DAVULURI VENKATA HANUMANTHA RAO Vs. KASINADHUNI CHENGALVARAYUDU
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Davuluri Venkata Hanumantha Rao
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Subba Rao, C.J. -
(1.) THIS is a Defendants' appeal against the decree and judgment in Original Suit No. 82 of 1948, a suit filed by the respondents for recovery of two items of land in the village of Pedapulivarru and for recovery of profits.
The undisputed facts may be briefly narrated. The plaint schedule property was originally granted to an ancestor of the Plaintiffs belonging to Kasinadhuni family for rendering Stanachari service in the temple of Sri Narendraswami Varu in the village of Peddapulivarru. In a partition effected by the Plaintiffs, their brother Sadasivalingamurthi and their father, the suit lands fell to the share of Sadasivalingamurthi. Sadasivalingamurthi died on 4 -9 -1947. During his lifetime he leased out the property to Defendants 1 and 2. Subsequently on 16 -7 -1946 Sadasivalingamurthi sold 1 acre 90 cents of item 1 and item 2 to the 1st Defendant. Likewise he sold 1 acre 75 cents of item 1 to the 2nd Defendant on 21 -2 -1946.
After the death of Sadasivalingamurthi, his widow Purnasundaramma surrendered her estate in favour of the Plaintiffs by a deed dated 5 -9 -1948 on the ground that the leases and sales were not supported by consideration and they were also void as opposed to public policy. The Plaintiffs filed the above suit for recovery of possession and profits.
(2.) THE Defendants denied that the suit properties are service inam lands. They claimed that what was granted was only the melwaram in the suit lands. They averred that the leases and sales are valid and are fully supported by consideration. They finally pleaded that Section 44 -B, Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act, was a bar to the maintainability of the suit.
The learned Subordinate Judge held on the evidence that the suit lands were service inam lands and that the leases and sales were void. He ruled that Section 44 -B, Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act, was not a bar to the maintainability of the suit.
When a new point was sought to be raised for the first time, namely, that the mode of devolution of the property in regard to unenfranchised service inam lands was different from ordinary property and that according to the said devolution, the Plaintiffs who were neither members of a joint Hindu family, nor the lineal descendants of Sadasivalingamurthi, were not entitled to inherit his property, the learned Judge refused to allow the appellants to raise that plea. In the result, he gave a decree to the Plaintiffs. Hence this appeal.
The first question raised is that the surrender of the suit lands by Purnachandramma, the widow of Sadasivalingamurthi, was invalid as the Plaintiffs were not the next reversioners to the estate of her husband. This argument is based upon the contention, that in regard to unenfranchised inams, the rule of succession is different from that which obtains in the case of other property and that in regard to the said property, neither the widow nor the divided brothers of Sadasivalingamurthi were heirs to his estate. The learned Judge rightly pointed out that this case was not set up in the pleadings, and on that ground rejected the contention.
In our view, the learned Judge was right in not allowing the Defendants to raise a plea at the time of arguments, which was not specifically raised in the pleadings.
Further we are also of the opinion that there are no merits in this contention. Exhibit A -1 is the title deed in respect of the suit properties. It reads:
Title deeds granted to (1) Kasinadhuni Subramaniam and (2) Kasinadhuni Nagappa Ayyavarru.
(1) On behalf of the Governor in Council of Madras, I acknowledge your title to a Devadayam of Pagoda endowed inam situated in the village of Peddapulivarru in the Taluk of Repalle in the District of Guntur claimed title to be of 7 acres 70 cents of dry lands held for service of Stana -charis in the pagoda in the village.
(2) This item is confirmed to you and your successors tax free to be held without interference so long as the conditions of the grant are duly fulfilled.
(3.) IT will be seen from the aforesaid title deed that the title of the named individuals was acknowledged and the inam was confirmed to them and to their successors. This title deed does not prescribe any new mode of devolution or a devolution that is different from that prescribed under the Hindu law. In the absence of specific directions or imposition of conditions contrary to the ordinary devolution of property under Hindu law, we must hold that Government confirmed the grant to the named individuals and the successors -in -interest. If so, after the death of Sadasivalingamurthi, his widow Purnachandramma acquired a widow's estate land she was entitled in law to surrender her estate to the next heir, the divided brothers of her husband.;
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