(1) The only question in this appeal from the judgment of Ramaswami J. is whether the right of a Hindu widow in the property of the joint family, of which her husband was a coparcener, devolving on her under S. 3(2) of the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act, is liable to be attached and sold in execution of a decree obtained against her. The two Courts below and Ramaswami J. have held that it can be. We are in entire agreement with this decision. Section 3(2) of the Act is in the following terms:
'When a Hindu governed by any school of Hindu law other than the Dayalbhagh school or by customary law dies intestate, having at time of his death an interest in a Hindu joint family property, his widow shall, subject to the provisions of sub-sec. (3), have in the property the same interest as he himself had.''
Sub-sec. (3) declares that any such interest shall be the limited interest known as a Hindu woman's estate, provided however that she shall have the same right of claiming partition as a male owner. We have no hesitation in holding that the interest which is conferred by S. 3(2) of the Act on the widow is an interest over which she has a disposing power. It is not necessary to go into the question whether she is a coparcener along with the other coparceners. It is sufficient to hold that the interest which devolves on her is an undivided interest, but an interest which can be worked out by means of a partition. Such a right as her husband had devolves upon her. The only limitation is as regards the amplitude of the estate. It is a limited interest known as the Hindu woman's estate. In Saradambal v. Subbarama Aiyar, ILR 1942 Mad 630 : AIR 1942 Mad 212 a learned Judge of this Court held that the undivided share obtained by a Hindu widow under S. 3(2) of the Act is liable to be attached by her husband's creditors. This decision has been consistently followed in this Court, and we are in respectful agreement with the principle laid down in the decision. In the case before us, the creditor is not the widow's husband's creditor, but her own creditor. But, on principle, that could not make any difference.
(2) We cannot agree with Mr. G. R. Jagadisan, learned counsel for the appellant, that the right which the widow obtains under S. 3(2) of the Act can only be worked out by a partition, and that, before partition, she will not have a disposing power over the interest which the statute confers on her. This contention cannot be accepted. Unless there is a substantive right in the widow, but a right which is undivided, she cannot have the consequential right of working it out in and by means of a partition. It has been held in Dagadu Balu v. Namdeo Rakhmaji : AIR1955Bom152 , by a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court that an alienee from a Hindu widow of her life interest in the joint family property obtained by her husband is entitled to partition, that is to the same right which she herself would have had under sub-sec. (3) of S. 3. The appeal is dismissed with costs.
(3) Appeal dismissed.