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Adivkppa BIn Nagappa Arsingadi Vs. Tontappa BIn Tippanna Ranganwar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1920)ILR64Bom255
AppellantAdivkppa BIn Nagappa Arsingadi
RespondentTontappa BIn Tippanna Ranganwar and ors.
Excerpt:
hindu law - reversioner--widow's estate--acceleration--deed of gift by widow in favour of a daughter--stipulation for maintenance of the widow for her life time--nature of the transaction whether acceleration or alienation. - - '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. 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......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 of january, 1914, leaving a daughter who died on the 31st of 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 luxmava's interest as the nearest reversioner at, the lime, 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.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, 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 of January, 1914, leaving a daughter who died on the 31st of 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 Luxmava's interest as the nearest reversioner at, the Lime, 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 Lasnxava by Shidava was an acceleration of Shidava'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 Shidava'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 Shidava 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 Shidava 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 (1891) 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 check on the frequency of such conveyances. In Moti Raiji v. Laldas Jebhai (1916) 41 Bom. 93, 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 coxae 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 Alur Gyawal (1891) 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. But I agree with what was said in Sriramulu Naidu v. Andalammal (l906) 30 Mad. 140 . 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, Raghavalu 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 determinable with reference to the rules of Hindu law, governing transfers by qualified female proprietors.'

5. It seems to urn 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 it 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 Shidava 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 Shidava. 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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