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Adiveppa Nagappa Arsingadi Vs. Toutappa Tippanna Ranganwar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Second Appeal No. 38 of 1918
Judge
Reported in(1920)22BOMLR94
AppellantAdiveppa Nagappa Arsingadi
RespondentToutappa Tippanna Ranganwar
Excerpt:
.....acceleration of the widow's estate by the gift, inasmuch as she bad not disposed of her entire life estate by the gift.;in order that an acceleration by a hindu widow of her life estate can be valid, it: is essentially necessary that the widow must withdraw her own life-estate so that the whole can get vested at once in the grantee. the necessity of the removal of the obstacle of the life estate is a practical check on the frequency of such conveyances.;behari lal v. madho lal ahir gyawal (1891) l.r. 19 i.a. 30, 32, followed.;where there is any consideration for the gift by a hindu widow of her life-estate, that will prevent it taking effect as an acceleration, and turn the transaction into an alienation. - - 'that clearly brings out the idea that for an acceleration there must be..........and costs from the defendants. the land in suit belonged originally to one shiddawa who had a life estate. on the 3rd of august 1911 she made a gift of her property to her daughter laxmava. laxmava died on the 29th january 1914, leaving a daughter who died on the 31st january 1914) leaving her husband, the plaintiff in this case, her surviving. the 1st defendant is the husband of laxmava and defendants 2 and 3 are his sons. the plaintiff's case is that shiddawa's gift to his wife and her daughter laxmava operated as a valid acceleration of laxmava's interest as the nearest reversioner at the time, and that, therefore, the property went to laxmava's daughter and from the daughter to the plaintiff, even if that daughter was married.2. the trial court dismissed the plaintiff's claim......
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The plaintiff sued to recover possession of the plaint property with past mesne profits for the year 1914-15, with future mesne profits and costs from the defendants. The land in suit belonged originally to one Shiddawa who had a life estate. On the 3rd of August 1911 she made a gift of her property to her daughter Laxmava. Laxmava died on the 29th January 1914, leaving a daughter who died on the 31st January 1914) leaving her husband, the plaintiff in this case, her surviving. The 1st defendant is the husband of Laxmava and defendants 2 and 3 are his sons. The plaintiff's case is that Shiddawa's gift to his wife and her daughter Laxmava operated as a valid acceleration of Laxmava's interest as the nearest reversioner at the time, and that, therefore, the property went to Laxmava's daughter and from the daughter to the plaintiff, even if that daughter was married.

2. The trial Court dismissed the plaintiff's claim. It found on the 3rd issue, whether the gift to Laxmava by Shiddava was an acceleration of Shiddava's estate, in the negative. The learned Judge said: 'In the end the donor makes it a condition precedent for her maintenance till death to the said bequest. The learned pleader for the plaintiff concedes (sic) that the disposition can be a valid gift under Hindu law. The only point then is whether it amounts to an acceleration of Shiddava's estate. The simple test to be applied in the present case is whether the donor could or could not maintain successfully an action on the deed of gift in case she were not maintained by the donee. I hold that she could. It, therefore, follows that Shiddava by no means disposed of her entire life estate by the execution of the deed.'

3. The decree dismissing the plaintiff's claim was set aside by the lower appellate Court which held that the acceleration under the gift of Shiddava to Laxmava was valid. The learned Judge seemed to consider that the widow who gave away her life estate in favour of the nearest reversioner, with a condition attached that the donee should maintain her, could succeed in a suit for maintenance even although the acceleration were upheld. I do not think that this argument is sound. In order that an acceleration by a Hindu widow of her life estate should be valid, it was laid down in Behari Lal v. Madho Lal Ahir Gyawal (1896) L.R. 19 IndAp 30 that it was essentially necessary that the widow should withdraw her own life-estate, so that the whole estate should get vested at once in the grantee. The necessity of the removal of the obstacle of the life-estate was a practical cheek on the frequency of such conveyances. In Moti Baiji v. Laldaa Jebhai I.L.R(1916) 41 Bom. 93 : 18 Bom. L.R. 954 Mr. Justice Beaman explained the difference between an alienation by a. widow, and acceleration by her which had the effect of putting an end to her life estate and vesting the estate in the nearest reversioner. In that case it was arranged that one-third of the property should come back to the widow and on that ground it was held that the acceleration was invalid. Mr. Justice Heaton in his judgment cited the case which I have just referred to, viz., Behari Lal v. Madho Lal Ahir Gyawal (1896) L.R. 19 IndAp 30. He went on to say: 'That clearly brings out the idea that for an acceleration there must be an absolute annihilation of the widow's interest, as complete as if she were dead.'

4. But that case does not touch the exact question which we have before us in this case. I agree with what was said in Sriramulu Naidu v. Andalammal I.L.R (1906) Mad. 145. There the widow gave the property to the nearest reversioner on certain conditions. Under it the donee had not only to provide for the maintenance of the transferor,- but had also during her life-time to pay annually to one of her dependents Rs. 84, and to maintain a charity for all time at an annual expense of Rs. 50. Further, on her death, he had to make payment on different accounts aggregating Rs. 2,400. The Judges said:

Of course, Ragtiavalu would not have been subject to any of the obligations cast upon him by the deed of gift were the property to devolve on him by inheritance in the usual course. The transaction was thus essentially an onerous gift, and therefore an alienation by her, the validity or invalidity of which was determinate with reference to the rules of Hindu Law, governing transfers by qualified female proprietors.

5. It seems to me that if there is any consideration for the gift by the widow of her life-estate, that must prevent it taking effect as an acceleration, and must turn the transaction into an alienation. That seems to me a sound logical principle to act upon, because if we were to enter into a discussion as to whether this consideration was so small that we should overlook it, then that would open the door to all sorts of discussions in later cases as to the quantum of consideration. It seems preferable to say at once that any consideration is sufficient to change the nature of the transaction from an acceleration to an alienation.

6. It has been urged before us that the donee in this case took the property with an obligation under Hindu law to maintain the donor. But it seems to me that there is a fallacy underlying that argument, because the donor Shiddava in this case had a life estate and it would not follow that because she got rid of that life estate, in favour of the nearest reversioner, that there was any obligation Under Hindu law on that nearest reversioner to maintain Shiddava. For these reasons, in my opinion, the decree of the lower appellate Court should be set aside and the decree of the trial Court made good, so that the appeal will be allowed with costs.

Heaton, J.

7. I agree.


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