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Pothukuchi Mahalakshmi Vs. Modali Suryakanta Manikyamba and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1940Mad494; (1940)1MLJ119
AppellantPothukuchi Mahalakshmi
RespondentModali Suryakanta Manikyamba and ors.
Cases ReferredSengamatathammal v. Velaynda Mudali
Excerpt:
- .....daughters, all inheriting together in equal shares and that daughters include maiden daughters and married daughters whose husbands are alive, but not widowed daughters. the order of inheritance given by the mitakshara with regard to the same class of property is (1) unmarried daughter; (2) married daughter who is unprovided for; (3) married daughter who is provided for; daughter's son, son, and others coming later. the question whether with regard to the inheritance of stridhana property, the mitakshara is to be preferred to the smritichandrika was carefully considered by muthuswami ayyar, j., in simmani ammal v. muthammal i.l.r.(1880) 3 mad. 265, and he has given cogent reasons for preferring the mitakshara on this point. he says that all commentators other than the smritichandrika.....
Judgment:

Horwill, J.

1. The only question that arises in Second Appeal No. 705 of 1936 is whether a daughter's daughter is to be preferred to a widowed daughter in the matter of inheriting Anwadheyaka Stridhanam property. Both the lower Courts have held that the widowed daughter was to be preferred. One of the grand-daughters (the first plaintiff) has appealed.

2. The contest between the widowed daughter and the granddaughter arises because of a difference of opinion with regard to this matter, in the Mitakshara and the Smritichandrika. The Smrilichandrika says that Bhartridatta and Anwadheyaka stridhana pass to sons and daughters, all inheriting together in equal shares and that daughters include maiden daughters and married daughters whose husbands are alive, but not widowed daughters. The order of inheritance given by the Mitakshara with regard to the same class of property is (1) unmarried daughter; (2) married daughter who is unprovided for; (3) married daughter who is provided for; daughter's son, son, and others coming later. The question whether with regard to the inheritance of Stridhana property, the Mitakshara is to be preferred to the Smritichandrika was carefully considered by Muthuswami Ayyar, J., in Simmani Ammal v. Muthammal I.L.R.(1880) 3 Mad. 265, and he has given cogent reasons for preferring the Mitakshara on this point. He says that all commentators other than the Smritichandrika have followed the Mitakshara and that the Smritichandrika stands alone in its interpretation, which Ghose in his Hindu Law says is due to a misapprehension of the text of Katyayana.

3. The precise problem presented in this appeal has not been decided; but the same texts have been considered not only in Simmani Ammal v. Muthammal I.L.R.(1884) 7 Mad. 387, but in a number of other cases, including Bhujanga Row v. Ramayammal I.L.R.(1884) 7 Mad. 387 and Muthappudayan v. Ammani Ammal (1897) 8 M.L.J. 9 : I.L.R. 21 Mad. 58. Muthuswami Aiyar, J., was also a party to the decision in Bhujanga Raw v. Ramayamma I.L.R.(1884) 7 Mad. 387, which naturally follows Simmani Ammal v. Muthammal I.L.R.(1880) 3 Mad. 265. Both in Muthappudayan v. Ammani Ammal (1897) 8 M.L.J. 9 : I.L.R. 21 Mad. 58 and in Rajugramani v. Ammani Ammal I.L.R.(1906) 29 Mad.358, it has been made clear that in the Presidency of Madras the Mitakshara is the paramount authority. Sengamatathammal v. Velaynda Mudali (1867) 3 M.H.C.R. 312, is the only case in which the Smritichandrika seems to have been preferred to the Mitakshara and that was because it was found that the particular text of the Mitakshara under consideration was based on a mistake and all the other authorities were unanimous in giving a different interpretation.

4. If the Mitakshara is the prevailing authority on the point raised in this appeal, there can be no doubt that the fact that the daughter is a widow makes no difference. All the text books agree that daughter in this text of the Mitakshara includes a widowed daughter and one of the reasons for this is that the order of preference among the daughters depends largely upon their indigence. Just as an unprovided married daughter is preferred to a married provided daughter, so a married daughter who had lost the support of her husband is preferred to a married daughter who has not. Second appeal No. 705 of 1936 therefore fails and is dismissed with costs. S.A. No. 751 of 1936, which raises inter alia the same point, is from the judgment of the Government Agent, East Godawari. As the appeals are from Judgment of different Courts there should, I think, be separate costs, especially as there is another point in this appeal which would have had to be argued if the above point of law had been decided otherwise. S.A. No. 751 of 1936 is therefore dismissed with costs also.

5. C.M.A. No. 388 of 1936, for similar reasons, is dismissed but without costs.

6. (Leave refused).


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