CHELLA SUBBANNA AND ANR. Vs. CHELLA BALASUBBAREDDI AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Chella Subbanna and Anr.
Chella Balasubbareddi and Ors.
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Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J. -
(1.) THE question propounded is whether one member of a joint Hindu family consisting of several members can, irrespective of a partition of the family estate, give his own interest therein to one of the other coparceners. If the judgments of this Court in Peddayya v. Ramalingam, I.L.R. (1888) Mad. 406 and Thangavelu Pillai v. : AIR1915Mad113 are to be followed the answer must be in the affirmative, but it is said that the decision of the Privy Council in Venkatapathi Raju v. Venkatanarasimha Raju : (1915) 2 L.W. 850 has made it clear that the observations in Peddayya v. Ramalingam, I.L.R. (1888) Mad. 406 and Thangavelu Pillai v. : AIR1915Mad113 cannot'be regarded as embodying a correct statement of the law.
(2.) IN Peddayya v. Ramalingam, I.L.R. (1888) Mad. 406, a joint Hindu family governed by the Mitakshara law consisted of four brothers. Disputes arose with regard to the right of succession to the movable property left by their father. The plaintiff claimed that the whole of this property belonged to him under an arrangement made by the father. In another partition suit two of his brothers by their plaint had relinquished their shares in this property. They accepted the position that it was their father's wish that it should devolve upon the plaintiff. In the suit which gave rise to the appeal the plaintiff claimed three quarters of the property on the ground that two of his brothers had relinquished their interest in it in his favour. This claim was upheld by the trial Court, by the District Court on first appeal and by this Court on second appeal. The appeal to this Court was heard by Muttuswami Ayyar and Shephard, JJ., who after quoting the following texts,
(1) If any one of the brethren has a competence from his own occupation and desires not the property, he may be debarred from his share, giving him a trifle in lieu of maintenance, "(Manu, Chapter IX, page 207). (2) The separation of one who is able to support himself, and is not desirous of participation may be completed by giving him some trifle." - -(Yagnavalkya, II -117);
proceeded to say:
According to the Smritis, then, the renunciation operates as alienation of one coparcener's interest in favour of the others. If he can alienate in favour of the other coparceners as a body, there is no reason why he should not do so in favour of one of them, who alone may need such help.. In this case Bogalingam and Gangayya, in fulfilment of their natural obligation to give effect to what they believed to be the wish of their father, gave up their interest in plaintiff's favour, and their act may be regarded as the severance of their interest coupled with a direction to make over their shares to the respondents when he should separate.
The last part of this statement indicates that the Court realised that it would be contrary to the idea of a Hindu joint family for one coparcener to have a greater share in the estate than the other coparceners while they remained joint.
(3.) IN Thangavelu Pillai v. : AIR1915Mad113 another Division Bench of this Court held that a gift by a father of all his interest, in the family estate to his only son could be upheld as a relinquishment. In that case the only members of the joint family were the father and the son, and therefore the case presented no difficulty, but the Court accepted Peddayya v. Ramalingam, I.L.R. (1888) Mad. 406 as direct authority for the proposition that one coparcener could not only relinquish his share in favour of the remaining coparceners, but he could do so in favour of one of them so as to increase his interest in the joint estate. In the course of the judgment it was observed that the giving of a trifle to the outgoing coparcener as contemplated by the texts could not be regarded as a condition precedent to the validity of the relinquishment and the learned Judges reiterated this opinion in Veerammal v. Kanna Ammo, I.L.R. (1888) Mad. 406. There can be no doubt with regard to the correctness of the latter assertion.;
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