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M. Meenatchi Ammal Alias Chinnamml Vs. M. Manioka Chetty - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in24Ind.Cas.918
AppellantM. Meenatchi Ammal Alias Chinnamml
RespondentM. Manioka Chetty
Excerpt:
benami transaction - will by lady-description of devisee as grand--daughter's husband--devise, whether benami for grand--daughter--collector's certificate, whether eveidence of recognition of antecedent title--rent, collection of, by wife , whether evidence of exclusive possession against husband--transfer of property act (iv of 1882), section 51--improvements, value of--evidence required to prove claim for improvements, whether entitled to recover same. - .....of 185 i was a transaction under which kalappi chetty took the property benami on behalf of his wife ammayi ammal.2. then there is evidence that in the year 1833 kalappa chetty obtained a certificate from the collector in his wife's name. it is not suggested that the obtaining of the certificate is evidence of a gift of the property by, kalappa chetty to his wife and to my mind it is not, in the circumstances of this case, evidence of a recognition by kalappa chetty of an antecedent title in his wife.3. then it has been suggested that the wife acquired a prescriptive title by adverse possession as against her husband. the only evidence as to that, so far as i can see, is the collecting of rents by the wife. i certainly am not prepared to differ from the conclusion which the learned.....
Judgment:

Charles Arnold White, C.J.

1. The first contention raised by Mr. Ramosam on behalf of the appellant (the defendant) in this appeal is that Ammayi Ammal, the wife of Kalappa Chetty, acquired a title to the property in question by virtue of a sale-deed executed in 1351 by Ponnammal in favour of Kalappa Chetty. Ponnammal was the grandmother of Ammayi Ammal, who was the wife of Kalappa Chetty. So far as the deed of sale goes, there is nothing to indicate that the transaction was not what it purported to be, namely, a sale to the husband. Mr. Ramesam very properly does not rely on the oral evidence with regard to this suggestion of a benami transaction. He has called our attention to two Wills, executed by Ponnammal before the sale-deed, devising the property in question to Kalappa Chetty, in which he is described as the husband of the granddaughter of Ponnammal. That to my mind does not show that the transaction of 185 i was a transaction under which Kalappi Chetty took the property benami on behalf of his wife Ammayi Ammal.

2. Then there is evidence that in the year 1833 Kalappa Chetty obtained a certificate from the Collector in his wife's name. It is not suggested that the obtaining of the certificate is evidence of a gift of the property by, Kalappa Chetty to his wife and to my mind it is not, in the circumstances of this case, evidence of a recognition by Kalappa Chetty of an antecedent title in his wife.

3. Then it has been suggested that the wife acquired a prescriptive title by adverse possession as against her husband. The only evidence as to that, so far as I can see, is the collecting of rents by the wife. I certainly am not prepared to differ from the conclusion which the learned Judge has come to, that there is no evidence of exclusive possession in the wife as against her husband. That being so, I agree with the learned Judge that no question of limitation arises.

4. The only remaining question is the question of improvements. It is contended that the defendant, as the transferee of immoveable property, is entitled to the value of improvements made on the property in question under Section 51 of the Transfer of Property Act. Assuming that under that section the heir of the transferee is entitled to recover as against the party who seeks to evict him, the question here is--Is there any evidence of improvements by the transferee? In 1839 Amniayi Ammal made or purported to make a deed of gift of the property in question to her daughter, Pachai Ammal. Pachai Ammal lived 14 years after that She died in 1903. The evidence is that all the improvements were effected daring the life-time of Ammayi Animal, the mother, that the parties wove all living together anl that they continued to live together after the deed of gift of 1889.

5. There is some general evidence that Pachai Amznal sold her jewels and that the proceeds were devoted to the improvements of the property. The evidence is of a very general character. There is an account in evidence which purports to be kept by Murugesam Chatty, who was the husband of Pachai Ammal and whose second wife is the defendant, with reference to the expenditure of money on the house in question. Assuming that this document is evidence, it is impossible to say from the terms of the various items in the account that these items relate to the expenditure incurred for the purpose of improvements and not to expenditure necessity for the repair and up-keep of the house. It seems to me that a claim under Section 51 of the Transfer of Property Act, if it is to be established, must be proved by more precise evidence than the defendant his been able to adduce in this case. The conclusion to which the learned Judge comes is that the expenditure on the house in question must be taken to have been incurred by Ammayi Animal. If the expenditure was incurred by Ammayi Ammal, it is clear that the defendant has no claim for improvements. Ammayi Ammal is not the transferee of the immoveable property in question. I do not think the evidence is sufficient to warrant us in holding that the improvements were effected by Pachai Ammal or by her husband so as to give the heir a claim to the value of improvements under Section 51.

6. The result is the appeal is dismissed with costs.

Oldfield, J.

7. I concur.


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