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Rangbhat Ramchandrabhat Vs. Sitabai Bandbhat - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1061 of 1916
Judge
Reported inAIR1918Bom174; (1918)20BOMLR338; 45Ind.Cas.584
AppellantRangbhat Ramchandrabhat
RespondentSitabai Bandbhat
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
hindu law-self-acquired properly-conversion into joint family property- succession.;a hindu, who was living with his two sons, obtained certain self-acquired property which he treated as joint family property. one of the sons next separated from the family; and the father and the other son lived joint as before. on their death, the separated son claimed to recover the property on the footing that it was the self-acquired property of his father :-;that the property was the joint-family property of the father and his united sons; that, on the father's death, the united son took it by survivorship; and that on the latter's death his widow had a life-estate, to which the reversionary interest of the separated son had been postponed.;beaman, j. a member of a joint hindu family who has acquired..........have found, by his own volition and intention he converted it from self-acquired property into joint family property between himself and his two sons, rangbhat and bandbhat. in 1898, after the property had thus received the impress of joint family properly, rangbhat, the appellant, separated from his father and brother. in the partition, the court finds, this property was taken into calculation and rangbhat's share given him on that basis. thereafter, bandbhat and his father ramchandrabhat constituted a joint hindu family in respect of the residue of the property in their possession. on ramchandrabhat's death bandbhat took the . whole and on his death his widow, the respondent, takes a life-estate.2. the case for rangbhat is that as the property was self-acquired, it was impossible.....
Judgment:

Beaman, J.

1. The point argued in this appeal arises in this way. Ramchandrabhat, the father of the appellant and of the husband of the respondent, acquired certain property in such a manner as to make it admittedly his own self-acquired property. Thereafter, the Courts below have found, by his own volition and intention he converted it from self-acquired property into joint family property between himself and his two sons, Rangbhat and Bandbhat. In 1898, after the property had thus received the impress of joint family properly, Rangbhat, the appellant, separated from his father and brother. In the partition, the Court finds, this property was taken into calculation and Rangbhat's share given him on that basis. Thereafter, Bandbhat and his father Ramchandrabhat constituted a joint Hindu family in respect of the residue of the property in their possession. On Ramchandrabhat's death Bandbhat took the . whole and on his death his widow, the respondent, takes a life-estate.

2. The case for Rangbhat is that as the property was self-acquired, it was impossible for Ramchandrabhat by any act of volition to convert its character into that of joint family property. And he relies on the text of the Mitakshara and a decision in the Calcutta High Court: Jasoda Koer v. Sheo Pershad Singh I.L.R. (1889) Cal. 33. I am, however, of opinion that in noither case is the classification exhaustive. I see no difficulty in principle in holding, as I believe this Court has repeatedly held, that a member of a joint Hindu family who has acquired property of his own may convert it into joint family property in the ordinary sense of the term and thereafter that all the members of the family will have the same rights in it as though it had been acquired originally by their joint exertions or descended to them from a common ancestor. If there is really no difficulty in that view, then nothing is left to argue about. The facts have been found by the lower appellate Court and it is only on the ground that those facts involve a legal impossibility that Mr. Abhyankar has constructed his argument. For my part I think that that argument is altogether too technical. In the very common case of a Hindu who has acquired considerable property before the birth of any children, suppose three sons are born to him and during their life-time he deliberately associates them with himself in the enjoyment of all the property he had acquired, thus converting its character into joint family property, it is not denied that on his death they would receive it in the character of joint ancestral family property. But in such a case they acquire no interest in it merely by birth. And that is in effect exactly the case with which we are dealing here ; for although these sons may have been born at the time Ramchandrabhat obtained this property, this in my opinion makes no difference in principle. It is indeed apparently conceded that Rangbhat and Bandbhat would have inherited this property on the death of Ramchandrabhat as joint ancestral family property. But it is urged that the separation of Rangbhat from Ramchandrabhat and Bandbhat cannot in any way affect the devolution of the remaining property treated as joint family property in the hands of Ramchandrabhat and Bandbhat and that Rangbhat must, on the death of Ramchandrabhat, succeed with Bandbhat equally to all this property as joint ancestral family property. That, however, is a principle which ignores altogether the prior conversion of the property from self-acquired into joint family property, a principle to which, as I have said, this Court I believe has repeatedly given effect.

3. In this view of the case there will be no difficulty -in arriving at the conclusion reached by the lower appellate Court on the facts that the family of Ramchandrabhat, Rangbhat and Bandbhat was joint in respect of the whole of the property before the separation of Rangbhat in 1898 and thereafter that the remainder of the property possessed jointly by Ramchandrabhat and Bandbhat was taken by survivorship on the death of Ramchandrabhat by Bandbhat alone and on his death his widow would necessarily have a life-estate to which the reversionary interest of Rangbhat should be postponed.

4. That being my view, this appeal fails and should be dismissed with all costs.

Heaton, J.

5. I agree. The only point in the case, put forward by the appellant, which seemed to mo to need serious consideration was the point that whatever Ramchandrabhat had intended or attempted to do, it was impossible for him to convert his self-acquired property into joint family property of himself and his sons. This is the first time, so far as my recollection goes, that I have heard this argument put forward. But there are many cases which have been decided in this Court, and in some of them I have taken part, in which self-acquired property has boon held to be converted into joint family property ; and as an instance of this we have the case of Laldas Narandas v. Motibai : (1908)10BOMLR175 . As I am quite clear in my own mind that the practice of this Court for many years has been to recognise the possibility of converting self-acquired into joint family property, I do not propose to deal with the argument that this supposed possibility is contrary to the principles of Hindu law. I do not think it is contrary to the principles of Hindu law ; but having regard to the practice of this Court I do not think it is necessary to elaborate the reasons for which I think so. I think the appeal should be dismissed with costs.


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