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Thuri Kothanda Rama Reddiar Vs. thesu Reddiar Alias Veerasami Reddiar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1914)27MLJ416
AppellantThuri Kothanda Rama Reddiar
Respondentthesu Reddiar Alias Veerasami Reddiar
Cases ReferredVisalakshi Ammal v. Sivaramier I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - 10,000 as she had 'agree to and that it would be well she should adopt him. 1000, in case of success in the suit and that the balance was to be paid over to him......is illegal and the plaintiff is not a holder in due course. the plaintiff appeals.2. venkatarama reddi's daughter venkatalakshmi ammal was authorised by her husband to adopt a son. the defendant is her husband's brother's son. venkatarama reddi was not willing that his daughter should adopt the defendant. what then happened according to him may be described in his own words. ' the 1st defendant went away and came back in 10 days and asked one to intercede with venkatalakshmi. i said i would do so. he went away and came back in another 15 days. i advised venkatalakshmi to adopt in case the defendant and his brother brought litigation. on the several occasions the 1st defendant told me he would give me. the rs. 10,000 venkatalakshmi had agreed to give me if the adoption took place. it is.....
Judgment:

Sankaran Nair, J.

1. The plaintiff brought the suit as the assignee of a promissory note executed by the defendant in favor of one Venkatarama Reddi. The Judge has dismissed it on the ground that the consideration is illegal and the plaintiff is not a holder in due Course. The plaintiff appeals.

2. Venkatarama Reddi's daughter Venkatalakshmi Ammal was authorised by her husband to adopt a son. The defendant is her husband's brother's son. Venkatarama Reddi was not willing that his daughter should adopt the defendant. What then happened according to him may be described in his own words. ' The 1st defendant went away and came back in 10 days and asked one to intercede with Venkatalakshmi. I said I would do so. He went away and came back in another 15 days. I advised Venkatalakshmi to adopt in case the defendant and his brother brought litigation. On the several occasions the 1st defendant told me he would give me. the Rs. 10,000 Venkatalakshmi had agreed to give me if the adoption took place. It is a public matter that my daughter had promised to give me Rs. 10,000. I had also told the 1st defendant. I do not know why my daughter was not willing to adopt the 1st defendant. My daughter had promised to give me Rs. 10,000 out of the income of the estate. Dasu Reddi came a third time 7 or 8 days later. I told my daughter defendant had agreed to pay me Rs. 10,000 as she had 'agree to and that it would be well she should adopt him. When he came the third time I told him I had arranged with my daughter and asked him to take her and complete the document.' ' The consideration for the suit promissory note was the adoption of the defendant. I agreed to bring about the adoption as the defendant promised to give me Rs. 10,000. If the defendant had not promised to give me Rs. 10,000 there would have been no adoptions and I should not have spoken about it to my daughter.

3. The promissory note was executed for the payment of this sum of Rs. 10,000. The evidence shows that the amount was agreed to be paid as a bribe to Venkatrama Reddi to bring about the adoption. The appellant's pleader argues that the defendant's evidence shews that the widow herself asked the defendant to execute the bond, as otherwise on account of her father's opposition she might be unable to carry out the adoption. This makes no difference as there is no suggestion that the payment was made for the widow's benefit. In my opinion this agreement to pay a bribe is one against public policy and cannot be enforced. The appellant's pleader argues that this case stands on the same footing as an alienation' in favor of the widow and similar to the class of cases dealt with in Ramasami Aiyar v. Venkatrama Aiyar I.L.R. (1879) M. 91 and Visalakshmi Ammal v. Sivaramier I.L.R. (1904) M. 577 : 14 M.L.J. 310 and he argues that the decision in Shri Sitharatn Pandit v. Shri Harihar Pandit I.L.R. (1910) B 169 in so far as it is opposed to these decisions should not be followed. Arrangements made for the benefit of an adopting widow stand on a very different footing. She is not bound in law to make any adoption. In the absence of any adoption she would be entitled to the possession of her husband's property during her life-time and absolutely to the usufruct thereof. Any arrangement therefore by which she retains any portions of that interest which she parts with by an act purely voluntary on her part might not be against public policy or against Hindu Law. It has also to be remembered that there are various texts of Hindu Law which place a widow's interest even higher than that of a son. See Mayne on Hindu Law paragraph 245 and 529. I am therefore of opinion that these cases have no bearing.

4. I am also of opinion for the reasons given by the District Judge that there was no consideration for the assignment. Venkatarama Reddi said in cross-examination that the arrangement was that the plaintiff was to get Rs. 1000, in case of success in the suit and that the balance was to be paid over to him. I am not prepared to accept his subsequent denial of his statement in re-examination. He is therefore not entitled to sue.

5. This appeal is dismissed with costs.

Spencer, J.

6. I entirely agree. The case in Deva Rajan Chetti v. Muthuraman Chetti : (1913)24MLJ310 is in point. In my opinion it was rightly decided in that case that the giving to third party pecuniary interest in a marriage taking place, or in other words, 'trafficking in marriage' is opposed to public policy and is not a legal consideration for a contract. This is in agreement with the English law relating to marriage brocage contracts. Reading Venkata Krishnayya v. Lakshmi Narayana I.L.R. (1909) M. 185 and Murugappa Chetti v. Nagappa Chetti I.L.R. (1909) M. 185. I consider that no distinction can be made as between contracts to make payment in consideration of marriage and similar contracts in consideration of adoption In Murugappa Ghetti v. Nagappa Ghetti I.L.R. (1905) M. 61 it was held that though the adoption might be valid, the agreement for payment of money was a separate transaction and illegal. This is a transaction of a very different nature from fair and reasonable dispositions in favor of the adopting widow referred to in Visalakshi Ammal v. Sivaramier I.L.R. (1901) M. 577 : 11 M.L.J. 310.


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