R Kuppayeev vs Raja Gounder Case Summary 2004 SC

R Kuppayeev vs Raja Gounder Case Summary 2004 SC

In R Kuppayeev vs Raja Gounder case, the appellants are the defendant-daughters. respondent’s The respondent granted 12 cents of land to the appellants together with a Mangalore tiled home on the gifted property by a registered settlement document dated August 29, 1985.

FACTS OF R KUPPAYEEV VS RAJA GOUNDER:

  • The settlement document further indicated that neither the responder nor any other male or female heirs would have a right to the settled property in the future. Respondent and his colleagues demanded the appellants to quit the property after nearly 5 years and attempted to trespass into it.
  • As a result, the appellants filed a lawsuit against the respondent, seeking an injunction preventing the respondent and his friends from interfering with the appellants’ peaceful use and enjoyment of the suit property.

ISSUES:

  • Is the gift/settlement of a fair amount of immovable property from the Joint Hindu Family property made by the father in favor of his married daughters valid?
  • Whether a gift made in the appellants’ favor within acceptable bounds, considering the family’s entire holding?

CONTENTIONS:

  1. Plaintiff’s contention

The appellant’s counsel argued that the respondent made the settlement out of genuine respect and affection for the appellants and that the appellants were given ownership of the property on the day the settlement document was signed. PW-2, who is familiar with the respondent, states that the respondent does not consume alcohol.

  • Defendant’s contention

The respondent claimed he had never signed a settlement agreement. The respondent was escorted to the Registrar’s office to witness the sale of a home site by his son-in-law, i.e., the spouse of appellant No.1. That he was used to consuming alcoholic beverages, and that the appellants and their respective spouses obtained the sale deed from him fraudulently via deception. The property in question, which belongs to him and his son as a joint Hindu family, could not be donated under any circumstances.

RATIO DECIDENDI:

  • Bench: R.C. Lahoti, Ashok Bhan.
  • The Apex court carefully examined both PW-2’s and the respondent’s remarks and concluded that the trial court misinterpreted and misrepresented PW-2’s testimony. In his deposition, PW-2 claimed unequivocally that he was invited to testify by the respondent.
  • He further testified that after viewing Exhibit A1, the respondent signed the document. Respondent’s testimony lacked absolute credibility, particularly considering his denial of signing the settlement document, vakalatnama, as well as the summons filed on him.
  • The family-owned 3.16 acres of land. 12 cents would be a fraction of a percent of the overall stock. Each daughter’s part would be 1/52nd or 1/26th of the family’s total holdings, which cannot be considered unfair or excessive under any circumstances.
  • Whether a gift is within acceptable boundaries or not is determined by the family’s financial situation at the time of the gift, the amount of immovable property possessed by the family, and the amount of property provided.

DECISION:

The Supreme Court approves the appeal and vacates the judgments and decrees of the lower courts. The appellants are declared absolute proprietors of the suit property, and it permanently barred the respondent from interfering with the appellant’s peaceful ownership and enjoyment of the suit property.

CONCLUSION:

On the basis of the preceding judgments, the Apex Court concluded that a father can make a gift of ancestral immovable property to his daughter within reasonable limits, keeping in mind the total extent of the family’s property held in favour of his daughter at the time of her marriage or even long after her marriage.

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Ankit Kumar

Ankit Kumar

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