Decided on November 20,1950

MUKAND LAL Respondents


Kapur, J. - (1.) This is a rule directed against the appellate order of Mr. Tek Chand Vijh, Senior Subordinate Judge of Delhi, holding that nephews were included within the meaning of the word "family" as used in Section 9 (1) (e) of the Delhi and Ajmer-Merwara Rent Restriction Act hereinafter called the Act. The findings of the learned Judge are that the plaintiff and his nephews neither form a joint Hindu family nor have a joint business, but that Chandu Lal is living with the plaintiff and the question to be determined is whether both Chandu Lal and Nandu Lal, who are the nephews (brother's sons) of one plaintiff, are to be included in the word "family" as used in the Act.
(2.) The evidence of Chandu Lal as P. W. 6 is that Nandu Lal and Chandu Lal brothers were carrying on business as confectioners in Lahore. The plaintiff had given them the money to start this business. He brought about their marriages and whenever they used to come to Delhi they used to stay with the plaintiff and Chandu Lal is now living with the plaintiff Mokand Lal. He has also stated that the plaintiff is about 80 years old and has got no wife or any child. Nandu Lal and Chandu Lal are the heirs of the plaintiff, and from this evidence it is quite clear that they are the only persons who are the heirs of the plaintiff and they are the persons whom the plaintiff would like to benefit.
(3.) The question for determination is whether under these circumstances the plaintiff should get the advantage of getting the house in possession of the defendant vacated. The word "family" has been the subject-matter of decision in some of the English cases. In an English judgment 'BROCK v. WOLLAMS', (1949) 1 All E R 715, Bucknill, L. J., quoted with approval the observations of Wright, J., in 'PRICE v. GOULD', (1930) 143 L T 333, where it was observed: "It has been said in a number of equity cases, relating principally to wills or to settlementa under powers of appointment, that the word "family" is a popular, loose, and flexible expression, and not a technical term. It has been laid down that the primary meaning of the word "family" is children, but that primary meaning is clearly susceptible of wider-interpretation, because the cases decide that the exact scope of the word must depend on the context and the other provisions of the will or deed in view of the surrounding circumstances. Thus, in 'SNOW v. TEED', (1871) 23 L T 303, it was held that the word "family" could be extended beyond not merely children but even beyond the statutory next-of-kin." Wright J. went on to say: "I hold that in the section now under consideration the word "family" includes brothers and sisters of the deceased living with her at the time of her death. I think that that meaning is required by the ordinary acceptation of the word in this connection, and that the legislature has used the word "family" to introduce a flexible and wide terms.";

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