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Meenakshi Anni Vs. Appakutti - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in4Ind.Cas.299; (1910)20MLJ359
AppellantMeenakshi Anni
RespondentAppakutti
Cases Referred and Ambabai v. Govind
Excerpt:
hindu law - mitakshara--succession--illegitimate son, whether excluded by the widow. - - 'the rights of an illegitimate son in the paternal estate when the father has died a separated holder have now been clearly defined by judicial decisions' and adds at page 522: if the father left a widow, daughter or daughter's son but no legitimate male issue, the illegitimate son succeeds as a co-heir with the widow, daughter or daughter's son as the case may be, and as sole heir in default of any other heir down to a daughter's son. k 257. it is not easy to explain why the mitakshara, while mentioning the daughter who is not named by yajnawalkya in the text commented, on does not mention the widow as well......have now been clearly defined by judicial decisions' and adds at page 522: 'if the father left a widow, daughter or daughter's son but no legitimate male issue, the illegitimate son succeeds as a co-heir with the widow, daughter or daughter's son as the case may be, and as sole heir in default of any other heir down to a daughter's son.' the ratio decidendi in the case of parvati v. thirumalai 10 m.k 334 is not, as supposed in the case of chinanmmal v. varadarajulu 15 m.b 307 that the widow is preferable to the illegitimate son in the case of an impartible estate though it may be supported on that ground. reliance was then placed on the decision of mr. justice holloway and mr. justice innes in regular appeal no. 86 of 1865, wherein it was held that the widow excluded the illegitimate.....
Judgment:

1. The plaintiff as the widow of Sethu Mudeli claims the entire property of her deceased husband as against his illegitimate son the defendant. The Courts below gave her a decree for one half of the property. She appeals for the other half alleging that under the Hindu Law the widow excludes the illegitimate son altogether. We do not think this contention can be upheld. The decision in the case of Chinnammal v. Varadarajulu. 15 M.k 307 is a direct authority against the appellant and though it rests upon a misapprehension of the ground of decision in Parvati v. Thirumalai 10 M.k 334 it is supported by the observations at page 343 of the report, and also by the reasoning at page 559 of the decision in Ranoji v. Kandoji 8 M.k 557. We think the remarks of Mr. Justice Bashyam Iyengar in Ramalinga Mappan v. Pavadai Goundan 25 M.k 519 are correct. He says: 'the rights of an illegitimate son in the paternal estate when the father has died a separated holder have now been clearly defined by judicial decisions' and adds at page 522: 'if the father left a widow, daughter or daughter's son but no legitimate male issue, the illegitimate son succeeds as a co-heir with the widow, daughter or daughter's son as the case may be, and as sole heir in default of any other heir down to a daughter's son.' The ratio decidendi in the case of Parvati v. Thirumalai 10 M.k 334 is not, as supposed in the case of Chinanmmal v. Varadarajulu 15 M.b 307 that the widow is preferable to the illegitimate son in the case of an impartible estate though it may be supported on that ground. Reliance was then placed on the decision of Mr. Justice Holloway and Mr. Justice Innes in Regular Appeal No. 86 of 1865, wherein it was held that the widow excluded the illegitimate son altogether though the estate to which succession was claimed does not seem to have been impartible property. We have referred to the decision in that case, which, however, it must be noted in passing, was reversed by the Privy Council on another ground See Ramamani Ammal v. Kulanthai Natchiar 14 M.I.A. 346. The opinion of the learned Judges in that case was based on the text of Yajnawalkya without eference to the commentary of the Mitakshara and the passage in 1 Strange's Hindu Law, III Edition, page 69, citing it. The text of Yajnawalkya simply postpones the illegitimate son till after the daughter's son. The Mitakshara, however, (see Chapter I, Section 12, placita 1 and 2) expressly lays down that he participates for half a share with a daughter or daughter's son. The Mitakshara, therefore, repudiates the idea of his being postponed. We cannot, therefore, treat the decision in Regular Appeal No. 86 of 1865 or the remarks in Parvati v. Thirumalai 10 M.k 334 based upon it, as of binding authority. It must also be pointed out that they are opposed to the reasoning at page 559 an Ranoji v. Kandoji 8 M.k 557. As the widow excludes the daughter and as the daughter according to the express text of the Mitakshara shares with the illegitimate son, it follows that the widow cannot be excluded altogether by the illegitimate son as supposed in the earlier Bombay cases. The authority of those cases has, however been doubted in Shesagiri v. Girewa 14 B.k 282 and Ambabai v. Govind 23 B.k 257. It is not easy to explain why the Mitakshara, while mentioning the daughter who is not named by Yajnawalkya in the text commented, on does not mention the widow as well. Whatever the reason may be, the illegitimate son who is declared entitled to half the share of a legitimate son amongst Sudras cannot in reason be excluded by a widow when there is no legitimate son. The express authority of the Dattaka Chandrika, Chapter V, placita 30 and 31, is in favour of the widow sharing equally with the illegitimate son. We may add that Mr. Mayne (see Mayne's Hindu Law, 7th Edition section, 551) and Mr. Ghose (See Ghose's Hindu Law, 2nd Edition, page 656) are of the same opinion. We dismiss the second appeal with costs. The memorandum of objections is not pressed and is also dismissed with costs.


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