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Avudai Ammal and ors. Vs. Ramalinga Reddiar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1926Mad1163; 97Ind.Cas.314
AppellantAvudai Ammal and ors.
RespondentRamalinga Reddiar and ors.
Cases ReferredTirath Ram v. Kahan Devi
Excerpt:
- .....that both the rival claimants are bandhus and no preference should be given to male bandhus over female bandhus but that the order should be determined in accordance with the principles applying to bandhus in general. mr. k.v. krishnaswami aiyar, who appeared for the appellants, argues that all older cases in which it is laid down that male bandhus are entitled to preference over female bandhus whatever the nearness in degree may be have lost their weight in view of the recent decision of the privy council. he refers to khenchava v. girimallappa a.i.r. 1924 p.c. 209 but i am unable to see how this decision can be said to throw any doubt on the weight of the decisions of this court in which it was held that the female bandhus can succeed only after all the male bandhus are exhausted.....
Judgment:

Ramesam, J.

1. The question raised in this second appeal is whether the son's daughter of a Hindu is entitled to preference to brother's daughter's sons in the matter of succession to his property. The 3rd defendant is the son's daughter and the respondents are the brother's daughter's sons. This question was not raised in the Courts below, but the second appeal is admitted as a pure question of law and for the same reason I have allowed it to be argued.

2. The contention for the appellants briefly is that both the rival claimants are bandhus and no preference should be given to male bandhus over female bandhus but that the order should be determined in accordance with the principles applying to bandhus in general. Mr. K.V. Krishnaswami Aiyar, who appeared for the appellants, argues that all older cases in which it is laid down that male bandhus are entitled to preference over female bandhus whatever the nearness in degree may be have lost their weight in view of the recent decision of the Privy Council. He refers to Khenchava v. Girimallappa A.I.R. 1924 P.C. 209 but I am unable to see how this decision can be said to throw any doubt on the weight of the decisions of this Court in which it was held that the female bandhus can succeed only after all the male bandhus are exhausted namely, Lakshmanammal v. Tiruvengada Mudali [1882] 5 Mad. 241. Narasimma v. Mangammal [1890] 13 Mad. 10. Chinnammal v. Venkatachala [1892] 15 Mad. 421, Sundarammal v. Rangasami Mudaliar [1895] 18 Mad. 193, Venkatasubramaniam Chetti v. Thayarammah [1898] 21 Mad. 263. Rajah Venkata Narasimha Appa Rao Bahadur v. Rajah Surenani Venkata Purushothama Jagannadha Gopala Row Bahadur [1908] 31 Mad. 321.

3. This case far from being in his favour' sounds against him. At page 577 Lord Phillimore refers to the decision in Narasimma v. Mangammal [1890] 13 Mad. 10 in which a father's sister was postponed to a mother's brother on the ground of general preference of male bandhus. Then His Lordship points out that

this decision was quoted without disapproval before their Lordships and this Board in the case of Vedachela Mudaliar v. Subramania Mudaliar A.I.R. 1922 P.C. 33.

4. This looks like a double approval by the Privy Council of the Madras decision. In the next paragraph he then takes up the contention that the Madras decision ought not to be used in the case before him, because it' was a Bombay case. Even if the contention had succeeded it shows that the decisions in Madras remain good law, but even for Bombay the contention did not prevail. In the course of discussion His Lordship refers to Rajah Venhata Narasimha Appa Rao Bahadur v. Rajah Surenani Venkata Purushothama Jagannadha Gopala Row Bahadur [1908] 31 Mad. 321 and merely points out that a Bombay decision in Saguna v. Sadashiv [1902] 26 Bom. 710 was not referred to in it. He next points out another Bombay case Balhrishna Bhinaji v. Ramkrishna Gongadhar A.I.R. 1921 Bom 189 in which the Madras case was followed and finally at page 579 the principle that male bandshus should be preferred to female bandhus upheld. The judgment winds up with shis remark:

And there is no doubt indeed the learned Counsel for the appellants did not contend that there was any doubt, that throughout the rest of India, preference for the male would be certain.

5. This sentence is practically fatal to the contention of the appellants.

6. The recent judgment of the Privy Couucil in Vedachala Mudaliar v. Subramania Mudaliar A.I.R. 1922 P.C. 33 dealt only with order of preference among male bandhus There is no suggestion in that case that as between a male bandhu and a female bandhu the principle of propinquity, should be applied. The same remarks apply to the judgment of myself and my brother Venkatasubba Rao, J., in the present decision reported as Rami Reddi v. Gangireddi : AIR1925Mad807 . Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer says that in Rajah Venhata Narasimha Appa Rao Bahadur v. Rajah Surenani Venhata Purushothama Jagannadha Gopala Row Bahadur [1908] 31 Mad. 321 these female bandhus were described as irregular bandhus whereas now they are recognised to be regular bandhus. I do not think there is anything in this contention. All that was meant by irregular bandhus in that decision was that they were not expressly enumerated in the ancient text quoted in Mitakshara and other commentaries and they have come to be recognised only by a series of decisions of their High Court. The Privy Council have not yet decided on the heirship of female bandhus. The Punjab High Court have adopted the Madras view in Tirath Ram v. Kahan Devi [1920] 1 Lah. 588. A long current of decisions of this Court must be followed and the second appeal must be dismissed with costs.

7. I may add that even if the male bandhus and female bandhus are on the same footing, the respondents are nearer in degree than the 3rd appellant. According to the well known Hindu Law mode of computation (the number of degrees from the common ancestor of the claimant or proprietor whichever is larger) the appellant is within four degrees and the respondent three degrees. Even if the steps from the proprietor to the claimant are contra, the respondent is nearer.

8. The delay in representing the memorandum of objections is excused. There is nothing on merits and it is dismissed. Half costs.


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