In the Matter Sekhar Kumar Roy v. Lila Roy, The mother of the respondent bought the suit property from her’stridhan’s property and thereafter became its sole owner. Her spouse or the appellant-son did not object to the transfer deed that was in her name at the time. Because the appellant had abandoned her and had been subjected to physical and emotional abuse, the respondent left the suit property to her daughter Sumita, who had been helping her out financially. The Civil Judge rejected the appellant’s claim for declaration, partition, and permanent injunction due to a dearth of evidence. Displeased with the contested judgement and order made by the Civil Judge, the appellant chose to appeal it in the present case before this Court.
Whether the respondent’s purchase of the property subject to the lawsuit by a registered deed of sale qualifies as a Benami transaction.
The appellant did not disclose the specifics of the “stridhan” properties, from where she acquired the “stridhan” properties, or their value, according to the appellant, who claimed that the respondent was merely a housewife with no independent source of income at the time of the property’s purchase.
The respondent argued that although the suit property was bought in the respondent’s name, the consideration money was paid or provided by the appellant and not by the respondent and that this was sufficient evidence to establish the impugned transaction as a benami transaction.
Analysis of court decision
A division bench made up of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty and Justice Partha Sarathi Chatterjee of the Calcutta High Court ruled that even if it is proven that the husband paid the consideration money, it must be shown that the husband intended to benefit entirely from the title alone. If the husband pays the consideration money, the benami transaction is not necessarily implied.
The Court noted that the petitioner was unable to present any proof regarding the payment of the consideration amount, how the consideration money was paid, how the suit property was purchased, who made the payment of the consideration, or any documents pertaining to the suit property. On the other side, the respondent claimed that she bought the suit property from her “stridhan” property, that she possessed the title deed and all other relevant documentation, and that she had always paid the required city taxes.
The Court maintained the contested judgement and decree, ruling that the lower court’s strategy and decision were correct and that the appellant had failed to meet his burden of proof that the contested sale transaction constituted a benami transaction.