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Tirlok Tiwari Vs. NaraIn Das - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1907)ILR29All4
AppellantTirlok Tiwari
RespondentNaraIn Das
Excerpt:
.....unchastity does not in law entail a cessation of the tie of kindred between her and the members of her natural family or between her and the members of her husband's family......the madras high court. the question in those passes was who under the hindu law was the heir to a degraded woman, whether it was one who was also degraded or one who was not degraded, and it was held that the former had the preference. the particular question before us was not considered or determined in those cases. it is true that in the case of tara munnee dossea v. motee buneanee (1846) 7 sel. rep., page 273 the pandit of the sudder court stated that the relation of a married and respectable daughter to the outcaste mother had been severed, but he cited no authority. the question before us directly arose and was considered by the madras high court in the case of subbaraya pillai v. ramasami pillai and anr. (1899) i.l.r., 23 mad., 171. in that case a person who was the son of the.....
Judgment:

Banerji and Aikman, JJ.

1. This appeal arises out of an application made fay the first respondent for execution of a decree obtained by Musammat Samundra Kuar against the appellant Babu Narain Das. She was the wife of the respondent Tirlok Tiwari, but left him fifteen or sixteen years ago and became a prostitute. The decree was obtained by her after she had left her husband the respondent. She having died, the respondent claims as her legal representative to execute the decree. The application was opposed by the appellant, judgment-debtor, on the ground that the unchastity and degradation of Musammat Samundra Kuar severed the tie of relationship between herself and her husband and that consequently he was not her heir and not entitled to make the application. This objection prevailed in the Court of first instance, but was overruled by the lower appellate Court. The judgment-debtor appeals and repeats the objection put forward by him in the Courts below. The first, second and third pleas taken in the memorandum of appeal raise the issue as to whether the respondent was in fact the husband of the deceased. These have been disposed of by a finding in favour of the respondent upon an issue referred to the lower Court. The only question with which we have now to deal is whether the degradation of Musammat Samundra Kuar had the effect of dissolving the tie of relationship between her and the respondent. The learned vakil for the appellant relies upon a passage on page 878 of Mayne's Hindu Law, sixth edition, where the learned author says: 'Want of chastity causing a woman to become degraded and outcaste, has been held to sever the tie of kindred between herself and her own natural family, and a fortiori between herself and her husband's family, so that if she dies leaving property acquired by her while degraded and outcaste, none but those who had fallen into a similar position could claim to be her heirs. If this principle is sound, the converse of the proposition ought equally to apply, if a degraded female was claiming as heir to one who was undegraded.' Mr. Mayne admits that he is not aware of any native authority on the point, but bases his remarks on a judgment of the Calcutta High Court in In the goods of Kaminey Money Bewah (1894) I.L.R., 21 Calc., 697. He does not pronounce any opinion of his own whether this proposition is or is not Bound. In that case Sale, J., held that where a woman becomes degraded and an outcaste the tie of kindred between herself and her own natural family or her husband's family ceases. With all deference to the learned Judge we are unable to agree with this view. No authority from the texts of Hindu Law has been cited in the judgment in support of it. The learned Judge relies on the case of Tara Munnee Dossea v. Motee Buneanee (1846) 7 Sel. Rep., page 273 and two decisions of the Madras High Court. The question in those passes was who under the Hindu Law was the heir to a degraded woman, whether it was one who was also degraded or one who was not degraded, and it was held that the former had the preference. The particular question before us was not considered or determined in those cases. It is true that in the case of Tara Munnee Dossea v. Motee Buneanee (1846) 7 Sel. Rep., page 273 the Pandit of the Sudder Court stated that the relation of a married and respectable daughter to the outcaste mother had been severed, but he cited no authority. The question before us directly arose and was considered by the Madras High Court in the case of Subbaraya Pillai v. Ramasami Pillai and Anr. (1899) I.L.R., 23 Mad., 171. In that case a person who was the son of the husband of a degraded woman by another wife claimed to be her heir. It was held that the step-son was the heir. If the step-son is an heir to a degraded woman a fortiori her husband is also her heir. In the case last mentioned Subrahmania Ayyar and Boddam, JJ., held in a lucid and well reasoned judgment that 'prostitution does not sever the legal relation and therefore the degradation of a woman in consequence of her unchastity does not in law entail a cessation of the tie of kindred between her and the members of her natural family or between her and the members of her husband's family.' With this judgment we are in full accord. It is also consistent with what was decided by this Court in the case of Bisheshar v. Mata Ghulam, N.W.P., H.C. Rep., 1870, p. 300. In that case it was held 'that the degradation of the husband from caste does not dissolve the marriage tie.' On the principles laid down in that case the converse equally applies, and the degradation of a wife cannot sever the tie of relationship. In the case of Musammat Ganga Jati v. Ghasita (1875) I.L.R., 1 All., 46 a Full Bench of this Court, held 'that unchastity in a woman does not incapacitate her from inheriting stridhan.' This is an authority against the view that unchastity and degradation dissolve the tie of relations hip between the degraded woman and her family. It is true that an unchaste wife cannot inherit property, but that is because, under the Mitakshara Law it is only a chaste wife who can inherit to her husband or obtain maintenance. By her degradation a woman does not cease to be a Hindu unless she becomes a convert to some other religion, and therefore the rule of succession to her property would be the ordinary rule of Hindu Law. In the present case we are not aware of any authority of Hindu Law, nor has any been cited to us, in support of the proposition the appellant contends for. As Musammat Samundra Kuar did not leave any heir nearer than the respondent, the latter is her legal representative and as such competent to apply for execution of the decree obtained by her. The appeal fails and we dismiss it with costs.


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