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Sheshamma Shedthi Vs. Vasudeva Bhatta and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Family; Property
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1942Mad711
AppellantSheshamma Shedthi
RespondentVasudeva Bhatta and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....appeal is whether the charge oreated under the partition deed ex. 'c' between the two brothers anni bhatta and narayana bhatta over the properties allotted to narayana bhatta's share and in favour of anni bhatta can be enforced by the plaintiffs who have got a sale of the properties from anni bhatta against the defendant, who is a purchase of narayana bhatta's properties. the charge was created for the purpose of meeting the expenses of certain ceremonies, namely the samaradhana of srinivasa devaru, navarathri puja, the mahalaya and the sradhas of narayana bhatta and his wile venhamma. it may be mentioned that narayana bhatta is the maternal grandfather of anni bhatta and narayana bhatta, the brothers. he made a will ex. b, appointing his son-in-law rama bhatta as the executor and.....
Judgment:

Chandrasekhara Ayyar, J.

1. The question that arises in this second appeal is whether the charge oreated under the partition deed Ex. 'C' between the two brothers Anni Bhatta and Narayana Bhatta over the properties allotted to Narayana Bhatta's share and in favour of Anni Bhatta can be enforced by the plaintiffs who have got a sale of the properties from Anni Bhatta against the defendant, who is a purchase of Narayana Bhatta's properties. The charge was created for the purpose of meeting the expenses of certain ceremonies, namely the samaradhana of Srinivasa Devaru, Navarathri Puja, the Mahalaya and the sradhas of Narayana Bhatta and his wile Venhamma. It may be mentioned that Narayana Bhatta is the maternal grandfather of Anni Bhatta and Narayana Bhatta, the brothers. He made a will Ex. B, appointing his son-in-law Rama Bhatta as the executor and directing him to get the ceremonies performed perpetually by himself and his sons. At that time, the son-in-law Rama Bhatta had two sons, Anni Bhatta and Narayuna Bhatta through his first wife, Yamunmma. later on, he married a second wife and the plaintiffs are his second wife's sons.

2. The plaintiffs' claim to enforce the charge on the ground thad that they have purchased Anni Bhatta's share of the properties and are getting the ceremonies performed is resisted by the defendant on two grounds, firstly, that the plaintiffs are not competent to porform these ceremonies as they are not in such line of descent from Narayana Bhatta and his wife which would enable them to do the ceremonics for the repose and the benefit of their souls and secondly that the performance of the ceremonies under the partition deed was personal to Anni Bhatta and could not be transferred by him so any others. It is conceded that Anni Bhatta and Narayana Bhatta could do the ceremonies and that us between them they could enter into an arrangement as to who should do them and who should pay for the performance and how much. It is also conceded that so far as the Navarathri Puja and Srinivasa Devaru samaradhana are concerned, anyone can do it or get it done. To this extent there can be no legal objection to the charge created under the deed being enforced against the defendant who has purchased Narayana Bhatta's share of properties with notice of and subject to the charge. But Mr. Adiga contended that the Mahalaya and sradha ceremonies can be performed by certain persons only who are recognised in the shastras as competent to perform them and that the plaintiffs who are not in tbe direct line of descent from the first Narayana Bhatta and his wife cannot perform those ceremonies and consequently cannot enforce the charge even though Anni Bhatta had asked them in the sale deed to perform the ceremonies and get payment out of Narayana Bhatta's properties. The shastras recognize the competency of particular persons to perform such ceremonies and say that if they perform them, they will earn merit by propitiating their ancestors. The recognition of the competency involved also an obligation to do ceremonies, though in these days of advanced views with rationalistic ideas prevailing everywhere many people seem to think that such ceremonies are utterly meaningless and involve a sheer waste of time, money and energy. So far as I have been able to gather there is no prohibition that other persons could not perform such ceremonies. On the other hand, in the absence of persons in the direct line of descent, the shastras contemplate associates, friends, sishyas or pupils and co-students doing such ceremonies and as a matter of fact when oblations of water known as the tharpanam are offered on sacred days like the Amavasya or Rathasapthami orthodax Brahmins offer oblations even to unknown persons whose lines have become extinct or who have remained as brahmacharis or whose gotras are not known. If oblations of water are permissible under such circumstances, I am not able to see why more substantial offerings should be regarded as prohibited.

3. The difficulty urged by the defendant can be got over by the plaintiffs getting the ceremonies conducted through persons competent. The plaintiffs' case is that they were getting the ceremonies so conducted and this has not been contradicted. As pointed out by the Courts below the real spiritual efficacy of ceremonies is beyond the province of the defendant to judge. The defendants purchased the properties subject to the charge in favour of Anni Bhatta and the plaintiffs claim under Anni Bhatta. After all, it should be remembered that the plaintiffs are not utter strangers or belong to castes whose attempt to do the ceremonies for the benefit of a deceased Brahmin would be ridiculed. The plaintiffs are the sons by another wife of Rams Bhatta on whom the duty was cast by the testator Narayana Bhatta to do the ceremonies and so they were done perpetually by him and his sons from generation to generation. Anni Bhatta was alive when the suit was filed, but he died subsequently. The suit relates to a claim that arose during Anni Bhatt's lifetime. Whether after Anni Bhatta's death the claim could be enforced because there is nothing in the partition deed, Ex. C, providing for the performance of the ceremonies by Anni Bhatta's heirs, executors and transferees is a different question and need not be decided in these proceedings. The decrees of the lower Courts are right and this second appeal is dismissed with costs.


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