Gokul Prasad and Lindsay, JJ.
1. The point raised in this case is whether the pious duty of the sons to pay their father's debts can be enforced during the life-time of the father, or, in other words, have the sons the right to object to the payment of of such debts from their shares of the family property when the father is alive? It appears that one Bhagwan Singh executed a promissory note in favour of Musammat Shrimati Mangala Devi. She sued Bhagwan Singh on the promissory note and obtained a decree. She put the decree into execution and proceeded to attach a part of the family property. Bhagwan Singh's two sons Sheodan Singh and Mahendrapal Singh thereupon sued for parittion of their shares of the family property and also for a declaration that their shares in the family property were not liable to satisfy the decree obtained against their father Bhagwan Singh. The courts below have dismissed the suit so far as the declaration claimed is concerned. The learned Judge of the lower appellate court has, after considering the decisions of the various courts on the interpretation to he put on certain observations of their Lordships of the Privy Council in Sahu Ram Chandra v. Bhup Singh (1917) I.L.R. 39 All. 437, as to the existence of such liability, dismissed the appeal. The Judicial Commissioner of Oudh has, however, in the case of Bharath Singh v. Prag Singh (1917) 43 Indian Cases 291 put a plain meaning on the words of their Lordships of the Privy Council which are to the effect that such a pious obligation can only be enforced after the death of the father. We agree with this interpretation of the ruling of their Lordships of the Privy Council referred to above and we think that the court below was wrong in dismissing the plaintiffs appellants' suit for a declaration that their shares of the family property were not liable to be taken in execution q a simple money decree obtained against the father, inasmuch as their father was alive. As matters stand at present we think the plaintiffs are entitled to the declaration asked for and the creditors cannot proceed against their shares of the family property for the realization of the debts due from the father. We, therefore, modify the decree of the courts below by decreeing the plaintiffs' claim in full. The plaintiffs are entitled to their costs in all courts.