1. The plaintift in the case claims the property sued for as the maternal aunt of a deceased Hindu maiden. The defendant is the step-mother of the maiden. The question for decision is whether the plaintiff is entitled to preferential rights over the defendant. The Bombay High Court held in Tukaram v. Narayana Ram Chandra I.L.R. (1911) B. 339 Jangla Bhai v. Jitha Appaji I.L.R. (1908) B. 409 that in default of both the mother and the father a maiden's property goes to the father's sapindas. The same view was accepted by the Calcutta High Court in Dwarkanath Roy v. Sarath Chandra Singh Roy I.L.R. (1911) C. 319 though in that case there was no contest between the mother and the father. In the Mitakshara there are no express texts dealing with the succession to the property of a maiden in default of the mother and the father; the text stopping with succession to the parents--the word 'parents 'being interpreted to mean the mother and then the father. But in the case of the property of a childless married woman the succession is carried further down. It is stated that the property goes to the parents and in default cTcac^l^'ftT'Ti which may be interpreted to mean 'to their sapindas' as Mr. Sitarama Rao contends. The Viramitrodya does not deal specifically with the succession to a maiden's property at all but provides for the succession to the property of a childless married girl in terms similar to those used in the Mitakshara. We see no reason for not accepting the view of the Bombay High Court, that the Sapindas both of the father and mother must be understood to mean the same person as the mother becomes a member of the father's family after the marriage. In this view, the defendant, as the wife of the deceased maiden's father, would be a nearer heir than the plaintiff. But Mr. Sitarama Rao contends that the father's widow could not inherit his property as a sapinda. He relies on the prevalent rule that female Gotraja Sapindas do not inherit as agnate relations taking the rank which they would be entitled to if their claims were based on sapinda relationship. With regard to the succession to a male's property this rule, no doubt has been enforced in this Court. Balamma v. Pidlayya I.L.R. (1894) M. 168 and Thayammal v. Annamala Mudali I.L.R. (1895) M. 35. But in the case of succession to Sridhanam property a daughter has been held to be entitled to inherit as Sapinda whether the succession has to be traced through the father or the husband. See Manja Pillai v. Sivabhagyatha Bai : (1911)21MLJ850 . We see no reason why we should not adopt the same view with regard to the wife. Moreover there is much support in the Mitak^hara for the view that a widow inherits her husband's property as his sapinda being one half of the husband's body.
2. We therefore agree with the District Judge that the plaintiff is not entitled to succeed in preference to the defendant and we dismiss the second appeal with costs.