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V. Gurulinga Mudaliar Vs. Thayyanayaki Ammal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1948Mad522; (1948)1MLJ343
AppellantV. Gurulinga Mudaliar
RespondentThayyanayaki Ammal
Cases ReferredLigamma v. Venkqyya
Excerpt:
- - there was an appeal but that appeal also failed, because the appellant would not comply with an order of this court to furnish security for the costs......case in ligamma v. venkqyya (1944) 1 m.l.j. 288, that when a certifi-cate was granted to a hindu widow in respect of her husband's debts or securities, the court may, when there were sufficient circumstances, require her to furnish security, and that such an order might be made at the instance of a reversioner. with great respect to the learned judges, we doubt if the provision in section 375(1) could be availed of by a presumptive reversioner who has no present interest in the whole or any part of the debts and securities covered by the succession certificate granted to a widow. the widow is under no duty to render an account to any one, least of all to the presumptive reversioner. there is no right of indemnity in a reversioner in respect of property which devolves on a hindu widow......
Judgment:

P.V. Rajamannar, Officiating C.J.

1. This is an appeal against the order of Chandra-sekhara Aiyar, J., granting Succession Certificate to the respondent in respect of certain debts due to her deceased husband without furnishing any security. The appellant is the presumptive reversioner, the son of a divided brother of the deceased. The complaint of the appellant is that the respondent should have been directed to furnish security under Section 375(1) of the Indian Succession Act. The learned Judge referred to the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Ligamma v. Venkayya (1944) 1 M.L.J. 288, in which Mockett and Bell, JJ., held that when a widow applied for the issue of a Succession Certificate in respect of a sum of money due to her deceased husband's estate the widow would be entitled to a certificate without security in the absence of special circumstances. The appellant complains that there were special circumstances which would justify an order for security but the learned Judge did not consider them before dispensing with security.

2. Under Section 375(1), the District Judge is bound to require, as a condition precedent to the grant of a certificate, that the person to whom the grant is being made should furnish security in cases coming under Sub-section (3) and Sub-section (4) of Section 373. In any. other case, the District Judge has got a discretion which is implied in the use of the word ' may.' It was evidently assumed by the learned Judges who decided the case in Ligamma v. Venkqyya (1944) 1 M.L.J. 288, that when a certifi-cate was granted to a Hindu widow in respect of her husband's debts or securities, the Court may, when there were sufficient circumstances, require her to furnish security, and that such an order might be made at the instance of a reversioner. With great respect to the learned Judges, we doubt if the provision in Section 375(1) could be availed of by a presumptive reversioner who has no present interest in the whole or any part of the debts and securities covered by the succession certificate granted to a widow. The widow is under no duty to render an account to any one, least of all to the presumptive reversioner. There is no right of indemnity in a reversioner in respect of property which devolves on a Hindu widow. The reversioner is in no sense entitled to the whole or any part of the debts and securities comprised in the estate of the last maleholder, in the hands of the widow. We are inclined to hold that Section 375(1) does not empower the Court to require a Hindu widow to furnish security for debts and securities in respect of which a succession certificate is granted to her at the instance and for the benefit of a presumptive reversioner.

3. We, however, need not finally decide this point, as we are convinced that in this case there are no circumstances, special or otherwise, to justify an order for security. The only circumstances relied upon by the appellant are that the estate of the deceased last male owner consisted mostly of cash and valuable securities and there were no liabilities and that besides the amounts covered by the succession certificate there are other valuable assets of the deceased which might come into her hands and that a petition for Letters of General Administration was more appropriate than a petition for a succession certificate. In paragraph 5 of the counter-affidavit he states that the widow should be directed to give security before she could be authorised to handle the specified or other assets and thereby the interest of the reversion should be safeguarded. None of these circumstances affords a sufficient ground for demanding security from the widow. The Hindu law provides for a right of suit to the presumptive reversioner in cases of waste com-mitted by the widow for an injunction to restrain the committing of waste on her part. Otherwise, the widow is not under any disability in respect of the property to which she succeeds on her husband's death. Actually the appellant instituted a suit, C.S. No. 228 of 1946, in this Court, for an injunction to restrain the widow from committing waste, but that suit was dismissed. There was an appeal but that appeal also failed, because the appellant would not comply with an order of this Court to furnish security for the costs.

4. There are no merits in this appeal which is dismissed with costs.


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