VENNAMUDDALA VENKATA CHALLAMMA ALIAS VENKATA LAKSHMAMMA Vs. CHEEKATI ALIAS GADDAM SUBBARAO AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Vennamuddala Venkata Challamma Alias Venkata Lakshmamma
Cheekati Alias Gaddam Subbarao
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Rajamannar, J. -
(1.) IN this appeal filed under the Letters Patent against the judgment of Panchapagesa Sastri J. in S. A. No. 1501 of 1947, the question relates to the succession to the properties of a dancing girl.
(2.) ONE Pullamma brought a suit for partition and possession of her half share of certain properties conveyed to her and her brother's daughter jointly in gift by a third person. When the suit was pending Pullamma died. Thereupon, the first respondent sought to come, on record as her legal representative and continue the action. He claimed to be the grandson of the brother of one Nandamma who was alleged to have adopted Pullamma as her daughter. The brother's daughter who was the contesting defendant claimed to succeed to the properties of Pullamma as her nearest heir. It was common ground that both Nandamma and Pullamma belonged to the dancing girl caste and that Nandamma had adopted Pullamma as her daughter. It was further found that the first respondent was the brother's grandson of Nandamma. The trial Court decreed the suit. But, on appeal, the learned Subordinate Judge took the view that the first respondent was not the heir and that the appellant, the brother's daughter, was herself the heir. He therefore dismissed the suit. The first respondent filed the second appeal which was disposed of by Panchapagesa Sastri J. The learned Judge held that when Pullamma was adopted to Nandamma her connection with her natural family came to an end and therefore the appellant who was the natural brother's daughter could not inherit. He also held that the first respondent succeeded to the properties of Pullamma as her bandhu, being her adoptive mother's brother's grandson. He therefore allowed the second appeal and restored the decree of the trial Court. The brother's daughter now appeals.
(3.) IT must be now taken as well established that so far as Madras is concerned, an adoption of a daughter by a dancing girl when it is not for the purpose of prostitution is valid by custom and such adoption confers on the person adopted the status of an adopted daughter with all the civil rights flowing therefrom like inheritance, to the adoptive mother's properties. - - 'Venku v. Mahalinga',, 11 Mad 393 (A), - -'Muttukannu v. Paramasami',, 12 Mad 214 (B) and - - 'Veeranna v. Sarasiratnam',, AIR 193 Mad 639 (C). Mr. Ramachandra Rao, learned counsel for the appellant did not therefore question the validity of the adoption of Pullamma by Nandamma. He however argued that the adoption, does not sever all ties between the adopted daughter and her natural family. He relied on the analogy of illatom son -in -law and the decision in which it was held that an illatom son -in -law does not lose all his rights in the natural family. Vide - - 'Balarami v. Pera',, 6 Mad 267 (D) and - -'Ramakristna v. Subbakka',, 12 Mad 442 (E) and - - 'Subbarao v. Mahalakshmma', : AIR 1930 Mad 883 (F). We do not think that this contention can be dealt with as a pure question of law. Hindu law as such does not recognise the adoption of a daughter. Such adoption is entirely the creation of custom. We must therefore find out whether it is one of the incidents of the custom, which permits the adoption of a daughter by a dancing girl that such adopted daughter loses or retains her rights in her natural family. Learned counsel for the plaintiff -respondent referred us to the oral evidence in the cases which appears to support the conclusion that according to the custom of the community the adopted girl does not Inherit in her natural family. There is no evidence contra. On the facts of this case it must therefore be held in the absence of any judicial authority on the point that when Pullamma was adopted by Nandamma her ties with her natural family were broken. The appellant as her natural brother's daughter would not therefore be her heir.;
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