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Kuppusami Reddi Vs. Venkatalakshmi Ammal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1915Mad1221; 31Ind.Cas.855
AppellantKuppusami Reddi
RespondentVenkatalakshmi Ammal and anr.
Cases ReferredVenkata v. Subhadra
Excerpt:
hindu law - adoption by sudras in dattaka form--physical delivery and acceptance of child, necessity of. - .....that the father of the adopted boy, ramakrishna reddi, himself gave the boy to the deceased sami reddi during his life-time and that the actual adoption made by the widow of sami reddi 10 years later was valid. he relied on venkata v. subhadra 7 m. 548 and subbarayar v. subbammal 21 m.p 497. in the first place, the evidence regarding the physical handing over by ramakrishna reddi and the acceptance by sami reddi is not satisfactory. mr. srirangachariar gives no independent evidence, but speaks to what he heard sami reddi say as to what ramakrishna reddi told him. this proves very little. moreover, exhibit i makes it clear beyond all doubt that no giving took place when sami reddi was alive. even accepting all that has been deposed to, and regarding exhibit xi(a) as expressing a.....
Judgment:

Seshagiri Aiyar, J.

1. In the connected Appeal No. 111 of 1914 we came to the conclusion that the Wills set up by the plaintiff and the defendants were not proved. The further question arises for decision in this appeal whether the adoption of the 2nd defendant is valid and whether the gift evidenced by Exhibit VI in his favour is binding on the reversioners beyond the life-time.

2. The parties are Sudras and the adopted boy was an orphan at the time of the adoption. There is no dispute as to the factum of the adoption. The District Judge was of opinion that the father of the adopted boy, Ramakrishna Reddi, himself gave the boy to the deceased Sami Reddi during his life-time and that the actual adoption made by the widow of Sami Reddi 10 years later was valid. He relied on Venkata v. Subhadra 7 M. 548 and Subbarayar v. Subbammal 21 M.p 497. In the first place, the evidence regarding the physical handing over by Ramakrishna Reddi and the acceptance by Sami Reddi is not satisfactory. Mr. Srirangachariar gives no independent evidence, but speaks to what he heard Sami Reddi say as to what Ramakrishna Reddi told him. This proves very little. Moreover, Exhibit I makes it clear beyond all doubt that no giving took place when Sami Reddi was alive. Even accepting all that has been deposed to, and regarding Exhibit XI(a) as expressing a preference by the deceased in favour of the adoption of one of the sons of Ramakrishna Reddi, the actual adoption solely in pursuance of a manifested intention will not be valid. The Judicial Committee held in Soshinath Ghose v. Krishnasunderi Dasi 4 Ind. Jur. 589 that among Sudras the corporeal delivery and acceptance of the child is the essential part of adoption in the dattaka form. In the case before the Privy Council, the correspondence that passed between the parties showed that one party offered and the other party accepted the boy. There was no physical delivery or acceptance. Their Lordships held that this proper contract was of no avail. This view has been affirmed in Bireswar Mukerji v. Ardha Chander Roy 19 C.P 452 : 19 I.A. 101. In the present case, Sami Reddi at least made a promise, by word of mouth that he would adopt one of the sons of his dying brother. Mr. Krishnaswami Aiyar wants us to extend the analogy of Venkata v. Subhadra 7 M.P 548 to this case. His argument is that there cannot be different degrees of incompleteness and if one form of inchoate adoption can be perfected years after by the performance of the religious ceremonies, the manifestation of an intention to adopt a particular boy can be regarded as a step in furtherance of the actual adoption. Venkata v. Subhadra 7 M.K 548 decided that if the giving and taking had taken place, the datta homam can be performed subsequently. This view may lead to complications. It is not clear whether during this period of suspense, the boy-is to be regarded as belonging to the natural or adoptive family. Estates might fall in. Is he to have a share in either, in both or none of the estates belonging to the two parties? If the physical act of delivery is part of the same transaction of the datta homam, although some little time may intervene between the two ceremonies, the one act can be regarded as supplementing the other. Assuming, however, Venkata v. Subhadra 7 M.P 548 to be correctly decided, as to which it is not necessary to express a definite opinion now, we are not prepared to extend it to the case of Sudra adoptions. The adoption must be declared invalid. From what has been stated in the connected appeal, it follows that the gift deed (Exhibit VI) is not binding on the plaintiff beyond the life-time of the 1st defendant. The appeal must be allowed and the suit decreed with costs throughout.

Wallis, J.

3. I quite agree and will only add that I attach very little importance indeed to the oral evidence as to a conversation which took place some seventeen or eighteen years before between Sami Reddi and his brother Ramakrishna. Sami Reddi at that time was married, but his marriage had not been consummated and though his horoscope may have possibly stated that he was not going to have children, I do not think that his faith in horoscopes would have been such as to induce him to make a definite promise to take one of these boys in adoption. I think that at most what passed amounted to no more than this, that he promised that if he had occasion to make an adoption, he would give preference to one of the sons of Ramakrishna Reddi. Therefore, for this reason also I think that the appeal must be allowed and the suit decreed with costs throughout.


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