1. The point for decision in this appeal is, whether a gift of an estate by a widow in possession in favour of the next reversioner, which operates as an acceleration of the estate to the latter, is vitiated by its containing a provision for the maintenance of the widow. In this case Musammat Sumera Kunwar was in possession of the estateof her husband, Ramweshar Singh, as a Hindu widow. On the 22nd April 1909 she made a gift of the entire estate to the Sole surviving daughter, Musammat Ramkali Kunwar. Musammat Ramkali obtained possession, and after her death, the estate has been taken possession of by her two sons, the respondents. The original plaintiff, Jai Mangal Singh, now represented by his sons was the son of another daughter of Rameshar Singh who was dead at the time of the gift to Musammat Ramkali. The succession having opened on the death of the latter, he claims his one-third share in the property as reversioner jointly with the defendants. His claim was decreed by the Trial Court which found that the deed in favour of Musammat Ram Kali operated as an acceleration and that, on her death the plaintiffs and the defendants were jointly entitled. The deed was attacked in both the Courts below on three grounds.
(1) That Musammat Parbati Kunwar was alive at the time of the gift.
(2) That the entire property was not included in the deed of gift.
(3) That the deed contained a provision for the maintenance of Musammat Sumera.
2. The Trial Judge rejected all three objections.
3. The learned District Judge agreed with him on the first two points, but held that the provision for maintenance vitiated the deed and that Musammat Sumera being still alive, the succession would only open on her death. It may be noted here that it has never been contended that the provision for maintenance was in any way excessive. The argument is that the mere fact of a provision for maintenance being made operates to prevent there being a surrender of the entire estate and ipso facto invalidates the deed.
4. The matter appears to us to be settled by two recent decisions of the Privy Council. The principle that an acceleration to be valid must be of the entire estate was laid down by their Lordships of the Privy Council in Rangasami Gounden v. Nachiappa Gounden 50 Ind. Cas. 498 : 42 M. 523 : 36 M.L.J. 493 : 17 A.L.J. 536 : 29 C.L.J. 539 : 21 Bom. L.R. 640 : 23 C.W.N. 777 : (1919) M.W.N. 262 : 26 M.L.R. 5 : 10 L.W. 105 : 46 I.A. 72 (P.C.). The lower Court, following a decision of the Bombay High Court, has held that any provision for maintenance is inconsistent with this principle. The Privy Council has, however, itself laid down that this is not the case. In Bhagwat Koer v. Dhanukdari Prashad Singh 53 Ind. Cas. 347 : 46 I.A. 259 : 47 C. 466 : 37 M.L.J. 513 : 17 A.L.J. 1036 : (1919) M.W N. 860 : 1 P.L.T. 1: 2 U.P.L.R. P.C.) 27 : 22 Bom. L.R. 477 : 24 C.W.N. 274 : 12 L.W. 105 (P.C) an agreement by the widow renouncing the estate and accepting maintenance for her life was held to operate as a valid surrender and to come within the Rule laid down in Rangasami's case 50 Ind. Cas. 498 : 42 M. 523 : 36 M.L.J. 493 : 17 A.L.J. 536 : 29 C.L.J. 539 : 21 Bom. L.R. 640 : 23 C.W.N. 777 : (1919) M.W.N. 262 : 26 M.L.R. 5 : 10 L.W. 105 : 46 I.A. 72 (P.C.). The same view was taken in the ease of Sureshwar Misser v. Mdheshrani Misrain 57 Ind. Cas. 325 : 47 I.A. 233 : 48 C. 100 : (1920) M.W.N. 472 : 39 M.L.J. 161 : 28 M.L.T. 154 : 2 U.P.L.R. (P.C.) 128 : 12 L.W. 461 : 18 A.I.J. 1069 : 25 C.W.N. 194 (P.C), where the widow surrendered the estate to the next reversioner, but the reversioner at the same (sic) conveyed a small portion of it back; to the widow as a provision for her maintenance. The former decision was relied on by the Madras High Court in the Full Bench ruling in Angamuthu Chetti v. Varatharajulu Chettti 53 Ind. Cas. 386 : 42 M. 854 : 37 M.L.J. 384 : 26 M.L.T. 3011 (1919) M.W.N. 716 : 11 L.W. 11 (F.B.) in which they also have held that a reasonable provision for the widow's maintenance does not affect the validity of surrender by her husband's death to the nearest reversioner. Even apart from authority, this is, we think, a reasonable view to take. The widow, so long as she is alive, is entitled to be fed and clothed and some provision for her support must be made by the persons in possession of the estate. The matter appears to us to be concluded by the Privy Council rulings to which we have already referred. We accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the decree of the lower Appellate Court and restore that of the Trial Court with costs throughout including in this Court fees on the higher scale.