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Rukmani Ammal Vs. Narasimhachariar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1924Mad696; 78Ind.Cas.173; (1924)46MLJ285
AppellantRukmani Ammal
RespondentNarasimhachariar and anr.
Cases ReferredSuhbammal v. Krishna Aiyar
Excerpt:
hindu law - partition--construction of partition deed--partition between two sisters--succession--survivorship. - - in a case like this, however, there is a question of right of survivorship and the phrase might well have been intended to carry a special significance. 757 .a partition-deed was relied'on in which ocoured precisely the same phrase as is now under consideration. the munsif in this case has entirely failed to grasp the real significance of the ruling......widow. the moveable properties they divided without a deed and the immoveable properties by the deed in question. nine years later, one of them, janaki by name, died leaving a will in favour of the plaintiff. the will is disputed by the other sister who claims the property by right of survivorship. the partition deed is ex. a. it refers to the fact that the moveable properties had already been divided, allots a decree to one sister and an usufructuary mortgage to the other and divides the immoveable properties between them. it oloses with the sentence.henoeforth the only relationship between us will be one of friendship and not of property. 'the question is whether they intended by this expression to exclude the right of succession by survivorship. it is argued that their intention.....
Judgment:

Waller, J.

1. The question for deoisionis as to the proper construction of a partition-deed executed by two step-sisters. They inherited the properties of their father after the death of his widow. The moveable properties they divided without a deed and the immoveable properties by the deed in question. Nine years later, one of them, Janaki by name, died leaving a Will in favour of the plaintiff. The Will is disputed by the other sister who claims the property by right of survivorship. The partition deed is Ex. A. It refers to the fact that the moveable properties had already been divided, allots a decree to one sister and an usufructuary mortgage to the other and divides the immoveable properties between them. It oloses with the sentence.

Henoeforth the only relationship between us will be one Of friendship and not of property. 'The question is whether they intended by this expression to exclude the right of succession by survivorship. It is argued that their intention was merely to give up thek present and their future rights.

2. The phrase used in Ex, A. is sometimes to be found in deeds of partition between males. In such cases there is no question of right of survivorship and the phrase would seem to carry rio special significance. In a case like this, however, there is a question of right of survivorship and the phrase might well have been intended to carry a special significance.

3. Several rulings have been cited. The first is Multuvaduganadha Thevar v. Dosasinga Tevar 9 M. 290 : 8 I.A. 99; Sar.P.C.J. 289 : 5 Ind. Jur. 488 : 1 Ind. Dec. 757 . A partition-deed was relied'on in which ocoured precisely the same phrase as is now under consideration. The finding was (vide p. 339) that the right renounced in the partition-deed was absolutely different from the right in contest in the subsequent litigation. The decision does not, I think, help the appellant. Here each sister renounced 'henceforth' all right to the other's share and they cannot but have had in contemplation the certainty that one of them would predecease the other.

4. The next 'ruling, Gomathi Ammal v. Kupputhayi Ammal 14 M.L.J. 175, is of no greater service to the appellant, for the finding was that the sisters could not have had in contemplation the renunciation of the right of survivorship as they believed themselves to be entitled to an absolute estate. Had they known that their estate was limited, the language of the deed --that thereafter the connection between them was to be that of blood only--might have led the Court to a different conclusion. The Munsif in this case has entirely failed to grasp the real significance of the ruling.

5. The last ruling is no more favourable to the appellant. It is Suhbammal v. Krishna Aiyar 22 Ind. Cas. 899 : 26 M.L. 3. 479. In that case certain expressions had been used in a deed which were not very apt to the occasion but had been interpreted by the lower Courts as excluding the right to succeed by survivorship. The High Court held that all doubt would have been set at rest had the more usual words that 'the parties' henceforth had no connection of property but only of blood' been added. The Munsif interprets the ruling as meaning that it is essential that all the three expressions should be present in order to justify the inference that the right of survivorship had been renounced. He is, I think, wrong. It seems to me clear that the High Court regarded the first two phrases as being of doubtful import and the third as quite conclusive.

6. In fee Result, I think that the learned District Judge rightly interpreted the partition deed and would dismiss the appeal with costs.

Krishnan, J.--I agree that the constru tion placed on Ex. A by the 'District Judj is correot and that this appeal fails) it is di missed with costs.


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