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Guddati Reddi Obala Vs. Ganapati Kandanna - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in17Ind.Cas.422; (1912)23MLJ493
AppellantGuddati Reddi Obala
RespondentGanapati Kandanna
Cases ReferredMathura Naiken v. Hsu Naiken
Excerpt:
.....after the penal code came into force is a criminal act and is on that ground also clearly illegal. i am also clearly of opinion that the authority of vengu v. 156 of the report clearly expresses his approval of the case of mathura naiken v. she and her husband were therefore clearly not legally entitled to adopt a girl and they ought to have adopted only a boy according to the ordinary hindu law. as far as i know, no spiritual benefit can accrue to a prostitute mother by the spiritual ministrations of her prostitute adopted daughter and even adopted sons are very poor substitutes for legitimate sons according to hindu law......the caste gradually die a natural death.3. even if a prostitute belonging to the so-called dancing girl caste be allowed to adopt a girl on the ground that the caste custom allows it even as against the shastras it seems to me to go too far to allow plurality of adoptions as has been allowed by some decisionsagain, it is clear that in some castes such as a section of the kaikkalar castes and in the bogum caste, a girl can be married as a hindu and lead a family life though born a prostitute. in the present case the 2nd defendant's foster-mother was so married and led a family life. the ordinary hindu law ought to be applied to such persons and not the law applying to the prostitutes. she and her husband were therefore clearly not legally entitled to adopt a girl and they ought to have.....
Judgment:

Sundara Aiynr, J.

1. The argument in second appeal is that the 2nd defendant was adopted by Chinna Rangamma and that the adoption is valid as one made by a dancing girl. But the finding is that Chinna Rangamma was a married woman. It is not explained how she can be treated as a dancing girl. It is stated that as she belonged to the Bogum caste she could adopt a girl, whether she was a married woman or not. But no such custom is found to be established by either of the two Courts. I dismiss the second appeal with costs. I am not to be understood as conceding that an adoption made by a woman of the prostitute class would be valid at all.

Sadasiva Aiyar J.

2. I should like to add that I dissent with the greatest respect from the casein Vengu v. Mahalinga I.L.R. (1888) M. 393. approve of the decision of the Bombay High Court in Mathura Naiken v. Esu Naicken I.L.R. (1880) B. 545. I am also clearly of opinion that it is not only illegal to adopt girls by prostitutes but the illegality is. if possible very much enhanced by a woman of the prostitute class who has followed the practices of a moral family Hindu woman trying to follow the practices of a prostitute herself and adopt a girl for herself. The adoption in the case in Vengu v. Mahalinga I.L.R. (1888) M. 393 seems to have taken place before the Indian Penal Code was enacted in I860. The validity of the adoption in that case might be therefore supported on that ground as it was sought to be so supported in Kanialakshi v. Ramaswami Chetti I.L.R. (1895) M. 127; but 1 wish to dissent from Vengu v. Mahalinga I.L.R. (1888) M. 393 on the broad ground that an adoption of a minor girl by a prostitute belonging to a caste which notoriously follows prostitution as a profession after the Penal Code came into force is a criminal act and is on that ground also clearly illegal. I am also clearly of opinion that the authority of Vengu v. Mahalinga I.L.R. (1888) M. 393 has been reduced to a minimum by the observations of the Privy Council in the case in Ghasti v. Umrao Jan I.L.R. (1893) C. 149. Lord Hobhouse at p. 156 of the report clearly expresses his approval of the case of Mathura Naiken v. Hsu Naiken'* though of course it might be said that His Lordship does not express any definite opinion as it was unnecessary to do so for the purposes of that case which related to Mahomedan prostitutes. His Lordship says 'that whatever may be the case as regards Hindus, as regards Mahomedans, prostitution is not looked upon by their religion or their laws with any more favourable eye than by the Christian rtligion and laws. As a Hindu I wish to express respectfully but emphatically my opinion that prostitution is not looked on by the Hindu religion or its lawswith any more favourable eye than by the Christian or Mahomedan religion or the Christian or Mahomedan laws. When I was a judicial officer in Madura I have had occasion to take evidence of old dancing girl witnesses in connection with dancing offices in temples and such witnesses have admitted that the so-called adopted girls are usually called 'Sirais' or captives and that many such girls of different castes were purchased by old dancing girls daring the famine of 1876. Prostitutes are by the nature of their calling frequently sterile and it is the countenance given to adoption by the Courts which has been recruiting the ranks of the caste of prostitutes instead of letting the caste gradually die a natural death.

3. Even if a prostitute belonging to the so-called dancing girl caste be allowed to adopt a girl on the ground that the caste custom allows it even as against the Shastras it seems to me to go too far to allow plurality of adoptions as has been allowed by some decisionsAgain, it is clear that in some castes such as a section of the Kaikkalar castes and in the Bogum caste, a girl can be married as a Hindu and lead a family life though born a prostitute. In the present case the 2nd defendant's foster-mother was so married and led a family life. The ordinary Hindu Law ought to be applied to such persons and not the law applying to the prostitutes. She and her husband were therefore clearly not legally entitled to adopt a girl and they ought to have adopted only a boy according to the ordinary Hindu Law. It is not alleged that 2nd defendant's foster-mother was a prostitute when she made the alleged adoption. Rather it is alleged that both she and her husband adopted the 2nd defendant while they were leading a family life. Even if the foster-mother turned a prostitute(during her husband's life time ot after his death) she could not be allowed to adopt a girl having once adopted the ordinary Hindu Law. In some case ingenious theories have been propounded that the adoption by a prostitute must be considered to have been intended for her own spiritual benefit and not to continue the line of the prostitute profession. Why Courts should have been astute to bolster up evil customs thus by fancying or presuming the existence of high spiritual motive have been somewhat of a surprise to me. As far as I know, no spiritual benefit can accrue to a prostitute mother by the spiritual ministrations of her prostitute adopted daughter and even adopted sons are very poor substitutes for legitimate sons according to Hindu Law. With these observations I agree in holding that this second appeal must be dismissed with costs.


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