Skip to content


(Puppala) Pichayya Vs. Mittapalli Sarvayya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Mad1118
Appellant(Puppala) Pichayya
RespondentMittapalli Sarvayya and ors.
Cases Referred and Ajodhya Prasad v. Maha Deo Pershad
Excerpt:
- - this appears to be the meaning placed on the well-known text of brihaspathi in mitakshara chap. lakshmanna read and translated to us a considerable portion of uu and we are satisfied that under uu all the three brothers mangayya, subbayya, and seshayya became divided......of 1894 mangayya, separated from the family, and subbayya and seshayya, continued to be members of joint hindu family and 3. that he and subbayya entered into an agreement whereby they both became members of a joint hindu family. all the three points were found against plaintiff 1 by the district munsif. on appeal the subordinate judge agreed with the district munsif in finding the points 1 and 2 against plaintiff 1, but he held that he had reunited with subbayya and therefore he was entitled to succeed to subbayya's estate. defendant 3 has preferred this second appeal.4. it is contended by mr. lakshamanna for the appellant that there could be no reunion between persons who were not parties to a division. in other words a reunion can only be among persons who were once joint and who had.....
Judgment:

Devadoss, J.

1. The only point for consideration in this second appeal is whether plaintiff 1, Sarvayya, is entitled to the estate of Subbayya by right of survivorship. There were three brothers, Mangayya, Subbayya and Seshayya. They divided their properties in 1894. Seshayya was then a minor. He attained majority in 1896 and died in 1897. His widow adopted plaintiff 1, the only son of Subbayya. Subbayya is now dead. Sarvayya, plaintiff 1, claims the estate of Subbayya by right of survivorship. He put forward three contentions in the District Munsif's Court.

2. 1. That he was a Dwamushyayana son of both Subbayya and Seshayya.

3. 2. That at the partition of 1894 Mangayya, separated from the family, and Subbayya and Seshayya, continued to be members of joint Hindu family and 3. That he and Subbayya entered into an agreement whereby they both became members of a joint Hindu family. All the three points were found against plaintiff 1 by the District Munsif. On appeal the Subordinate Judge agreed with the District Munsif in finding the points 1 and 2 against plaintiff 1, but he held that he had reunited with Subbayya and therefore he was entitled to succeed to Subbayya's estate. Defendant 3 has preferred this second appeal.

4. It is contended by Mr. Lakshamanna for the appellant that there could be no reunion between persons who were not parties to a division. In other words a reunion can only be among persons who were once joint and who had been divided. In Balabux v. Rukhmabai [1903] 30 Cal. 725 their Lordships of the Privy Council lay down the principle in the following terms:

A reunion in estate properly so called can only take place between persons who were parties to the original partition. This appears to be the meaning placed on the well-known text of Brihaspathi in Mitakshara Chap. 2, Section 9.

He who being once separated dwells again through affection with his father, brother, or paternal uncle, is termed reunited.

5. The text of Yagnyavalkya is

a reunited brother shall keep the share of his reunited co-heir who was deceased or shall deliver it to a son subsequently born. Setlur's Hindu Law Books on Inheritance page. 57).

6. Vignaneswara in commenting upon this text observes:

the effects which had been divided and which are again mixed together are termed .reunited. He to whom such appertain is a reunited parcener.

Re-union cannot take place with any person whoever it be but only with a father, a brother, or a paternal uncle as Brihaspathi declares. He who being once sep rated lives again through affection with his father, brother, or paternal uncle is said to be reunited.

7. The literal interpretation of the text can lead to no other conclusion than that a person in order to become reunited with another must have divided the family property with the other. We are not concerned in this case with the question whether the persons enumerated by Brihaspathi, the father, brother, or paternal uncle, exhaust the list of persons who could become re united. The only question in this is whether a person who had not divided the inheritance with a father, brother or uncle can become reunited with any of them. It is admitted that the plaintiff was born only in 1896 and that he was not a party to the partition in 1894.

8. In Basantha Kumar Singha v. Jogendra Nath Singha [1906] 33 Cal. 371 it was assumed that a reunion could only be among persons who had become divided.

9. In Akshay Chandra Bhattacharya v. Haridas Goswami [1908] 35 Cal. 721 Mr. Justice Mitra observes:-

Reunion Sanskrit word being Samrishta--implies a state of union or jointness, a partition and subsequent state of jointness amongst coparceners by mutual consent and through affection.

10. The word used in the text is 'Samrishta.'

11. In Viswanath Gangadhar v. Krishnaji Ganesh 3 B. H. C. A. C. 69 it was held that

a reunion must be made by the parties or some of them who made the separation,.

12. It may be said that this decision was under Mayukha Law and therefore is no authority on a point of the Mitakshara Law, C. J. Couch, after an examination of the Mitakshara. the Dayabhaga, and the Mayukha Systems observed at p. 79:

It appears to us the meaning of the passage from Brihaspathi which is the foundation of the law is that the reunion must be made by the parties or some of them who made the sepacation. If any of their descendants think fit to reunite they may do so and such a union is not a reunion in the sense of the Hindu law and does not affect the inheritance.

13. The observation in Lakshmibai v. Ganpat Moroba 4 B. He. O. C. 150 may be considered obiter as the evidence did not make out a reunion and the same remark applies to the observation in Nand Kishore v. Bohra Net Ram [1912] 14 I. C. 237 No case contra has been brought to our notice by the respondent and the decision in Bala Bux v. Rukhmabai [1903] 30 Cal. 725 governs this case. We find this point for the appellant.

14. Mr. Varadachariar who appears for respondent 1 wants to support the decision of the Subordinate Judge on the ground that there was no division in status when some of the moveables were divided in 1894 and the brothers remained joint as regards the immovable properties of the family and that under the law it is open to the members of a joint Hindu family to divide some of the family properties and remain joint with regard to the rest, Ex. U U is the list prepared in 1894 at the time of the division of the property. Mr. Lakshmanna read and translated to us a considerable portion of UU and we are satisfied that under UU all the three brothers Mangayya, Subbayya, and Seshayya became divided. The statement in QQ and other documents by Mangayya and Subbayya that they were members of a joint Hindu family were made in order to keep out the widow of Seshayya who would otherwise inherit his share. It was with that view that Seshayya's widow was made to adopt the only son of Subbayya and she was given some property for her maintenance and the rest of the property remained with Subbayya, Ex. Y dated 25th June 1898 does not help plaintiff 1. It is clear from the Ex. UU that the immovable properties were not divided by metes and bounds as the family was carrying on trade and it was necessary for the purpose of the trade that the immovable properties should not be divided by metes and bounds. As we concur in the finding of the two Courts that there was a division in status in 1894 it is unnecessary to consider the cases relied upon by Mr. Varadachariar in support' of his contention that there could be a division of some property among members of a joint Hindu family and yet they could remain joint with regard to the other properties not divided by them such as Gavri Shankar Parbhuram v. Atmaram Rajaram [1891] 18 Bom. 611 Mallikarjuna Prasad Nayudu v. Durga Prasada Nayudu [1901] 24 Mad. 147 Mallikarjuna Prasad Naidu v. Durga Prasada Naidu [1894] 17 Mad. 362 Muthuswami Mudaliar v. Nallakulantha Mudaliar [1895] 18 Mad. 418 Appovier v. Rama Subba Aiyar [1866] 11 M. I. A. 76 and Ajodhya Prasad v. Maha Deo Pershad 11 C. W. N. 221 We may remark in passing that some of these cases may require reconsideration in view of the present state of the law that an unambigous unilateral declaration of intention of one coparcener communicated to the other coparcener is sufficient to create a divided status between him and the other coparceners.

15. In the result we allow the second appeal, set aside the judgment and decree of the Subordinate Judge and restore that of the District Munsif with costs here and in the Court below.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //