1. The only question in this appeal is what is the effect of a decree of the High Court at Madras made on the 2nd of May 1882, in a suit brought by Sitaramasami against Sitaiyammi, the mother and heiress of Rayadappa deceased, who was the son of Ramarayanin, and had died unmarried and without issue. Sitaramasami was the son of a younger brother of Ramarayanin. and the plaint, which was filed in April 1869 in the Civil Court of Vizagapatam, alleged that the plaintiff was the nearest surviving heir of Rayadappa, and stated that the relief sought for was a declaration of the plaintiff's right to succeed after the death of Sitaiyammi to the enjoyment of the immoveable property described in the plaint and the annexed schedule, and a declaration that the alienations of parts of the property which had been made by Sitaiyammi to the prejudice of the reversionary right of the plaintiff to a number of persons who were also made defendants might be declared invalid or to be of no effect beyond her life. The plaint also asked for an injunction and the appointment of a receiver. The written statement of Sitaiyammi alleged that the whole of the property, except a garden, which had been granted to her son by the zamindar of Bobbili, was her stridhan, and the estate was managed for her by her husband and son, and even if it was considered to be the acquisition of her husband, her daughter and her daughter's son were entitled to succeed to it and the plaintiff was not entitled to it in any respect. The other defendants by their written statements asked that the suit might be dismissed. At the hearing before the Civil Judge of Vizagapatam, he found that the families of the brothers were divided, and the property was not the stridhan of Sitaiyammi and was the self-acquired property of Ramarayanin, and therefore that the plaintiff was not reversionary heir and decreed that the suit should be dismissed.
2. Sitaramasami having adopted the present appellant before the hearing, he had been substituted in the suit as plaintiff and he appealed against this decree to the High Court at Madras on the ground, among others, that the Court below ought to have found that he was entitled to the property on the death of Sitaiyammi as heir of her son, the last full owner. It has been seen that Sitaiyammi alleged that her daughter and her daughter's son and not the plaintiff were entitled to succeed. The daughter is the present appellant and on the suit being remanded by the High Court to the lower Court to enable them to be made parties to the suit, that was done, and the Judge made a final decree declaring the adoption of the son to be invalid and again dismissing the suit. On the appeal again coming before the High Court it delivered the following judgment: 'The Advocate-General admitted that the finding as to the adoption of the substituted plaintiff could not be sustained, and that the only question remaining for disposal was whether on the facts which have been found or are no longer disputed the plaintiff is entitled to any portion of the relief sought. It is not shown that there is any other nearer reversioner than the plaintiff and we are unable to distinguish this case from others in which it has been held that a reversioner is entitled to a declaration that the acts of a Hindu lady in possession in excess of her authority will not bind the reversion if a case is made out for such relief.' Then after saying that the Advocate-General had argued that no such case was averred or had been established, the judgment says: ' He (the plaintiff) will obtain a decree declaring these alienations ineffectual to bind the reversion. He has not established any necessity for the appointment of a Receiver and the issue of an injunction to a lady in possession who may alien a property for proper purposes would not be justifiable except under extraordinary circumstances. The residue of the claim is, therefore, .dismissed.' ' Therefore ' refers to the reasons given in the preceding paragraph and residue of the claim ' means the appointment of a Receiver and an injunction. The other questions in the suit are in their Lordships' opinion decided in favour of the plaintiff. The decree declares the plaintiff entitled to the substantial relief claimed in the plaint, and although it does not contain a declaration that the plaintiff is the nearest reversioner the judgment may be and ought to be looked at to see what was decided. The present appellant in her written statement, after she had been made a defendant, alleged that she and her son would be the heirs after her mother's death, and that the respondent could not be the heir. The suit being dismissed by the District Judge, the plaintiff appealed to the High Court, one of his grounds of appeal being that, on the death of Sitaiyammi, he was entitled to the property as the heir of her son. The question whether he was the nearest reversioner was thus distinctly raised.
3. Sitaiyammi died on the 4th of April 1886, and thereupon her daughter, the present appellant, took possession of the property. On the 18th of April 1888 the respondent brought a suit against the appellant and other persons, the heirs and representatives of deceased defendants in the original suit, to recover possession. The defence set up by the appellant in her written statement is that the respondent's right as the nearest reversionary heir had not been established by the decree in the suit of 1869, and he was therefore not entitled to recover the estate. The District Judge, on the 19th of December 1890, found that the respondent was the reversioner, and made a decree for possession against the first defendant Kantaiyammi, the appellant, and dismissed the suit against all the other defendants. Kantaiyammi appealed to the High Court on the ground that the lower Court was wrong in deciding the plaintiff's title without framing an issue on that point and in holding that the decree in the suit of 1869 had in any way declared the title of the plaintiff. This has been the contention before their Lordships of the learned Counsel for the appellant. and if only the decree could be looked at there might be some reason for it, but it would be wrong to look only at the decree. In Kali Krishna Tagore v. Secretary of State for India L.R. 15 IndAp 186 the High Court of Bengal did this, saying: 'We cannot look to the judgment as we were asked to do in order to qualify the effect of the decree,' and their Lordships on appeal held that in order to see what was in issue in a suit or what has been heard and decided, the judgment must be looked at. They said ' The decree, according to the Code of Procedure, is only to state the relief granted, or other determination of the suit The determination may be on various grounds, but the decree does not show on what ground, and does not afford any information as to the matters which were in issue or have been decided.' It is plain that in the suit of 1869 it was decided by the High Court that the respondent was the nearest reversionary heir. That is conclusive between him and the appellant, and is sufficient proof of his title to enable him to recover possession of the property from her. Their Lordships will, therefore, humbly advise Her Majesty to affirm the decree of the High Court and dismiss the appeal. The appellant will pay the costs of it.