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Bai Chanchal Vs. Chimanlal Chunilal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 165 of 1927
Judge
Reported inAIR1928Bom238; (1928)30BOMLR685
AppellantBai Chanchal
RespondentChimanlal Chunilal
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....a pilgrimage can be allowed provided they are a small fraction of the whole estate and are for the spiritual benefit of the deceased husband or father.;sardar singh v. kunj behari lal (1922) l.r. 49 i.a. 383, s.c. 25 bom. l.r. 648, followed.;pilgrimages in general regarded as spiritual aots are not absolutely necessary bud only at the most commendable; and while the courts do not disallow any expenditure reasonable under the circumstances out of the estate, they will scrutinise with care such expenditure particularly where it relates to distant pilgrimages the expenses of which are not essential considering the residence of the parties and the custom of the caste.; the cort did not award interest on expenses incurred on pilgrimage. - - the plaintiff's appeal to the district court..........being vaishnava banias, the expenditure of the pilgrimage to mathura was also allowed against the estate, pilgrimages in general regarded as spiritual acts are not absolutely necessary but only at the most commendable; and while the courts do not disallow any expenditure reasonable under the circumstances out of the estate, they will also scrutinise with care such expenditure particularly where it relates to distant pilgrimages, the expenses of which are not essential considering the residence of the parties and the custom of the caste. obviously a pilgrimage by a gujarat vaishnava to dakore or by a maratha to pandharpur stands on a different footing to a pilgrimage by either to benares or to rameshwar, if i may say so without disrespect to the, orthodox hindu view emphasised by.....
Judgment:

Madgavkar, J.

1. The plaintiff-appellant, a Hindu widow, started for a pious pilgrimage all over India with a lady called Navi Kaki, the father's mother of the minor defendants-respondents Nos. 1 and 2 and the mother-in-law of their mother defendant-respondent No. 3. The plaintiff brought this suit to recover expenses alleged by her to have been incurred during the pilgrimage on account of Navi Kaki on the ground that respondent No. 3 the widow was managing the estate of the minors respondents Nos. 1 and 2 and had promised to reimburse her the amount with interest. The trial Court, after going carefully into the accounts and all the items, held that respondent No. 3 had promised to pay the amount but that no agreement to pay interest was proved and no interest was claimable. It also held that while a portion of the expenditure was incurred for the spiritual benefit of the deceased father of the minors and could be decreed against the estate, the remainder was not and could only be decreed against respondent No. 3 personally. The plaintiff's appeal to the District Court failed. She appeals to this Court. The principle on which expenditure of this character is good as against the estate has been laid down in a series of cases by their Lordships of the Privy Council such as Sardar Singh v. Kunj Behari Lal . Two conditions are essential. The expenditure should be a small fraction of the whole estate and must be for as the spiritual benefit of the deceased husband or father. In the present case there is not very much evidence as to the extent of the entire estate. As regards the second element, the learned Subordinate Judge has allowed expenditure for the pilgrimage to Pandharpur on the ground that Navi Kaki was accompanied there by the minor sons defendants-respondents Nos. 1 and 2 and that the latter performed shraddha for the spiritual benefit of their deceased father. Similarly the parties being Vaishnava Banias, the expenditure of the pilgrimage to Mathura was also allowed against the estate, Pilgrimages in general regarded as spiritual acts are not absolutely necessary but only at the most commendable; and while the Courts do not disallow any expenditure reasonable under the circumstances out of the estate, they will also scrutinise with care such expenditure particularly where it relates to distant pilgrimages, the expenses of which are not essential considering the residence of the parties and the custom of the caste. Obviously a pilgrimage by a Gujarat Vaishnava to Dakore or by a Maratha to Pandharpur stands on a different footing to a pilgrimage by either to Benares or to Rameshwar, if I may say so without disrespect to the, orthodox Hindu view emphasised by Mookerjee J. in Khub Lal Singh v. Ajodhya Misser I.L.R. (1915) Cal. 574. In the present case the pilgrimage was not by the widow or the son but was by the mother of the deceased. Her authority to act for the spiritual benefit of her deceased son is not on the same footing as a similar act by the widow or by the minor sons would have been. The expenditure now claimed as regards the pilgrimage to distant places is not shown to be a small portion of the estate. Under these circumstances I think it was rightly disallowed by the lower Courts.

2. As regards interest, the lower Courts have held that no agreement to pay interest is proved. It cannot be said to be necessarily implied in the case of ventures of joint pilgrimages such as the present. Their thoughts presumably would be directed more towards the spiritual benefit which they hoped to get rather than the expenditure which they would find necessary to incur. And although the Courts have doubtless power nevertheless to allow interest, I see no sufficient reason, in the absence of an agreement to pay, to award the appellant interest.

3. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed.

4. No order as to costs.


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