Smt. P. Leelavathi (D) by LRs .. Appellant Versus V. Shankarnarayana Rao (D) by LRs .. Respondent

whether in the facts and circumstances of the case and merely because some financial assistance has been given by the father to the sons to purchase the properties, can the transactions be said to benami in nature? – NO –

TRIAL COURT DISMISSED THE SUIT FOR PARTITION – HIGH COURT CONFIRMED THE SAME – APEX COURT ALSO CONFIRMED THE SAME

Suit for partition – purchasing properties in the name of sons etc., for joint family purpose is different that of providing financial assitance to purchase property by the sons in their name for their sake themselves alone

The plaintiff has miserably failed to establish and prove the intention of the father to purchase the suit properties for and on behalf of the family, which werepurchased in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3.
It is required to be noted that, as such, the plaintiff – daughter has not stepped into the witness box and that the evidence on behalf of the plaintiff has been given by her husband who, as such, can be said to be an outsider, so far as the joint family is concerned.
Apart from that, it has come on record that the plaintiff and her husband were maintained by Late G. Venkata Rao.
The financial assistance was also given to the plaintiff and her husband to purchase the residential house at Bangalore.
Late G. Venkata Rao, therefore, provided a shelter to his daughter and, as observed herein above, also gave the financial assistance to purchase the residential house at Bangalore.
It has also come on record that Late G. Venkata Rao even purchased the share certificates and his daughter­ original plaintiff was also given certain number of shares.
Therefore, considering the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, Late G. Venkata Rao also must have given the financial assistance to defendant Nos. 1 to 3 – sons and helped them in purchase of the properties.
Therefore, the intention of Late G. Venkata Rao to give the financial assistance to purchase the properties in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 cannot be said to be to purchase the properties for himself and/or his family members and, therefore, as rightly observed by the High Court, the transactions of purchase of the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) in the names of the defendant Nos. 1 to 3 cannot be said to be benami in nature.
The intention of Late G. Venkata Rao was to provide the financial assistance for the welfare of his sons and not beyond that.
None of the other ingredients to establish the transactions as benami transactions, as held by this Court in the aforesaid decisions, are satisfied, except that some financial assistance was provided by Late G. Venkata Rao.
In the facts and circumstances of the case and considering the evidence on record, the purchase of the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 cannot be said to be benami transactions and, therefore, as rightly observed and held by the learned trial Court and confirmed by the High Court, the plaintiff has no right to claim 1/4th share in the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) which were purchased by the sons in their names by separate sale deeds. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the High Court.

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1099 OF 2008
Smt. P. Leelavathi (D) by LRs .. Appellant
Versus
V. Shankarnarayana Rao (D) by LRs .. Respondent
J U D G M E N T
M. R. Shah, J.

  1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
    judgment and order passed by the High Court of Karnataka
    at Bangalore dated 06.09.2007 in RFA No. 220 of 1991, by
    which the High Court has dismissed the said First appeal
    preferred by the original plaintiff Smt. P. Leelavathi (now
    deceased and represented through her legal heirs) and has
    confirmed the judgment and decree passed by the learned
    trial Court dismissing the suit, the legal heirs of the original
    plaintiff Smt. P. Leelavathi have preferred the present appeal.
    2
  2. The facts leading to the present appeal in nutshell are
    as under:
    That Smt. P. Leelavathi instituted Original Suit No. 1248 of
    1980 in the Court of the XIV Additional City Civil Judge at
    Bangalore against the original defendants – V.
    Shankaranarayan Rao (now deceased and represented
    through his legal heirs) and two others for partition and for
    recovery of 1/4th share of the plaintiff in the plaint scheduled
    properties. That the original plaintiff Smt. P. Leelavathi and
    the original defendants are the sister and brothers and the
    daughter and sons of Late G. Venkata Rao, who died on
    08.10.1974.
    2.1 It was the case on behalf of the original plaintiff that her
    father Late G. Venkata Rao was an Estate Agent and he was
    doing money lending business in his name and also in the
    names of his sons and he was purchasing properties in the
    names of his sons, though his father was funding those
    properties. According to the plaintiff, at the time of his
    death, G. Venkata Rao was in possession of a large estate
    comprising of immoveable properties, bank deposits etc.
    3
    shown in the plaint schedule. It was the case on behalf of
    the original plaintiff that the suit schedule properties were as
    such joint family properties and/or they were purchased in
    fact by their late father G. Venkata Rao and the same was
    funded by their father. That, it was the case on behalf of the
    original plaintiff that the plaintiff was entitled to 1/4th share
    in all the said properties belonging to her father. It was the
    case on behalf of the original plaintiff that as the defendants
    refused to give her 1/4th share and gave an evasive reply,
    which prompted the plaintiff to demand in writing her share
    and for early settlement. That, thereafter she got a notice
    dated 18.07.1975 issued demanding partition and amicable
    settlement. But the defendants have failed to settle the
    matter. Therefore, the plaintiff instituted the aforesaid suit
    for partition and for recovery of her 1/4th share in the plaint
    schedule properties.
  3. That the original defendants resisted the suit by filing
    the written statement. It was the case on behalf of the
    original defendants that the plaint schedule properties are
    exclusively owned by the defendants in their individual
    4
    rights. Item No. 1 of the plaint schedule i.e., premises No.
    32/1, Aga Abbas Ali Road is the personal property of
    defendant No. 3. Item (b) of schedule 1 belongs to defendant
    No. 2 and Item (c) belongs to defendant No. 1. These
    properties never belonged to their deceased father G. Venkata
    Rao and they do not form part of his estate. Coming to Item
    No. II, the three fixed deposits were the personal properties of
    each of the defendants. There was a joint saving bank
    account in the Syndicate Bank, Cantonment Branch in the
    joint names of the deceased and defendant No. 2. There is a
    small amount still lying in the said account. At any rate,
    there is no outstanding of Rs.10,000/­ in the said account.
    Regarding Item No. III, there were no debts due and payable
    to the deceased. 939 shares were in the joint names of the
    deceased and the plaintiff. 840 shares were in the names of
    the deceased and defendant No. 1. Another 840 shares were
    in the names of the deceased and defendant No. 2. 949
    shares were in the names of the deceased and defendant No.
  4. The plaintiff had major share which were purchased by
    the deceased in the names of himself and the plaintiff. Late
    G. Venkata Rao was a head clerk attached to an advocate’s
    5
    office in Civil Station, Bangalore. On retirement, the
    deceased indulged in and acted as an estate agent in a most
    casual manner. At any rate, he was not doing moneylending business nor did he purchase properties as is sought
    to be made out in the plaint. The deceased was at no point of
    time in affluent circumstances. The solvency of the deceased
    was at a very low ebb at the time of his death and he left no
    jewellery. Even the furniture available at Premises No. 138,
    Aga Abbas Ali Road, Bangalore was not worth mentioning
    inasmuch as the pieces left could be counted on finger tips.
    The value of the entire hold effects would not exceed
    Rs.400.00. Only Items 10, 12, 19, 20, 21 and 22 out of the
    said premises were valuable articles of the deceased. The
    other items never existed at any point of time. The plaintiff
    had the best of things from her father while he was alive.
    She was the recipient of favours shown by her father from
    time to time. The deceased stretched his generosity even to
    his son­in­law, the husband of the plaintiff. The deceased in
    fact emptied his resources at the calls of her daughter and
    her husband. The son­in­law also collected cash from the
    deceased. The plaintiff and her husband are also due in a
    6
    sum of Rs.3000/­ borrowed by them under a pro­note dated
    11.06.1966 from the deceased and defendant No. 3. They
    are also due a sum of Rs.1500/­ under another pro­note
    dated 29.11.1966 payable to the deceased. The above
    amounts also carry interest at stipulated rates. The
    defendants serve their right to recover the said amounts
    through proper legal remedies. The plaintiff constructed a
    house bearing No. 150, Veerapillai Street with the said and
    financial assistance of her father. The plaintiff in active
    connivance with her husband ransacked the house No. 138,
    Aga Abbas Ali Road during the absence of the deceased and
    defendant No. 2 who had gone to Tirupathi and Madras.
    The plaintiff had made wrongful gains about this time
    somewhere in 1963. The plaintiff stayed with her husband at
    Chicmagalur only for about three months after her marriage.
    Thereafter she came with her husband to Bangalore and
    stayed with her father for nearly six years. The plaintiff is
    enjoying the special privilege and she has benefits bestowed
    on her, her husband and her children almost regularly. In
    addition to her father, defendant No. 2 was also looking after
    the needs of the plaintiff’s family at considerable expenses.
    7
    All the defendants are residing in rented houses. The claim
    of the plaintiff in respect of Item A to C in the plaint schedule
    is not tenable, in view of provisions of Section 2 of Benami
    Transactions (Prohibition of Right to Recover Property)
    Ordinance, 1988, the plaintiff has no cause of action and no
    relief can be given to her. The suit is therefore liable to be
    dismissed with costs.
    3.1 That the trial Court framed the following issues:
    1) Whether the plaintiff proves that the suit schedule
    immovable and movable properties as described in
    Schedule I to V are the self­acquire properties?
    2) Whether the suit schedule I(a) vacant site bearing
    No. 32/1, Aga Abbas Ali Road, Civil Station,
    Bangalore, is the self acquired property of defendant
    No. 3?
    3) Whether the suit schedule I(b) vacant site bearing
    No. 32/1, Aga Abbas Ali Road, Civil Station.
    Bangalore, is the self acquired property of defendant
    No. 2?
    4) Whether the suit schedule I(c) property is the self
    acquired property of defendant No. 1?
    5) Whether the defendants prove that the suit schedule
    II Bank deposits are the personal properties of each
    of the defendants?
    8
    6) Whether the defendants prove that there were
    furniture mentioned as Items 10, 12, 19, 20, 21 and
    22 of suit Schedule V in page­5 of the plaint, hardly
    worth Rs.400/­ in premises No. 138/A (New No. 6)
    Armstrong Road, Civil Station, Bangalore?
    7) Whether the plaintiff is entitled to partition and
    possession of her 1/4th share in the suit schedule
    properties?
    8) Whether there is cause of action for the suit?
    9) To what reliefs is the plaintiff entitled?
    Additional Issue: Is the claim of the plaintiff barred by
    Section 2 of the Benami Transaction
    (Prohibition of Right to Recover
    Property) Ordinance, 1988 as alleged?
    3.2 That the learned trial Court dismissed the suit by
    holding that the suit schedule properties are not the selfacquired properties of Late G. Venkata Rao; suit Item Nos.
    I(a), I(b) and I(c) are the properties of original defendant Nos.
    1 to 3; the bank deposits mentioned in Scheduled II of the
    plaint are the personal properties of defendant Nos. 1 to 3.
    The learned trial Court further observed and held that in
    respect of moveable properties mentioned in Schedule V as
    suit Item Nos. 10, 12, 19, 20, 21 and 22, the plaintiff is
    9
    entitled for 1/4th share and therefore the learned trial Court
    granted the decree for recovery of 1/4th share to the plaintiff
    which was hardly worth Rs.400/­ (sic) available in the
    premises bearing No. 138/A (New No. 6) Armstrong Road,
    Civil Station, Bangalore.
  5. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment
    and decree passed by the learned trial Court dismissing the
    suit and holding that the suit schedule properties were not
    the self­acquired properties of Late G. Venkata Rao and they
    were the properties of defendant Nos. 1 to 3, the original
    plaintiff preferred an appeal before the High Court. The High
    Court vide judgment and order dated 26.02.1999 set aside
    the judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court
    holding that all though the properties were in the names of
    the original defendants, the transactions, in question, were
    benami in nature and in that view of the matter, the plaintiff
    had inherited 1/4th share therein.
    4.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment
    and order passed by the High Court dated 26.02.1999
    allowing the appeal and quashing and setting aside the
    judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court and,
    10
    consequently decreeing the suit and holding that the plaintiff
    had inherited 1/4th share in the said schedule properties, the
    legal representatives of the original defendants approached
    this Court by way of Civil Appeal No. 7117 of 2000.
    4.2 That by judgment and order dated 11.05.2007, this
    Court allowed the appeal and remitted the matter back to the
    High Court observing that the High Court has not properly
    appreciated and/or considered whether the transaction in
    question is benami or not.
    4.3 That thereafter, on remand, the High Court has by the
    impugned judgment and order dismissed the appeal
    confirming the judgment and decree passed by the learned
    trial Court dismissing the suit, by specifically observing that
    the purchase/transaction in favour of defendant Nos. 1 to 3
    with respect to the suit schedule properties were not the
    benami transactions and that they were the self­acquired
    properties of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 and, therefore, the
    plaintiff is not entitled to any share in the suit schedule
    properties. The High Court has further observed and held
    that the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition)
    Act, 1988 are retroactive in application.
    11
  6. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
    judgment and order passed by the High Court in dismissing
    the appeal and confirming the judgment and decree passed
    by the trial Court dismissing the suit, the original plaintiff
    (now the deceased and represented through the legal heirs)
    has preferred the present appeal.
  7. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants
    has vehemently submitted that, in the facts and
    circumstances of the case, the High Court has committed a
    grave error in dismissing the appeal and confirming the
    judgment and decree passed by the trial Court dismissing the
    suit.
    6.1 It is vehemently submitted by the learned counsel
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that the Courts below
    have materially erred in not accepting the case of the plaintiff
    that the suit properties acquired in the names of defendant
    Nos. 1 to 3 were benami in nature.
    6.2 It is submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellant that the findings recorded by the
    learned trial Court and confirmed by the High Court that the
    suit properties acquired in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to
    12
    3 were not benami in nature, but were the self­acquired
    properties of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 are contrary to the
    evidence on record.
    6.3 It is submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellants that it has come in evidence that the
    sale consideration was paid by the father of the plaintiff and
    defendant Nos. 1 to 3. It is submitted that DW1 admitted
    that he had borrowed a sum of Rs.1,030/­ from his father
    Late G. Venkata Rao and that Late G. Venkata Rao sent a
    demand draft for a sum of Rs.1,030/­ directly to the Tamil
    Nadu Housing Board. It is submitted that even the entire
    consideration for acquisition of suit properties ­ Item Nos.
    1(a) to 1(c) were paid by Late G. Venkata Rao.
    6.4 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing
    on behalf of the appellant that the High Court having
    concluded that the purchase money of suit properties ­Item
    Nos. 1(a) to 1(c) came from Late G.Venkata Rao, thereafter,
    the High Court is not justified in concluding that the plaintiff
    was required to give further evidence to establish that the
    suit properties were acquired for the benefit of defendants or
    Late G. Venkata Rao had other reasons to acquire the suit
    13
    properties in the names of his sons – original defendant Nos.
    1 to 3. Relying upon the decision of this Court in Thakur
    Bhim Singh v. Thakur Kan Singh (1980) 3 SCC 72, it is
    vehemently submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellant that, as held by this Court in the
    aforesaid decision, if it is proved that the purchase money
    came from a person other than the person in whose favour
    the property was transferred, the purchase is prima facie
    assumed to be for the benefit of person who supplied the
    purchase money, unless there is an evidence to the contrary.
    6.5 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing
    on behalf of the appellant that both the Courts below have
    materially erred in observing and consequently holding that
    the plaintiff was not a member of the joint family.
    6.6 Making the above submissions, it is prayed to allow the
    present appeal and quash and set aside the judgment and
    decree passed by both the Courts below and consequently to
    decree the suit.
  8. Shri G. V. Chandrashekar, learned advocate appearing
    on behalf of the original defendants, while opposing the
    14
    present appeal, has vehemently submitted that the finding
    recording by the learned trial Court, confirmed by the High
    Court that the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) were not
    benami transactions, are on appreciation of evidence. It is
    submitted that, as rightly observed by the High Court, merely
    because some financial assistance might have been given by
    the father to the defendants while purchasing the suit
    properties, the same would not become a benami transaction,
    unless the contrary intention is established and proved.
    7.1 It is vehemently submitted by the learned counsel
    appearing on behalf of the defendants that, in the present
    case, all the three suit properties were purchased by
    defendant Nos. 1 to 3 by registered sale deeds and some
    financial assistance was given by the father Late G. Venkata
    Rao, which was given to the plaintiff also. It is submitted
    that, in the present case, it has come on record that the
    plaintiff married with PW­1 in the year 1954; the marriage of
    the plaintiff was performed by Late G. Venkata Rao; and that
    after the marriage of the plaintiff, Late G. Venkata Rao and
    defendant Nos. 1 to 3 were living together. It is submitted
    that it has also come on record that Late G. Venkata Rao
    15
    provided the financial assistance to the plaintiff to acquire
    the house bearing No. 150, Veerapillai Street, Civil Station,
    Bangalore. It is submitted that even the evidence on record
    would disclose that after the marriage, the plaintiff and her
    husband were maintained by her father for a period of 10
    years. It is submitted that, considering the aforesaid
    circumstances, as rightly observed by the High Court, the
    intention of Late G. Venkata Rao in providing financial
    assistance to his sons for acquisition of properties was to
    provide shelter to his sons and, therefore, the acquisition of
    the suit properties – Items I(a) to I(c) by defendants, out of the
    financial assistance provided by their father Late G. Venkata
    Rao, did not involve any benami transaction.
    7.2 It is further submitted on behalf of the defendants that,
    as such, the provisions of the Benami Transactions
    (Prohibition) Act would not be applicable retrospectively. It
    is vehemently submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the original defendants that, as observed and held
    by this Court in the case of Binapani Paul v. Pratima
    Ghosh (2007) 6 SCC 100, the burden of proving of benami
    nature of transaction lies on the person who alleges the
    16
    transaction to be a benami. It is submitted that in the
    aforesaid decision, it is further observed and held by this
    Court that the source of money can never be the sole
    consideration and it is merely one of the relevant
    considerations, but not determinative in character. It is
    submitted that, in the present case, the plaintiff has failed to
    establish and prove that the purchase of the properties – Item
    Nos. I(a) to 1(c) were benami in nature and/or that the
    intention of Late G. Venkata Rao was to purchase the suit
    properties for and on behalf of the family, but were
    purchased in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3. It is
    submitted that, therefore, in the facts and circumstances of
    the case, the High Court has rightly dismissed the appeal
    and has rightly confirmed the judgment and decree passed by
    the learned trial Court dismissing the suit, by specifically
    observing and holding that the suit properties – Items I(a) to
    I(c) were not benami in nature. Therefore, it is prayed to
    dismiss the present appeal.
  9. Heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
    respective parties at length. In the present case, the original
    plaintiff instituted the suit claiming 1/4th share in the suit
    17
    properties, including the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to
    I(c). Admittedly, the suit properties were purchased by
    defendant Nos. 1 to 3 respectively. However, it was the case
    on behalf of the plaintiff that the purchase of the suit
    properties was benami transaction as the sale consideration
    was paid by their father Late G. Venkata Rao. The aforesaid
    is not accepted by the High Court and the High Court has
    observed and held that the plaintiff has failed to establish
    and prove by leading cogent evidence that the intention of
    Late G. Venkata Rao to purchase the suit properties in the
    names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 was to purchase for and on
    behalf of the family and, therefore, the transaction cannot be
    said to be benami in nature.
    8.1 Therefore, the short question that is posed for
    consideration of this Court is, whether in the facts and
    circumstances of the case and merely because some financial
    assistance has been given by the father to the sons to
    purchase the properties, can the transactions be said to
    benami in nature?
    18
  10. While considering the aforesaid question, few decisions
    of this Court on the benami transactions/transactions of
    benami nature, are required to be referred to:
    9.1 In the case of Thakur Bhim Singh (supra), it is
    observed and held by this Court that while considering a
    particular transaction as benami, the intention of the person
    who contributed the purchase money is determinative of the
    nature of transaction. It is further observed by this Court as
    to what the intention of the person who contributed the
    purchase money, has to be decided on the basis of the
    surrounding circumstance; the relationship of the parties;
    the motives governing their action in bringing about the
    transaction and their subsequent conduct etc. In the
    aforesaid decision, this Court considered the earlier decision
    of this Court in Jaydayal Poddar v. Bibi Hazra (Mst.)
    (1974) 1 SCC 3, more particularly para 6, and thereafter
    summed up in para 17 and para 18. Paras 17 and 18 of that
    judgment are as under:
    “17. The principle enunciated by Lord
    Macmillan in the case of Manmohan Das [AIR
    1931 PC 175 : 134 IC 66 9 : 1931 ALJ 550] has
    been followed by this Court in Jaydayal
    19
    Poddar v. Bibi Hazra (Mst) [(1974) 1 SCC 3 :
    (1974) 2 SCR 90] where Sarkaria, J., observed
    thus: (SCC p. 6, para 6)
    “It is well­settled that the burden of
    proving that a particular sale is benami and
    the apparent purchaser is not the real
    owner, always rests on the person asserting
    it to be so. This burden has to be strictly
    discharged by adducing legal evidence of a
    definite character which would either
    directly prove the fact of benami or
    establish circumstances unerringly and
    reasonably raising an inference of that fact.
    The essence of a benami is the intention of
    the party or parties concerned; and not
    unoften, such intention is shrouded in a
    thick veil which cannot be easily pierced
    through. But such difficulties do not relieve
    the person asserting the transaction to be
    benami of any part of the serious onus that
    rests on him; nor justify the acceptance of
    mere conjectures or surmises, as a
    substitute for proof. The reason is that a
    deed is a solemn document prepared and
    executed after considerable deliberation,
    and the person expressly shown as the
    purchaser or transferee in the deed, starts
    with the initial presumption in his favour
    that the apparent state of affairs is the real
    state of affairs. Though the question
    whether a particular sale is benami or not,
    is largely one of fact, and for determining
    this question, no absolute formulae or acid
    tests, uniformly applicable in all situations,
    can be laid down; yet in weighing the
    probabilities and for gathering the relevant
    indicia, the courts are usually guided by
    these circumstances:(1) the source from
    which the purchase money came; (2) the
    nature and possession of the property, after
    the purchase; (3) motive, if any, for giving
    20
    the transaction a benami colour; (4) the
    position of the parties and the relationship
    if any, between the claimant and the alleged
    benamidar; (5) the custody of the title deeds
    after the sale and (6) the conduct of the
    parties concerned in dealing with the
    property after the sale.”
  11. The principle governing the
    determination of the question whether a transfer
    is a benami transaction or not may be summed
    up thus: (1) the burden of showing that a
    transfer is a benami transaction lies on the
    person who asserts that it is such a transaction;
    (2) it is proved that the purchase money came
    from a person other than the person in whose
    favour the property is transferred, the purchase
    is prima facie assumed to be for the benefit of the
    person who supplied the purchase money, unless
    there is evidence to the contrary; (3) the true
    character of the transaction is governed by the
    intention of the person who has contributed the
    purchase money and (4) the question as to what
    his intention was has to be decided on the basis
    of the surrounding circumstances, the
    relationship of the parties, the motives governing
    their action in bringing about the transaction
    and their subsequent conduct, etc.”
    9.2 In Binapani Paul case (supra), this Court again had an
    occasion to consider the nature of benami transactions. After
    considering a catena of decisions of this Court on the point,
    this Court in that judgment observed and held that the
    source of money had never been the sole consideration. It is
    merely one of the relevant considerations but not
    21
    determinative in character. This Court ultimately concluded
    after considering its earlier judgment in the case of
    Valliammal v. Subramaniam (2004) 7 SCC 233 that while
    considering whether a particular transaction is benami in
    nature, the following six circumstances can be taken as a
    guide:
    “(1) the source from which the purchase money
    came;
    (2) the nature and possession of the property,
    after the purchase;
    (3) motive, if any, for giving the transaction a
    benami colour;
    (4) the position of the parties and the
    relationship, if any, between the claimant and
    the alleged benamidar;
    (5) the custody of the title deeds after the sale;
    and
    (6) the conduct of the parties concerned in
    dealing with the property after the sale.
    (Jaydayal Poddar v. Bibi Hazra (supra), SCC p. 7,
    para6)”
  12. Applying the law laid down by this Court in the
    aforesaid decisions to the facts of the case on hand, we are of
    the opinion that the High Court has rightly come to the
    22
    conclusion that the plaintiff has failed to prove that the
    purchase of the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) in the
    names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 were benami in nature. It is
    true that, at the time of purchase of the suit properties – Item
    Nos. I(a) to I(c), some financial assistance was given by Late
    G. Venkata Rao. However, as observed by this Court in the
    aforesaid decisions, that cannot be the sole determinative
    factor/circumstance to hold the transaction as benami in
    nature. The plaintiff has miserably failed to establish and
    prove the intention of the father to purchase the suit
    properties for and on behalf of the family, which were
    purchased in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3. It is
    required to be noted that, as such, the plaintiff – daughter
    has not stepped into the witness box and that the evidence
    on behalf of the plaintiff has been given by her husband who,
    as such, can be said to be an outsider, so far as the joint
    family is concerned. Apart from that, it has come on record
    that the plaintiff and her husband were maintained by Late
    G. Venkata Rao. The financial assistance was also given to
    the plaintiff and her husband to purchase the residential
    house at Bangalore. Late G. Venkata Rao, therefore,
    23
    provided a shelter to his daughter and, as observed herein
    above, also gave the financial assistance to purchase the
    residential house at Bangalore. It has also come on record
    that Late G. Venkata Rao even purchased the share
    certificates and his daughter­original plaintiff was also given
    certain number of shares. Therefore, considering the
    aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, Late G.
    Venkata Rao also must have given the financial assistance to
    defendant Nos. 1 to 3 – sons and helped them in purchase of
    the properties. Therefore, the intention of Late G. Venkata
    Rao to give the financial assistance to purchase the
    properties in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 cannot be
    said to be to purchase the properties for himself and/or his
    family members and, therefore, as rightly observed by the
    High Court, the transactions of purchase of the suit
    properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) in the names of the
    defendant Nos. 1 to 3 cannot be said to be benami in nature.
    The intention of Late G. Venkata Rao was to provide the
    financial assistance for the welfare of his sons and not
    beyond that. None of the other ingredients to establish the
    transactions as benami transactions, as held by this Court in
    24
    the aforesaid decisions, are satisfied, except that some
    financial assistance was provided by Late G. Venkata Rao. In
    the facts and circumstances of the case and considering the
    evidence on record, the purchase of the suit properties – Item
    Nos. I(a) to I(c) in the names of defendant Nos. 1 to 3 cannot
    be said to be benami transactions and, therefore, as rightly
    observed and held by the learned trial Court and confirmed
    by the High Court, the plaintiff has no right to claim 1/4th
    share in the suit properties – Item Nos. I(a) to I(c) which were
    purchased by the sons in their names by separate sale deeds.
    We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the
    High Court.
  13. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above,
    the present appeal fails and deserves to be dismissed and is
    accordingly dismissed. No costs.
    ………………………………….J.
    [L. NAGESWARA RAO]
    ………………………………….J.
    [M. R. SHAH]
    New Delhi,
    April 9, 2019.