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Pangi Achan Vs. P.N. Bheeman Achan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in32Ind.Cas.501
AppellantPangi Achan
RespondentP.N. Bheeman Achan and ors.
Cases ReferredKalliyani v. Narayana
Excerpt:
malabar law - power of tarwad to limit karnavan's powers--family karar, binding nature of--abstention of one member, effect of--karar, whether revocable--power of karnavan to create melcharth. - - if the agreement were one entered into by the four executants alone, there might be some force in the argument, although the language of the document is hardly consistent with such a construction, but the approval of the other members shows clearly that it was a family arrangement whereby the karnavan's powers were restricted with his own consent......that dharman achan was not empowered to grant such a melcharth owing to the provisions of the family karar, exhibit i. this karar was executed by dharman achan, who was then karnavan, the second anandravan, and the two senior ladies of the tarwad, and we have the finding of fact, which we must accept, that it was executed at the edom or family house and was approved by all the members of the family, except the senior anandravan, who is now 26th respondent. about 6 months before granting the suit melcharth to plaintiff dharman achan purported to cancel the karar by the notice exhibit ii, and it is contended for appellant that he was entitled to cancel exhibit i, which was merely a delegation of part of his rights as karnavan to three other members of the tarwad. while conceding that.....
Judgment:

1. Appellant sues on a melcharth obtained from Dharman Achan, the late karnavan of his and respondents tarwad, and the only question for determination now is whether this melcharth is valid or not, respondents contention being that Dharman Achan was not empowered to grant such a melcharth owing to the provisions of the family karar, Exhibit I. This karar Was executed by Dharman Achan, who was then karnavan, the second anandravan, and the two senior ladies of the tarwad, and we have the finding of fact, which we must accept, that it was executed at the edom or family house and was approved by all the members of the family, except the senior anandravan, who is now 26th respondent. About 6 months before granting the suit melcharth to plaintiff Dharman Achan purported to cancel the karar by the notice Exhibit II, and it is contended for appellant that he was entitled to cancel Exhibit I, which was merely a delegation of part of his rights as karnavan to three other members of the tarwad. While conceding that under a family karar a karnavan's powers of alienation may be restricted; Mr. Ananthakrishna Aiyar contends that when the karar relates merely to a delegation of powers by the karnavan it is competent to the karnavan to revoke it at any time, more especially in a case where it has not been assented to by all the members of the tarwad, although he does not go so far as to contend that any family karar to which the karnavan is a party could be revoked by the latter without the consent of the other members of the tarwad.

2. So long as the karar, Exhibit I, was in force, and admittedly it was in force and was acted upon for 14 years (i.e., until the revocation in 1907), the karnavan Dharman Achan had no power to grant a melcharth for tarwad property without the concurrence of the other signatories to the karar, and consequently the sole question for determination now is whether the revocation (Exhibit II) is valid.

3. Ordinarily, of course, a karnavan has the right to grant a melcharth, but it has always been held that it is in the power of the tarwad to limit the ordinary powers of a karnavan, and this limitation may be effected by a family karar [Kanna Pisharodi v. Kombi Achan 8 M.k 381 which the karnavan is not entitled of his own authority to set aside [Komu v. Krishna 11 M.k 134. The usual object of a karar, whereby a karnavan's ordinary powers are restricted, is to settle family disputes or to provide against mismanagement by an incompetent or unscrupulous karnavan, and is often a means of averting a suit to remove the karnavan from his office. When, therefore, a karnavan is a consenting party to such a karar he is bound by its terms, unless the other contracting parties are willing to release him from his obligations, or he can show that the karar is no longer beneficial to the interests of the tarwad. This view is in accordance with a long series of decisions of this Court (vide Moore's Malabar Law, pages 117 et seq.).

4. In the present case the then senior anandravan (26th defendant) was not a party to the karar (Exhibit I), but the abstention for personal reasons of one member of the family cannot affect the binding character of the karar on those who were parties to it, and in this case we have the finding that not only the four executants, but also all the other members of the family were consenting parties. It was thus undoubtedly a family karar, that is, an agreement come to by the members of the family conclave after due consideration. Although 26th defendant himself may not be bound by the karar, so far as his personal rights are concerned, the abstention of one member of the family cannot alter the validity of the contract as between the parties to it. Even, in regard to an alienation of tarwad property, it was held in Kalliyani v. Narayana 9 M.k 266 that the factious or capricious dissent of a single anandravan ought not to be allowed to invalidate a sale-deed in pursuance of a family conclave. Much less can it be held to invalidate a karar which does not affect the personal rights of the dissenting member. In the view then, that Exhibit I is a family karar binding on the karnavan and other members of the family (except possibly 26th defendant) the argument put forward for appellant that it is a mere delegation of authority, in fact a power-of-attorney, and as such is revocable at any time by the karnavan, cannot be accepted. If the agreement were one entered into by the four executants alone, there might be some force in the argument, although the language of the document is hardly consistent with such a construction, but the approval of the other members shows clearly that it was a family arrangement whereby the karnavan's powers were restricted with his own consent.

5. A further contention is raised that plaintiff as a junior member of the tarward is entitled to redeem the plaint properties on behalf of the tarwad, and it is urged that a decree should be passed for redemption and possession decreed to the tarwad. To allow this plea would be to alter the whole nature of the suit, for there is no such prayer in the plaint and consequently we cannot allow it in second appeal.

6. The appeal is dismissed with costs.


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