1. The plaintiffs l and 2 are a daughter and daughter's son respectively of one Linge Gowda by his widow Chikkamma. Both Linge Gowda and Chikkamma are dead. Linge Gowda had another brother Kempe Gowda, who died after him without issue long before the introduction of Act 10 of 1933, the Hindu Law Women's Bights Act. The heirs to his properties, then were according to Mitakshara Law P. Lingegowda and Nanjegowda, fathers of defendants 3. and 2, and defendant 3 respectively, as also the-father of defendant 4. It appears that P. Lingegowda, Nanje Gowda, Boregowda, father of defendant 4 and one Lingegowda, uncle of defendant 4, entered into a settlement with Chikkamma. By that settlement which is evidenced by a document dated 6-1-1919 some of the properties which had been owned by Kempe Gowda were left in the possession of Chikkamma to be enjoyed by her during her lifetime and the other properties of Kempegowda were taken over by Linge Gowda and others.
The plaintiffs brought a suit in the Court of the Munsiff, Mandya, for recovery of possession of the plaint schedule properties which belonged to Kempegowda on the ground that they were the nearer heirs of Kempegowda than the defendants and could claim them after Chikkamma's death in 1948 or thereabouts. Their suit was dismissed, it being held that Act 10 of 1933 could not apply to the case as Kempegowda had died before the coming into force of that Act. That decision was confirmed by the learned Subordinate Judge of Mandya on appeal.
2. For the plaintiffs Mr. Sadandaswamy, their learned Counsel, has urged that as the settlement deed of 6-1-1919 created 'a life estate' in favour of Chikkamma, the succession to the items of properties covered by the release deed at least should be given effect to in accordance with Section 4 of Act 10 of 1933 which had come into force by the time she died and that according to Section 21 of that Act the nearest heirs to Kempegowda in 1948 were the plaintiffs. For this position he has relied on a case reported in -- '48 Mys HCR 29 (A)'.
In that case it was observed that Sections 4 and 21 of the Act provide that even when the last male owner died before the Act came into force, if a limited estate of a woman followed and terminated after the Act came into force, succession to the last male owner is to be regulated by the provisions of the Act. But that was a case where the limited estate of the woman was one created or falling under Hindu Law. It was not a life interest created 'inter partes' by any document as in the present case. The present is a case where P. Lingegowda, Nanjegowda, Boregowda and Ningegowda who were at the concerned time absolute owners of Kempegowda's properties, having succeeded to them as nearer heirs, chose to give some items to Chikkamma for her enjoyment during her lifetime. She was constituted by that arrangement not the holder of a limited estate Hinder Hindu Law but a person entitled to enjoy a life interest according to the terms of the re-lease deed, the express terms of the release deed being that the properties should, alter the death of Chikkamma, revert back to the owners Lingegowda and others. The case in -- '48 Mys HCR 29 (A) has therefore no application to the present case. To hold otherwise would mean that Act 10 of 1933 can affect conveyances and transfers which had been effected by persons who were absolute owners before that Act came into force, and that could never be possible, or permissible.
3. Mr. Sadandaswamy has referred to the definition of 'limited estate' in Section 3, Clause (h) of Act 10 of 1933, as meaning 'any estate other than a full estate'. The expression 'limited estate', has been used in various places in the Act: e.g. in Sections 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. In all those places and by necessary implication it can only mean the limited estate of a woman according to the Hindu Mitakshara Law.
4. There are therefore no grounds to interferewith the judgments and decrees of the Courtsbelow. This appeal fails and is dismissed. Theparties will bear their own costs of this appeal.
5. Appeal dismissed.