Skip to content


Nallamilli Veerayamma Vs. Karri Ammireddi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1949)1MLJ189
AppellantNallamilli Veerayamma
RespondentKarri Ammireddi
Cases Referred(unreported) and Munikapudi Satyanarayanacharlu v. Madnubabedu Narasamma
Excerpt:
- - madnubabedu narasamma air1943mad708 .the plaintiff may work out the rights conferred on her by the hindu women's rights to property act in respect of the suit debt as well as other joint family properties in an appropriate proceeding;.....holder ' entitled to give a discharge. the contention of the respondent is that the debt was a family debt and the defendant obtained a valid discharge of his liability by payment to the father and manager. as a result of the combined operation of sections 8, 32 and 78 of the negotiable instruments act, the person to whom payment should be made in order to discharge the maker of the note from liability under the instrument is the ' holder ' as defined in section 8. this court has repeatedly held that it is only the payees named in the instrument or their endorsees that can be said to be ' holders ' and undisclosed principals and beneficial owners of the debt are not entitled to sue the maker of the note. notwithstanding the respondent's criticism of this view as being arbitrary and.....
Judgment:

Viswanatha Sastri, J.

1. This civil revision petition arises out of a suit by a Hindu widow to recover a debt due under a promissory note, dated 24th May, 1945, executed by the defendant in favour of her husband, Ammireddi, since deceased. The suit was dismissed by the trial Court on the findings that Ammireddi and his father were members of a joint Hindu family, that it was the father who advanced the loan to the defendant though the pronote was taken in the name of the son and that subsequent to the death of the payee Ammireddi, the debtor repaid the moneys due under the promissory note to the father and obtained a discharge evidenced by a receipt Ex. D. 1, dated 18th January, 1946.

2. The plaintiff has preferred this civil revision petition on the ground that the payment to the father after the death of the son does not operate as a valid discharge of the defendant's liability and the plaintiff alone as the widow of the payee is the' holder ' entitled to give a discharge. The contention of the respondent is that the debt was a family debt and the defendant obtained a valid discharge of his liability by payment to the father and manager. As a result of the combined operation of Sections 8, 32 and 78 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the person to whom payment should be made in order to discharge the maker of the note from liability under the instrument is the ' holder ' as defined in Section 8. This Court has repeatedly held that it is only the payees named in the instrument or their endorsees that can be said to be ' holders ' and undisclosed principals and beneficial owners of the debt are not entitled to sue the maker of the note. Notwithstanding the respondent's criticism of this view as being arbitrary and highly technical and notwithstanding the views of some other High Courts, I consider it futile to embark upon a further discussion of that question. Giving full effect, as I must, to the decision in Subba Narayana Vadhyar v. Ramaswami Iyer : (1906)16MLJ508 the plaintiff's husband must be held to have been the holder of the note during his lifetime notwithstanding the fact that the money lent under the note was advanced from family funds. If the plaintiff's husband had lived, he alone could have sued on the note and not the father. So much is established by the decision cited on behalf of the petitioner. See Nelli Amma v. Krishna Panicker 1910 M.W.N. 211 and Arunachala Reddi v. Subba Reddi (1907) 17 M.L.J. 393. It does not however follow that the other members of the family have no enforceable rights in respect of the debt apart from the note. See the decisions in Gopal Pilled v. Kothandarama Iyer (1934) 67 M.L.J. 843 : I.L.R. 57 Mad. 1082 and Venkatarama Reddiar v. Valli Akkal (1934) 68 M.L.J. 81 : I.L.R. 58 Mad. 693

3. The finding in the present case, which I must accept, is, that the debt is one due to the joint family. The question that falls to be considered is whether it was open to the father and manager of the family to receive payment from the debtor and give a discharge, after the death of Ammireddi, without reference to the plaintiff. Though the right of action on the note vested during his lifetime in the plaintiff's husband, Ammireddi, the debt itself belonged to the family and on the death of Ammireddi, the entire debt vested in his undivided father by operation of the law of survivorship, subject to the rights of the plaintiff under the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act, XVIII of 1937. It has been held by our High Court that where the right to a debt evidenced by a promissory note vests by operation of law in a person different from the payee named in the note, as for instance, in a receiver in insolvency or a succeeding trustee, it is open to the persons in whom the right to the debt so vests to sue for the recovery even though they may not come strictly within the literal language of Section 8 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, as ' holders.' See the decisions in Sowcar Lodd Govinda Das v. Muneppa Naidu I.L.R. (1908) Mad. 534 and Ramanathan Chetti v. Kathirvelan : (1917)33MLJ627 . In the present case the debt being a family debt, the father of the deceased payee and the manager of the family, to whom the debt survived in its entirety, could realise it and give a valid discharge of the debtor. Whatever be the exact nature of the right conferred on the plaintiff under the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act, the Act does not per se put an end to the undivided status of the family or deprive the manager of the family of his rights and duties as manager of the entire family estate. See the decisions in C.R.P. No. 1080 of 1945 (unreported) and Munikapudi Satyanarayanacharlu v. Madnubabedu Narasamma : AIR1943Mad708 . The plaintiff may work out the rights conferred on her by the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act in respect of the suit debt as well as other joint family properties in an appropriate proceeding; but in this suit, to which the manager of the family is not a party, it is not possible to give her any relief.

4. The civil revision petition is accordingly dismissed with costs which I fix at Rs. 25.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //