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Balasubramania Pillai and ors. Vs. Pitcha Pillai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in33Ind.Cas.552
AppellantBalasubramania Pillai and ors.
RespondentPitcha Pillai
Cases ReferredKishori Mohan Sanyal v. Shib Chandra Lahiri
Excerpt:
hindu law - 'aun santhathi', whether includes adopted son. - .....when a hindu uses the term 'son' or 'children', it includes an adopted son. prima facie the words male offspring include, therefore, an adopted son. to hold otherwise would be to assume that the plaintiff's adoptive father intended to give up his right of adoption. it must also be borne in mind that the razinama dealt with properties which might be subsequently acquired by him. unless, therefore, the context shows that the words were intended to be used in a restricted sense to exclude the adopted son, i am of opinion that they must be taken to include an adopted son. the learned pleader for the appellants contends that such an intention is shown by the use of the same words in describing the devolution of the other half of the properties. it is contended that the 'aun santhathi'.....
Judgment:

Sankaran Nair, J.

1. A razinama was filed in a suit filed by the plaintiff's adoptive father against the 1st defendant, his brother's son who had married his daughter's daughter, Lokambal. That razinama provided that after the death of the plaintiff's adoptive father the awn santhathi', if any, left by him shall enjoy half the immoveable properties then in suit and also half the other properties which might be subsequently acquired by him and the other half was to go to the aun santhathi'' of his daughter's daughter, Lokambal. A decree was passed in accordance with the terms of the razinama in which for the term 'aun santhathi' the English words 'male descendant' were used. Subsequent to the passing of the above decree the plaintiff was adopted and on his adoptive father's death he brought this suit to recover half the properties left by his father, on the strength of the razinama. The defendants contend that as the plaintiff is only an adopted son, he does not come within the terms of the razinama.

2. The sole question is, whether an adopted son comes within the words 'aun santhathi.' 'Aun' means male and 'santhathi' is a Sanskrit word which according to Monier Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary means 'uninterrupted succession, descent, lineage, race, progeny, offspring, a son, a daughter, etc.' Ordinarily when a Hindu uses the term 'son' or 'children', it includes an adopted son. Prima facie the words male offspring include, therefore, an adopted son. To hold otherwise would be to assume that the plaintiff's adoptive father intended to give up his right of adoption. It must also be borne in mind that the razinama dealt with properties which might be subsequently acquired by him. Unless, therefore, the context shows that the words were intended to be used in a restricted sense to exclude the adopted son, I am of opinion that they must be taken to include an adopted son. The learned Pleader for the appellants contends that such an intention is shown by the use of the same words in describing the devolution of the other half of the properties. It is contended that the 'aun santhathi' (male (sic) of Lokambal, the daughter's (sic) must obviously exclude an adit (sic) it could not have been the in(sic) the parties to give the property (sic) who may be adopted by the husband. The District Judge holds that it is possible that an adoption made by her jointly with her husband might come within the scope of these words. But whether it is so or not, the words when used in connection with a female may not bear the same meaning and, in my opinion, it is not sufficient to show that the words do not bear their ordinary sense when used with reference to a male.

3. I am not, therefore, prepared to differ from the District Judge on this point.

4. It was also argued that evidence was excluded. I see no reason to interfere with the Judge's order. We dismiss the appeal with costs.

Spencer, J.

5. The compromise (Exhibit A) contains no distinct prohibition against adoption by Muruga Pillai or by the 1st defendant.

6. If 'santhathi' be translated 'issue' as 'santhathi' was translated in Kishori Mohan Sanyal v. Shib Chandra Lahiri 7 Cri.L.J. 291. I should be inclined to consider that it would not include an adopted son; but it is plausibly contended by Mr. Ramachandra Aiyer that the parties may have used the more formal word santhathi instead of mohan (son), which would include an adopted son, in cider to provide for the possibility of there being a grandson alive at Muruga Pillai's death, but no son. If the parties used the word in the significance of descendants,' there would be no reason to exclude from this category descendants by adoption unless there were other words of restriction.

7. While the meaning of the word 'santhathi', 'santhanam' in Winslow's Tamil Dictionary is given as offspring, progeny, issue, it seems to be derived from a Sanskrit root which means 'to extend' and thus originally to have the wider meaning of lineage. I agree in upholding the lower Court's decree.


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