HC allows Shirole heirs to become party to civil suit

Case against DES is pending in small causes court

The Bombay High Court recently allowed six legal heirs of four deceased members of the Shiroles - the family's civil suit seeking possession of Fergusson College land is pending in the small causes court in Pune- to become party to the original civil suit pending in the Pune small causes court.

The lower court had earlier allowed heirs of three deceased to become party, while rejecting the application of the legal heirs of four others. They had moved the HC against rejection of their application.

The case dates back to 1992, when 25 members of the Shirole family filed the civil suit against DES seeking the said land. After seven of the 25 members expired, their legal heirs had independently filed for inclusion in the suit as party.

Earlier this month, justice Ranjit More of the HC disposed of the writ petitions and allowed Indrajeet Shirole (heir of deceased Chandrasen Dinkarrao Shirole), Pravinsingh and Vijaymala Shirole (heirs of deceased Dhairyasheel Dinkarrao Shirole), Rajkumar and Amar Shirole (heirs of deceased Pandurangrao Aburao Shirole) and Tarabai Shirole (heir of deceased Vasantrao Aburao Shirole) to become party to the original suit.

When the DES requested the court to stay this order for four weeks to be able to appeal against it, the court stayed it till December 3. Advocate A A Kumbhakoni representing the DES said on Monday they were yet to appeal against the order.

Advocate V A Thorat representing the Shirole family argued that 'the suit against tenants can be filed by one of the co-owners unless there is a dispute between co-owners. Death of one of the co-owners will not result in abatement of the suit.'

Advocate Kumbhakoni requested that the applications be rejected arguing that the applications were filed seeking condonation of delay caused in bringing legal heirs on record of the deceased plaintiffs. The minimum delay caused is of about 3.5 years and the maximum 17 years.

The court observed that the trial court committed an error rejecting the applications of legal heirs. The court said they got knowledge of court proceedings and the requirement to implead themselves when they had gathered on December 27, 2011 after the death of Baburao Ganpatrao Shirole (88), the oldest member of the family. Applications were immediately filed in January 2012.

36-acre suit

The dispute is about property bearing Survey Nos. 82, 117, 224 and 225 measuring about 36 acres, where Fergusson College stands. Rajaram Naroji Shirole, Shyamrao Rajaram Patil-Shirole, Bhagwantrao Rajaram Patil-Shirole and Ganpatrao Rajaram Patil-Shirole are original owners. All the four have expired and their 25 successors had filed a regular civil suit in the small causes court, Pune for the property and rent arrears. The plaintiffs' case is that the original owners entered into a registered indenture of lease in favour of DES for a period of 99 years commencing on July 1, 1891 on an yearly rent of Rs 570. The lease expired on June 30, 1990. The matter is pending in the small causes court.

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