Read Order: JAYALAKSHMI AND ORS V. D.A.SELVAMANI AND ORS

Mansimran Kaur

Chennai, June 20, 2022: While observing that before cancelling the gift deed, the first defendant did not put the plaintiff on notice, showing his intention to cancel the gift deed executed in his favour, the Madras High Court has dismissed the appeal suit instituted by the appellants.

The Bench of Justice S. Kannammal asserted, “It is well settled that the deed of conveyance, executed in favour of the person shall not be cancelled without putting the person on notice. Therefore, this Court is of the view that the deed of cancellation dated 26.08.2010 is not valid and it will not bind the plaintiff in any manner.”

As per the plaint averments, the suit properties and other properties originally belonged to the plaintiff’s grandmother Chinnathayammal by virtue of a sale deed. In the partition effected between the sons of Chinnatha Ammal viz., D.C.Kandasamy, D.C.Ponnurangam, D.C.Arumugam (D1) and D.C.Lakshmanan, the ‘C’ Schedule property was allotted to the first defendant who is the father of the plaintiff, and few of the defendants. The wife of the first defendant died during the year 2003. The defendants three to five were the legal heirs of the deceased son D.A.Azhagappan.

It was the case of the plaintiff that the first defendant executed a will of his grandchildren born through his daughters Kalyani and Chitra pertaining to the land at Vellaegoundan palayam.  However, he cancelled the same and subsequently in 1983 , the first defendant executed a settlement deed in favor of his daughters, D.A. Aruna and Kalamani/the second  defendant pertaining to property at Chinnasamy street.  

Thereafter on August 22, 1986, the first  defendant executed a Settlement Deed, in favor of his daughter D.A.Chitra- the seventh defendant pertaining to the land measuring about 2 ½ cents at Virupatchipuram Village.   While so, the defendants three to five, the legal heirs of the deceased son of the first defendant by name Azhagappan filed a suit for partition against the plaintiff, the first defendant and his other legal heirs in the original suit of 1989 filed before the Sub Court, Dharmapuri ended in a compromise decree and the properties were allotted to the defendants three to five. 

The third defendant sold the same to one Valarmathi by way of two sale deeds. After the death of his mother, since the first defendant gave properties by way of Settlement Deeds to others, except the plaintiff, the first defendant executed a Settlement Deed in favor of the plaintiff with regard to the suit properties. The plaintiff accepted the same and the suit properties were in possession and enjoyment of the plaintiff. The first defendant also executed a Settlement Deed,  in favor of the plaintiff in respect of ¼th  share of the property purchased by him jointly on March 12, 1956.  The plaintiff accepted the same and he is in possession and enjoyment of the same.

The plaintiff settled the properties which were given to him by way of Settlement Deed, in favor of his wife and the same were resettled to the plaintiff in 2010.   Due to the feeling of animosity from the growth of the plaintiff, the second and the third defendant by taking advantage of the age and unsound state of mind, instigated the first defendant to revoke the settlement deed and the first defendant cancelled the same. The cancellation deed, according to the plaintiff, was not valid in law and will not bind him. 

The Trial Court after appreciating the facts and circumstances was of the view that the first defendant was the absolute owner of the suit property and he has every right to deal with the same. It was also observed that the defendant had the right to execute the Gift Deed in favour of the plaintiff and the plaintiff had the absolute right and title in respect of the same.  It was this impugned judgment that was assailed by the defendants- third to fifth who were wife and daughters of the deceased son of the first defendant. 

This Court after giving anxious consideration to the submissions of the parties and after pursuing the material on record observed that the facts and the relations between the parties were not disputed. Further on pursuing the sale deed , the Court inferred that there were no reasons assigned by the first defendant for cancelling the settlement deed in favor of the plaintiff and executing those sale deeds in favor of the second, fourth and fifth defendant. 

With respect to the issue of the original suit filed by the defendant to act as bar for the decree of the present suit , the Court held that on this issue , the Trial Court already made clarifications that the same shall have no binding effect on the present suit.  Thus, in view of the aforesaid observations, the judgment and decree passed by the Principal District Judge was confirmed. Accordingly, the appeal suit was dismissed. 

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