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Muthiyala Chengappa Vs. Buradagunta Alias Akula Venkatasami - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1920)ILR43Mad855
AppellantMuthiyala Chengappa
RespondentBuradagunta Alias Akula Venkatasami
Cases ReferredRindamma v. Venkataramappa
Excerpt:
.....on the deaths of more than one female heir inheriting jointly. and when the last column speaks of 'when the female dies' it clearly means in such a case 'after the deaths of all the female co-heirs. this is a very weak foundation for the contention that an agreement by which the succession of the reversioner can be accelerated might be made behind his back. further, the acceleration can affect (if at all) only the half share which belonged to the elder widow who died first (and the right to enjoy which half share by survivorship was abandoned by the younger widow), and could not apply to the share of the younger widow who conveyed her rights to the widow who died first (because that share was not surrendered to any reversioner, and surrender which accelerates is surrender to the..........rupees thirty gave up all her rights (about six months after her husband's death) in favour of the elder widow under the deed, exhibit e. i agree with the lower appellate court on the construction of exhibit e, that she thereby gave up her whole life-interest in her husband's estate, whether that interest might have extended beyond the lifetime of the elder widow or whether it would have come to an end during the lifetime of the elder widow. the elder widow died in 1902 and the younger widow in 1914, and the present suit was brought by the purchaser from the male reversioner in 1916. the learned district judge dismissed the suit on the preliminary ground of limitation. his argument was, that by the junior widow giving up her right of survivorship (if she happened to survive the senior.....
Judgment:

Sadasiva Ayyar, J.

1. The plaintiff is the appellant in this Second Appeal. He is the purchaser from the reversioner to the estate of one Gurappa. Gurappa died in 1883, leaving two widows as his heirs. The younger widow on receipt of rupees thirty gave up all her rights (about six months after her husband's death) in favour of the elder widow under the deed, Exhibit E. I agree with the Lower Appellate Court on the construction of Exhibit E, that she thereby gave up her whole life-interest in her husband's estate, whether that interest might have extended beyond the lifetime of the elder widow or whether it would have come to an end during the lifetime of the elder widow. The elder widow died in 1902 and the younger widow in 1914, and the present suit was brought by the purchaser from the male reversioner in 1916. The learned District Judge dismissed the suit on the preliminary ground of limitation. His argument was, that by the junior widow giving up her right of survivorship (if she happened to survive the senior widow), the senior widow not only represented the whole widow's estate during her own lifetime, but that on her death, the fact that the junior widow was still living was no obstacle to prevent the reversioners from coming in, the junior widow's relinquishment having accelerated the succession of the male reversioner, and as such acceleration took place in 1902 and the suit was brought in 1916, the plaintiff was barred under Article 144 of the Limitation Act.

2. It was argued before us, in the first place, by the Appellant's learned vakil that the senior widow on her death owned a sort of stridhanam in her husband's property which was inherited by her own heirs, that the junior widow was the heir to that stridhanam estate (which however lasted only till the junior widow died in 1914), and that the reversioner became entitled to inherit the whole of the husband's estate only afterwards; and reliance was placed on Pappammal v. Venkatasami Naiker S.A. No. 356 of 1918 (unreported.). As this question of the right of a widow who had parted with her rights to her co-widow to inherit the right again on the death of the co-widow is said to be under consideration before another Bench of this Court, and as I feel doubts as to an estate surrendered by a widow to a co-widow constituting in some sense or to any extent the property of the surrenderee held by her in a different capacity from that of the widow of her husband. I shall not deal with this question further in this case, it not being necessary for the purpose of deciding this Second Appeal to express a final opinion on that question.

3. The next point is whether there was this acceleration of the right of the male reversioner on the death of the elder widow. Acceleration by surrender to the next male reversioner (which I take it, means a surrender known to and accepted by him) is, no doubt, known to the law.

4. Acceleration caused by the statute law declaring that a widow contracting second marriage shall be deemed to have died can also be understood: but acceleration of the right of a male reversioner by transactions between two or more joint female heirs cannot in my opinion be contrived by them without the knowledge or consent of the reversioner. Article 141 of the Limitation Act, though it uses the words 'female' in the singular clearly covers a case where the Hindu reversioner is entitled to the property on the deaths of more than one female heir inheriting jointly. And when the last column speaks of 'when the female dies' it clearly means in such a case 'after the deaths of all the female co-heirs.' That a male reversioner's right should be accelerated by agreements to which he is not a party is to me a very startling proposition, and even though there may be more startling propositions and anomalous rules in the modern Hindu Law, I do not see why I should extend such anomalies unless I am bound by clear authorities and precedents to do so. Mr. Govindaraghava Ayyar relied upon a passage in Rindamma v. Venkataramappa (1866) 3 M.H.C.R., 268. That was a case in which the appellant alone was heard, the respondent being absent. The appellant's counsel had evidently argued that there might be an agreement between co-widows so as to let in the next heirs of the husband immediately upon the death of the widow who died first. The learned Judges of the Bench remarked upon this argument:

We are not prepared to say that they might not enter into such an agreement as would bind each to an absolute surrender of all interest in the other's share so as to let in the next heirs of the husband immediately upon the death of that other. But there is no such agreement in the case.

5. Thus the learned Judges finally stated that the argument had no relevancy to the facts of that case, though they began by saying that; they were not prepared to say that there might not be something in the argument. This is a very weak foundation for the contention that an agreement by which the succession of the reversioner can be accelerated might be made behind his back. Further, the acceleration can affect (if at all) only the half share which belonged to the elder widow who died first (and the right to enjoy which half share by survivorship was abandoned by the younger widow), and could not apply to the share of the younger widow who conveyed her rights to the widow who died first (because that share was not surrendered to any reversioner, and surrender which accelerates is surrender to the succeeding reversioner and not a surrender to a co-widow).

6. In the result, I would set aside the judgment of the District Judge who proceeded upon the sole ground of limitation, and would remand the appeal to him for disposal on the other questions arising in the case.

Napier, J.

7. I entirely agree.


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