Reversionary Suits

Anil Bansal, Advocate

Date : 28/02/2019 - Mobile No. +91 9416379888

Reversionary Suits

Since a long time, a coparcener in northern Punjab (after partition) challenged sale deed of joint family property made by Karta of Joint Hindu family under Hindu Law orreversionary heir challenged the alienation of ancestral property under the customary law.

It may be noted here, though the Banaras school of Mitakshra law covers practically the whole of north India,except in the rural Punjab.Since here the Mitakshra law has been modified considerably by custom on certain point. Meaning thereby, only customary Hindu law prevails in the state of Punjab, 2018(4) RCR (CIVIL) 430.

Because of Banaras school of Mitakshra law, one coparcener cannot challenge the sale deed of joint family property made by Karta in North India (after partition) which cover Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal etc.

Sir George Campbell, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal moved an amendment to the fact that the custom should be made the first rule of decision and the law subsidiary to it. For this purpose, Punjab Law Act, 1872 was enforced, in which section 5 is important which is read as "In question regarding succession, special property of females, betrothal, marriage, divorce, dower, adoption, guardianship, minority, bastardy, family-relations, wills, legacies, gifts, partitions, or any religious usage or institution, the rule of decision shall be-

(a) Any custom applicable to the parties concerned, which is not contrary to justice, equity or good conscience, and has not been by this or any other enactment altered or abolished, and has not been declared to be void by any competent authority;

(b) The Muhammadan Law in cases where the parties are Muhammadans, and the Hindu Law, in cases where the parties are Hindus, except in so far as such law has been altered or abolished by legislative enactment, or is opposed to the provisions of this act, or has been modified by any such custom as is above referred to.[1]

Later, Punjab custom (power to contest) act came into the picture on 1 May 1920. Under which section 6, is very important and read as follows: "subject to the provision contained in section 4 and notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in section 5, Punjab laws act, 1872, no person shall contest any alienation of ancestral immovable property or any appointment of an heir to such property on the ground that such alienation or appointment is contrary to custom, unless such person is descended in male lineal descent from the great-great-grandfather of the person making the alienation or appointment."

Therefore, above mentioned provisiongrants right only to the descendant in male lineal descent from the great-great grandfather of the person for challenging the rights of alienation. Thus, in simple words it shallmean that a descendant of male lineal line has lost his power to challenge the sale deed executed by his great grandfather under Hindu law. But it seems surprising to me, how people are challenging that sale deed under Hindu Law in Punjab and Haryana Civil Court and How Civil court of Punjab and Haryana adjudicate and degree such kind of dispute.

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