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Chinnaswami Vs. Pongianna Goundar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1956)2MLJ567
AppellantChinnaswami
RespondentPongianna Goundar
Cases ReferredDeivanayagam Pillai v. Subbiah Pillai
Excerpt:
- - for their right of inheritance is declared to be on failure of brothers (both parents, brothers likewise and their sons) (see principles of hindu law by j. for their right of inheritance is declared to be on the failure of brothers (both parents, brothers, likewise, and their sons). 3. the case-law on the subject is also to the same effect. in addition to the authorities pointed out by my learned brother, i would like to mention that trevelyan (hindu law of inheritance -page 426), west and majid (digest of hindu law of inheritance -1919 edn......would exclude a brother's son if the son is that of a living brother but if the son is that of a deceased brother and if there is another living brother, then both of them take together. we do not think that there is any justification for this argument. in mayne's hindu law (11th edn.) at page 653, the learned author says as follows:according to the mitakshara and dayabhaga schools, no nephew can succeed as long as there is any brother capable of taking, the rule being universal that except in the case of a man's own male issue, the nearer sapinda always excludes the more remote.2. the authority for this statement of the law is contained in manu, chapter ix, section 187, which is as follows:in the case of competition between brothers and nephews, the nephews have no title to the.....
Judgment:

Govinda Menon, J.

1. The question for decision in this second appeal is settled from the earliest times and does not require any reconsideration. It is argued by Mr. D. Ramaswami Ayyangar, for the appellant, that when a man dies leaving a divided brother and a pre-deceased divided brother's son, the Succession should be for the brother and the nephew together and that the brother does not take precedence over the nephew. The basis of this argument is centered round the text of Yajnavalkya ^^HkzkrjLrFkk rRlqr%** which Mr. Ramaswami Ayyangar contends means that the brother's son stands on an equal footing with the brother, in which case the brother cannot exclude the brother's son. He admits that a brother would exclude a brother's son if the son is that of a living brother but if the son is that of a deceased brother and if there is another living brother, then both of them take together. We do not think that there is any justification for this argument. In Mayne's Hindu Law (11th edn.) at page 653, the learned author says as follows:

According to the Mitakshara and Dayabhaga Schools, no nephew can succeed as long as there is any brother capable of taking, the rule being universal that except in the case of a man's own male issue, the nearer sapinda always excludes the more remote.

2. The authority for this statement of the law is contained in Manu, Chapter IX, Section 187, which is as follows:

In the case of competition between brothers and nephews, the nephews have no title to the succession; for their right of inheritance is declared to be on failure of brothers (both parents, brothers likewise and their sons) (See Principles of Hindu Law by J.C. Ghosh, Volume 2, page 167.)

Again in Hindu Law Books of Inheritance by Setlur, at page 47, in Chapter II, section IV, para. 8, we find the following:

Where there are brothers and nephews, the nephews have no title to the succession; for their right of inheritance is declared to be on the failure of brothers (both parents, brothers, likewise, and their sons).

3. The case-law on the subject is also to the same effect. See Pirthee Singh v. Court of Wards (1875) 23 W.R. 272, Burham v. Punchoo (1865) 2 W.R. 123, and Chandika Baksh v. Muna Kunwar (1902) L.R. 29 IndAp 70 : I.L.R.All. 273. In the last, case, their Lordships of the Privy Council held that on extinction of the line of one of several brothers, the descendants of all the other brothers take equally without reference to their nearness to their common ancestor and when one of the brothers had already died, his issue would not take along with the living brothers. In Nilkanth v. Narayan A.I.R. 1932 Nag. 76 , a Full Bench consisting of Subhedar, Niyogi and Staples, A.J.C.'s had to consider the same question and the headnote is to the following effect:

The brother's grandson are no doubt included in the compact series of heirs, but the inheritance does not devolve upon the brother's sons and brother's grandsons jointly. The brother's son, therefore, though of half-blood, excludes the brother's grandson, though of full blood.

Niyogi, J., in considering the meaning of the passage in Yajnavalkya, which we have referred to above, adverts to the word tatsutah as contra-distinguished from tatputrah and various authorities as Kurem Chand Gurain v. Godung Gurain (1866) 6 W.R. 158, were considered. We have no doubt that the conclusion arrived at by the Full Bench of the Nagpur High Court represents the law which has been existing for centuries in this country. It may also be useful to refer to a judgment of this Court in Deivanayagam Pillai v. Subbiah Pillai (1954) 1 M.L.J. 534, in which Venkatarama Ayyar, J., delivering the judgment of the Bench referred to the fact that when the estate of the propositus devolves on his brothers, they inherit it as tenants-in-common and not as coparceners and that their issues do not take any interest therein by birth and that the sons by the deceased brothers are not entitled to take along with their uncles on the theory of representation.

4. We do not think there is any doubt involved in the case and the lower appellate Court is right in coming to the conclusion it did. The Second Appeal is dismissed with costs.

Ramaswami, J.

5. I agree. In addition to the authorities pointed out by my learned brother, I would like to mention that Trevelyan (Hindu Law of Inheritance - page 426), West and Majid (Digest of Hindu Law of Inheritance - 1919 Edn., page 104), Sarvadhikari (Principles of Hindu Law of Inheritance - Tagore Law Lectures - page 312), Dr. Gour (Hindu Code - page 947), Sarkar Sastri's (Hindu Law - pages 435, 475 and 484 (8th Edition), N.R. Raghavachari (Hindu Law, Principles and Precedents - page 488), Mulla (Hindu Law, pages 25, 43 and 44) also all mention that the sons of a deceased brother cannot claim to succeed along with the brothers on the theory of representation.


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