• Legis Scriptor

P. Krishna Bhatta and Ors. v. Mundila Ganapathi Bhatta

Authored By- Hemangee Sharma

Keywords- Section 66 of Code of Civil Procedure, Joint Family Funds, Title Deeds, Auction Sale

Equivalent Citation: AIR 1955 Mad 648

Appellant: Ganpati

Respondents: Krishna and Ors.

Bench: G Menon, Ramaswami

Court: Madras High Court


This case deals with the two connected appeals arising out of the Hindu Joint family and alienation of the party owned by them. The case law here discusses various aspects of the case such as the background of the case, facts, issues, judgment, and finally the case highlights.


A Hindu Joint Family consists of all persons lineally descended from a common ancestor, their wives and, unmarried daughters. This includes people who acquire property only by birth in the family. The sons, grandsons, great-grandsons are the holders of the property. Alienation means the transfer of property, such as gifts, sales, and mortgage.


Before the decision, the courts followed the precedent of the Privy Council in Suraj Narayan V. Ratanlal which was a case under section 317 of the old code that barred a suit on the ground that purchase was made “on behalf of any other person".


In this case, the dispute was regarding the three items of properties, there were two parcels of land used for raising in Kedila village and a coffee estate in Coorg ten miles from Mercara. The two items of Kedila property had several assets that showed that Ganapathi Bhatta was not only the apparent but also the evident owner. There was no dispute for custody of the document of title but everyone was coming for him. Ganapathi Bhatta was a Benamidar and it was quite strange that Bheemayya had not taken the precaution of keeping his custody of the original title deeds related to the above-mentioned properties. This is to say because title deeds have always been considered important to show the real owners. It had been alleged by the Prosecution Witness 1 that Ganapathi Bhatta was his maternal uncle and that they had expected him to hand over all the properties to them and that it was only after the death of the father Bheemayya that he started double-crossing them.


Whether Section 66 C.P.C. applies to the transactions relating to the two items or Kedila Property?


The High Court took careful consideration of the entire circumstances of the case and derived the same conclusions as the learned Subordinate Judge with regards to the Kedila property and the coffee estate. The Court held Defendants 8 and 9 to be the real and apparent owner of the moieties.

Concept Highlighted-

The Benami Agreement: Rohee Lall v. Dindayal Lall

The term, "Benami" means an agreement made or transacted in the name of (another person). Thus, a Benami Transaction, in common parlance, refers to a transaction in which a property is transferred in the name of a person, whereas the consideration for the same is paid by other person.

Applicable Laws:

Section 317 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973: If the accused in any such case is not represented by a pleader, or if the Judge or Magistrate considers his personal attendance necessary, he may if he thinks fit and for reasons to be recorded by him, either adjourn such inquiry or trial or order that the case of such accused is taken up or tried separately.

Section 66 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908: Suit against purchaser not maintainable on ground of purchase being on behalf of the plaintiff