purpose. 

Hence  the  High  Court  did  not

                            place reliance on such exhibits.

           The claim

                            of the respondent herein that Murugan and Selvi

                            were  born  to   Ponnangatti   but   no   birth

                            certificate was produced before the  Court  and

                            

in these circumstances the High Court held that

                            the  Lower  Appellate  Court,  without   proper

                            evidence of marriage  of  the  first  defendant

                            (appellant  herein)   with   Ponnangatti,   had

                            erroneously come to the conclusion  as  if  the

                            marriage   had   been    conducted    properly.

                            

Similarly, there could be no presumption  under

                            Section 114 of the  Evidence  Act  because  the

                            factor  of  long  cohabitation  has  not   been

                            established. 

In these circumstances,  the  High

                            Court allowed the Second Appeal, set aside  the

                            decree and  judgment  of  the  First  Appellate

                            Court and confirmed the decree  passed  by  the

                            Trial Court in respect of both Schedule “A” and

                            Schedule  “B”  properties  in  favour  of   the

                            plaintiffs. 

Apex court held that      

In Mohan  v.  Santha  Bai  Ammal[8]  being  the  case  referred  to  in  the

abovementioned question, it has been  held  that  mere  receipt  of  showing

payment of money without obtaining and producing  the  marriage  certificate

or  without  summoning  production  of  the   original   marriage   register

maintained by the temple, may not be sufficient to establish  the  marriage.

In light of  the  same  the  High  Court  while  answering  the  substantial

question, found no substantial evidence  by  which  factum  of  marriage  is

established.

13. After perusing  the  documentary  evidence  and

other evidence before us, we are of the opinion

that the High Court was correct in entertaining

the matter in second appeal.  The  only  aspect

which needs to be considered by us is,  whether

the  High  Court  correctly   appreciated   the

evidence and concluded that the First Appellate

Court without proper evidence of marriage  held

that the marriage took place.

14.  In  our  opinion,  the  High  Court  correctly

assessed  and  appreciated  the  facts  in  the

instant case  and  we  concur  with  the  views

expressed by the High Court.  We  also  endorse

the reasoning given by the High Court.  In  our

opinion, from the evidence on record it  cannot

be said that the marriage  between  Ponnangatti

Gounder and Easwari was proved.

15. For the discussions and the reasoning given  in

the preceding paragraphs, we do not find  merit

in the appeal and  accordingly  we  affirm  the

judgment and order passed by the High Court and

dismiss this appeal.

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41758

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