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Thiruvathammal and anr. Vs. Vagunathan Alias Kuppa Goundan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 496 of 1948
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad479; (1952)1MLJ268
ActsHindu Law
AppellantThiruvathammal and anr.
RespondentVagunathan Alias Kuppa Goundan
Appellant AdvocateT.R. Srinivasan and ;T.V. Hari Rao, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateT.K. Subramania Pillai, Adv.
Cases ReferredSubbayya v. Anantaramayya
Excerpt:
- - the marriage between the first plaintiff and the defendant did not prove to be a happy one, and in or about 1925, the plaintiff separated herself from her husband on the latter agreeing to pay maintenance, as provided in ex......part of the father to meet the marriage expenses of the daughter, if the family was possessed of joint family property. referring to 'sundari ammal v. subramania aiyar', 26 mad 505 and to an earlier decision 'seshammal v. munisami mudaliar', 8 mad l j 105 ramesam j. who was one of the members of the full bench, observed that in those cases it did not appear that the father was a member of the joint family or had ancestral property. in 'ranganayakiammal v. ramanuja aiyangar', 35 mad 728 the claim of a daughter-in-law to recover the marriage expenses of her daughter from her father-in-law, who was in possession of the joint family properties was upheld.6. what emerges from these decided cases is that the father has a legal obligation to meet the marriage expenses of his daughter, if it.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddi, J.

1. This second appeal is filed by the two plaintiffs in O.S. No. 344 of 1945, who are aggrieved by the dismissal of their suit by the Courts below. They instituted the said suit in the Court of the District Munsif of Tirupattur for recovering a sum of Rs. 850 for the expenses incurred in connection with the second plaintiff's marriage, and Rs. 116-3-0 interest that accrued thereon upto the date of the plaint.

2. The first plaintiff is the mother of the second plaintiff and the wife of the defendant. The marriage between the first plaintiff and the defendant did not prove to be a happy one, and in or about 1925, the plaintiff separated herself from her husband on the latter agreeing to pay maintenance, as provided in Ex. P-l. At that time, the second plaintiff was only two years old. Subsequently, the defendant married a second wife, and by her had some daughters. In 1940, the defendant issued a notice under Ex. P-2 calling upon his wife no to get the second plaintiff married to the former's brother, and leave the question of the second plaintiff's marriage to him. In spite of this, the second plaintiff was married to the first plaintiff's brother & the defendant was called upon to meet the expenses of this marriage aS he refused to do so, the plaintiffs instituted the present suit for the recovery of the amount mentioned above.

3. Th suit was opposed on various grounds relating to the customs of the community according to which the marriage expenses are not incurred by the bride's party. It is to be noted that there is no plea raised in the written statement that there is no legal obligation on the part of the father to bear the expenses one daughter's marriage.

4. The Courts below dismissed the suit holding that there was no legal obligation on the part of the father to perform the marriage of his daughter and in support of this view they relied upon a decision of a Bench of his Court in 'Sundariammal v. Subramana Aiyar', 26 Mad 505 where it was held that a wife, who spent money on her daughter's marriage was not entitled to recover it from the husband.

5. In 'Subbayya v. Anantaramayya', 53 Mad 84, a Full Bench of this Court expressed the opinion that there was a legal obligation on the part of the father to meet the marriage expenses of the daughter, if the family was possessed of joint family property. Referring to 'Sundari Ammal v. Subramania Aiyar', 26 Mad 505 and to an earlier decision 'Seshammal v. Munisami Mudaliar', 8 Mad L J 105 Ramesam J. who was one of the members of the Full Bench, observed that in those cases it did not appear that the father was a member of the joint family or had ancestral property. In 'Ranganayakiammal v. Ramanuja Aiyangar', 35 Mad 728 the claim of a daughter-in-law to recover the marriage expenses of her daughter from her father-in-law, who was in possession of the joint family properties was upheld.

6. What emerges from these decided cases is that the father has a legal obligation to meet the marriage expenses of his daughter, if it is shown that there is joint family property. But if there is no joint family property, the obligation of the father is only a moral or natural obligation, but not a legal obligation.

7. Therefore, the main question that arises for consideration in this appeal is whether the defendant in this case was in possession of the joint family property. Though the question of the possession of joint family property was not specifically raised either in the plaint or in the written statement, the defendant had specifically admitted that the property in his possession was ancestral property. On this admission, it is not open to doubt that the property in the possession of the defendant was ancestral property, and from this flows his legal obligation to meet the marriage expenses of his daughter.

8. Though the attention of the lower appellate Court was drawn to the ruling in 'Subbayya v. Anantaramayya', 53 Mad 84 it contented itself by observing that the facts of the present case were entirely different from the facts in 'Subbayya v. Anantaramayya', 53 Mad 84 The learned Judge does not state how the facts of the present case were different from those in 'Subbayya v. Anantaramayya', 53 Mad 34 The Court below entirely overlooked the distinction pointed out in 'Subbayya v. Anantaramayya', 53 Mad 84 between the liability of the father to meet the marriage expenses of the daughter when he is possessed of joint family property, & the liability of such a father when he is not possessed of any joint family property.

9. It follows that the judgment of the Courts below dismissing the suit on the ground that there is no liability on the part of the father, has to be set aside. The case has to go back to the trial Court for an enquiry as to the amount to which the plaintiffs would be entitled.

10. In the result, the second appeal is allowed and the case remanded to the trial Court for disposal according to law and in the light of the observation made above. The appellants will have refund of the court-fee paid by them in this second appeal. I make no order as to costs.

11. No leave.


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