Thursday, Feb 28, 2002
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By T. Padmanabha Rao
Section 14(1) says that ``Any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and ``not as a limited owner'' etc.
Delivering the judgment, Justice S.N. Phukan, on the facts and circumstances of the case, held that ``the right of maintenance could be enforced by the respondent against the estate of her husband in the hands'' of her father-in-law and that ``though she was not in actual `physical possession' of the land, she was in `legal possession' as she never parted with the right of her maintenance and she could enforce such right in law''.
Setting aside the verdict of the Madras High Court and the Trial Court to that extent, the Bench which included Justice Syed Shah Mohammad Quadri ruled that, ``as a full owner she had power to execute the agreement for sale in February, 1975 in favour of the plaintiff'' (appellant).
``Therefore, plaintiff (appellant) could enforce this agreement of sale, which he did by filling the present suit'' and that "in view of the legal position (on clause of section 14), the suit should not have been dismissed by the courts below on the ground of want of title in the respondent'' (Hindu widow), the Bench said.
The Bench, therefore, modified the impugned judgments and decrees of the courts blow and decreed the suit of the plaintiff for a sum of Rs.3000 (which was paid by the him as advance at the time of execution of sale agreement) with interest at 12 per cent from a given date till the date of payment (by the earlier `bona fide purchasers' of the same property) in lieu of specific performance.
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