Effect of death of a party after passing preliminary decree involving question of share in partition suit

Variations or changes in the shares on account of death of party/parties and other developments after the decree affecting the rights and liabilities of the parties can be determined if necessary by passing further preliminary decree or if no complicated questions are involved, the matter can be decided in the final decree proceedings itself.

This aspect of the matter has been considered in Phoolchand v. Gopal Lal, AIR 1967 SC 1470 (at p. 1473), where the Supreme Court observed thus:–

“We are of opinion that there is nothing in the Code of Civil Procedure which prohibits the passing of more than one preliminary decree if circumstances justify the same and that it may be necessary to do so particularly in partition suits when after the preliminary decree some parties die and shares of other parties are thereby augmented. We have already said that it is not disputed that in partition suits the Court can do so even after the preliminary decree is passed. It would in our opinion be convenient to the Court and advantageous to the parties, specially in partition suits, to have disputed rights finally settled and specification of shares in the preliminary decree varied before a final decree is prepared. If this is done, there is a clear determination of the rights of parties to the suit on the question in dispute and we see no difficulty in holding that in such cases there is a decree deciding these disputed rights; if so, there is no reason why a second preliminary decree correcting the shares in a partition suit cannot be passed by the Court. So far therefore as partition suits are concerned we have no doubt that if an event transpires after the preliminary decree which necessitates a change in shares, the Court can and should do so; and if there is a dispute in that behalf, the order of the Court deciding that dispute and making variation in shares specified in the preliminary decree already passed is a decree in itself which would be liable to appeal…………………………… We see no reason why in such a case, if there is dispute, it should not be decided by the Court which passed the preliminary decree, for it must not be forgotten that the suit is not over till the final decree is passed and the Court has jurisdiction to decide all disputes that may arise after the preliminary decree, particularly in a partition suit due to deaths of some of the parties.”