Family disputes - Memorandum of family settlement - whether requires registration.
Property purchased in the name of brothers but possession with another brother-family settlement reached- Whether requires registration- Supreme Court reiterates the Joint Hindu Family law
The Apex court in the case of Ravinder Kaur Grewal & Ors Versus Manjit Kaur & Ors in Civil Appeal No 7764 of 2014 on 31st July,2020 was considering a dispute between three brothers relating to land in Kanpur where a family settlement was reached between the brothers whereby the properties were divided between them upon reaching a family settlement notwithstanding that in revenue records in good faith they continued to be in the name of family member in whose name it was purchased. Disputes arose when two brothers claimed that the family settlement was forged, though it was found that there were cross holdings meaning property and the brothers raising disputes had sold the land which they had acquired by virtue of family arrangement even though this land was purchased in the name of the brother who claimed that there was a family arrangement. An alternative plea was also taken that since plaintiff was in possession of the whole suit property to the knowledge of the defendants openly and adversely for more than twelve years, he had acquired ownership rights by way of adverse possession. On the issue of adverse possession first round of litigation on the limitation point under Article 65 of the Limitation Act was decided in favour of the plaintiff by apex court when it was held that there is no bar under the Limitation Act to sue on aforesaid basis in case of infringement of any rights of a plaintiff(2019) 8 SCC 729(SC). On these facts the apex court relying on the famous judgement in the case of Kale & Ors Vs Deputy Director of Consolidation & Ors (1976) 3 SCC 119(SC) which had laid down important principles of family settlement, held that the first appellate court had rightly reached to a conclusion that memorandum of family settlement does not require registration. An important issue dealt with in this judgement was the criticism of the manner in which the judgement of high court was drafted leading to manifest error.
In this era, where disputes between family members are on the rise, this judgement will be helpful in settling the disputes.