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G. Kotireddi Vs. B. Subbareddi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1925Mad382
AppellantG. Kotireddi
RespondentB. Subbareddi
Cases ReferredBhagwat Koer v. Dunhdari Prasad Singh A.I.R.
Excerpt:
- .....alleging that her husband ramanna had been adopted by venkatareddi. the defendant in the suit was present plaintiff who was a minor represented by his mother appamma as guardian. the suit ended in a compromise by which the present first defendant achamma, the plaintiff in that suit, got half of the properties of venkatareddi and half of the ancestral properties of her husband, and the other half was allotted to the present plaintiff. it is this compromise that is attacked by the plaintiff as not binding on him.2. the lower appellate court holding that the compromise does not amount to a bona fide settlement of doubtful claims and also that appamma's conduct in connection with the compromise does not amount to a surrender' of her life-estate, came to the conclusion that it was.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. The defendants who are the alienees from the 1st defendant the widow of the deceased Rammana, are the appellants in these two connected second appeals. The plaintiff's suit is for the recovery of one half of the properties of his maternal grandfather, Venkatareddi, on the ground that the compromise entered into in Original Suit No. 193 of 1888 by his mother as his guardian with the first defendant is unlawful fond not binding on him. Venkatareddi died in 1876 and his widow died in 1888. Their only daughter Appamma, the mother of the plaintiff, died in 1907, Appamma's elder son Rammanna died in 1887 leaving a widow Achamma, the present first defendant. In 1888 Achamma instituted a suit for the recovery of the properties of Venkatareddi alleging that her husband Ramanna had been adopted by Venkatareddi. The defendant in the suit was present plaintiff who was a minor represented by his mother Appamma as guardian. The suit ended in a compromise by which the present first defendant Achamma, the plaintiff in that suit, got half of the properties of Venkatareddi and half of the ancestral properties of her husband, and the other half was allotted to the present plaintiff. It is this compromise that is attacked by the plaintiff as not binding on him.

2. The lower Appellate Court holding that the compromise does not amount to a bona fide settlement of doubtful claims and also that Appamma's conduct in connection with the compromise does not amount to a surrender' of her life-estate, came to the conclusion that it was not valid and binding on the plaintiff and gave him a decree for possession of the properties. I agree with the Subordinate Judge as regards both the grounds on which his decision is based. I do not think that the case of adoption set up by the present first defendant in Original Suit No. 193 of 1888 was a strong one. One ground in support of it that is put forward was the transfer of patta to Ramanna's name in the mutation proceedings of 1881. It is to be observed that this transfer took place five years after the death of Venkatareddi and the adoption was not put forward as a ground for a transfer of pattas (See Exhibits III and IV series). Further, in some of these documents the transferee's name is described as Battulu Ramanna, ' Battulu' being the name of Ramanna's natural family. Achamma described herself as the widow of Battulu Ramanna. If Ramanna had been really adopted, he would have been referred to by the house name of Venkatareddi which was 'Bommareddi.' The only ground in support of the adoption that could have been put forward, so far as one could sea from the materials on record, was the transfer of patta effected in the circumstances already mentioned. The case of adoption does not appear to have been so strong as to cause serious apprehension in the mind of the mother who was the guardian of the present plaintiff in that suit. I, therefore, agree with the Subordinate Judge in thinking that the compromise does not amount to a bona fide settlement of doubtful claims.

3. We have next to consider whether Appamma's conduct in connection with the compromise amounted as to surrender of her life-estate. As pointed out in Bhagwat Koer v. Dunhdari Prasad Singh A.I.R. 1919 P.C. 75 it is no doubt true that 'a Hindu widow can renounce that estate in favour of the nearest reversioner, and by a voluntary act, efface herself from the succession as effectively as if she had then died'; and 'this voluntary self-effacement, sometimes referred to as a surrender and sometimes as a relinquishment or abandonment of her rights may be effected by any process having that effect, provided that there is a bona fids and total renunciation of the widow's right to hold the property.' Though there was no formal surrender by the widow of her estate in the case referred to, as pointed out by their Lordships of the Privy Council, there was an express agreement binding upon the widow that for considerations which appeared to be sufficient she would abandon the claim. It is to be noticed that in the case before us there is no act of surrender by the widow. The question is whether such a surrender can be inferred from the conduct in connection with the case. Appamma was not a party to the suit in her personal capacity as representing Venkatareddi's estate. The defendant in the suit was her minor son, the present plaintiff. She denied the adoption and contended that her elder son the deceased husband of the present first defendant acquired no interest in the properties of Venkatareddi, Venkatareddi's heirs being his widow, herself and her son. The suit was compromised and the plaintiff therein got one half of Venkatareddi's properties. I do not think that the inference made by the Subordinate Judge in the circumstances of the case that the conduct of Appamma in connection with the compromise cannot be considered to amount to a surrender of her life-estate is wrong.

4. I, therefore, dismiss these second appeals with costs.


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