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Evidence – Unregistered Partition Deed – Admissibility - Nature of Document: Evidence Act, Section 91:

Dr. K. Shivaram

Raj Gopal Sharma vs. Krishna Gopal Sharma & Ors AIR 2013 Allahabad 187

The Hon’ble High Court held that u/s. 17(1)(b) of the Act, 1908, a document recognising oral partition, if reduced to writing, need not to be registered but if it is a document of partition, as such, it needs be registered, otherwise by virtue of section 49 of Act, 1908, it would be inadmissible in evidence. A partition of a property in a family precedes a settlement or compromise between members of family as to how property commonly and jointly, owned by them, should be settled among them.

The matter also came to be considered by a three Judge Bench in Kale and others vs. Deputy Director of Consolidation and others, AIR 1976 SC 807, and the apex court concretised certain propositions considering the effect and essentials of “family settlement” in para 10 of the judgment, and held as under:

(1) The family settlement must be a bona fide one so as to resolve family disputes and rival claims by a fair and equitable division or allotment of properties between the various members of the family;

(2) The said settlement must be voluntary and should not be induced by fraud, coercion or undue influence;

(3) The family arrangement may be even oral in which case no registration is necessary;

(4) It is well-settled...

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