(Jumma masjid, Mercara v. Kodimani Andra Deviah, air 1962 SC 847)

This case deals with the sophisticated nature of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (TOPA), especially Sec. 43 (the Rule of Feeding the Grant by Estoppel) and its correlation with Spec Sucessionis under Sec 6(a) of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

Spec Successionis:- It is a Latin legal phrase which deals with the possibility of having a legal right to inherit the property of someone after their death. It deals with the hope/expectation of an heir to obtain the property of inanimate person.

It was considered by the Supreme Court that the facts of the laws (two laws) belong to two different circles and there is no any type of conflict between them.


In 1907, a person named Nanjundappa had died. His widow named Ammakka was left behind, also died in 1910. Likewise, widow of Basappa named Gangamma was left behind after the death of Basappa in 1901.

There was a joint Hindu Family which consists of 3 brothers namely Bassappa, Mallappa and Santhappa. The property was in the hands of Gangamma after the death of most of the family members. Now, these three brothers were the reversioners.

These three brothers also had a sister who was already dead and she had two children along with three Grandsons (Bassappa, Mallappa and Santhappa). Now, under the grounds of Spec Successionis they were the heirs.

It was also stated that Basappa will get ½ of the property and Mallappa and Santhappa will get ¼ of the property.

On November 18, 1920, these three brothers sold the property to a person named Ganapathi, making him believe that now, the property actually belongs to them and they were the real owner of the property.

After this, a suit was filed by Ammakka against the three grandsons, as the property belonged to her because she was still alive. A decree was passed in favor of Ammakka by the Court.

Apart from this, as per section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the property which was transferred to Ganapathi was still valid.

According to the sale deed, Ganapathi had applied to the Revenue Authorities for transferring the patta for lands on his own name which was on the name of Ammakka.

Ammakka died after the 2nd appeal and the property itself went on the name of three grandsons.

Here, the Jumma Masjid, Mercara interfered and asserted that it was authorized to the properties on two grounds: –

  • At first, under a gift i.e., a gift is supposed to be made by Ammakka before dying, and
  • Secondly, under a deed of release executed by Santhappa,(who was one of the heirs or the reversioners), gave half of his property to the mosque for some regards.

The acceptance of the title of the appellant was declined by the Revenue Authorities and the Revenue Authorities directed that, as the name of the owner, the name of Ganapathi should be mentioned.

Ganapathi deliberated that it was not known to him that the three reversioners were not the actual owner of the land because it was represented by them that they were the actual owner of the property and the property actually belongs to them. According to section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, which includes Rule of Estoppel, Ganapathi should also entitled to the property because the property was in possession of the three reversioners after the death of Ammakka.

It was claimed by the Masjid that the three reversioners were only in the hope that the property will come to them and they did not hold any title. Therefore, as per section 6(a) of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the sale of the property to Ganapathi by the three reversioners was considered as void because the three reversioners do not have the authority to transfer the property.


Whether the transfer of property, in return of some remuneration, made by a person who constitutes that he has a present and exchangeable interest in that property, while in reality he influences only a spec successionis, is within the conservation of Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.


It was observed {after the argumentation by Jumma Masjid, the appellant that the sale was void as per section 6(a)}by the Apex Court that:

  • There is no necessary conflict between Section 6(a) and section 43 of the Transfer of Property act,1882 as they are from two different subjects.
  • Certain kinds of interest in a property mentioned therein are dealt in Section 6(a) and it prohibits the transfer of those interest. And, section 43 deals with the representation of the title made of the transfer who does not holds any title at the time of transfer and provides that the transfer shall attach itself on the title which is immediately acquired by the transferor.

The court considered the claim on Ganapathi as a valid claim and hence, the claim of Jumma Masjid was dismissed by the court.


It was held by the court that when a person has only a spec successionis but he is representing that he has a present interest the property which he is transferring, then the transferee (to whom the property has transferred) is entitled for the benefit under section 43, if he has taken the transfer on the belief of that critical appreciation and attention.

Further, it was held by the apex court that the court below were the authority in maintaining the title of the respondent.


What is Spec Successionis?

What does Section 6(a) of the TOPA, 1882 says?

What is gift?







Anjali Kumari

BBA.LL.B (Hons)

Teerthanker Mahaveer University


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