S.R. Das Gupta, C.J.
1. The question raised in this appeal is whether or not an alienation by natural guardian to pay the barred debts of the father of the minor is binding on the interests of the minor. It arises in this way. The plaintiffs arc the two brothers of the minor. The father of the minor had mortgaged the property in question some time in 1920. The minor was born on 15-7-1930. Some time before 1937--the exact date is not known -- the father died On his death his widow Siddi became the natural guardian of the minor. On 15-7-1937 the said Siddi executed a sale deed whereby she transferred the property in question in favour of the Appellant before us for the total sum of RS. 300/-.
Out of the said sum of Rs. 300/-, Rs. 200/-were paid to discharge the debt payable by the minor's father on the mortgage which, as I have already mentioned, was executed in the year 1920. That debt was on the date of the said sale already barred. Rs. 100/- were sought to have been utilised for the maintenance and other necessities of the minor. The present suit has been instituted by the other two brothers of the minor for setting aside the said transaction. The first Court held that the payment of the sum of Rs. 100/- was not supported by any legal necessity but the payment of the sum of Rs. 200/- was for legal necessity.
The lower appellate Court, however, took the view that the transaction was not for legal necessity and on that view decreed the suit and set aside the judgment of the trial Court. I should have mentioned that the findings of both the Courts are that it has not been established satisfactorily that Rs. 100/- were utilised or paid for any legal necessity. The present appeal has been filed against the decision of the lower appellate Court.
2. Before us the learned Advocate appearing for the appellant contended that the view taken by the lower appellate Court was wrong. He urged that the natural guardian has always the power to transfer property of the minor to pay even the barred debts of the father of the minor. The learned Advocate stated that there is no decision directly on the point. He, however, relied on certain decisions of the Calcutta High Court and Allahabad High Court in support of his aforesaid proposition, viz., Tulshi Prasad v. Jagmohan Lal, : AIR1934All1048 , Ashutosh v. Chidam Mondal : AIR1930Cal351 and Gajadhar v. Jagannath AIR 1924 All 551 (FB) (C).
In our opinion, the contention of the learned Advocate for the Appellant cannot be accepted as sound. The lower appellate Court, in our opinion, took a right view of the legal position in the matter. If the minor after attaining majority was not bound to pay off the 'barred debts of his father we see no principle on which the guardian can compel the minor during his minority to pay the said amount. The cases cited by the learned Advocate for the Appellant do not, in our opinion, touch the present question.
Those cases relate to the power of a Hindu widow to transfer the property of her husband which she had inherited in order to pay off the husband's debts. It has been held by the Calcutta High Court and that view has been accepted by the High Court of Allahabad that the payment of the debt of the husband was a pious obligation on the part of the widow which she was bound to discharge. In our opinion, it cannot be said that the same principle would apply to the case of an alienation by the natural guardian of the minor's property. It has been laid down in. Mayne's Hindu Law, ll th edition at page 770;
'The obligation of a widow taking her husband's property to pay his debts has been held to be a pious duty coming under the head of religious benefit'. The learned author continues : 'Of course, there could be no such duty where the debts were contracted for immoral purposes or where they were repudiated by the husband during his lifetime. It was formerly held that where the debts were already barred by lapse of time, she could not burden or dispose of the estate for their discharge and this is certainly the law as regards an ordinary manager of the family.'
The learned Advocate for the Respondents pointed out to us that under the Hindu Law a widow can transfer the widow's estate not merely for legal necessity but for other reasons; one of such reasons being religious or charitable purposes. But in the case of the natural guardian of a minor such a guardian can only alienate the property for legal necessity and for no other purpose. That being the position, we are clearly of opinion that the contention of the Appellant must fail.
3. The result, therefore, is that this appeal is dismissed with costs.
4. Appeal dismissed.