Skip to content


Muppidathi Ammal Vs. Muthuswami Pillai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Mad126
AppellantMuppidathi Ammal
RespondentMuthuswami Pillai and ors.
Cases ReferredRaja of Ramnad v. Sundara Pandia Swami Thevar
Excerpt:
- - whether it includes an adopted as well as a natural born son. if issue (santhathi) are not born to (or forthcoming from) you, which seems clearly to exclude an adopted son, while in the latter the expression is: sundara pandia swami thevar air1915mad664 .if the context clearly shows that the word was not used in its ordinary sense, the question might be different, in the present case, i am not able to say that the context justifies us in placing a different construction......would not prevent the property going to the plaintiff. i am unable to accept that contention. the word 'santhathi ' though a sanskrit word is also in general use among people who use tamil. this question whether the word ' santhathi ' is wide enough to include adopted son, arose for decision in the case balasubramania pillai v. picha pillai [1916] 1 m.w.n. 306, and i agree with sankaram nair, j. that the word in general use is wide enough to include adopted son also. justice seshagiri aiyar would seem to go further and would seem to be of the opinion that the word means ' the heir in general ' see raja of ramnad v. sundara pandia swami thevar : air1915mad664 . if the context clearly shows that the word was not used in its ordinary sense, the question might be different, in the present.....
Judgment:

Curgenven, J.

1. The first question in this second appeal is as to the meaning to be attached to the word ' Santhathi ' as used in the compromise Ex. D; whether it includes an adopted as well as a natural born son. There is perhaps a significant difference between the phrasing of Ex. C embodying the provision made by Nainar Pillai in favour of his daughter Piramu Ammal born after the adoption of his son, and Ex D, the compromise now in question, for, in the former, the words used are:

if issue (santhathi) are not born to (or forthcoming from) you,

which seems clearly to exclude an adopted son, while in the latter the expression is:

if the defendant has no issue (santhathi).

2. The phrase appears to me to be fully compatible with the view that both a natural and an adopted son was contemplated, for there is no doubt that in ordinary Hindu usage expressions signifying ' offspring,' 'progeny',' issue ', though in English they are ordinarily restricted to natural children, include children adoption. One would, therefore, expect the word to have been accompanied by some appropriate qualification had it been intended to exclude an adopted son. This was the meaning attached to the word in Balasubramania Pillay v. Pichai Pillai [1916] 1 M.W.N. 306 while in Raja of Ramnad v. Sundara Pandia Swami Thevar : AIR1915Mad664 Seshagiri Aiyar went so far as to hold that it included heirs other than leneal descendant. I do not think that any useful guidance is to be obtained from the consideration of a somewhat similar expression in Subbaraya Chetti v. Subbaraya Chettiar [1917] 5 M.L.W. 740, because the context there led to a different conclusion. I see no reason to differ from the learned Subordinate Judge in the view he has taken, and since this finding is sufficient to dispose of the second appeal, it is dismissed with costs.

Ananthakrishna Aiyar, J.

3. I agree. The question that arises for decision in this case is about the proper interpretation to be placed on the expression used in Ex. D. ' If the defendant Piramu Ammal left no (Santhathi) the properties should go to the plaintiff (Shunmugha Nainar Pillai). ' It is contended by the learned vakil for the appellant that the word ' Santhathi ' should be confined to children born of Piramu Ammal, and that the existence of an adopted son of Piramu Ammal would not prevent the property going to the plaintiff. I am unable to accept that contention. The word 'santhathi ' though a Sanskrit word is also in general use among people who use Tamil. This question whether the word ' Santhathi ' is wide enough to include adopted son, arose for decision in the case Balasubramania Pillai v. Picha Pillai [1916] 1 M.W.N. 306, and I agree with Sankaram Nair, J. that the word in general use is wide enough to include adopted son also. Justice Seshagiri Aiyar would seem to go further and would seem to be of the opinion that the word means ' the heir in general ' see Raja of Ramnad v. Sundara Pandia Swami Thevar : AIR1915Mad664 . If the context clearly shows that the word was not used in its ordinary sense, the question might be different, In the present case, I am not able to say that the context justifies us in placing a different construction. On the other hand, turning to Ex 0 under which Nainar Pillai settled the properties on his daughter Piramu Ammal, we find the expression used is:

if no 'santhathi' be born to you.

4. After Nainar Pillai's death, there was litigation between his son Shunmugha Nainar Pillai (the husband of the present plaintiff) and Piramu Ammal. The suit was compromised under Ex. D. Under Ex. D Piramu Ammal gave some property to Shunmugha Nainar and as regards the other properties received by Piramu Ammal under Ex. C, it was stipulated that she was to take the same and if she left no santhathi ' then Shunmugha Nainar was to take possession of the same.

5. The difference in the expression used in Exs. C and D would, if at all, only go against the contention urged by the appellant. On the whole I am of opinion that the expression used in Ex D includes a case of adopted son, and that the heirs of Shunmugha Nainar are not entitled to recover possession of the properties. The decree of the Subordinate Judge is correct and the second appeal is dismissed with costs.


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