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Yenamandra Jagannadham Vs. theerthala Adilakshmi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1940Mad545; (1940)1MLJ433
AppellantYenamandra Jagannadham
Respondenttheerthala Adilakshmi and ors.
Cases ReferredKutti Ammal v. Radhakrishna
Excerpt:
- - 3. the appellant's case is that he took peaceful possession of the property under the will and continued to enjoy the property undisturbed till 1925. that was the year in which viramma died. it is admitted that if she is an heir under the hindu law, the appellant must fail, as his rights based on mere possession cannot prevail against those of the true owner. further the test of mutuality is also satisfied as she and narasayya are sapindas of each other in the mitakshara sense of the term......is whether the second respondent is not the true owner, and whether she has not succeeded to the estate of narasayya in the events which have happened.4. the second respondent is the daughter of a brother's son of the propositus, and is only four degrees removed from narasayya's father, the common ancestor. she is thus within the prescribed limit of proximity, being less than seven degrees in ascent and descent from the last male owner. further the test of mutuality is also satisfied as she and narasayya are sapindas of each other in the mitakshara sense of the term. her right to succeed to the estate cannot be questioned except on the ground that being a female she is not within the class of heritable bandhus. but it is now too late in the day to question the proposition that under.....
Judgment:

Krishnaswami Aiyangar, J.

1. This is a second appeal which came before Mr. Justice Wadsworth in the first instance. The question raised in it related to the right of a brother's son's daughter to inherit under the Hindu Law, The precise question is not covered by authority in this Presidency and for that reason the learned Judge has referred the point for consideration by a Bench.

2. The appellant was the plaintiff in the trial Court. He instituted the suit for the recovery of possession of property which appertained to the estate of one Narasayya who died some time before 1895. He was succeeded by his widow Viramma, who in 1895 entered into an arrangement with the next reversioner Suryanarayana who was her husband's brother's son. By that arrangement, Suryanarayana in consideration of a sum of Rs. 100 agreed to Veeramma holding the estate as absolute owner - a transaction which is admittedly invalid under Hindu Law, Viramma having thus secured, as she probably thought, a Valid right to dispose of the estate, made a gift of the property to her daughter Suramma in 1908. The daughter died in 1915 having in her turn purported to bequeath the property in favour of the appellant in this second appeal. The appellant's case thus rests in the arrangement of 1895, which is totally void - a point which is not disputed.

3. The appellant's case is that he took peaceful possession of the property under the will and continued to enjoy the property undisturbed till 1925. That was the year in which Viramma died. After her death, the first respondent, who is Suryanarayana's widow and the second respondent, his daughter, dispossessed him of the property. The District Munsif decreed the suit. On appeal by the respondents, the District Judge allowed the appeal holding that the second respondent was entitled to retain possession of the property on the ground that she had succeeded to the estate as the next heir of Narasayya. It is admitted that if she is an heir under the Hindu Law, the appellant must fail, as his rights based on mere possession cannot prevail against those of the true owner. The only question then is whether the second respondent is not the true owner, and whether she has not succeeded to the estate of Narasayya in the events which have happened.

4. The second respondent is the daughter of a brother's son of the propositus, and is only four degrees removed from Narasayya's father, the common ancestor. She is thus within the prescribed limit of proximity, being less than seven degrees in ascent and descent from the last male owner. Further the test of mutuality is also satisfied as she and Narasayya are sapindas of each other in the Mitakshara sense of the term. Her right to succeed to the estate cannot be questioned except on the ground that being a female she is not within the class of heritable bandhus. But it is now too late in the day to question the proposition that under the Hindu Law as administered in this Presidency, female bandhus are entitled to come in after the male bandhus are exhausted, provided of course they satisfy the other conditions required by law. A series of decisions of this Court commencing from Kutti Ammal v. Radhakrishna (1875) 8 M.H.C.R. 88 have established their right to rank as heirs under Hindu Law. It is true that there has been no direct decision relating to the right of a brother's son's daughter to inherit. But this can make very little difference, once it is established, as we hold it to be, that females are not to be disqualified by reason of their sex only. This proposition is firmly established for such a length of time that it is unnecessary to discuss it. The second appeal therefore fails and must be dismissed with costs.


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