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Sree Rajah Venkata Narasinha Appa Row Bahadur Vs. Sree Rajah Malraju Lakshmi Venkayamma Row Bahadur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract;Civil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in5Ind.Cas.102
AppellantSree Rajah Venkata Narasinha Appa Row Bahadur
RespondentSree Rajah Malraju Lakshmi Venkayamma Row Bahadur and ors.
Cases ReferredColonial Sugar Refining Co. v. Irving
Excerpt:
.....on the back hereof and favour me with the same. it will be happy if time is allowed to pass away with the intention entertained from the very beginning. it was clearly not understood as an acceptance of the terms in exhibit s, and nothing further was said about a conveyance of the village or a list of jewels. they did no doubt go on living with her, being maintained by her and drawing an allowance from her, as it was clearly their interest to do, but this fact alone, and there is nothing more, does not appear to us sufficient to raise the implication of a contract on either side......k, telling him not to trouble her; and eleven days later the plaintiff's husband wrote her another letter exhibit gl stating that if he was to go on staying with her there must be reasons for doing so and asking for the list of jewels and a conveyance of the village. to this she replied next day by exhibit q stating that the plaintiff had the list of jewels, and that as for the village everything would happen according to convenience. then the plaintiff's husband got the plaintiff herself to write exhibit q, dated the 10th october 1893, denying that she had any list of jewels and 'asking the old lady to state her intention about, this and the village. the old lady replied in exhibit d in detail stating that there was no need of pressing her for a list of jewels under her seal and.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal under Section 15 of the Letters Patent against the decree of this Court dismissing the appeal from the decree of the lower Court, under Section 575 of the Civil Procedure Code 1882, as the learned Judges differed. The plaintiff sued to recover possession of the village of Repudi which had been purchased by the late zemindarini Papamma Row and Mr. Justice Sankaran Nair agreeing with the District Judge held that the plaintiff was entitled to succeed on the ground that Papamma Row had entered into a contract to bequeath this village to the plaintiff in consideration of the plaintiff and her husband undertaking to live with her for the remainder of her life. Mr. Justice Abdur Rahim on the other hand was of opinion that no such contract was proved. This is also the conclusion at which we have arrived. It is common ground that Papama Row was very fond of the plaintiff, brought her up and got her married, had the plaintiff and her husband to live with her, maintained them and made the husband a handsome monthly allowance, and purchased and conveyed to the plaintiff two other villages besides presenting to her a large quantity of valuable jewels, This was the state of things when Papamma Row on the 28th February 1893 agreed to purchase the suit village for Rs. 40,000--Exhibit E. The transaction was negotiated by one Venkateswara Row, who after serving as the Dawan of the plaintiff's father, had been engaged in the like capacity by Papamma Row. He and the other negotiator, who were apparently interested it the plaintiff, had it mentioned in, the receipt Exhibit E, that the village was purchased to be given to the plaintiff for her dowry, but the old lady who was admittedly apprehensive that the plaintiff and her husband would leave her if she parted with the village objected strongly to the statement made in the receipt and insisted on the conveyance being made to her in her own name which was accordingly done--Exhibit L, dated the 23rd March 1893. The plaintiff and her husband were disappointed, and by way of bringing pressure to bear on her, the husband left about a month after Exhibit L and went to his own property. Exhibit Fl, a letter from the plaintiff's 5th witness to the plaintiffs husband dated, the 22nd July 1893 shows that Venkateswara Row was being sent to negotiate with the plaintiff's husband, and Exhibit F2 same to same, dated the 16th August 1893, shows that negotiations were in progress and that the plaintiff's 5th witness promised to come as soon as he could and help among other things in the matter of writing and giving Repudi. This letter and the subsequent correspondence show, in our opinion, conclusively that what the plaintiff and her husband at this time were bent on getting from Papamma Row was a present conveyance of Repudi and not a promise to leave it to the plaintiff at her death. About the date of Exhibit F2, the plaintiff's husband returned to Papamma Row's as he was urged to do in the letter. In Exhibit F5, dated the 11th September 1893, the plaintiff's 5th witness excuses himself for not having yet come to mediate. On the 27th September 1893, the plaintiff's husband having failed to effect anything through mediators wrote Exhibit G to Papamma Row complaining that he settlement had been arrived at about the payment of his allowance and about the list of his wife's jewels and the conveyance to her of Repudi and announced his intention of leaving as his brother was ill. In this letter he states that Venkateswara Row had told him that the list of jewels would bo given but that as to Repudi he must settle the matter with the plaintiff. On the same day the old lady returned ah evasive answer, Exhibit K, telling him not to trouble her; and eleven days later the plaintiff's husband wrote her another letter Exhibit Gl stating that if he was to go on staying with her there must be reasons for doing so and asking for the list of jewels and a conveyance of the village. To this she replied next day by Exhibit Q stating that the plaintiff had the list of jewels, and that as for the village everything would happen according to convenience. Then the plaintiff's husband got the plaintiff herself to write Exhibit Q, dated the 10th October 1893, denying that she had any list of jewels and 'asking the old lady to state her intention about, this and the village. The old lady replied in Exhibit D in detail stating that there was no need of pressing her for a list of jewels under her seal and signature, that the village had been purchased on the plaintiff's account, but money was still owing in respect of it, and that she would keep it during her life-time and then give it to the plaintiff who could do as she pleased with it. Before writing Exhibit D, she wrote Exhibit H to Venkateswara Row stating her intentions and asking him to draw up a paper giving effect to this, but he did not do so, and she herself wrote Exhibit D to the plaintiff. The plaintiff's husband says they were content with the promise in Exhibit D and did nothing more, but the correspondence shows that in this respect his memory is at fault. On the 16th October 1893, he wrote Exhibit S that on the 14th the plaintiff had told him certain things, stating that she did so by the old lady's directions. They were that if they consented to go on living with her she would execute a conveyance of Repudi village and have lists of the jewels and other property signed and sealed and leave them in the plaintiff's box. The letter goes on: 'I have no objection whatever to stay if it is done so. I would not even say that it should be done this very day. There is no inconvenience even if there should be delay for ten days.' Then after stating the arrangements which Venkateswara Row had told him had been made with regard to his allowance, he concludes by saying: 'I shall act up to your orders if you would have the said fact, that is the fact that they mentioned these matters to me according to your orders, endorsed on the back hereof and favour me with the same.' In effect the writer asked her to confirm these terms which he was prepared to accept. To this he received an evasive answer, Exhibit P, which was not and was never treated as an acceptance of the terms stipulated for in Exhibit S in Which the old lady says: It was because they were asked to let you know the matters which should be made known to you that they told you. It will be happy if time is allowed to pass away with the intention entertained from the very beginning. As regards her then there shall be no kind of defect at any time. No one wishes for her welfare more than we do. 'This letter cannot, in our opinion, be considered as an acceptance of terms contained in Exhibit Section It rather expresses a hope that they would do nothing to make the writer alter the favourable intentions towards the plaintiff which she had always entertained. It was clearly not understood as an acceptance of the terms in Exhibit S, and nothing further was said about a conveyance of the village or a list of jewels. This ends the correspondence, and it is clear, we think, that no contract arises on it, and we do not find any sufficient evidence of a subsequent contract by which the plaintiff and her husband agreed to go on living with the old lady till her death in consideration of her undertaking to leave the plaintiff the village to her death. They did no doubt go on living with her, being maintained by her and drawing an allowance from her, as it was clearly their interest to do, but this fact alone, and there is nothing more, does not appear to us sufficient to raise the implication of a contract on either side. As regards the other points we agree with the learned Judges. The appeal must be allowed and the decree against the appellant reversed with costs throughout. The second respondent who has not appealed asks the Court to set aside the decree against him also, but the old Section 544 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1882, does not apply to the case, as the present appeal is not against the whole decree. Before the present Code came into force, the plaintiff had become entitled to hold her decree against the defendant undisturbed, and the provisions of the present Code cannot be applied retrospectively so as to deprive her of it--Colonial Sugar Refining Co. v. Irving (1905) A.C. 339.


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