Decided on August 05,1954

Kancheti Ramakrishnayya Appellant
Mandadi Narasayya And Others Respondents


MR.K.SUBBA RAO,C.J. - (1.) This Second Appeal raises an interesting question pertaining to the subject of adoption under Hindu Law. The relevant facts may be briefly stated : Kancheti Satyanarayana married one Venkayamma as his first wife. She died in the year 1939 without any male issue. Thereafter, in 1940, he married Sitaramamma as his second wife. She also died issueless. On 17th December, 1942, after the death of his two wives, Satyanarayana took the plaintiff Rama-krishnayya in adoption. Venkayamma, i.e. the first wife of Satyanarayana was the daughter of one Mandadi Appayya. He died in 1932 possessed of the plaint schedule properties situated at Kattamuru, leaving behind him his two daughters Venkayamma and Sitaramamma, who inherited his estate as limited owners under Hindu Law. Sitaramamma died in 1937 and Venkayamma as already stated died in the year 1939, leaving behind her, her only daughter Tirupathamma. The plaintiff, claiming to be the grandson of Mandadi Appayya through his daughter Venkayamma filed O.S. No. 6 of 1947 on the file of the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Guntur, for recovering possession of the properties of Appayya. The first defendant's father Hanumayya is the brother of Appayya. On the death of Ven-Kayamma, Hanumayya filed O.S. No. 666 of 1941 on the file of the District Munsif's Court, Guntur, against Satyanarayana and Narasayya, the husbands of Venkayamma and Sitaramamma, claiming possession of the suit properties and obtained a decree therein.
(2.) Defendant 1 to 7 were alleged to be in possession of the suit properties. Defendants 2 to 7 were ex parte. The 1st defendant pleaded that the adoption of the 1st defendant was not true or valid. He averred that the plaintiff was not the daughter's son of Appayya. He stated that, even if he was the daughter's son of Appayya, by reason of his adoption by Satyanarayana, the adoption made on 17th December, 1942 could not relate back to the date of Venkayamma's death, and therefore, could not divest the estate that devolved on Appayya's heirs on the death of Venkayamma in the year 1939. The learned Subordinate Judge held that the adoption was true that by reason of the adoption, the senior widow Venkayamma should be deemed to be the adoptive mother of the plaintiff and that the adoption would relate back to the date of Venkayamma's death. On those findings, he gave a decree to the plaintiff.
(3.) The first defendant preferred an appeal against that decree to the Court of the District Judge of Guntur being A.S. No. 392 of 1948. The learned District Judge held that the plaintiff was the adopted son of Satyanarayana and his second wife Sitaramamma and that he was the step-son of Venkayamma. In that view, he held that the plaintiff would not be entitled to succeed to the estate of Appayya. On the second question raised, he held, following the decision in Subrahmaniam v. Muthiah Chettiar (1945) 2 M.L.J. 337 : I.L.R. (1945) Mad. 638 , that if Venkayamma was the adoptive mother, the adoption would date back to her death, in which case the estate which devolved on the first defendant would be divested. But, in view of the finding on the first question, he dismissed the suit. The plaintiff preferred the above appeal.;

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