calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: A division bench comprising of Rajasekhar Mantha and Supratim Bhattacharya,* JJ., upheld the trial court’s dismissal of suit for declaration, partition, and injunction, on the appellants’ failure to prove their claims of misrepresentation and illegality regarding the transfer deeds. The Court further emphasizes the importance of credible evidence, especially from key witnesses.

The Court reiterated that the burden of proving their case rests with the appellants, and they cannot rely on any delays or shortcomings on the part of the respondent.

Brief Facts

The instant matter revolves around a dispute between the appellants-plaintiffs, wife and daughter of the deceased and the respondents-defendants, over the ownership and partition of certain properties. The appellants challenge a trial court’s judgment that dismissed their suit for declaration, partition, and injunction. The appellant 1’s case is that her husband died when she was absent and when she found out that her husband’s death was unnatural, she reported the same to the police. Appellant 1 requested defendant 1 (brother of her husband) for partition of properties, but defendant 1 claimed that her husband had transferred his share to respondents 2 and 3. The appellants contested that the transfer deeds were obtained through misrepresentation, and sought to declare them as illegal and void, but the trial court dismissed the suit.

Moot Point

1. Whether the transfer deeds were genuine or obtained through misrepresentation?

2. Have the appellants proved their contentions regarding misrepresentation?


The appellants claimed that the deceased was illiterate and couldn’t fully understand the deeds. It was argued that the deeds emerged after deceased’s unnatural death and his body was cremated without the presence of his wife and daughter, suggesting foul play.

On the other hand, the respondents contended that the transfer deeds were genuine and had valid reasons behind them such as repaying loans. It was argued that the burden of proof lay on the appellants to prove misrepresentation, which they failed to do. It was further pointed out that crucial witnesses, the wife, and daughter of deceased, didn’t testify.

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that the appellants failed to provide substantial evidence to prove their contentions of misrepresentation and they didn’t produce key witnesses, wife and daughter, to testify. It was observed that the witnesses produced by the appellants had no personal knowledge of the execution of the transfer deeds.

The Court relied on Man Kaur v. Hartar Singh Sangha, (2010) 10 SCC 512, where the Supreme Court highlighted the importance of the plaintiff’s readiness and willingness to perform and observed that in the present case the witnesses failed to prove this.

The Court observed that the appellants are not able to prove the fact that the two deeds which they are seeking to be adjudged as void have been executed by misrepresentation or by committing fraud. The Court emphasized that the burden of proof lay on the appellants, and as they failed to prove their contentions, therefore, the question of shifting of burden of proof upon the respondents/opposite parties does not arise at all.

“The onus of proof lied upon the appellants /plaintiffs to prove the fact that the two deeds that is the Deed of Nirupan and the Deed of Sale were executed under abnormal circumstance and had been executed on the basis of misrepresentation as because the appellants /plaintiffs have prayed for cancellation of the said deeds as such the question of shifting of the burden of proof has not arisen in this instant lis.”

Court’s Verdict

The Court upheld the trial court’s judgment and dismissed the present appeal on the grounds that the appellants failed to prove their claims of misrepresentation and illegality.

[Draupadi Poira v. Bhagabat Chandra Poira, 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2306, order dated 10-08-2023]

*Judgment by Justice Supratim Bhattacharya

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Gopal Chandra Ghosh, Mr. Soumen Kumar Dutta, Mr. Sabyasachi Bhattacharjee, Counsel for the Appellants;

Mr. Anit Rakshit, Mr. Amit Baran Dash, Ms. Ankana Sarkar, Counsel for the Respondents.

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