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Palaniswami Chettiar Vs. Chitraputhran Chettiar, Nearest Reversioner and L.R. of Deceased and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1947Mad126; (1946)2MLJ275
AppellantPalaniswami Chettiar
RespondentChitraputhran Chettiar, Nearest Reversioner and L.R. of Deceased and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....defendant in the case. the marriage took place at travancore and is governed by the travancore nayar regulation (ii of 1100). pechiappan died on 6th january, 1941, leaving no issue and it would appear that gomathi ammal was in possession of the property belonging to pechiappan. arunachalathammal, the vellala wife, filed the present suit for a declaration that she is the owner of the entire suit property as the widow of pechiappan. she also-claimed in the alternative that if the third defendant was to be treated as the lawfully married wife of pechiappan, the plaintiff should be declared to be entitled to a one-half share of the property and the same should be partitioned and she should be given separate possession of her half share. within less than a month after pechiappan's death,.....
Judgment:

Yahya Ali, J.

1. Although the case out of which this appeal arises had assumed; large dimensions in the Courts below it is here confined to one short point which admits of a brief disposal. Pechiappan Chettiar who belongs to the Vellala caste married at first Arunachalathammal who belonged to his caste. In November, 1939, or thereabouts he is said to have married a Nayar lady by name Gomathr Ammal who is the third defendant in the case. The marriage took place at Travancore and is governed by the Travancore Nayar Regulation (II of 1100). Pechiappan died on 6th January, 1941, leaving no issue and it would appear that Gomathi Ammal was in possession of the property belonging to Pechiappan. Arunachalathammal, the Vellala wife, filed the present suit for a declaration that she is the owner of the entire suit property as the widow of Pechiappan. She also-claimed in the alternative that if the third defendant was to be treated as the lawfully married wife of Pechiappan, the plaintiff should be declared to be entitled to a one-half share of the property and the same should be partitioned and she should be given separate possession of her half share. Within less than a month after Pechiappan's death, the third defendant sold away the entire suit property to the first defendant under Ex. D-1 and it is in that right that the first defendant resisted the suit and he is the sole appellant here.

2. The only question argued in the appeal is whether the alleged marriage of Gomathi Ammal in 1939 was valid and whether any rights accrued to her in respect of the suit property as the lawfully married wife of Pechiappan.

3. Ex. D-II is the certified extract from the marriage register and that shows; that the marriage took place on 13th April, 1115 (corresponding to 28th November 1939) between Pechiappan and Gomathi Ammal so that the factum of the registration of the marriage cannot be seriously disputed. The only question is whether the marriage is valid under the provisions of the Travancore Nayar Regulation. Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Regulation reads thus:

A subsequent marriage of a female or of a male, during the continuance of a prior marriage, and performed after the commencement of this regulation is void.

Sub-section (2) deals with the case of a non-Nayar male marrying in his own caste which marriage is declared to be not void even though he had married a Nayar wife before the commencement of the Regulation. We are not concerned with that sub-section here. Ex facie the first sub-section makes such a marriage as this altogether void. This is a subsequent marriage of a male during the continuance of a prior marriage and was performed after the commencement of the Regulation. It is contended for the appellant that, in terms of Section 8(1) itself, the marriage of the third defendant with Pechiappan is not void and three reasons are put forward. The first reason is that according to Section 3 of the Regulation all that is required to make a marriage a valid marriage is its open solemnisation and so long as such a thing has been performed, a marriage which is declared to be valid under Section 3 cannot be treated as void under Section 8. This contention is obviously untenable in view of the explicit language employed in Section 8(1) which must be held to govern the provision in Section 3. Section 3 only describes what is required to constitute a valid marriage. Section 8 deals with the specific case of a double marriage and the special provision has to govern the general provision.

4. The second contention is that according to the language of Section 8(1) the prior marriage also should have been after the commencement of the Regulation. The words employed in Section 8(1) do not yield to this interpretation. The prior marriage may be at any time. It is the subsequent marriage which has to be performed after the commencement of the Regulation.

5. The last contention is that the subsequent marriage that is referred to in Section 8(1) is a marriage outside the scope of the Nayar Regulation. That too is an interpretation which I cannot accept. On the other hand, a subsequent marriage performed after the commencement of the Regulation can only mean a marriage performed within the scope of the Regulation.

6. In this view I must affirm the decree of the lower appellate Court and in the result the appeal is dismissed with costs.

7. No leave.


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