Sabyasachi Mukharji, J.
1. This reference under Section 26(1) of the G.T. Act, 1958, poses the following question :
'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was right in holding that jewellery, cash and fridge of the value of Rs. 67,744 given by the assessee to Smt. Jayasree Mohta, at the time of her marriage, did not fall within the ambit of the term 'gift' as defined in Section 2(xii) of the Gift-tax Act, 1958 '
2. The assessee is an HUF. The proceedings out of which this reference arises relates to the gift-tax assessment for the assessment year 1970-71. The gift made by the assessee-HUF during the previous year included the following amounts given to Smt. Jayashree Mohta, daughter of Sri B.K. Birla, karta of the assessee-family, at the time of her marriage. Those were as follows :
3. The assessee disclosed the value of all the gifts amounting to Rs. 1,33,744 which included this gift of Rs. 67,744. This amount of Rs. 67,744 was claimed as exempt on the ground that these were marriage expenses. The ITO disallowed the claim of the assessee.
4. Being aggrieved by the order of the ITO, the assessee went up in appeal before the AAC. It was contended on behalf of the assessee that an unmarried daughter was entitled to have her marriage expenses met by the HUF and, therefore, there was no question of any gift whatever in the HUF spending these amounts on her marriage. The AAC was ofthe view that there was no obligation on the HUF to spend on the marriage of the daughter as the daughter was not solely dependent on the HUF. He observed that the marriage expenses were met not by the HUF but by the karta or parents from their individual accounts. The AAC, therefore, upheld the order of the ITO.
5. The assessee went up in appeal before the Tribunal. It was urged before the Tribunal that there was an obligation on the HUF to perform the marriage of the daughters of the family and the amounts spent in the marriage in discharge of this obligation could not amount to a gift, as it would not amount to transfer without consideration. Reliance in this connection was placed on several passages in Mulla's Hindu Law as well as on the decision of the Judicial Committee in the case of Rajagopala Ayyar v. Venkataraman  51 CWN 829 ; AIR 1947 PC 122, and relying on this decision, the Tribunal was of the view that the assessee was under a legal obligation to give in marriage Smt. Jayashree Mohta and the expenditure incurred therein amounted to legitimate marriage expenses on Smt. Jayashree Mohta. The Tribunal further held that the amounts in dispute did not fall within the ambit of the word 'gift' as defined in Section 2(xii) of the G.T. Act, 1958. Therefore, the Tribunal directed the exclusion of Rs. 67,744 from the computation of the value of the gift. Upon these facts, the question, as indicated above, has been referred to this court.
6. It must be mentioned that there is no dispute that the amount was spent by the HUF. It was also not in dispute that Smt. Jayashree Mohta was a member of the said HUF and on the marriage of an unmarried daughter of the said HUF the amount was spent. The Tribunal found that the amount spent was not out of proportion or was not in excess of the estate of the family. The Tribunal also proceeded on the basis that the expenditure incurred was the legitimate marriage expenses of Smt. Jayashree Mohta. The question is, in these circumstances, can it be said to be a case of gift in terms of Section 2(xii) of the G.T. Act, 1958. The position of a daughter to have her marriage expenses met out of the joint HUF is clear in the exposition of law in Mulla's Hindu Law and we may refer to the observations in Mulla's Hindu Law, 14th Edn., where at p. 395, under art. 304(2), dealing with the property available for partition, it states :
' (2) Marriage expenses, etc., after a suit for partition.--As to the marriage expenses of male members of the family it has been held by the Judicial Committee (Ramalinga v. Narayana  LR 49 IA 168), reversing a decision of the Madras High Court (Narayana v. Ramalinga ILR  Mad 587; 36 IC 428), that since the institution of a suit for partition by a member of a joint family effects a severance of the joint statusof the family, a male member of the family who is then unmarried is not entitled to have a provision made on partition for his marriage expenses, although he marries before the decree in the suit is made.
The case, however, of an unmarried daughter stands on a different footing. Her right to maintenance and marriage expenses out of the joint family property is in lieu of a share on partition ; provision should accordingly be made for her marriage expenses in the decree (Rajagopala Ayyar v. Venkataraman  51 CWN 829).
It is only for the marriage expenses of the father's daughters or sisters that provision should be made out of the joint family property. The marriage expenses of the son's daughters form only the liability of his branch and not of the whole joint family unlike the case of the father's daughters (Ramchandra v. Seeniathal ILR  Mad 732). Thus, if A has a son S and a daughter D by one wife, and a son S2 and a daughter D2 by another wife, and S brings a suit for partition, and D2 is married after the institution of the suit, one-third of her marriage expenses should be deducted out of his one-third share and as regards one-third of the marriage expenses of D his one-third share in the property may be charged with such expenses. But S is not liable for the marriage expenses of his brother's (S2's) daughter, if any, she being the daughter of a collateral. Her marriage expenses should come out of her own father's share (Subbayya v. Ananta Ramayya ilr  Mad 84). The same rule applies to the expenses of betrothal ceremonies of daughters. As regards the expenses of the thread ceremony of the members of the family it has been held that provision should be made for them on partition (Jairam v. Nathu ilr  Bom 54).
As to marriage expenses while the family is joint, see Article 440 below.'
7. As mentioned hereinbefore, the aforesaid observations deal with the marriage expenses at the time of partition or after a partition suit had been filed. But Article 440 at p. 518 of the said book deals with marriage expenses when the family is joint and it will be instructive to refer to the said exposition in Mulla's Hindu Law which states as follows :
' 440. Marriage expenses.--In the case of a joint family governed by the Mitakshara law, the joint family property is liable, while the family is still joint, for the legitimate marriage expenses of male members of the family Sundrabai v. Shivnarayana ilr (1908] Bom 81), and also of the daughters of male members of the family (Vaikundam v. Kallapiran ilr  Mad 512).
The decision in Subbayya v. Anantha Ramayya ilr  Mad 84 implies that a father in possession of a joint family property is under a legal obligation to get his daughter married. It follows that if a fatherso in possession neglects his duty, the mother may perform it and recover the expenses from her husband. When there is no joint family property in the hands of the father there is no legal obligation on his part to marry his daughter and bear the expenses of marriage. It is doubtful also whether the marriage of an infant girl could be brought under the head of 'necessaries' within the meaning of Section 68, Indian Contract Act (Sadhu Laxmi Sundaramma v. Suryanarayana, : AIR1950Mad274 . On the other hand, the proposition of law laid down in Sundari Ammal v. Subramania Ayyar ilr [1902) Mad 505 that under the Hindu Law, a father is under no legal obligation to get his daughter married appears to have been stated too broadly. The obligation may not exist when the father is not a member of a joint family and has no ancestral property.
The texts enjoin the payment of expenses of sanskaras or sacraments out of the family property. The marriage is a sanskara and its expenses, therefore, are to be provided for out of the joint family property. A debt contracted for the marriage of a coparcener or the daughter of a deceased coparcener in a joint Hindu family is a debt contracted for a family purpose and, therefore, for the benefit of the family. See arts. 224 and 427.
As to expenses of marriage after the institution of a suit for partition, see Article 304(2). As to the power of a widow to provide for the marriage expenses of her daughter out of her husband's estate, see Article 181B(iv).'
8. In this connection, it may not be inappropriate to refer to the observations of the Madras High Court in the decision mentioned hereinbefore, that is to say, the observations of the court in the case of Subbayya v. Atlanta Ramayya ILR  Mad 84 . It was observed that in a suit for partition, instituted by a Hindu governed by the Mitakshara law, against his father and his step-brother, the father claimed a provision for the marriage expenses of his daughters, one of whom was married subsequent to the suit and before the decree and two others Were unmarried, and the plaintiff had contended that he or his share in the family property was not liable therefore after the disruption of the coparcenary. Mr. Justice Ramesam and Mr. Justice Reilly held that the right of the daughter to her marriage expenses and maintenance was based on her right to or interest in the joint family property and was not based on the natural obligation of a father to maintain his children. Under this, according to their Lordships, the obligation of the family property was not affected by the partition between the father and his sons, but the son's share, on partition, was liable for the marriage expenses of the daughter of the father in proportion to the son's share in the property divided, and, on the other hand, for the marriage expenses of the daughter of the son, if any, the share of the father or of a collateral after partition was not liable and consequently the plaintiff should pay his father his one-third share of the sister's marriage expenses incurred after suit and his one-third share in the property should be charged with one-third of the expenses of the marriages of his unmarried sister. There, the majority of the learned judges explained the full implication of the observation in the case of Ramalinga Annavi v. Narayana Annavi ILR  Mad 489 . The position, therefore, follows that the legitimate marriage expenses of the daughters of the joint HUF will have to be met out of the joint HUF provided the family has the fund. If that is a right given to the daughter belonging to the joint Hindu family then the payment of money in discharge of that right by the karta can by no stretch of imagination be described as either a transfer or gift in terms of Section 2(xii) of the G.T. Act. We will, however, come to the actual definition in the section immediately. In this connection, it would be appropriate to refer to the observations of Mulls, appearing at p. 302 under Article 243 of the same book which deals with alienation of property in case of legal necessity and Clause (c) of Article 243 deals with marriage expenses of male coparceners and also of the daughters of the coparceners. Therefore, it again re-emphasises the point that marriage of daughters of the coparceners, that is to say, the unmarried daughter of the members of the joint HUF, if there be alienation on the occasion of marriage, would be alienation for the legal necessity and would be a valid alienation of the property under the Hindu law. We may also refer, in this connection, to the observations appearing at p. 425 under art. 333 where it dealt with a suit for partition, parties to the suit and what property it should comprise. Reliance was placed on the observations of the Supreme Court in the case of Guramma Bhratar Chanbasappa Deshmukh v. Mallappa Chanbasappa, : 4SCR497 . There, several questions came up for consideration before the Supreme Court. The questions were when there could be a valid adoption, under what circumstances the manager of a joint Hindu family had power of alienation, the right of alienation of the manager and gift to a stranger. But one of the main questions that came up for consideration was the right of the father to alienate the property to make a gift in favour of the daughter or sister by way of a reasonable provision for her maintenance. There, the Supreme Court dealt with the position under the Hindu law and referred to verses 27, 28 and 29 in Chap. I of the Mitakshara law which described the limitation placed on a father in making a gift of an ancestral estate. The Supreme Court thereafter observed that they did not expressly deal with the right of a father to make a provision for his daughter by giving her some family property at the time of her marriage or subsequently. That right, according to the Supreme Court, was defined separately by Hindu law texts and evolved by a long catena of decisions based on the said texts. Then, the SupremeCourt referred to the relevant decisions in para. 16 of the said judgment at pp. 517-518 of the report. The Supreme Court thereafter went on to observe that it was manifest that except the decision of a learned single judge of the Bombay High Court, all the decisions, according to the Supreme Court, on the subject, recognised the validity of a gift to a reasonable extent of a joint family property to a daughter under varying circumstances. The Supreme Court thereupon at para. 18 at p. 519 of the report observed as follows :
'18. The legal position may be summarised thus : The Hindu law texts conferred a right upon a daughter or a sister, as the case may be, to have a share in the family property at the time of partition. That right was lost by efflux of time. But it became crystallised into a moral obligation. The father or his representative can make a valid gift, by way of reasonable provision for the maintenance of the daughter, regard being had to the financial and other relevant circumstances of the family. By custom or by convenience, such gifts are made at the time of marriage, but the right of the father or his representative to make such a gift is not confined to the marriage occasion. It is a moral obligation and it continues to subsist till it is discharged. Marriage is only a customary occasion for such a gift. But the obligation can be discharged at any time, either during the lifetime of the father or thereafter. It is not possible to lay down a hard and fast rule prescribing the quantitative limits of such a gift as that would depend on the facts of each case and it can only be decided by courts, regard being had to the overall picture of the extent of the family estate, the number of daughters to be provided for and other paramount charges and other similar circumstances. If the father is within his rights to make a gift to a reasonable extent of the family property for the maintenance of a daughter, it cannot be said that the said gift must be made only by one document or only at a single point of time. The validity or the reasonableness of a gift does not depend upon the plurality of documents but on the power of the father to make a gift and the reasonableness of the gift so made. If once the power is granted and the reasonableness of the gift is not disputed, the fact that two gift deeds were executed instead of one cannot make the gift any the less a valid one.'
9. Learned advocate for the revenue, basing on the aforesaid observations of the Supreme Court, sought to urge that originally the texts gave the daughter or sister a share in the joint Hindu family property but that right was gradually lost and it became thereafter a moral right to maintain the daughter according to the financial and relevant circumstances of the family. It was sought, therefore, to be urged on behalf of the revenue that though there might be some moral obligations on the karta of the joint Hindu family to incur certain expenses or give a daughter of the family inmarriage, there was no legal right for the daughter to obtain marriage expenses nor was there any legal obligation on the karta to incur such expenses. We are, however, unable to accept this position. As we have noted, the Supreme Court, in the text quoted in the aforesaid decision, observed : How patent the obligation of the joint Hindu family was to get the daughter of the family married in the manner commensurate with the family status and it is well settled in Hindu law that wherever the laws of India admit the operation of a personal law, the rights and obligations of a Hindu are determined by the Hindu law, in its traditional law. The law as understood by the Hindus, is a branch of dharma. Its ancient framework is the law of the Smritis. This position is amply clarified in the introduction to Mulla's Hindu Law, as referred to hereinbefore.
10. As a matter of fact, this traditional concept of Hindu law has not only not been altered but has been recognised by the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, which, inter alia, defines 'maintenance' under Sub-section (3)(b) as 'in the case of unmarried daughter, also the reasonable expenses of and incidental to her marriage '. The said statutory law imposes upon the karta or the father, as the case may be, the obligation of maintaining the daughter which as we have mentioned hereinbefore includes the obligation to incur expenses on the occasion of the marriage. This position was further clarified by the subsequent judgment in the case of V.D. Deshpande v. K.D. Kulkarni, : 1SCR955 , where it was observed that where a father was the karta of a joint Hindu family and the debts were contracted by the father in his capacity as manager and head of the family for family purposes, the sons as members of the joint family were bound to pay the debts to the extent of their interest in the coparcenary property. It was further observed that as the loan was borrowed for the purpose improving joint family lands, the loan would ipso facto be for legal necessity. It was observed at para. 7 referring to Mulla's Hindu law as follows (at p. 1794) :
'Where a father is the karta of a joint Hindu family and the debts are contracted by the father in his capacity as manager and head of the family for family purposes, the sons as members of the joint family are bound to pay the debts to the extent of their interest in the coparcenary property. Further, where the sons are joint with their father and the debts have been contracted by the father for his own personal benefit, the sons are liable to pay the debts provided they were not incurred for illegal or immoral purposes. This liability arises from an obligation of religion and piety which is placed upon the sons under the Mitakshara law to discharge the father's debts, where the debts are not tainted with immorality. This liability of the sons to pay the father's debts exists whether the father be alive or dead (para. 290, Mulla's Hindu Law, 14th Edn., p. 354). A furtherrequirement is that for an effective partition of a Mitakshara joint Hindu family a provision for the joint family debts should be made. In order to determine what property is available for partition, provision must first be made for joint family debts which are payable out of the joint family property, personal debts of the father not tainted with immorality, maintenance of dependent female members and of disqualified heirs, and for the marriage expenses of unmarried daughters. This must be so because partition is of joint family property and if joint family debts are repaid before the partition only the residue would be available for partition. Therefore, if partition is effected before paying the debts, provision to pay the debts should be made so as to determine the residue available for partition.'
11. Therefore, the marriage of dependent family members and on such occasion incurring legitimate expenses were recognised in the aforesaid passage referred to hereinbefore. At paras. 14 and 14A at pp. 1796 and 3 797, the Supreme Court reiterated this position and referred to the previous decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Anthonyswamy v. M.R. Chinnaswamy Koundan, : 2SCR648 . At p. 1801 of the report AIR 1978 SC the Supreme Court noted that in Hindu law two seemingly contrary but really complementary principles are there, one the principle of independent coparcenary rights in the sons which was an incident of birth, giving to the sons a vested right in the coparcenary property and the other the pious duty of the sons to discharge their father's debts not tainted with immorality or illegality, which laid open the whole estate to be seized for the payment of such debts. One of the pious obligations of the joint Hindu family in which there is an unmarried daughter is to get the daughter married and to incur legitimate expenses for such occasion. Such pious obligation, a concept of the Hindu law, has not only not been modified but strengthened by the subsequent legislation as we have mentioned hereinbefore. Reference in this connection may also be made to the decision of the Mysore High Court in the case of Devchand C. Shah v. Commissioner of Expenditure-tax 0043/1966 : 78ITR534(KAR) , where the Division Bench of the Mysore High Court observed that the expenses for the marriage of a daughter of a Hindu family were a legitimate charge on the family estate. In the case of Rajagopala Ayyar v. Venkataraman  51 CWN 829 , the Judicial Committee observed that the right of an unmarried daughter to maintenance and marriage expenses out of the Hindu joint family property was in lieu of a share on partition. Provisions should accordingly be made for her in a decree for partition. It was further observed that when the marriage oi an unmarried daughter had already taken place with the money supplied by her mother there was no ground for refusing reimbursement. Therefore, both the legal as well as the moral obligation of a joint family to incur expenses on the occasion of themarriage of an unmarried daughter is recognised in Hindu law as enunciated by the aforesaid decision of the Supreme Court. The same position would more or less be apparent if we refer to the observations of the learned single judge of the Madras High Court in the case of Thiruvathammal v. Vagunathan, : AIR1952Mad479 . There the learned judge observed that the father had a legal obligation to meet the marriage expenses of his daughter if it was. shown that there was a joint family property, but if there was no joint family property, the learned judge observed, the obligation of the father was only a moral or natural obligation but not a legal obligation.
12. Our attention was, however, drawn on behalf of the revenue to certain observations in the case of CGT v. Tej Nath , where the Full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that a gift by the karta of an HUF of any portion of the family property, whether to other coparceners or to strangers, was void per se and not merely voidable and, therefore, there would be no gift within the meaning of the G.T. Act, which would be liable to gift-tax. There, however, the court was not dealing with a gift on the occasion of a marriage. Mr. Justice D. K. Mahajan observed at p. 104 of the report that in the instant case before their Lordships the gift to the daughter was not made at or about the time of her marriage. Therefore, whether a gift on other occasions would be a valid gift or would be liable to attract the provisions of the G.T. Act or not is not a question with which we are concerned.
13. Reliance was also placed on certain observations in the case of CIT v. Ramgopal Rajgarhia : 123ITR693(Patna) , where it was observed that a Hindu father or other managing member had power to make a gift within reasonable limits of ancestral immovable property for ' pious purposes '. In case of movable property such a gift need not be made for pious purposes. It could be made out of love and affection. There the court was concerned with a different situation, namely, a gift made to a son and the question was whether such a gift was within reasonable limits. We are not concerned with the same situation in the instant case.
14. Learned advocate for the revenue, however, seriously contended that even if it was not a gift under the Transfer of Property Act it was a gift in view of the language used in Section 2(xii) of the G.T. Act, 1958. In Section 2(xii) of the Act 'gift' has been defind as follows:
'2. (xii) 'Gift' means the transfer by one person to another of any existing movable or immovable property made voluntarily find without consideration in money or money's worth and includes the transfer or conversion of any property referred to in Section 4, deemed to be gift under that section.'
15. He contended that this was without consideration as there was no obligation. Secondly, he contended that it was not in money or money's worth. It is common case and no contention was urged before us that the amount could be considered to be a deemed gift under Section 4 of the Act. So, we need not consider the implication of Section 4 of the Act. We are, however, unable to accept the contention urged. As we have mentioned before, there was really no question of any gift or transfer because a daughter had a right so long as the family remained joint and had properties to have her marriage expenses met out of the family fund. The karta was meeting that obligation of the family to the daughter. Therefore, there was no question of anybody transferring any amount really or making any gift in the strict sense of the term. The daughter had the right under the law to have her marriage expenses met. In this connection, as some authorities were cited, we will briefly note the same. Our attention was drawn to the case of Keshub Mahindra v. CGT : 70ITR1(Bom) , the meaning of the expression ' consideration in money or money's worth ' was explained. What had happened in that case was that the payment was made in discharge of a legal obligation and payment was out of the fund to which the daughter had a share to be reimbursed. This decision is relevant for our present purpose. Reliance was also placed on the observations in the case of P.J. P. Thomas v. CIT : 44ITR897(Cal) , where it was held that though marriage might be a good and valuable consideration for transfer of property to a lady who agreed to marry the transferor, since it was not possible to determine the adequacy of such consideration, the marriage could not be regarded as an adequate consideration within the meaning of Section 16(3)(a)(iii) of the Indian I.T. Act, 1922. These observations, in our opinion, were made entirely in a different context and have no relevance to the present case.
16. Similarly, our attention was drawn to the observations of the Supreme Court in the case of CGT v. N.S. Getti Chettiar : 82ITR599(SC) , where it was held that partition of a property would not amount to a gift. Learned advocate for the revenue is absolutely right. But in this case there was no question of partition and the principle behind that decision of the Supreme Court was as to what a co-sharer was getting in lieu of his share and there was no question of any transfer by anybody to anybody, else. That principle, in our opinion, would be against the contentions of the revenue. Reliance was also placed on certain observations in the case of M.S.M. Ratnaswami Nadar v. CIT : 100ITR669(Mad) . There also the Madras High Court was dealing with the adequacy of the consideration under Section 64(iii) of the I.T. Act, 1961, which was similar to Section 16(3)(a)(iv) of the Indian I.T. Act, 1922. We are not concerned with the said controversy in the Instant case. Reliance was also placed on certain observations inthe case of CGT v. Chandrasekhara Reddy : 105ITR849(AP) , where the Andhra Pradesh High Court observed that a gift by a father or mother or other guardian in discharge of a moral obligation would not attract the provisions of the G.T. Act.
17. Learned advocate for the assessee also drew our attention to the observations in the case of CGT v. RM.S.Ramanathan Chettiar : 74ITR758(Mad) , where it was held that the expression ' money's worth ' in Section 2(xii) of the G.T. Act, 1958, had a wide connotation and was not necessarily to be understood in the strict context of money in specie but that which would eventually or in the ultimate analysis or result be reduced to or converted into money. There, in a partial partition of the family, provision was made for the payment of an amount to the wife of the karta. It was held that such consideration was money's worth and the payment was not a gift. As we have held, being an unmarried daughter of the Hindu family, the daughter has a right to be married out of the joint family expenses, there cannot be any gift. This only strengthens that conclusion and this conclusion is also corroborated by the Madras High Court in the case of Alagammai Achi v. Veerappa Chettiar, AIR 1956 Mad 428.
18. In the aforesaid view of the matter, we are of the opinion that the Tribunal was right in its conclusion that the provisions of Section 2(xii) were not attracted and the question must, therefore, be answered in the affirmative and in favour of the assessee.
19. In the facts and circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.
Sudhindra Mohan Guha, J.
20. I agree.