1. The question in this appeal is whether a widow's right to live in two rooms in the family house can be made the subject of attachment and sale in execution of a decree against her. The decision reported in Salakshi v. Lakshmayee : (1908)18MLJ571 was relied upon in the courts below in favour of the proposition that no such attachment and sale could be made. This contention was upheld by the District Munsif but has been rejected by the learned District Judge on the grounds that the facts here were quite different from the facts dealt with in Salakshi v. Lakshmayee : (1908)18MLJ571 .
2. There is no doubt a considerable distinction which can be drawn between the facts here and the facts in Salakshi v. Lakshmayee : (1908)18MLJ571 . In Salakshi v. Lakshmayee : (1908)18MLJ571 the family were still living in the family house and part of the argument of the decision was that if the attachment and sale of the widow's right of residence were permitted, the result would be to introduce a stranger into the house, a contingency which Hindu Law cannot possibly have contemplated. In the present case on the other hand, the attaching creditor has himself already purchased the house and the widow has, subsequent to the date of his purchase, obtained a decree as against him declaring her right to reside in two of the rooms. It is argued that considerations of the convenience of the family need no longer stand in the way of the attachment of the widow's rights. There is no doubt this distinction between the two cases but it must be pointed out that in Salakshi v. Lakshmayee : (1908)18MLJ571 considerations of inconvenience to the family were not the only reasons for the decision. The decision also depended upon an analysis of the nature of the widow's right. That analysis concludes with the words-'the interest is therefore obviously one restricted in its enjoyment to her'. These are the very words to be found in Section 6(d) of the Transfer of Property Act where it is enacted that 'an interest in property restricted in its enjoyment to the owner personally cannot be transferred by him'. And when that sub-section is read in conjunction with Section 60 of the Civil Procedure Code it will be seen that any such interests cannot be the subject of an attachment. It seems therefore to me that the ruling in Salakshi v. Lakshmayee : (1908)18MLJ571 can be applied to the facts of this case, and it is binding upon me.
3. I need only make a brief reference to another decision upon which reliance has been placed by the learned Advocate for the Respondent, namely, Ramanathan v. Rangammal I.L.R.(1888) 12 Mad. 260 (F.B.). That case and another case which followed it, Jayanti Subbiah v. Alamelu Mangamma : (1902)12MLJ270 dealt with decrees obtained by creditors against the joint Hindu family and the selling of the family house in execution of those decrees; and it was held in both cases that the right of a female member of the family to reside in the house had to give way before the right of the creditor to take the whole house in execution of his decree. It is argued before me that these decisions amount to an assertion that a widow's right to residence is something which can be alienated. But that does not appear to me the right way of looking at the matter. 1 here is no alienation 01 a widow's right of residence. What happens is that on the execution of the decree against her family it becomes entirely extinguished. The result is that this appeal must be allowed with costs throughout.