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Dattatraya Govind Vs. Vaman Ramkrishna - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1227 of 1947
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Bom362; (1950)52BOMLR283; ILR1950Bom358
ActsHindu Law
AppellantDattatraya Govind
RespondentVaman Ramkrishna
Appellant AdvocateV.J. Gharpure, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateP.V. Kane, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....facts that are necessary to be stated for the determination of this point are very few. shankar clearly lays down that on an adoption the adopted son would divest the estate which has gone to a collateral. if govind's estate had gone to a collateral, then the plaintiff could have unsuccessfully, on his adoption, divested that estate......coparcener and he died leaving no male issue and no widow. thereupon his mother, gangabai, adopted anant to her husband, and the privy council specifically states that thereby the joint family was continued and the disruption of the joint family was avoided. anant having been brought into the family of his brother and father, he divested shankar of the property which had gone to him as the heir of keshav, shankar being a collateral who had succeeded to the property to keshav.[3] now, turning to the facts here, we are concerned with the estate of kashinath, and the most important distinguishing feature between this case and that of anant v. shankar is that it is not to kashinath that the plaintiff has been adopted. therefore, the joint hindu family was disrupted on the death of.....
Judgment:

[1] This appeal raises a short but rather interesting question of Hindu law of adoption, and the facts that are necessary to be stated for the determination of this point are very few. Raoji, Waman and Balaji and Balaji's son, Kashinath constituted a joint and undivided Hindu family, and Kashinath was the sole surviving coparcener. He died on 2nd August 1922. Kashinath left certain watan properties and also non-watan properties. The non-watan properties went to the widow of a collateral, Laxmibai, the collateral being Govind, and the watan properties went to the male heirs of Kashinath who are defendants 1, 2, 3 and 4. Laxmibai adopted the plaintiff as a son to her husband on 14th March 1937, and the question that arises is whether on plaintiff's adoption he divests the estate which was vested in defendants 1, 2, 3 and 4.

[2] Mr. Gharpure has urged that Anant v. Shankar clearly lays down that on an adoption the adopted son would divest the estate which has gone to a collateral. Mr. Gharpure has further pointed out that the recent Full Bench decision of this Court in Jivaji Annaji v. Hanmant Ramchandra : AIR1950Bom360 only places one limitation upon the rights of the adopted son and that limitation is based upon the case of Bhubaneshwari Debi v. Nilkomul Lahiri 12 I. A. 137 : 12 Cal. 18 , viz., that if the property has passed from the collateral to the collateral's heirs and the adopted son is adopted after the death of the collateral, then cannot divest the property which has gone to the heirs of the collateral. It is important to note what were the facts on which the Privy Council decided Anant v. Shankar . As the pedigree at p. 4 shows, Keshav was the last surviving coparcener and he died leaving no male issue and no widow. Thereupon his mother, Gangabai, adopted Anant to her husband, and the Privy Council specifically states that thereby the joint family was continued and the disruption of the joint family was avoided. Anant having been brought into the family of his brother and father, he divested Shankar of the property which had gone to him as the heir of Keshav, Shankar being a collateral who had succeeded to the property to Keshav.

[3] Now, turning to the facts here, we are concerned with the estate of Kashinath, and the most important distinguishing feature between this case and that of Anant v. Shankar is that it is not to Kashinath that the plaintiff has been adopted. Therefore, the joint Hindu family was disrupted on the death of Kashinath and was not continued or revived by a son being adopted to either Kashinath or to his father. The plaintiff has been adopted not to Kashinath but to a collateral of his, viz., Govind and what has been urged before me is that by the adoption of the plaintiff to Govind he divests not the estate of Govind which may have passed to a collateral, but the estate of Kashinath which has gone to a collateral. The case of Anant v. Shankar would have applied if we were considering the estate of Govind, the father of the plaintiff. If Govind's estate had gone to a collateral, then the plaintiff could have unsuccessfully, on his adoption, divested that estate. The plaintiff is not claiming the estate of his father ; he is claiming the estate of a collateral which has passed to his heirs who are also collaterals. In the Full Bench decision we pointed out that it would be dangerous to extend the principle of Anant v. Shankar . What Mr. Gharpure is asking me to do is not only to extend that principle further, but to extend it almost in a revolutionary manner. I see no reason why the Privy Council decision compels me to come to the conclusion for which Mr. Gharpure is contending.

[4] The result is that I must uphold the view of the lower appellate Court that the adoption of the plaintiff did not divest the watan lands which had vested in the collaterals of Kashinath. The appeal, therefore, fails and must be dismissed with costs.

[5] Appeal dismissed.


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