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Patell Thimma Reddi and anr. Vs. Lakkireddigari Chinna Ranga Reddi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1947Mad65; (1946)2MLJ213
AppellantPatell Thimma Reddi and anr.
RespondentLakkireddigari Chinna Ranga Reddi and ors.
Cases Referred and Onkar v. Kisan Singh
Excerpt:
- .....a first marriage.4. the question whether the expenses of the second marriage can be regarded as a family necessity was considered by venkataramana rao, j., in nataraja dikshitar v. mahaganapathi dikshitar : air1942mad517 . in that case the joint family consisted of two brothers aged 13 and 9 years respectively. the elder brother married, but his wife died soon afterwards. while he was still a minor his mother arranged a second marriage for him and to meet the expenses, she executed a usufructuary mortgage. the mortgagee leased the property back to the family, but as the rent agreed upon was not paid, he sued to eject the brothers who contended that as the mortgage was created for the expenses of the second marriage, it was not binding on the family. the learned judge accepted this.....
Judgment:

Alfred Lionel Leach, C.J.

1. The question which the Court is called upon to decide in this case is whether the expenses of a second marriage of a member of a joint family are binding on the family estate.

2. The first defendant was married in 1924 and by this wife he had a son. She died and he married again when the son by his first wife was about 7 years of age. For the expenses of the second marriage, he borrowed money and in order to repay the debt he alienated property belonging to himself and his two younger brothers, with whom he was joint. The youngest brother challenged the validity of the alienation. The trial Court (the Court of the District Munsiff of Gooty) and the first appellate Court (the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Anantapur) held that the alienation was not binding on the shares of the younger brothers. The alienee now asks for the decision of this Court.

3. In Kameswara Sastriv. Veeracharlu : (1910)20MLJ855 , a Bench of this Court held that marriage was one of the necessary samskaras or religious rites and that the expenses of the marriage of a coparcener constituted a legal necessity. It mattered not whether the family were Sudras or of one of the twice-born classes. The necessity was justified as an alienation by the manager, not in the sense that it was absolutely indispensable, but according to Hindu ideas it would be regarded as reasonableand proper. This decision related to a first marriage.

4. The question whether the expenses of the second marriage can be regarded as a family necessity was considered by Venkataramana Rao, J., in Nataraja Dikshitar v. Mahaganapathi Dikshitar : AIR1942Mad517 . In that case the joint family consisted of two brothers aged 13 and 9 years respectively. The elder brother married, but his wife died soon afterwards. While he was still a minor his mother arranged a second marriage for him and to meet the expenses, she executed a usufructuary mortgage. The mortgagee leased the property back to the family, but as the rent agreed upon was not paid, he sued to eject the brothers who contended that as the mortgage was created for the expenses of the second marriage, it was not binding on the family. The learned Judge accepted this contention. He said that there could be no justification for the second marriage of a minor. Even in the case of an adult it could not be regarded as an obligation.

5. A similar view was taken in Onkar v. Kisan Singh . The appellant contends that regard should not be had to this case because the coparcener who married-was then between 40 and 45 years of age and it was his fourth marriage. The learned Judge who heard the appeal did not base his decision merely on these facts. He examined the texts and found that they did not regard re-marriage as essential.

6. For the appellant great reliance has been placed on the judgment of the Allahabad High Court in Bhagirathi v. Jokhuram Upadhia I.L.R. (1910) All. 575, where an alienation to meet the expenses of the second marriage of a Hindu widower was regarded as an alienation for a lawful necessity binding on the widower's son by his first wife. The widower was 28 years of age and the son was nine years of age. The decision was based largely on the age of the widower and the fact that he had a young son. It was, however, accepted that every second marriage could not be regarded as a legal necessity. We are not prepared to follow this case. We consider that the correct principle was applied in Nataraja Dikshitar v. Mahaganapathi Dikshitar : AIR1942Mad517 and Onkar v. Kisan Singh .

7. The first marriage of a Hindu is a sacrament and an initiatory ceremony. The second marriage is not. Religious rites which are required to be performed in the married state can be performed by a widower by virtue of his first marriage. It may be very desirable in the circumstances in which he finds himself for a widower to marry again, but as neither his personal law nor his religion require him to contract a second marriage, it is difficult to see what justification there can be for saddling the expenses of the second marriage on the family estate. If he wishes to re-marry, the expenses incurred should in fairness come out of his own assets and if he has no separate property, out of his share in the family estate.

8. We dismiss the appeal with costs.


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