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Rajambal Ammal and ors. Vs. Shanmugha Mudaliar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in70Ind.Cas.653
AppellantRajambal Ammal and ors.
RespondentShanmugha Mudaliar and ors.
Cases ReferredMeda Vengamma v. Mitta Chelamiah
Excerpt:
evidence act (i of 1872), section 115 - estoppel--knowledge of other party--representation on point of law--adverse possession--intention. - - i do not, on a consideration of the evidence in the case, consider that it is of anything like the cogency of the evidence in the case last cited and, in any event, i am not prepared to say that there was actually any representation of fact in this case. of fact and do not consider that there was any good reason to call for a fresh finding on this point......the adoption as a fact, but held, it was invalid. the lower appellate court found against the fact of adoption and the question is not raised in second appeal. this is enough to dispose of the contention but mr. a. krishnaswamy iyer has argued that though there may have, been no valid adoption, the plaintiffs and, parasurma mudali are estopped from setting up its validity. he relies on parvatibayamma v. ramakrishna rau 18 m. 145 and santappayya v. rangappayya 5 m.l.j. 66 . in order to effect an estoppel there must be a declaration, act or omission by which a person has intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief and to support this, documents such as exhibits iv and v are relied on to show that shanmugha mudali in 1903.....
Judgment:

William Ayling, J.

1. I agree that the appeals preferred on behalf of Shanmugha Mudaliar must be dismissed with costs. The Subordinate Judge's finding against the factum of adoption has not been questioned in the grounds of second appeal; and if it be accepted there could have been no misrepresentations of facts against him so as to give rise to an estoppel. Nor do I see how the status of joint ownership with rights of survivorship could be acquired by prescription.

2. Second Appeal No. 1077 of 1920 is concluded by findings of fact which we are not justified in refusing to accept and must also be dismissed with costs.

Odgers, J.

3. In these second appeals the question is, what was the position of one Shanmugha Mudali, first defendant in all the suits--with regard to the property of one Parasurama Mudali. The latter was one of a co-parcenary of four brothers who became divided in 1891 and Shanmugha is the son of a deceased divided brother of Parasurama. The property in question is (subject to further observation) the self-acquisition of Parasurama. The first contention put forward was that Shanmugha Mudali was the adopted son of Parasurama Mudali and the first Court found the adoption as a fact, but held, it was invalid. The lower Appellate Court found against the fact of adoption and the question is not raised in second appeal. This is enough to dispose of the contention but Mr. A. Krishnaswamy Iyer has argued that though there may have, been no valid adoption, the plaintiffs and, Parasurma Mudali are estopped from setting up its validity. He relies on Parvatibayamma v. Ramakrishna Rau 18 M. 145 and Santappayya v. Rangappayya 5 M.L.J. 66 . In order to effect an estoppel there must be a declaration, act or omission by which a person has intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief and to support this, documents such as Exhibits IV and V are relied on to show that Shanmugha Mudali in 1903 and 1908 described himself as the adopted son of Parasurama Mudali and that Parasurama Mudali was an attesting witness' of these documents and thus held out Shanmugha Mudali as his adopted son. It should have been stated that Shanmugha was an orphan when the alleged adoption took place in 1899. In the first of the two cases referred to above Muthuswami Iyer, J., (who was a party to both decisions) said at page 151: 'The doctrine of estoppel is but a graft, somewhat incongruous though equitable on the law of adoption, to be applied in cases in which by the invalid adoption the status of the adopted boy is so irrevocably altered as to render' it impossible for him to resume his original position in his natural family.' In the latter case, it was held on the evidence that there was such an estoppel on account of a course of conduct for 25 years and the fact that the adoptee was no longer in a position to resume his rights in his natural family. I do not apprehend that this would apply to the case of an orphan whose status in, his natural family would not thus be impaired. I do not, on a consideration of the evidence in the case, consider that it is of anything like the cogency of the evidence in the case last cited and, in any event, I am not prepared to say that there was actually any representation of fact in this case. Both Parasurama Mudali and Shanmugha Mudati, no doubt, believed that the adoption was a fact; there can be he estoppel when the other side knows the full facts; representation on a matter of law, i.e., as to the validity of an adoption creates no estoppel Gopee Lall v. Musammat Sree Chundraolee Buhoojee 11 B.L.R. 391 and Aiyanna Chariar v. Lakshmi Ammal 10 Ind. Cas. 194 . I am, therefore, of opinion that no estoppel arises in this case.

4. The next point argued by Mr. A. Krishnaswami Iyer is that the alleged adapted son acquired the joint estate of himself and his alleged adoptive father by survivorship after the lapse of the statutory period, viz., 12 years. The alleged adoption was in 1899 and differences arose in 1914 when the adoption was repudiated by Parasurama Mudali. Both the lower Courts Have found that Parasurama Mudali and Shanmugha Mudali were co-owners of the suit properties, which were purchased from the joint earnings in the tobacco trade which they carried on together for these 14 or 15 years. Now, it is clear that joint tenancy with right of survivorship is confined in the Hindu Law to the single case of a co-parcenary between the members of an undivided family. See the judgment of the Privy Council in Jogeswar Narain Deo v. Ram Chandra Dutt 23 I.A. 37 . It is also settled that in questions of limitation regard must be had to the animus with which the possession is taken or held Rajyalakshmi v. Suryanarayana 3 M.L.J. 100. The case in Meda Vengamma v. Mitta Chelamiah 15 Ind. Cas. 17 is only authority for holding that an estate known to and sanctioned by the Hindu Law can be granted to a Hindu female though it may change the course of devolution after her death. In this case the lower Appellate Court has found against the fact of the adoption, and, accepting that as a finding of fact, (as to which as stated there has been no ground taken in the second appeal petition), there can in law be no animus to adopt on the part of Parasurama Mudali. His property, therefore, cannot have been held by Shanmugha Mudali with the animus of an adopted son, and the fact that he held (or affected to deal with) this for over 12 years could not change his position into that of an adopted son-in-law, at the end of that period. It, therefore, appears to me that this point goes also. The appeals of Mr. A, Krishnaswamy Iyer, viz., Nos. 1926 to 1929 must be dismissed with costs.

5. Mr. Ananthakrishna Iyer for the widow of Parasurama Mudali in Second Appeal No. 1077 of 1920 argues that the whole property should have been decreed to his client. Both the lower Courts have, however, found as a fact that the suit properties were acquired from the earnings of the joint trade of Parasurama and Shanmugha and have declared that they are joint owners thereof. I am not prepared to disturb, those findings; of fact and do not consider that there was any good reason to call for a fresh finding on this point. This appeal must, therefore, be dismissed with costs. So also Second Appeals Nos. 1572 to 1574 of 1920 are dismissed with costs.


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