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Palur Pullamma Vs. N. Venkata Subbaiah - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCase Referred Nos. 42 of 1959 and 25 of 1960
Judge
Reported inAIR1963AP93
ActsGuardians and Wards Act, 1890 - Sections 9, 9(3) and 14
AppellantPalur Pullamma
RespondentN. Venkata Subbaiah
Appellant AdvocateC. Padmanabha Reddy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateC.V. Kanyakaprasad, Adv.
Excerpt:
family - jurisdiction of court - sections 9 and 14 of guardians and wards act, 1890 - two persons appointed as guardian of minor - institution of suit by them in different courts - appeal to decide competent court having jurisdiction - held, suit to be disposed of by district judge under whose jurisdiction minor resided. - .....1959 on the file of the district court, anantapur, i. e., for discharging venkatasubbayya as the minor's guardian and to constitute her as the sole guardian, both of the person and property.4. since simultaneous proceedings were started in different courts, both the district judges invoked section 14 of the guardians and wards act. that is how the matter comes up before us.5. before we answer the question referred to us, it is necessary to read section 14.(1) if proceedings for the appointment or declaration of a guardian of a minor are taken in more courts than one, each of those courts shall, on being apprised of the proceedings in the other court or courts, stay the proceedings before itself. (2) if the courts are both or all subordinate to the same high court, they shall report the.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddy, C.J.

1. The District Judges of Kurnool and Anantapur have referred this matter under Section 14 of the Guardians and Wards Act (VIII of 1890) in the following circumstances.

2. One Palur Venkatasubbayya died on 12-2-1957 leaving behind him his first and third wives, two daughters and a son by the third wife, the second wife having predeceased him. Two days before his death, he executed his fast will and testament by and under which he made provision for the marriages of his two daughters, maintenance for his two wives and bequeathed the rest of his properties to his minor son, who was then five years old. Under the will he constituted the mother of the minor, i. e., the third wife and his first wife's brother, Venkatasubbayya, as the guardians of the minor. There was a direction in the will

'that the second guardian, Venkatasubbayya, should co-operate with the first guardian, Pullamma, and on her advice should, if necessary, get the promissory notes, mortgage deeds etc. renewed now and then so that they might not be time-barred and obtain fresh deeds in the name of the minor'.

There was a further direction in the will that the said Venkatasubbayya should maintain proper accounts relating to the amounts spent in filing suits in Courts etc., and collecting debts and that he should produce his accounts before the testator's father-in-law, the minor's maternal grand-father, Karanatakam Ramappa, merchant at Yadiki village and one C. V. Subrahmanyam, the manager M. M. Company, Rayalacheruvu.

3. Subsequently, misunderstandings arose between the mother of the minor, i. e., the first guardian, and the second guardian, Venkatasubbayya. Consequent upon it, Venkatasubbayya initiated proceedings in the District Court, Kurnool under Sections 7, 10 and 39 of the Guardians and Wards Act for the removal of the first guardian and to allow him to continue as the sole guardian. A similar relief was claimed by the mother of the minor in O. P. No. 6 of 1959 on the file of the District Court, Anantapur, i. e., for discharging Venkatasubbayya as the minor's guardian and to constitute her as the sole guardian, both of the person and property.

4. Since simultaneous proceedings were started in different Courts, both the District Judges invoked Section 14 of the Guardians and Wards Act. That is how the matter comes up before us.

5. Before we answer the question referred to us, it is necessary to read Section 14.

(1) if proceedings for the appointment or declaration of a guardian of a minor are taken in more Courts than one, each of those Courts shall, on being apprised of the proceedings in the other Court or Courts, stay the proceedings before itself.

(2) If the Courts are both or all subordinate to the same High Court, they shall report the case to the High Court, and the High Court shall determine in which of the Courts the proceedings with respect to the appointment or declaration of a guardian of the minor shall be had.

6. We are unconcerned with Sub-section (3) and therefore we need not notice it.

7. The sole question to which we have to address ourselves is as to in which of the Courts the proceedings should be launched. Since Section 9 also has in impact on the point to be decided by us, we shall quote it in here in extenso.

(1) If the application is with respect to the guardianship of the person of the minor, it shall be made to the District Court having jurisdiction in the place where the minor ordinarily resides.

(2) If the application is with respect to the gurdianship of the property of the minor, it may he made either to the District Court having jurisdiction in the place where the minor ordinarily resides or to a District Court having jurisdiction in a place where he has property.

(3) If an application with respect to the guardianship of the property of a minor is made to a District Court other than that having jurisdiction in the place where the minor ordinarily resides, the Court may return the application if, in its opinion, the application would be disposed of more justly or conveniently by any other District Court having jurisdiction'.

8. It is argued by Sri Kanyakaprasad, learned counsel for the respondent in both the references, that in the case of appointment of guardian to the property of the minor, Section 14 does not come into operation and one of the District Judges before whom these proceedings are pending could exercise his discretion under Section 9(3).

9. We do not think that there is any substance in this submission. Section 9(3) obviously would apply to a situation where the proceedings are pending in one Court but does not contemplate the case of simultaneous proceedings in different courts. We are unable to subscribe to the view which Sri Kanyakaprasad sought to press upon us, namely, that Section 14 governs only cases of applications for appointment of guardian to the person of the minor. Section 14 is in general language and is not restricted to applications for appointment or declaration of a guardian to the person of the minor. It takes in also an application for appointment of guardian to the property of a minor. The moment there are simultaneous proceedings, the section is attracted. For these reasons, we hold that the references under Section 14 are competent and this Court has jurisdiction to decide the question.

10. The only point that survives is as to which of the two courts should be conveniently chosen for settlement of the dispute. It looks to us that the application could be disposed of more conveniently by the District Judge, Anantapur, for various reasons. The minor resided within the jurisdiction of the District Court, Anantapur. Apart from his mother and all relations, two of the persons, Ramappa and C. V. Subrahrnanayam who are to supervise the accounts maintained by the respondents are residents of Yadiki and Rayalacheruvu respectively lying within the jurisdiction of Anantapur District. It is seen from the will that Venkatasubbayya the testator, was the resident of Yadiki village, though his properties are in Kurnool District. It is also admitted that most of the debtors of the estate belong to Anantapur District.

11. For these reasons, we direct that the applicationbe disposed of by the District Judge, Anantapur. The references are answered accordingly. The respondent willpay the costs of the Petitioner in reference No. 25/60.Advocate's fee is fixed at Rs. 50/-.


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