Nirmala vs Govt of NCT of Delhi case gave a landmark judgment that enunciated the paraphrases of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
- The petitioners in this were the widow (petitioner no. 1) and two minor girls (petitioner Nos. 2 and 3) of Late Shri Inder Singh, the proprietor of the disputed land. Preceding his marriage with petitioner No.1 (Nirmala), Late Shri Inder Singh was involved with one more woman called Nirmala (displayed as Nihali Devi in the counter-affidavit), with whom he had two children and a little girl.
- He wedded petitioner no. 1 in 1997, after the demise of his first spouse in 1995. Respondent Nos. 3, 4, and 5 were the offspring of Late Shri Inder Singh and his first spouse.
- After the demise of Late Shri Inder Singh on 15.12.2006, petitioner no. 1 moved an application before the concerned Tahsildar on 05.02.2007, to change the previously mentioned disputed agrarian land for the petitioners, yet he wouldn’t do such considering Section 50 of the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT.
- Being bothered by the decision of the Tahsildar, petitioner no. 1 assembled a conference of the Panchayat of the town and in that gathering dated 12.02.2007, it was consistently settled by the Panchayat just as by respondent Nos. 3-5, that the petitioners be distributed 1/3rd share in the disputed farming land possessions claimed by the expired Shri Inder Singh.
- This decision gave the petitioners ownership of their portion. However, that being said, respondent Nos. 3-5 were making deterrents and not permitting the petitioners to work in their fields appropriately.
- Petitioner no. 1 additionally drew closer to the concerned S.D.M and Deputy Commissioner of the space in March 2007, however, her application was not engaged. Thus, the current writ petition was documented in August 2007.
- Regardless of whether Section 50 of the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT has been repealed by the Amendment Act because by discarding Section 4(2) of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT, 1956, has eliminated the invulnerability that the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT had concerning the laws of succession regarding horticultural land?
- Likewise, in case that is the situation, do the petitioners, being female, presently reserve the option to succeed in the disputed rural land?”
- The fundamental contention of the counsel for the petitioners was that because of the exclusion of Section 4(2) of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT, the rule of succession as contained in Section 50 of the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT has been overshadowed, and after 09.09.2005, just the rule of succession gave under the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT (as changed) applied to Hindus regarding all properties in India, including horticultural land.
- Likewise, in view of the substitution of the old Section 6 of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT by the upgraded one, the petitioners have become co-parceners of disputed horticultural land alongside the children of Late Shri Inder Singh, and subsequently, every one petitioner has gained rights, equivalent to those of respondent Nos. 3-5, in the property being referred to.
RATIO & DECISION
HON’BLE MR JUSTICE BADAR DURREZ AHMED & HON’BLE MS JUSTICE VEENA BIRBAL enunciated the decision.
- The assurance or safeguard from obliteration which sub-section (2) gave having been taken out, the arrangements of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT would have a superseding impact even regarding the arrangements of the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT. It was, in fact, less an instance of suggested repeal however one where the security from repeal/revocation which until recently existed has now been eliminated.
- The exclusion of sub-section (2) of Section 4 was a lot of a conscious act of Parliament. The intention was clear. Parliament didn’t need this assurance given to the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT and other comparative laws to continue. The outcome was that the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT gets consigned to a place of subservience to the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT to inconsistency in the arrangements of the two acts.
- The court said that they have seen that the resistance allowed under Article 31B was subject to the force of any competent law-making body to repeal or correct the secured Act (for this situation, the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT). Parliament has enacted the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT and the Amendment Act of 2005 and there was no test to Parliament’s competency.
- They effectively showed the issues concerning how the impact of exclusion of sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT was to annul the arrangements of the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT to inconsistency with the arrangements of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT.
- Unmistakably, the invulnerability under Article 31B was not a sweeping resistance and was subject to the force of any competent governing body to repeal or correct the secured Act. This was exactly what Parliament has done. In this manner, the contention was raised in the interest of Respondent Nos. 3 to 5 was plainly indefensible.
- For the previously mentioned reasons, The Court held that the arrangements of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT would, after the amendment of 2005, have superseding impact over the arrangements of Section 50 of the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT and the last option arrangements would need to respect the arrangements of the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT, in the event of any inconsistency.
- The rule of succession given in the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT would apply instead of the rule endorsed under the DELHI LAND REFORMS ACT. The petitioners were, hence, qualified to succeed in the disputed agrarian land as far as the HINDU SUCCESSION ACT, 1956.
- It permitted the writ petition to the previously mentioned degree. The parties were passed on to bear their separate costs.
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