Skip to content


Darbha Lingayya Vs. Darbha Kanakamma - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1915)28MLJ260
AppellantDarbha Lingayya
RespondentDarbha Kanakamma
Cases ReferredNarayan Rao Ramachandra Pant v. Ramabai
Excerpt:
- .....her husband's brother. both the lower courts have found that the defendant is in possession of family property yielding about rs. 100 a year. the plaintiff has private property out of which she could get rs. 40 or 50 a year the lower courts have awarded to the plaintiff rs. 20 a year. mr. ramesam for the plaintiff contends in second appeal that the income of the family property being small, and the plaintiff having independent means of maintenance is not entitled to get maintenance out of her deceased husband's estate. his argument is that a widow who is able to maintain herself out of other property has no right to claim out of her husband's estate anything for that purpose. in our opinion this view cannot be supported. it is based on an entirely wrong conception of the right sought.....
Judgment:

1. The plaintiff, a Hindu widow, instituted the suit which has given rise to this second appeal for maintenance against the defendant, her husband's brother. Both the lower Courts have found that the defendant is in possession of family property yielding about Rs. 100 a year. The plaintiff has private property out of which she could get Rs. 40 or 50 a year The lower Courts have awarded to the plaintiff Rs. 20 a year. Mr. Ramesam for the plaintiff contends in second appeal that the income of the family property being small, and the plaintiff having independent means of maintenance is not entitled to get maintenance out of her deceased husband's estate. His argument is that a widow who is able to maintain herself out of other property has no right to claim out of her husband's estate anything for that purpose. In our opinion this view cannot be supported. It is based on an entirely wrong conception of the right sought to be enforced. The wives of the male coparceners in a Hindu family are not entitled to equal shares with the males in the family estate, not do they take their husband's shares by representation on their death, but in place thereof they are entitled to a portion of their estate for their enjoyment during their lifetime, sufficient to maintain them in comfort according to the means of the family. This is an absolute right due to their membership in the family and does not depend on their necessity arising from their want of other means to support themselves. At a partition made by the husband during his lifetime between his sons his wife was at one time entitled to an equal share with his sons. Mitakshata Chapters 1 and 2 Slokas 8 and 9. According to the Dayabhaga the husband's undivided share descends to this widow in its entirety. According to Katyayana, the widow may claim either a portion of the estate or an allowance for her maintenance. The same view is maintained by Vrihaspathi. See G. Sirkar Sastri's Viramitrodaya page 173. Mr. Ramesam relies on Ramawati Koer v. Manjhari Koer (1906) 4 C.L.J. 74 in support of his contention. That case no doubt is in his favour. But with all deference, we are unable to concur in the view taken there. The authorities cited in the judgment do not support the view. The passage cited from Mr. Mayne's work shows only that the private means of a widow may be taken into account in determining the quantum of maintenance to be decreed to her. The decision of the Privy Council in Narayan Rao Ramachandra Pant v. Ramabai (1879) L.R.A. 114 has really no bearing 'on the point. Mr. Sirkar Sastri's view in his book on Hindu law is not to the effect that the right to maintenance can be extinguished by the possession of other property by the widow. We must hold that the plaintiff is entitled to some maintenance out of her husband's estate. We cannot say that the amount awarded is excessive.

2. We dismiss the second appeal with costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //