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Nani Kutti Alivs Narayani Kutti Amma and ors. Vs. Kotthale Patinhare Puthiya Purayil Achuthan Kutti Nair and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in51Ind.Cas.10
AppellantNani Kutti Alivs Narayani Kutti Amma and ors.
RespondentKotthale Patinhare Puthiya Purayil Achuthan Kutti Nair and ors.
Cases ReferredSulaiman v. Biyaththumma
Excerpt:
malabar law - partition per stirpes or by tavazhies, validity of--minor members, right of, to impeach partition on attaining majority. - - it is, of course, well settled in malabar that there can be no partition at all, except by the consent of all the adult members. but a division per stirpes which gave each stirpe an unequal share depending on the number of members in it, would be very like a division per capita, and was not, we think, what their lordships intended. we are clearly of opinion that there is no ground for this contention......of daughters of the original ancestress. each taivari may similarly be sub divided, should the members consent thereto, and so on until individual proprietorship is arrived at. i am not aware that this rule has ever been questioned.' the fullest discussion of the question is to be found in dr. pandalai's marumakathayam law, 1914, page 146 (which was not referred to before us) where the same result is arrived at, and several decisions of the travancore high court are referred to. in a recent case which came before the privy council, sulaiman v. biyaththumma 19 bom. l.r. 394 their lordships alluded to this method of division by tavazhies as the proper mode of division. they fay that this division was merely an application of the rule that division for the purpose of partition is.....
Judgment:

1. In view of the findings of the lower Appellate Court in these cases, Mr. C. Madhavan Nair, who appears for the appellants, has only questioned the decision as regards the partition deed, Exhibit C. This raises a question of Malabar Law of some importance on which we have derived much assistance from his argument and those of Mr. K.P.M. Menon and Mr. C.V. Ananthakrishna Aiyar for various respondents. The division under Exhibit C is a division of the Tarwad properties per stirpes, that is to say, allotting an equal share to each stirpe or Tavazhi. It is, of course, well settled in Malabar that there can be no partition at all, except by the consent of all the adult members. As regards the minor members of the Tarwad, it was observed by Sankaran Nair, J. in Parakutti v. Kelapan Nair 34 Ind. Cas. 818'such a partition would ordinarily be binding on the minors, but if on attaining majority, they are able to show that they have been prejudiced, that partition could be re opened so far as they are concerned, and they would be awarded the share which should have been set apart for them; but subject to this, the partition is final as between those who were parties to it' This appears to be an application of the similar principle which has been applied with regard to partitions on the East Coast. As to such partitions Mr. Ananthakrishna Aiyar has referred us to the decision of Srinivasa Iyengar, J. in Yeechuri Ramamurthy v. Yeechuri Ramamma 33 Ind. Cas. 961 where it was pointed out that partitions effected by the adult members of the family are binding on the minor members, in the absence of negligence or fraud. The only question then is whether this partition which is by consent can be upset at the instance of certain members of the Tarwad who were minors, on the ground that the division was per stirpes and not per capita. Now the authorities to which Mr. Ananthakrishna Aiyar has called our attention show conclusively that partition per stirpes, or what comes to the same thing partition by Tavazhies, has to say the least a greater body of authority in its favour than partition per capita. He has referred us to Strange's Manual of Hindu Law, Section 389, where it is said that where such divisions are made, they would naturally be by Tavazhies. Mr. Ormsby who was Chief Justice of Travancore, in his book on Marumakathayam Law, says at page 2, paragraph 4: 'Where division takes place it will usually be according to the Taivaries, or number of daughters of the original ancestress. Each Taivari may similarly be sub divided, should the members consent thereto, and so on until individual proprietorship is arrived at. I am not aware that this rule has ever been questioned.' The fullest discussion of the question is to be found in Dr. Pandalai's Marumakathayam Law, 1914, page 146 (which was not referred to before us) where the same result is arrived at, and several decisions of the Travancore High Court are referred to. In a recent case which came before the Privy Council, Sulaiman v. Biyaththumma 19 Bom. L.R. 394 their Lordships alluded to this method of division by Tavazhies as the proper mode of division. They fay that this division was merely an application of the rule that division for the purpose of partition is stirpital, though as between the members of any class it is capital.' Mr. Madhavan Nair explained this by saying that it only meant that divisions should be by Tavazhies, but did not lay down that each Tavazhi should have an equal share. But a division per stirpes which gave each stirpe an unequal share depending on the number of members in it, would be very like a division per capita, and was not, we think, what their Lordships intended. This division by Exhibit C has been made in what appears upon authority to be the more approved form, and, therefore, we think that the plaintiffs can have no right to question a partition effected in this manner.

2. Further we have to bear in mind that a partition in Malabar depends upon the consent of all parties, and if we were to uphold the plaintiffs' contention, the one result would be to set this partition aside and to restore the original state of unity, because division per capita would in this case be without the consent of all the adult members. It appears that with regard to some of the property of this family, it was divided per capita by Exhibit B. That division is not attacked in the present case and we have not to consider it. What is contended is that the partition under Exhibit C should also have been per capita, and should be upset because it is per stirpes. We are clearly of opinion that there is no ground for this contention.

3. Therefore the appeal fails and must be dismissed with costs. Second Appeal No. 1267 of 1917 is also dismissed with costs.

4. Is Memorandum op Objections in Second Appeal No. 1267 op 1917.

5. We must allow the memorandum and increase the fee in the lower Appellate Court from Rs. 20 to Rs. 95. There will be no order as to costs of this memorandum of objections.


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