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Kandaswami Naidu Vs. M. Kanniah Naidu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1924)46MLJ366
AppellantKandaswami Naidu
RespondentM. Kanniah Naidu and ors.
Cases ReferredMitakshara. Umed Kika v. Nagindas Narotamdas
Excerpt:
- - it is well established that on breach of such a contract an action for damages lies. i should have myself felt a little doubtful as regards the second head of damages though this kind of damages is allowed in the well-known english form of action for breach of promise of marriage and allowed to the plaintiff concerned who is actually a party to the marriage contract but not to the parents; 18-12-0. this appeal has substantially failed and has succeeded on this minor point......r. to which that learned chief justice westropp was a party is wrong. under the circumstances the learned judge awarded in this case rs. 50 as damages under that head and also rs. 200 for damages actually sustained. the claim had been preferred for a very much larger amount. the learned judge discounted the claim and disallowed a large part of the damages claimed on the ground that the plaintiffs had intentionally aggravated the damages by spending money, though they knew that the marriage would not take place; and he reduced, i think, the amount to what he considered to be the actual minimum amount expended by the plaintiffs without knowing of the other marriage. 1 must say that i am not certain that he has not from that point of view given a little too much, but to some extent it had.....
Judgment:

Walter Salis Schwabe, K.C., C.J.

1. This is an appeal from the City Civil Court in an action for breach of promise of marriage. The action is not by either of the parties proposed for the marriage but mainly by the brother of the proposed bridegroom against the father of the proposed bride. The contract was proved under which the first defendant agreed to give his daughter in marriage to the 2nd plaintiff who is 1st plaintiff's brother. It is well established that on breach of such a contract an action for damages lies. The Mitakshara itself provides that, if a more suitable suitor is found, a man will be justified in breaking off a marriage contract but I think that it is quite clear that, when that course is pursued, it is also provided that some form of damages can be provided against the father who so changes his mind. This is stated to be the law in Umed Kika v. Nagindas Narotamdas (1). There is a passage to the contrary in a decision of Beaman, J., in Khimji Vassonji v. Narsi Dhanji ILR 39 B 682, which I think; is inaccurate and is based, as pointed out in Mayne's Hindu Law at page 118, on a misconception of Mitakshara. Umed Kika v. Nagindas Narotamdas 7 BHCR 122 is authority for the proposition that, in such cases, the plaintiff is entitled to recover money actually thrown away and also damages to his credit and reputation by reason of the refusal. I should have myself felt a little doubtful as regards the second head of damages though this kind of damages is allowed in the well-known English form of action for breach of promise of marriage and allowed to the plaintiff concerned who is actually a party to the marriage contract but not to the parents; but I see no reason for saying that the decision in 7 Bom. H. C. R. to which that learned Chief Justice Westropp was a party is wrong. Under the circumstances the learned Judge awarded in this case Rs. 50 as damages under that head and also Rs. 200 for damages actually sustained. The claim had been preferred for a very much larger amount. The learned Judge discounted the claim and disallowed a large part of the damages claimed on the ground that the plaintiffs had intentionally aggravated the damages by spending money, though they knew that the marriage would not take place; and he reduced, I think, the amount to what he considered to be the actual minimum amount expended by the plaintiffs without knowing of the other marriage. 1 must say that I am not certain that he has not from that point of view given a little too much, but to some extent it had to be a guess work, and I think he has given if anything a little too little on the other head. I think that it will not be right to interfere with the amount of damages he has awarded in this case. But I do not think he was right in awarding the full costs that he awarded. The claim was for Rs. 2,000 and a stamp had been paid on the plaint of Rs. 125 based on the valuation and the learned Judge found that the case for the plaintiffs was grossly exaggerated and intentionally exaggerated. 1 do not think that it is right, when a Judge adopts that view of the case, to award costs on a scale which includes the amount paid as tax to Government based on the larger amount which had been falsely put forward. I do not think that the amount allowed as vakil's fees was at all excessive in view of the case but I think that the amount recoverable for stamp must be reduced to its proper amount, namely, Rs. 18-12-0. This appeal has substantially failed and has succeeded on this minor point. I think that the result must be that there will be no order as to the costs of this appeal.


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