Decided on August 12,1963

K. Appalanarasimha Bhukta And Others Appellant
K. Mahadevalla Bhukta And Others Respondents


SHAHFUDDIN AHMED,J. - (1.) This Letters Patent Appeal is directed against the judgment and decree of our learned brother Chandrasekhara Sastry, J., made in A. S. No. 267 of 1961 dated 12th August, 1963. The suit, O. S. No. 3 of 1960, against which A. S. No. 267 of 1961 was filed, was instituted in the Court of the Additional District Judge, Srikakulam by the 1st appellant (K. Appalanarasimha Bhukta) against the respondents, 1st respondent being the Karta of the family for partition of the plaint schedule properties into four equal shares and separate possession of one such share and for directing the respondents to render an account of the management of the family estate from the date of death of the plaintiff's paternal grandfather to the date of suit and for payment to the plaintiff ?th share on such ascertainment. A further relief was sought for directing the respondents-defendants to pay his marriage katnam amounting to Rs. 6000/- with subsequent interest. It was stated that the plaintiffs father the late Lakshmi Narasimhulu, the father of defendants Nos. 3 to 6 Surya Prakash Rao and defendants Nos. 1 and 2 are brothers and sons of the late Appalanarasimha Bhukta. The 2nd defendant is the son of Appalanarasimha Bhukta by his second wife the 8th defendant in the suit. The rest of the defendants are the sons of the 1st wife Pedda Kamamma. Appalanarasimha Bhukta and his sons constituted a Hindu Mitakshara joint family of which Appalanarasimha Bhukta was the manager during his life-time. He died on 22-11-1933. The father of the plaintiff predeceased him. Surya Prakash Rao died on 9-5-1946 and later the management of the estate passed on to the 1st defendant. The family property consisted of lands, moveables, such as silver-ware, brassware and live-stock etc. The family had an income of roughly Rs. 1,50,000 per annum consisting of paddy, grains and cash. The landed properties are described in schedule 'A' while the house property including the vacant sites are described in Schedule 'B' and the moveable properties in Schedule 'C'. The plaintiff's father died in the year 1959 even before the plaintiff was born. His grandfather died when he was only three years old. His mother was residing in her father's house in Lukulam Agraharam and being young and inexperienced entered into an agreement with plaintiff's paternal uncle to receive a sum of Rs. 250/- per month for her maintenance and that of her minor son and for other expenditure during his minority. That was the only amount that the plaintiff and his mother were receiving during that period, the 1st respondent having acquired the management of the family estate subsequent to the death of Surya Prakash Rao, the father of D-3 to D-6, began to divert the family funds and invest a part of the sum in acquisition of properties in the name of other benami for himself. He also secreted large amounts of money and gold with his near relations. The plaintiff further alleged that from the time of the paternal grandfather's death there has been a systematic and dishonest manipulation of accounts with a view to cheat the plaintiff of his legitimate share in the accumulations. The family was receiving 600 garces of paddy from the landed property and it was selling at Rs. 800/-a garce during that period. The 1st respondent was realising huge amounts and secreting the entire amounts. The respondents were, therefore, liable to accounts and the plaintiff's entitled to receive ?th share of such accumulations. It was, therefore, prayed that a decree in favour of the plaintiff be passed directing the respondents to render an account of the management of the family estate from the date of the death of the plaintiff's paternal grandfather upto the date of suit and to pay to the plaintiff ?th share of the amount on ascertainment.
(2.) The main contesting party was the 1st respondent i. e., the 1st defendant in the suit. He denied all the allegations made in the plaint. According to him Surya Prakash Rao was himself managing the affairs during his life-time as Manager. It was after his death that he took over the property. He pleaded that he had not misappropriated the accumulated family income nor made any secret investments and the allegations were wholly false and malicious. Even in regard to the income the figures as stated by the plaintiff were denied. It was pointed out that the income of the family was never Rs. 1,50,000 or Rs. 50,000 as stated by the other defendants. On the other hand, the family lands were fetching about 350 garces of paddy a year and the income was only Rs. 12,000 per year. There were difficulties in collection of the rents because the family land mostly consisted of inam lands and some of them were estates. Later 10 villages were altogether abolished, and thus they ceased to be family properties. He had to incur considerable expenditure in litigation with the tenants of the villages and subsequently the enforcement of Rent Reduction Act etc. had the effect of further reducing the family income. The family had to pay Rs. 12,000 towards land revenue and the ulluate (sic) expenses amounting to Rs. 2,000 annually. The family was maintaining 24 clerks and 30 servants till 1949 at an annual expense of 40 kutties of paddy per clerk and 18 kutties of paddy per servant per annum. Subsequently they were maintaining only six clerks and six servants. On 18-6-1952 the paddy stock of the family was divided into four shares and the plaintiff took away his share leaving only a small amount for common expenses. In the year 1950 a list of family gold and silver was prepared and in the year 1956 all the gold and silver was actually divided.
(3.) The 2nd defendant filed his written statement denying all the allegations made by the plaintiff and more or less taking the stand of the 1st defendant.;

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