Charles A. Turner, Kt., C.J.
1. The Subordinate Judge has himself examined seven witnesses in North Malabar, and has, by the issue of a commission, procured the examination of four witnesses in South Malabar. All these witnesses are described as Nambudris of note. Seven of them are Vaidikans, spiritual teachers, and one is a Shandi (priest). As such they would presumably be familiar with the usage of the country, for they direct the religious ceremonies attendant on adoptions and are consulted by their fellow caste-men on questions relating to such of their civil rights as are regulated by their personal law. With one exception all these witnesses agree that the adoption of a daughter's or sister's son is recognized by the customary law of North and South Malabar. They support their opinion by giving instances of such adoptions which have taken place within their knowledge, and they name persons alleged by them to have been adopted in pursuance of the custom as now holding the estates to which adoption alone entitled them.
2. The single witness, who contradicts the testimony of the others as to the validity of such adoptions, acknowledged the validity of the adoption of a person produced to him and admitted that that person was the son of the adoptive father's daughter. The Subordinate Judge has alluded to the variance in the customs and usages which prevail among Brahmans in Malabar from the customs and usages obtaining among Brahmans in the Eastern and Southern Districts. These differences render it not improbable that in the matter of adoption also the Malabar Brahmans have departed from the rule deduced from the treatises of commentators prohibiting the adoption of the sons of daughters and sisters if that rule be elsewhere regarded as valid.
3. The Division Bench will be informed that the Full Bench consider that the evidence sufficiently establishes the custom alleged and that the finding of the Subordinate Judge may be accepted.
4. In pursuance of the above opinion the Division Bench delivered the following
5. Accepting the finding of the Subordinate Judge that an adoption of a sister's son is valid, we dismiss the appeal with costs.