K. Arumuga Velaiah v P.R. Ramasamy and Anr

Case Number: Civil Appeal No. 2564 Of 2012

Judges Name: Hon’ble Judges L. Nageswara Rao J, B.R. Gavai J, B.V. Nagarathna J

Order dated: 27.01.2022

Facts of the case:

  • This is an appeal preferred by K. Arumuga Velaiah (Appellant) against P.R. Ramasamy and others (Respondents) challenging the decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Madras. The Appellant‘s grandfather had two wives and the first wife had one son who is Respondent No.1 and second wife had two sons who are Respondent No.2 and Appellant’s late father. There is a series of suits and appeals with cross appeals preferred by both the parties in relation to a family feud regarding the nature and partition of the properties with the first suit being filed as early as 1991 by the grandfather of the Appellant. 
  • The Appellant filed a suit in the year seeking for partition and separate possession of the properties that was bequeathed to him by a will of his late grandfather before the District Munsiff Court at Devakottai. It held that there was a valid partition in 1964 and there were no properties that was held by the Appellant’s grandfather as the properties were partitioned among the Respondents and Appellant’s father. The said judgement was challenged before the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Devakottai which was dismissed and the Appellant preferred a second appeal before the Hon’ble High Court of Madras (Madurai Bench). 
  • The second appeal was also dismissed and aggrieved, the Appellant has approached this Hon’ble Supreme Court.

Supreme Court observed/held as follows:

  • The Court observed that the primary issue in this appeal is whether the present suit preferred by the Appellant is barred in view of earlier judgement passed stating that partition happened in 1964 by panchayatdars. 
  • One of the contentions of the Appellant was that partition deed of 1964 was not registered and therefore, it cannot be a valid document for partition and the Appellant is not barred from seeking partition and possession of the properties. 
  • Respondents contended that the in the earlier cases connected to this case wherein it was held that there was a partition of the properties in 1964 and it as attained finality and cannot be challenged now. 
  • Court noted that the partition document which the parties dispute is only a memorandum of understanding to be acted later and it does not create any right, hence, it does require registration as per Section 17(1)(e) of the Registration Act, 1908. 
  • On the question of whether the present suit is barred by the principle of res judicata, it was held since the properties were partitioned in 1964, this suit for partition and separate possession is not maintainable.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.


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