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Meenakshi Sundaram Chetty Vs. Ranga Ayyangar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1932Mad696
AppellantMeenakshi Sundaram Chetty
RespondentRanga Ayyangar and anr.
Cases ReferredRamajogayya v. Jagannadhan
Excerpt:
- .....in ramajogayya v. jagannadhan [1919] 42 mad. 185 which was that a decree could be passed against a minor's estate on a contract entered into by his guardian in a case in which the estate would have been liable for the obligation incurred by the guardian under the personal law to which the minor was subject. they held, as a result, that a decree could be passed against the estate of a hindu minor for a debt contracted by his guardian for the marriage of his sister. the chief justice, following the decision of the judicial committee in waghela rajsanji v. masludin [1987]11 bom.551 dissented, though he conceded that . that ruling would not affect the liability of the minor's estate under section 68, contract act, to persons who had supplied him, during minority, with necessaries suited to.....
Judgment:

1. The appellant, in this second appeal, is defendant 1. The plaintiff, as assignee for collection, sued the appellant and his mother, defendant 2, on a promissory note executed by the latter as his guardian for a sum of Rs. 1,500. The District Munsif found that the note was not genuine. On appeal the Subordinate Judge decreed the suit, holding not only that the note was genuine but also that the consideration for it was advanced for purposes binding on defendant 1's estate. His findings, so far as they are findings of fact, we must accept. It is now argued, on the footing of these findings, that defendant 2 had no power to impose a personal liability on her minor son. The question at issue seems to us to be concluded by the opinion of the majority of the Full Bench in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan [1919] 42 Mad. 185 which was that a decree could be passed against a minor's estate on a contract entered into by his guardian in a case in which the estate would have been liable for the obligation incurred by the guardian under the personal law to which the minor was subject. They held, as a result, that a decree could be passed against the estate of a Hindu minor for a debt contracted by his guardian for the marriage of his sister. The Chief Justice, following the decision of the Judicial Committee in Waghela Rajsanji v. Masludin [1987]11 Bom.551 dissented, though he conceded that . that ruling would not affect the liability of the minor's estate Under Section 68, Contract Act, to persons who had supplied him, during minority, with necessaries suited to his condition in life. The effect of the decision of the majority has been succinctly stated by Curgenven, J., in Venkata Jagannatha v. Venkatakumara A.I.R.1931 Mad.140 in Zamindar of Polavaram v. Maharaja of Pittapuram as being that

any liability to which the minor would be subject under the Hindu law is not the less a liability because it was incurred by his guardiau on his behalf.

2. In Ramakrishna Reddiar v. Kasivasi Chidambara Swamigal A.I.R.1928 Mad.407. Thiruven-katachariar, J., put the position in this way:

The guardian may, without charging the estate, contract loans for necessary purposes which he could not otherwise meet, the term necessary purposes being understood as comprising all that is necessary to meet the wants of the minor and of other members of the family who have claims either against him personally or against his estate. The creditor in such cases cannot enforce the claim against the minor personally, but may enforce it against his properties.

3. That was what he understood to be the effect of the decision in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan [1919]42 Mad.185 and we think that he understood it correctly. The position, he thought, was this:

If the creditor had sued the guardian alone on the personal covenant and recovered the loan from her, the latter had the right to be reimbursed from the estate and the creditor could therefore stand in her shoes and be allowed to enforce his claim direct against the estate itself.

4. In the particular case we are considering it has been found that defendant 2 borrowed for purposes binding on the minor's estate and that she had no other funds available to serve those purposes. Following the ruling in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan [1919] 42 Mad. 185, we think, that the creditor is entitled to be subrogated to the right of the guardian, and to have direct recourse against the minor's estate. From another point of view the same result is arrived at. The money borrowed having been advanced for necessary purposes, can be treated as money advanced for necessaries within the meaning of Section 68, Contract Act, and, as such, recoverable by direct recourse to the minor's estate. No doubt, the debtor here is the guardian and not the minor himself, but as Sir John Wallis pointed out in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan [1919]42 Mad.185:

when a guardian himself borrows money for the necessities of the minor in such circumstances as to give him a right to reimbursement from the minor's estate, his creditor may in a proper case, be subrogated to his right.

5. From either point of view, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.


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