1. The respondent executed a promissory note in favour of the father of the petitioner; and the petitioner, as the son of the payee, brought this suit on it. The defence was that under the Hindu Woman's Rights to Property Act of 1937, the widow became entitled to a half share of the property and that the plaintiff was not therefore entitled to bring the suit without impleading his mother. The District Munsiff of Narasaraopet accepted this argument and passed a decree for half the amount, the plaintiff's share in the debt.
2. The learned District Munsiff does not set forth clearly what he considers to be the effect of the Hindu Woman's Rights to Property Act, but he seems to think that after the payee's death the debt vested in two people who became co-promisees and that therefore the plaintiff was only entitled to one half of the debt. But if the plaintiff and his mother were co-heirs, then the suit should have been dismissed entirely.; for a suit by one co-heir without impleading the other would not be maintainable. I do not however take the view of the Hindu Woman's Rights to Property Act which seems to have met with favour in the eyes of the District Munsiff. The effect of the death of a coparcener with regard to property other than agricultural land is that the widow stands in the shoes of her deceased husband, and that although she is not a coparcener, she has the rights of her husband, who was a coparcener. She is a member of the joint family and the son is the proper person to bring a suit on behalf of the joint family of which his mother is a member. It does not follow that because the mother is not a coparcener and did not obtain the property by survivorship, she must have obtained it as a heir. She became entitled to her rights by statute;
3. It is contended that the plaintiff did not allege specifically that this debt was a debt due to the family. If the debt had been the property of the father, then it would be true that the mother and the son would be co-heirs and both would have to join in the suit; but the plaintiff has stated in his plaint that he brought this suit as the undivided son of his father, which statement would have no meaning at all if the debt was not one due to the family. It was not asserted in the written statement that this was not a family debt.
4. The petition is therefore allowed and the suit decreed for the full amount claimed. The respondent will bear the costs of the petitioner in this Court; but as the petitioner did not put his case as clearly as it should have been put in the trial Court, I do not propose to interfere with the lower Court's order as to the costs in that Court.