HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.)NO question of law. That what is called a Stridhana gift, made by the relatives of the wife to the husband among Marumakkathayam moplahs so as to enable the husband to maintain the wife, ordinarily reverts to the family of the wife on the death of the wife without issue or on divorce, does not mean that the converse, namely, that wherever there has been a repayment to the wife there must have been a divorce, is true. In fact the reason for this custom is thus stated in Pakrichi v. Kunhacha (ILR. XXXVI madras 385 at p. 386) which is the leading case on the point: "now according to Marumakkathayam law the tarwad is bound to maintain the women of the tarwad even after their marriage, and, if property is given to a husband for the support of his wife it stands to reason that, when he divorces her he should give back the property to the donor. The reason applies with equal force to a case like the present where, with the death of the husband, his obligation to maintain the wife is at an end, his tarwad being under no such obligation, and, if the wife gets back the Stridhanam from the husband's mother, that does not mean that there was a divorce before the death of the husband. In fact had there been a divorce of the plaintiff by her husband (as to whose separate property the dispute relates) the receipt Ext. B-4 on which the appellants so much rely would have said so. That receipt is evidence both of the marriage (even which the appellant denied) and of its subsistence till the death of the husband.
(2.)SO far as the claim for compensation for improvements is concerned the decree of the first court (which was affirmed by the lower appellate court) makes sufficient provision for working out equities in effecting the actual division.
I dismiss the appeal. Dismissed.
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