Skip to content


Panchanon Majumdar Vs. Binoy Krishna Banerjee - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in44Ind.Cas.538
AppellantPanchanon Majumdar
RespondentBinoy Krishna Banerjee
Cases ReferredHarendra Nath Avasti v. Shibo Sundari Debi Choudhurani
Excerpt:
hindu law - adoption--adoptee, whether bound by anti-adoption contract made by natural father restricting adoptee's rights. - d. chatterjee, j.1. a hindu widow before making an adoption made an agreement with the natural father of her prospective adopted son that she was to receive a certain amount for her maintenance and a certain amount for the marriage of her relations: and rs. 25 per mensem each was to be paid to her brother's son and grandson during their lifetime. these amounts were regularly paid so long as the widow was alive but on her death payment was stopped by the guardian appointed by the district judge. the present appeal arises out of a suit by the brother's grandson of the widow for enforcing the contract against the adopted son. both the courts below have dismissed the suit. hence this appeal.2. the plaintiff's case was that the allowance was sanctioned by the will of the defendant's adoptive.....
Judgment:

D. Chatterjee, J.

1. A Hindu widow before making an adoption made an agreement with the natural father of her prospective adopted son that she was to receive a certain amount for her maintenance and a certain amount for the marriage of her relations: and Rs. 25 per mensem each was to be paid to her brother's son and grandson during their lifetime. These amounts were regularly paid so long as the widow was alive but on her death payment was stopped by the guardian appointed by the District Judge. The present appeal arises out of a suit by the brother's grandson of the widow for enforcing the contract against the adopted son. Both the Courts below have dismissed the suit. Hence this appeal.

2. The plaintiff's case was that the allowance was sanctioned by the Will of the defendant's adoptive father--that he and his uncle were receiving their allowances from before the adoption and the giving of the allowance was the condition on which the adoption was made and would not have been made but for it.

3. The defendant's plea was that he was not bound by the contract of his father.

4. The alleged Will of adoptive father has not been proved to be genuine and even if it were, its terms cannot be read as sanctioning the allowance to the plaintiff. Plaintiff's case, therefore, must stand or fall by the contract of the natural father with the adoptive mother. There is some divergence of judicial opinion on the general question whether anti-adoption agreements entered into by the natural father of an adopted son and operating in restriction of his legal rights as an adopted son are binding on' him. Their Lordships of the Privy Council have expressed a leaning against the binding nature of these agreements: see Bhaiya Rabidat Singh v. Indar Kunwar 16 C. 556 : 16 I.A. 53 : 13 Ind. Jur. 98 : 5 Sar. P.C.J. 505 : Rafique & Jackson's P.C. No. 110 : 8 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 367. This was a case, however of an agreement made in violation of the terms of the Will of the, husband by which the authority to adopt was given and the real question for decision before their Lordships was the validity of the adoption, the contention being that the adoption was invalid by reason of the agreement which restricted the rights of the adopted son. In the case of Visalakshi Ammal v. Siraramien 27 M. 577 : 14 M.L.J. 310 (F.B.) a Full Bench of the Madras High Court held that, an agreement with the adoptive mother by which the natural father agreed before adoption that in case of a difference she would enjoy half the estate of her husband for life, the adopted son getting it on her death, was valid and binding: the real test in these cases being whether the arrangement was fair and reasonable,

5. In the case of Vyasacharya Narayanacharya v. Venkubai Rangacharya Upadya 17 Ind. Cas. 741 : 37 B. 251 : 14 Bom. L.R. 1109 (F.B.) a Full Bench of the Bombay High Court has Held that a gift by the widow of a portion 'of her husband's estate to her daughter and assented to by the natural father of a subsequently adopted son at the time of the adoption, is not binding on the adopted son. This was a case of an alienation by the widow which would not bind reversioners if there were no adoption, as she was dealing with more than her life-interest. There is no case exactly in point in Bengal. The case of Bepin Behari Bundopadhya v. Brojo Nath Mookhopadhya 8 C. 357 : 6 Ind. Jur. 523 : 4 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 228 was that of an adoptive father authorising his widow to hold possession for her life and the natural father giving away his son with the knowledge of the restriction. The case of Harendra Nath Avasti v. Shibo Sundari Debi Choudhurani 3 Ind. Cas. 378 is also of the same nature, as the adoptive; father made a similar restriction by his Will.

6. These cases do not seem to take the case further than validating fair and reasonable arrangements for the enjoyment of her husband's property by the widow daring her lifetime, especially when there is authority from the husband in that connection. The broad proposition, therefore, that all anti-adoption agreements by the adoptive mother with the natural father and operating in the restriction of the rights of the adopted son are valid cannot be supported, and it is hardly necessary in this case to go into farther detail in this matter. The allowance in dispute was paid during the lifetime of the widow and the objection is made after her death There is no alienation by her of her husband's property. She has with the consent of the natural father tried to impose a personal contract upon the minor. Neither she nor the natural father had any legal authority to do so. It is true that the contract is not absolutely void and could have been ratified by the minor but he has not. In this view of the case we dismiss the appeal with costs.

Walmsley, J.

7. I agree.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //