Gift Mutation Dispute in Inheritance Case


flat lay photo of book and pencil
flat lay photo of book and pencil

In a recent ruling, the Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi Bench dismissed the civil revision petition filed by Mst. Munawar Jan and others against Mst. Safaidan and others. This case revolved around the validity of a gift mutation and its implications on inheritance rights.

Key Areas:

Background and Claims: The dispute arose over a piece of land (101 Kanal 19 Marla) originally owned by Abdul Rehman. The petitioners, descendants of Muhammad Afsar, claimed that a gift mutation in favor of Muhammad Khan, another son of Abdul Rehman, was fraudulent and should not affect their inheritance rights. The trial court initially ruled in favor of the petitioners, but the decision was overturned by the appellate court.

Gift Mutation and Fraud Allegations: The petitioners contended that the gift mutation (No. 633 dated 18th September 1962) was fraudulent. They claimed that Abdul Rehman never intended to gift the land to Muhammad Khan and that the mutation was obtained through misrepresentation. However, the appellate court found no substantial evidence of fraud in the pleadings or the record.

Legal Standards and Evidence: The court emphasized the necessity of specific particulars when alleging fraud, as outlined in "Faqir Ali and others versus Sakina Bibi and others" (PLD 2022 Supreme Court 85). The petitioners failed to provide sufficient details or evidence to substantiate their claims of fraud.

Non-Challenging of Gift by Donor and Successors: Abdul Rehman, the donor, did not challenge the gift during his lifetime (he died in 1969), nor did Muhammad Afsar (died in 1978). The court held that this inaction implied acceptance of the gift, applying the principle of estoppel. This principle was supported by cases like "Ghulam Abbas and others versus Mohammad Shafi through LRs and others" (2016 SCMR 1403).

Limitation and Right to Sue: The petitioners filed their suit in 2003, long after the gift mutation was recorded and the donor had passed away. The court cited "Salamat Ali and others versus Muhammad Din and others" (PLD 2022 Supreme Court 353), explaining that the right to challenge such transactions is subject to limitation laws, which the petitioners had exceeded.

Conclusion: Judge Mirza Viqas Rauf concluded that the appellate court rightly overturned the trial court’s decision. The petitioners could not establish their claims of fraud, and their suit was barred by time. Consequently, the appeal was dismissed, reinforcing the principles of estoppel and the importance of timely legal action.

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