until and unless all the other co-owners are not impleaded, the suit shall not be maintainable

Laxmishankar Harishankar Bhatt vs Yashram Vasta (Dead) By L.Rs. (Supreme Court of India)

13. A careful reading of above clearly discloses that there is no clear averment as to who are the co-owners and what exactly is the nature of right claimed by them. A vague statement of this character, in our considered opinion, could hardly be sufficient to nonsuit the appellant on the ground of non-joinder of parties. We are unable to comprehend as to how the trial court had come to the conclusion that the executants of the sale deed dated 12.2.1968 could not pass a full title when itself points out that the shares of the other co-owners were not known. May be the appellant took the stand that it was not necessary to implead others but that does not mean the appellant is liable to be non-suited. The stand of the appellant is consistent with his case that he has come to acquire the entire ownership of the suit property. Therefore, the courts should have insisted on some material or record as to the existence of other co-owners and their rights pertaining to suit properties. In juxtaposition to revenue record, there must be some worthwhile evidence for the court to conclude that there are other co-owners. Genealogical tree filed along with the written statement cannot point to the existence of co-owners without specific evidence in this regard. Such an evidence is totally lacking in this case. Therefore, we find it equally impossible to accept the finding of the High Court when it endorsed the view of the trial court in this regard. Accordingly, we conclude that in the absence of a specific finding as to whether there are other co-owners and how they are necessary parties, the suit could not have been dismissed for non-joinder of necessary parties. On this conclusion, we think it is unnecessary to go into the legal aspect as to whether in the absence of other co-owners, one co-owner could maintain a suit.

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