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Somasundaram Pillai Vs. Kanakasabai Pillai and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1935Mad327; 157Ind.Cas.602; (1935)68MLJ354
AppellantSomasundaram Pillai
RespondentKanakasabai Pillai and anr.
Cases ReferredFrom Meenakshi Achi v. Somasundara Pillai I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - when the words 'vamsasthas of chidambara' were used, it could not have been intended to depart from the well known rules of hindu law. it could not be pretended that she was the heir of chidambara and her recognition as trustee clearly shows that the ordinary rule of succession under the hindu law was applied......the first place, it is suggested that 'vamsastha' means an agnatic relation and secondly that the word means an heir. in my opinion, both these contentions are absolutely untenable. when the words 'vamsasthas of chidambara' were used, it could not have been intended to depart from the well known rules of hindu law. in meenakshi achi v. somasundara pillai i.l.r. (1920) 44 mad. 205 : 39 m.l.j. 403 which preceded the settlement of this scheme it was shown that both for purposes of devolution of property and trusteeship, the rules of succession under the hindu law applied. if the word 'vamsasthas' in the expression 'succeeding vamsasthas' means 'heirs', neither meenakshi nor suganda achi could possibly have acted, as they did, as trustees. from meenakshi achi v. somasundara pillai i.l.r......
Judgment:

Venkatasubba Rao, J.

1. I think the lower Court's order strictly speaking, so far as its wording goes, is wrong. But I am concerned with the question whether it is substantially correct; in the event of its being right in substance, I shall not be justified in the exercise of my revisional powers, in interfering with the order. The lower court's view seems to be that there is no need to appoint Kanakasabhai as a trustee, as he, being a 'Vamsastha' of Chidambara, becomes a trustee without appointment and all that has to be done by the Court is merely to recognise him as trustee. I do not think this is right; but I am prepared to construe the order as amounting to an appointment of Kanakasabai.

2. The following genealogical table shows that Kanakasabai. is the daughter's son of Parameswara and it must be noted that no personal disqualification is alleged against him.

Chidambaram Pillai.

|

Ambalavana Pillai

|

Muthu Pillai.

_________________________________________

| |

Sundaram Pillai. Appa Pillai.

| |

Chidambaram Pillai. Amirthalingam Pillai.

| |

Parameswaram Pillai. Somasundaram Pillai.

Meenakshi Achi.

| |

____________ Arunachalam Pillai.

| | |

Sundaram Pillai. Alamelu Achi Vaidilingam Pillai.

Abhirami. (Daughter). Sugantha Achi.

|

Kanakasabhai.

3. The question is, on the death of Meenakshi on whom does the trusteeship devolve? The relevant portion in the scheme of management reads thus:

The administration of the ' Pichakkatlalai' shall vest jointly in the 'Vamsasthas' of the founder. Chindambaram Pillai, vis., the first plaintiff (Meenakshi Achi) and defendants 1 and 2 (Somasundaratn Pillai and Sugantha Achi).

4. The person who objects to the appointment of Kanaka-sabai is Somasundara and his contention is, that by virtue of the latter part of the above paragraph, it is on the heir of Chidambara and not on the heir of Parameswara that the trusteeship devolves. The paragraph in question is clumsily worded, but there can be no doubt as to what is intended. In the first place, it is suggested that 'vamsastha' means an agnatic relation and secondly that the word means an heir. In my opinion, both these contentions are absolutely untenable. When the words 'vamsasthas of Chidambara' were used, it could not have been intended to depart from the well known rules of Hindu Law. In Meenakshi Achi v. Somasundara Pillai I.L.R. (1920) 44 Mad. 205 : 39 M.L.J. 403 which preceded the settlement of this scheme it was shown that both for purposes of devolution of property and trusteeship, the rules of succession under the Hindu Law applied. If the word 'vamsasthas' in the expression 'succeeding Vamsasthas' means 'heirs', neither Meenakshi nor Suganda Achi could possibly have acted, as they did, as trustees. From Meenakshi Achi v. Somasundara Pillai I.L.R. (1920) 44 Mad. 205 : 39 M.L.J. 403 it appears that Meenakshi became the trustee as the heir of her husband Parameswara on his death; it could not be pretended that she was the heir of Chidambara and her recognition as trustee clearly shows that the ordinary rule of succession under the Hindu law was applied. Somasundara's contention is that on the death of Parameswara he would succeed as the heir to chidambara and thus exclude Meenakshi. The parties are Hindus and I am not prepared on a reading of the words to impute an intention, which would be contrary to the notions of Hindus and repugnant to the spirit of the Hindu law. Moreover, the words, in my opinion, are plain enough; it is significant that the expression is not 'heirs of Chidambara' but 'Vamsasthas of Chimdambara'. Kanakasabai is not Chidambara's heir but is without doubt his 'Vamsastha'. The word 'vamsam', according to Brown's Dictionary means, 'a race, line lineage, family stock, extraction, dynasty' the word 'vamsastha' means 'a man belonging to a family'; and the cognate word vamsika means 'Kinsman'.

(Brown's Dictionary, edited by Venkataratnam, Cambell and Veeresalingam Panthulu, 2nd Edition.) Thus the word 'vamsastha' is very different from 'heir' or 'agnatic relation' and has a much wider meaning.

5. I therefore see no reason to interfere with the order of the lower court and both the Civil Revision Petitions are dismissed. C.R.P. No. 1284 with costs (two sets) and C.R.P. No. 1285 without costs.


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