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Venkatagiri Nayani Varu (Died) and ors. Vs. K.J. Subbarayalu Nayani Varu (Died) and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1914Mad70; 24Ind.Cas.491
AppellantVenkatagiri Nayani Varu (Died) and ors.
RespondentK.J. Subbarayalu Nayani Varu (Died) and anr.
Cases ReferredSee Olati Pulliah Chetti v. Varadarajuln Chetti
Excerpt:
hindu law - compromise--consideration--parties in doubt about their rights--minor son bound by compromise of father. - wallis, j.1. i agree with the conclusion of the district judge, that there was a bona fide compromise of a doubtful claim entered into during the plaintiffs' minority by their father as manager of the joint family and that as such it is binding on the plaintiffs. his judgment has been attacked on the ground that it is inconsistent with his finding that there was no real dispute between the parties as to rangamma's claim to a one-third share of the village in question. in exhibit iv, the document it is sought to set aside, which purports to be a settlement of all matters arising with respect to the village, this dispute is put in the forefront, although it is suggested that there were other differences as well, and if there were no bona fide dispute in this matter, it would certainly go.....
Judgment:

Wallis, J.

1. I agree with the conclusion of the District Judge, that there was a bona fide compromise of a doubtful claim entered into during the plaintiffs' minority by their father as manager of the joint family and that as such it is binding on the plaintiffs. His judgment has been attacked on the ground that it is inconsistent with his finding that there was no real dispute between the parties as to Rangamma's claim to a one-third share of the village in question. In Exhibit IV, the document it is sought to set aside, which purports to be a settlement of all matters arising with respect to the village, this dispute is put in the forefront, although it is suggested that there were other differences as well, and if there were no bona fide dispute in this matter, it would certainly go far to affect the binding character of the settlement. I am, however, satisfied on an examination of the evidence that a bona fide dispute existed. This was a village held by the plaintiffs' family on mokhasa tenure from the zemindar of Kangundi in the North Arcot District and was first granted in 1807 when the sister of the then zemindar married the plaintiffs' ancestor. The claims of the zemindar to resume mokhasa grants have since been the subject of litigation, which has gone to the Privy Council, and until 1891 there was a widespread idea that they were resumable, and in this very settlement the zemindar stipulated for certain special advantages in consideration of his renunciation of the right of resumption. There is abundant evidence that after the death in 1865 of Rukmani Ammal, the lady on whose account the first grant was made, the then zemindar purported to resume the village and that plaintiffs' predecessor besought his indulgence (Exhibit XV). The case for the defence is that a settlement was come to in 1868 under which each of the two descendants of the original grantee was to get a one-third share of the village and the zemindar's sister Rangamma, who was married to one of them, was to get the remaining one-third share which she transferred to the zemindar shortly before the date of the settlement. Apart from the Takid's evidencing this arrangement, which the District Judge rejected wrongly, it is contended--and which are not now before us, there is sufficient evidence of such an arrangement to justify the Court in holding that in, 1891 when the settlement, Exhibit IV, was made there was a bona fide dispute with regard to Rangamma's claim to a one-third share of the village. In addition to the evidence of resumption in 1865, we have the admitted fact that the other branch of the family was in enjoyment of only a one-third share of the village and not one half. This strongly corroborates the evidence that there was such a settlement in 1868.

2. As against this, we have only the recitals in a later document, Exhibit VII, on which the District Judge relies. In this document it is recited that there was a re-grant to Rukmani Ammal's son in 1840 and that the division of the village between the two branches of the plaintiffs' family in the proportion of one-third and two-thirds was effected at a partition in 1871. Exhibit VII is a mining lease of the village executed by all parties to the settlement in favour of Mr. Ladd, a Bombay gentleman, and Ors. to whom the plaintiffs' father had purported to lease the village as far back as 1886. It is a very lengthy document and reads as if it had been prepared for him by European Solicitors. The recitals about the re-grant of 1840 and the partition of 1871 were probably part of the Mokhasadar's case against the zemindars prior to the settlement. Judging from the dearth of evidence regarding the allegations in the present case, they were not susceptible of proof, but they appear to have found their way into the draft lease prepared on English lines by Mr. Ladd's Solicitors and are contained in the deed as finally executed by the zemindar in accordance with the terms of the settlement itself. He had only recently attained majority and there is no evidence that his attention was specifically called to those (sic) in a very lengthy document. I regard his having read them at all as more than doubtful and am not prepared to base an inference that there was no bona fide settlement of a doubtful claim upon the fact that the zemindar subsequently signed Exhibit VII. In considering the terms of the settlement it should, I think, be borne in mind that in negotiating the terms of the settlement the parties were not on a very unequal footing as the mokhasadar was a much older man than the zemindar and had behind- him the English lessee who had already spent money on the property and would no doubt have been prepared to spend money to protect the title of the lessor through whom he claims against unfounded claims on the part of the zemindar.

3. In cases such as this, the Court will not too closely weigh the consideration given on one side and the other. I see no reason to doubt that there was a bona fide compromise of a disputed claim. That such a compromise, if entered into by the plaintiffs' father, is binding upon the plaintiff has not been contested.

4. This appeal is dismissed with costs.

Sadasiva Aiyer, J.

5. The three plaintiffs are the appellants and the defendant (respondent) is the zemindar of Kangundi. Shortly stated, the suit is for setting aside a settlement deed between plaintiffs' father and the previous zemindar of Kangundi (the defendants' deceased elder brother), executed on the 15th May 1891. The plaintiffs' family and the defendants' family became closely related to each other by the marriage of 'two of the ladies of the noble zemindari family of the defendant (Rukmani Amma Garu and Rangamma Garu, paternal aunt and niece respectively) with two male members of the plaintiffs' family both called Venkatagiri Nayani Varu (father and son), the first marriage having taken place so long ago as in 1807. When a lady belonging to a rich zemindari family is given in marrage to a gentleman of the same community who is naturally not so well off pecuniarily as the family of the bride, the zemindar not infrequently makes a grant of lands to the outgoing bride on a resumable tenure, so that she might be able to live up to her rank on the income of the granted lands.

6. The plaint-mentioned village of Attinatham was granted in 1807 to Rukmani Ammal, for her maintenance and pin-money expenses. In 1865, Rukmani Ammal died. There is a dispute between the parties as to the facts about the possession and enjoyment of the village between 1865 and 1868 From 1868, it is admitted that the branch of the eldest son of Rukmani Ammal (Sadanapalli) began to enjoy 1/3 rd share separately and his branch enjoyed that 1/3 share till Sadanapalli's grandson (also named Sadanapalli) sold that 1/3 rd share to the defendant's elder brother in 1890 under Exhibit III.

7. As regards the other 3/3rd share, there is again a dispute as to the true state of the facts, the plaintiffs contending that it belonged from 1871 to Sadanapalli's younger brother (plaintiff's grandfather), Venkatagiri Nayani Varu alone, the husband of the zemindar's sister Rangamma, whereas the defendant's case is that it belonged to Venkatagiri Nayani Varu (plaintiffs' grandfather) and his first wife Rangamma in equal shares of 1/3 and 1/3. Plaintiffs' grandfather had two wives, plaintiffs' grandmother having been the 2nd wife, that is, the co-wife of Rangamma the zamindar's sister.

8. The parties being in issue as regards the right in the 1/3rd share of the village, one contending that it belonged to her husband Venkatagiri Nayani Varu along with his admitted 1/3rd share, the parties are naturally also at issue as to the enjoyment of the former 1/3rd share (which I will call Rangammals' 1/3rd share for the sake of brevity) from 1868 downwards till September 1890 when Rangammal executed a conveyance, Exhibit I, to her nephew (the defendant's eldest brother and the then zemindar).

9. There can be little doubt from the evidence that owing to the claims set up to this |rd share of the zemindari (village) and owing to the powerful support of her eldest brother and of her nephew (the Kangundi zemindar) the plaintiffs' father Ramasami and their grandfather Venkatagiri Nayani Varu found great difficulty (to put it most favourably to them) in remaining in continued undisturbed possession of that 1/3rd share from the date of Rukmani Ammal's death in 1865. Exhibits 12 series, 14 series, 15 and 18 to 30 make it abundantly clear that between 1865 and 1868, the zemindar and his officials treated the village as having been resumed by the zemindar on Rukmani Animal's death in 1865 and even if we take it that the plaintiffs' grandfather and granduncle's son were not wholly dispossessed of the village, the zemindar's officials were able to interfere very much with the possession which Rukmani's descendants claimed as heirs of Rukmani Animal. One letter, Exhibit 15, dated 29th January 1868, written by the plaintiffs' grandfather Venkatagiri Nayani Varu to 'the zemindar need alone be quoted in this connection and I shall quote only the material portions of it : To the zemindar of Kangundi Venkatagiri Nayudu offers respects * * * * * * * * Please issue orders indicating welfares* * * * * * * By the time I went for (settlement of) the dispute that is going on between myself and Chinnasawmi (Sadanapalli's son) ****** be seems to have passed along our village itself to Bodugur on account of some marriage * * * * You seem to have got offended that I did not call over * * * * * * Yesterday he told before the panchayatdars that you are favourably disposed, that I relinquished the village yielding to you and that if the matters were left to them they would have dealt with it more profitably. * * * * They are influential people. I am all alone. I depend on you alone for help. What can I do if you neglect mo. * * I, therefore, request you to take care of me accordingly. If you neglect me I shall not at all stay in these parts. You should pay attention to this (my prayer) at least.' This letter is a clear admission that though, at first, the plaintiffs' grandfather tried to resist the resumption of the village in 1865 by the zemindar on Rukmani Animal's death he did afterwards relinquish the village to the zemindar depending on the zemindar's generosity and that the zemindar had got possession of the village before 1867. The learned District Judge seems to think that though Rukmani Animal got the property in 1807 and though she died in : 1865, she was not in possession of the village till her death in 1865, but that in the meantime in 1840 there had been a re-grant of the village to her son Sadanapalli (father of Chinnasami) and the learned District Judge relies for this finding upon an ambiguous recital in the indenture, Exhibit VII of 1891. But that is an indenture prepared in the interests of a Bombay gentleman, Alfred Edward Ladd, and of his partners who had obtained in 1886 a lease of the mining rights in the whole village from the plaintiffs' father alone, and I do not think that the recital made in that document of 1891 in order to confirm as much as possible the title of those mining lessees is of much value. However, as I said before, whether Rukmani Ammal herself lost her rights by a re-grant of the tillage to her son or not, there can be no doubt that the succeeding zemindar in 1865 claimed and exercised the right of resuming the whole village and did como into possession before January 1868 as shown by Exhibit 15. I am unable to agree with the learned Disirict Judge that the disturbance of Venkatagiri's possession did not culminate in his dispossession. However, in Eebruary 1868, there was a reconciliation. As to what the terms of the reconciliation were there is again a dispute. The zemindar's (defendant's) case is that there was a re-grant in 1868 by a taltid, 1/3 rd being given to Venkatagir Nayani Varu (the younger son, of Rukmani Ammal) and to his wife Rangammal (sister of the zemindar) and 1/3 to Chinnasami the son of the elder son of Rukmani Ammal. The plaintiffs' case is that there was no such re-grant in 1868, bat the zemindar just withdrew his disturbance of the enjoyment of the whole village by Venkatagiri Nayani Varu and his nephew Chinnasami and that in a division between Venkatagiri Nayani Varu and Chinnasami in 1871, Venkatagiri Nayani Varu got 1/3rd without any participation of his wife Rangammal (the zemindar's sister) while Chinnasami got the remaining 1/3rd share. As to this partition of 1871, there is no evidence except the vague recital in the indenture Exhibit VII which does not give even the month or date of the division and talks of the division as about the year 1871.' As I said before, the mining lessees were anxious to have their title confirmed in all sorts of ways and hence they have recited in the deed given to them by both the zemindar and Ramasami the titles set up by both parties indiscriminately and impartially so that whatever state of facts may be true, their title may be secure. The zemindar (defendant) wished to rely on an unregistered takid alleged to have been sent in 1868 to the plaintiffs' grandfather re-granting the 1/3 rd share to the plaintiffs' grandfather and his wife Rangammal and re-granting the remaining 3rd share to Chinnasami but when that takid was attempted to be proved, the plaintiffs objected to the admissibility of that alleged takid as evidence on the ground that it was in the nature of a gift-deed and as it was unregistered it was inadmissible in evidence. Though it might be inadmissible in evidence for the purpose of affecting the title to the immoveable property comprised in it, it seems to me that in this case in which the principal question is whether the registered, settlement-deed of 1891 was a bona fide compromise of honestly contested claims or not, the tahid might be admitted in evidence to prove the existence and the honesty of the claim put forward on behalf of the zemindar and of Rangammal on the date of that settlement-deed. However, the document has been rejected by the lower Court and it is unnecessary to admit it in evidence as, even on the materials before us, the lower Court's decree ought to be confirmed.

11. The next circumstance to be considered in this case is that about the year 1875, Venkatagiri Nayani Varu died leaving his childless widow Rangamma (the zemindar's sister) and his descendants by his second wife (plaintiffs' father and Ors.). As usual, no love was lost between Rangamma and her co-wife's descend ants. Even during her husband's life-time, her relations with the family of her husband who married a second wife during her life-time were not always cordial. Some time after her husband's death in 1875, she seems to have gone to her brother's (the zemindar's) house to live with the zamindar. From before 1886, she was making a claim to be entitled to 1/3rd share in the village as granted to her when her husband's family and the zemindar got reconciled with each other at the end of the disputes between them which lasted from 1865 to 1868. That this claim made by her was made openly appears from Exhibit II, the petition of a deceased karnam written in his own interest in which he recites the fact of the resumption of this village by the zemindars from time to time on more than one occasion and he mentions as a wellknown fact that Rangammal's brother (the zemindar), Venkatagiri Nayani Varu, the father of the present defendant, gave 1/3rd share to Rangammal, 1/3 rd share, to Rangammal's husband and the remaining 1/3rd to Sadnapalli's son Chinnasami. Now this claim of Rangammal to a 1/3rd share was disputed by her co-wife's son, (the plaintiffs' father) who in 1886 treated that 1/3rd share also as having descended to him from his father and gave a mining lease in March 1886 to the Bombay European merchant and to his Mussalman partners for 99 years. The zemindar and Rangammal prevented the lessees from enjoying the mining rights and Rangammal even conveyed away his rights in 1890 to her nephew (the zemindar). It was admitted on both sides that the largest profit derivable from this village is the profit obtainable from granting mining leases. Both sides, the zemindar and Rangammal on one side and plaintiffs' father Ramasami and the lessees on the other side, were being put to great loss from 1886 onwards, owing to the disputes about possession as regards this 1/3rd share. The lessees naturally refused to give rent, etc., to the lessor (plaintiffs' father) as they were unable, to work the lease. As I said before, the zemindar not only purchased what I have been calling his aunt's (Rangammal's) 1/3rd share but he also purchased Chinnasami's son's (Sadanapallis') 1/3rd share treating a document executed by Sadanapalli to the plaintiffs' father as regards that 1/3rd share as a fraudulent voidable deed executed in order to defeat the zemindar who was a decree- : holder of Sadanapalli. Plaintiffs' father's attempt in March 1886 to give the whole : village effectually on lease to the mining lessees was frustrated by the zemindar. The zemindar in the interests of his aunt Rangammal prevented the lessees from working the mines and his opposition was considerably strengthened by the documents he got from his aunt and from Sadanapalli.

12. It was in this state of facts and while these disputes were going on that the settle-, merit-deed now sought to be set aside was executed between the plaintiffs' father and the defendant's elder brother, that document being Exhibit IV dated 15th May 1891. To complicate the disputes, the illegitimate son of plaintiffs' grandfather, one Sunnaipalli Nayudu, was also claiming a share in the village against the plaintiffs' father.

13. This settlement-deed, Exhibit IV, begins byrreciting the quarrels between Rangammal and the zemindar on one side and the plaintiffs' family on the other side, recites the difficulties experienced in carrying on the gold mining work owing to these disputes, recites the loss sustained by both the parties and it recites also inconveniences caused in some other manner' (probably alluding to the dispute raised by Sunnaipalli) and then it settles the disputes between the parties by splitting Rangammal's 1/3rd share into two halves 1/6th and 1/6th and making the zemindar entitled to an 1/6tb share alone (though he purchased a 1/3rd from Rangamma) and gives the other 1/6th share to plaintiffs' father, the 1/3rd admittedly belonging to plaintiffs' father already being retained by him. Thus by this deed, the zemindar got (Sadanapalli's a and another 1/6) and the plaintiffs' father giving up his claim for 1/6th share, the zemindar agreed to hold the plaintiffs' father free from all liability for the maintenance of plaintiffs', step-mother, Rangamma Garu (the zemindar's paternal aunt and vendor), who was living with the zemindar. It is this settlement-deed that the plaintiffs now wish to set aside (the suit having been brought nearly 15 years from the date of the deed) on the ground that the plaintiffs' father executed that deed not for a necessary or justifiable purpose and when the plaintiffs were minors. I might here add that within two weeks of the settlement-deed, Exhibit IV, plaintiffs' father's illegitimate brother Sunnaipalli executed the release-deed, Exhibit VI, in favour of the zemindar and of the plaintiffs' father and thus his claims were settled. Then we find about six months afterwards the zemindar and plaintiffs' father executing the lease-deed, Exhibit VII, in favour of the lessees making long recitals of the claims made by both the parties and the disputes arising out of those claimsshow how the disputes were all settled by this settlement-deed and how the lessees were to pay the rents and premia to the two parties interested in the village.

14. I shall quote only 3 paragraphs from this long indenture :

Whereas the said Alfred Edward Ladd and the said Vellore Mohamad Kazim Sahib in his life-time and also the said Vellore Shaik Mohamed Sahib and Rahimatoonisa Begum (the lessees under the document of 1886) have been prevented by the hereinbefore recited litigation in the years 1888 and 1889 from deriving any benefit under the hereinbefore in part recited lease of the 13th March 1886.

15. And whereas by an agreement dated the 11th May 1891 (agreement between plaintiffs' father and the defendant's broiler) both the parties to the now reciting agreement admitted the existence of the therein before mentioned shares besides the third share of the said Rangamma and that in consequence of the dispute which existed between the parties to the now reciting agreement as to the validity of the transfer by the said Rangamma to the said defendant's elder brother of the said |rd share and as to her power to make such transfer the lessees under the said lease, were prevented from carrying on their operations and both parties were thereby put to loss and that also in consideration of other inconveniences and with a view to bring all disputes in connection with the said village to a conclusion.'

16. That the father and the managing member of a Hindu family has a right to bind his minor sons by a bona fide compromise of disputed claims hi undoubted law. In Sarabjit Partab Bahadur Sahi v. Indarjit Partab Bahadur Sahi 27 Aa. 203 : 2 A.L.T. 720 : A.W.N. (1904) 244. it was held that where a family dispute which might have led to disastrous litigation' was compromised by the father, the same was binding upon his minor sons unless it was proved that the father's consent to the compromise was obtained by undue influence or misrepresentation. As said in Musammat Hassan Bibee v. Fazal Kadir 4 Ind. Cas. 954 : 106 P. W.R. 1909 : 139 P.L.R. 1909., the law as to family arrangements is governed by a special equity and will be enforced if honestly made. When the responsible members of a family agree to an arrangement which has been arrived at without undue advantage being taken, the minor sons cannot be allowed to disturb the arrangement after it had been acted upon for many years.' In Ramdas v. Chabildas 7 Ind. Cas. 134 : 12 Bom.L.R. 621. Chandavarkar, C.J., and Macleod, J., held : In the case of a family arrangement, where there is a sufficient motive for it, the Court will not consider the quantum of consideration and disturb the transaction on the ground of inequality of the benefit, unless there was fraud or some other ground which in law vitiates it.' Under-Hindu Law a son takes a vested interest by birth in ancestral estate : but it does not follow that he is absolutely independent of his father, where the two are joint and where the son is minor. In family arrangements, the father represents and has power to bind his minor sons in the absence of fraud or other circumstances sufficient in law to vitiate the transaction. In Kamal Kumari Devi v. Narendra Nath Mukherji 1 Ind. Cas. 573 : 9 Cri.L.J. 19. it was held that In cases of family arrangements the consideration is not the sacrifice of any right, but the settlement of a dispute, and the Court does not in such cases consider narrowly the quantum of consideration. Equity leans towards the maintenance of family arrangements.' In Rai Gajindar Narain v. Rai Harihar Narain 12 C.W.N. 687. it was decided that the constitution of a joint Hindu family consisting of the father and his sons is such that the father represents the sons without express written authority and is considered to be the accredited agent of the joint family, 'in family arrangements settling disputed rights and liabilities, his action as representative of the family is binding on the dependent members.' In Maharajah of Jeypore v. Jayakota Jammanadora 11 M.L.J. 70., Subramania Aiyar, J., and Benson, J., held that A bona fide compromise of a disputed claim entered into by a father is prima facie binding upon his sons and cannot be impugned in the absence of fraud or other invalidating circumstances of the kind.' In Khunni Lal v. Gobind Krishna Narain 10 Ind. Cas. 477 : 15 C.W.N. 545 :. 8 A.L.J. 552 : 13 Cri.L.J. 575 : 13 Bom. L. It. 427 : 10 M.L.T. 25 : (1911) M.W.N. 432 : 21 M.L.J. 645 : 38 I.A. 87 : 33 A. 356., their Lordships of the Privy Council quote with approval the observations of the High Court of the North-West Provinces made in 1868 that it is the duty of the Court to give full effect to a family arrangement settling disputed claims. Their Lordships in that case reversed the decision of the Allahabad High Court and dismissed the suit of the plaintiffs which sought to nullify a family arrangement. In Natesa Iyer v. llama Iyer 10 Ind. Cas. 221 : 9 M.H.T. 498 : (1911) M W.K. 145. the learned Chief Justice held that a compromise of doubtful claims by a guardian who was not even the father (who had failed to make due inquiry into some of the facts) was binding on the minor, if the compromise was fair and prudent.' In Prakkateri Parkum v. Kararn 14 Ind. Cas. 295 : (1912) M.W.N. 532. the following observations occur :

17. It has been held in several cases that, where the major members of a family, with full knowledge of all the facts, have entered into a family arrangement on behalf of themselves and of minors, fully represented by their natural guardians, such arrangement is binding on the minor members in the absence of fraud, though there were doubtful claims admitted to be valid by the guardians of the minors, which claims might be held to be invalid, if fought out to the end in a Court of Justice.' [See also Ram Kuber Pande v. Ram Dasi 20 Ind. Cas. 44 : 35 Aa. 428 : 11 A.L.J. 645) as to the effect of the compromise made by a father on behalf of his sons and grandsons].

18. In the present case, the plaintiffs' contention seems to be that their father made an imprudent bargain in settling the dispute between himself and his sons on one side and the zemindar and the zemindars aunt on the other side by giving up half of Rangammal's 1/3rd share (conveyed by her to the zemindar) in order to get peaceable possession of the other half (1/6th share) and in order to avoid the delay and loss occasioned by the obstruction to the lessees enjoying their mining rights. It is further contended that neither the plaintiffs' father nor the defendant's older brother could have believed that there was any bona, fide dispute as to the rights of the plaintiffs' family to the 3rd share alleged to have belonged to Rangammal. The learned District Judge has, in my opinion, considered the matter in too critical a spirit and too favourably to the plaintiffs. He thinks that the zemindar's recognition of plaintiffs' future title to his admitted 1/3 rd share free from all claims to resumption by the zemindar is not an abandonment of a bona fide claim by the zemindar but I am unable to see why it is not so. The plaintiffs' family had lost their alleged title-deed of 1840. As I said in the beginning the zemindars not infrequently make grants to relations on resumable tenures and I am unable to hold that the zemindar's claim to resume the 3rd share admittedly enjoyed by the plaintiffs' branch in certain contingencies is so shadowy as is stated by the lower Court. Then it is said that the zemindar's undertaking to hold the plaintiffs' father free from, his liability for the maintenance of Rangammal was not a legal consideration for the compromise because Rangammal was not a party to the compromise. I am unable to agree with this contention also. Plaintiffs' father was under a legal obligation to maintain Rangammal and the zamndar undertook that obligation and he thereby guaranteed to secure plaintiffs' family from, loss through any claims made by Rangammal for maintenance against them and this is a good consideration for the compromise. Again, the learned District Judge says that there was no bona fide dispute in respect of the claim of Rangammal to a 3rd share in the village which claim she transferred to the zemindar. Here again I think the learned District Judge took a too narrow view of the matter. Having regard to the fact that the previous zemindar in 1865 professed to resume the whole village on the death of Rukmani Animal and succeeded in getting possession before 1868 and having regard to the plaintiffs' father's and plaintiffs' grand-uncle's branches having no title-deed either of 1840 or 1868 to show under what definite title they were enjoying the lands or under what title the plaintiffs' grand-father's branch got the 1/3rd share (plaintiffs' father's elder brother's branch were enjoying only1/3rd share), X think the finding of the District Judge which practically means that neither Rangammal nor the then zemindar could have bona fide believed that Rangammal had a right to 1/3rd share, cannot be upheld. The lower Court's view has been too much influenced by its opinion that the takid of 1868 was inadmissible in evidence for want of registration and, therefore, it must be held that her claim was a dishonest invention. Rangammal as defence 8th witness proves that she made request to her brother to give her 1/3rd share of the zemindari and even supposing that her evidence that she was given the 1/3rd share is inadmissible owing to the inadmissibility of the alleged written takid in her favour, she proves that she was enjoying 1/3rd of the profits of the village (receiving the same from the karnam of the Athinatham village who had been the common manager for herself and the plaintiffs' father's and uncle's families). She further proves that the plaintiffs' father himself was giving her 1/3rd share of the income of the village for several years. The plaintiffs' father was bound to maintain her if she was not receiving 1/3rd of the income of the village. I do not see why her evidence on this point should not be believed, as it is corroborated by the evidence of D.W. No. 6 about the negotiations with the zemindar for Rangammal and her husband being jointly given I of the property and by the evidence of 1). W. No. 5 who says that the karnam, had told him that he was sending her share of the profits of the village. He further proves that Rangammal's 1/3rd share was enjoyed by her, nephew the zamindar after she sold the 1/3rd share to him. He further says that he himself brought grain from the village as her agent two or three times for her share of the mesne profits of the village. The learned District Judge upheld the settlement on the sole ground that because there was a bona fide dispute about the plaintiffs' father's right to lease Sadanapalli's 1/3rd share to the lessees along with the other 1/3rd share, therefore, it could be upheld as against the plaintiffs. I am rather inclined to put it on the ground that the plaintiffs' father, without any undue influence having been exercised over him, believed that Rangammal and the zemindar were putting forward bona fide claims as regards a 1/3rd share in the village and that the zemindar was putting forward the bona fide claim to resume the whole village on certain contingencies and that that the plaintiffs' father thought it best to get a guarantee from the zemindar for Rangammal's maintenance against plaintiffs' father's family. All these formed, in my opinion, good consideration for the compromise made under Exhibit IV between himself and his near relation the zemindar. I, therefore, agree in the conclusion of the learned District Judge that the compromise cannot be disturbed by the plaintiffs and that the plaintiffs' contention that there was no bona fide dispute and that the compromise was brought about by a highhanded coercion on the part of the zemindar as against the plaintiffs' father and that the plaintiffs' father received no consideration in the eye of the law for the compromise, is futile. I think the right of the zemindar and Rangammal on the question of 1/3rd share and on the question of the right of resumption by the zemindar cannot, in my opinion, be said to be unsubstantial or dishonest. That the claim was really not good is of little consequence. See Olati Pulliah Chetti v. Varadarajuln Chetti 18 M.L.J. 469 : 31 M. 474.

19. In the result I would also dismiss the appeal with costs.


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