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Muthiyalu Chengappa Vs. Burada Gunta Alias Akula Venkataswami - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1920)39MLJ567
AppellantMuthiyalu Chengappa
RespondentBurada Gunta Alias Akula Venkataswami
Cases ReferredRindnamma v. Venkataramappa
Excerpt:
.....dies 'it clearly means in such a case 'after the death of all the female co-heirs. this is a very weak foundation for the contention that an agreement by which the succession of the reversioner can be accelerated might be made behind his back. further the acceleration can aftect if at all only the half share, which belonged to the elder widow who died first (and the right to enjoy which half share by survivorship was abandoned by the younger widow) and could not apply to the share of the younger widow who conveyed her rights to the widow who died first because that share was not surrendered to any reversioner and surrender which accelerates is surrender to the succeeding reversioner and not a surrender to a co-widow......widow or whether it would have come to an end during the lifetime of the elder widow. the elder widow died in 1902 and the younger widow in 1914 and the present suit was brought by the purchaser from the male reversioner in 1916. the learned district judge dismissed the suit on the preliminary ground of limitation. his argument was that by the junior widow giving up her right of survivorship, (if she happened to survive the senior widow) the senior widow not only represented the whole widow's estate during her own lifetime but that on her death, the fact that the junior widow was still living was no obstacle to present reversioners from coming in, the junior widow's relinquishment having accelerated the succession of the male reversioner and as such acceleration took place in 1902 and.....
Judgment:

Sadasiva Aiyar, J.

1. The plaintiff is the appellant in this second appeal. He is the purchaser from the reversioner to the estate of one Gurappa. Gurappa died in 1883 leaving two widow as his heirs. The younger widow on receipt of Rs. 30 gave up all her rights (about 6 months after her husband's death) in favour of the elder widow under the deed Ex. B. I agree with the Lower Appellate Court on the construction of Ex. B that she thereby gave up her whole life interest in her husband's estate whether the interest might have extended beyond the lifetime of the elder widow or whether it would have come to an end during the lifetime of the elder widow. The elder widow died in 1902 and the younger widow in 1914 and the present suit was brought by the purchaser from the male reversioner in 1916. The learned District Judge dismissed the suit on the preliminary ground of limitation. His argument was that by the junior widow giving up her right of survivorship, (if she happened to survive the senior widow) the senior widow not only represented the whole widow's estate during her own lifetime but that on her death, the fact that the junior widow was still living was no obstacle to present reversioners from coming in, the junior widow's relinquishment having accelerated the succession of the male reversioner and as such acceleration took place in 1902 and the suit was brought in 1916 the plaintiff was barred under Article 144 of the Limitation Act.

2. It was argued before us in the first place by the appellant's learned vakil that the senior widow on her death owned a sort of stridhanam estate in her husband's property which was inherited by her own heirs, that the junior widow was the heir to that stridhanam estate (which however lasted only till the junior widow died in 1914), and that the reversioner became entitled to inherit the whole of the husband's estate only afterwards ; and reliance was placed on the decision in S.A. 356 of 1918, Pappammal v. Venkataswami Naicker (unreported). As the question of the right of a widow who had parted with her rights to her co-widow to inherit the rights again on the death of the co-widow is said to be under consideration before another Bench of this Court, and as I feel doubts as to an estate surrendered by a widow to a co-widow constituting in some sense or to any extent the property of the surrenderee held by her in a different capacity from that of the widow of her husband, I shall not deal with this question further in this case, it not being necessary for the purpose of deciding this second appeal to express a final opinion on that question.

3. The next point is whether there was this acceleration of the right of the male reversioner on the death of the elder widow. Acceleration by surrender to the next male reversioner (which I take it, means a surrender known to and accepted by him) is, no doubt, known to the law. Acceleration caused by the statute law declaring that a widow contracting second marriage shall be deemed to have died can also be understood, but acceleration of the right of a male reversioner by transactions between two or more joint female heirs cannot in my opinion be contrived by them without the knowledge or consent of the reverisoner. Article 141 of the Limitation Act though it uses the word ' female' in the singular clearly covers a case where the Hindu reversioner is entitled to the property on the deaths of more than one female heir inheriting jointly. And when the last column speaks of ' when the female dies ' it clearly means in such a case ' after the death of all the female co-heirs.' That a male reversioner's right should be accelerated by agreements to which he is not a party is to me a very startling proposition, and even though there may be more startling propositions and anomalous rules in the modern Hindu Law, I do not see why I should extend such anomalies unless I am bound by clear authorities and precedents to do so. Mr. Govindaraghava Iyer relied upon a passage in Rindnamma v. Venkataramappa (1866) 3 M.H.C.R. 268. That was a case in which the appellant alone was heard, the respondent being absent. The appellant's counsel had evidently argued that there might be an agreement between co-widows so as to let in the next heirs of the husband immediately upon the death of the widow who died first. The learned Judges of the Bench remarked upon this argument 'We are not prepared to say that they might not enter into such an agreement as would bind each to an absolute surrender of all interest in the other's share so as to let in the next heirs of the husband immediately upon the death of that, other. But there is no such agreement in this case.' Thus the learned Judges finally stated that the argument had no relevancy to the facts of that case, though they began by saying that they were not prepared to say that there might not be something in the argument. This is a very weak foundation for the contention that an agreement by which the succession of the reversioner can be accelerated might be made behind his back. Further the acceleration can aftect if at all only the half share, which belonged to the elder widow who died first (and the right to enjoy which half share by survivorship was abandoned by the younger widow) and could not apply to the share of the younger widow who conveyed her rights to the widow who died first because that share was not surrendered to any reversioner and surrender which accelerates is surrender to the succeeding reversioner and not a surrender to a co-widow.

4. In the result, 1 would set aside the judgment of the District Judge who proceeded upon the sole ground of limitation and would remand the appeal to him for disposal, on the other questions arising in the case.

5. The memorandum of objectins filed in that Court will also be considered along with the appeal. The Courtfee paid on the memorandum of the second appeal will be refunded to the appellant. The respondent should pay the appellant the other costs of this second appeal.

Napier, J.

6. I entirely agree.


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