V V MUVVA GOPALAKRISHNA YACHENDRA Vs. V V SARVAGNA KRISHNA YACHENDRA
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
V.V.MUVVA GOPALAKRISHNA YACHENDRA
V.V.SARVAGNA KRISHNA YACHENDRA
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Chandra Reddy, J. -
(1.)These appeals raise a question pertaining to the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into the apportionment of compensation deposited under Ryotwari) Act, 1948. The compensation was deposted in respect of the Venkatagiri Estate which was taken over by theGovernment after notification on 7-9-40. The estate of Venkatagiri has been in existence since Muhammadan times. On the dispution of the Moghul Empire, it owned allegiance to the Nawab of Arcot.In addition to the payment of peishkush they had tomaintain an armed force for the assistance of Government in times of disorder or rebillion. As a result of the treaty between the East India Company on the one side and the Nawab of Arcot on theother, the administration of that part of the country under the suzeraintyof the latter was made over to the British. Under this treaty, the Zamindari of Venkatagiri was recognised and the Rajah had to pay to the East India Company what he was paying before to the Muhammadan rulers.Some time later, in accordance with the arrangement entered into between the zamindars in Western Arcot and Lord Clive, the East India Companytook over the responsibility for the preservation of law and order and the zamindars were relieved of the task of maintaining armed forces and in its stead they undertook to payan additional revenueon their estates, which was added to the peishkush. It was assured that the fixed peishkush would remain unalterable.In pursuance of this arrangement, a Sanad was granted in 1802 to the Zamindari of Venkatagiri and other zamindars emboyding the terms agreed upon. Even since, successive zamindars held the estate paying peishkush which has been invariable. In the latter half of the 19th century, the then Zamindar, Rajah Velugoti Kumara Yachama who had seven sons of whom three were given in adoption, handed over his estate to his eledest son, Rajah Gopalakrishna.A decade thereafter, two of his sons, Muttukrishna and Venkatakrishna calimed that the father had no right to make the eldest son his successor to the estate and the property was divisible among the four sons, who remained in the family in equal shares. It may be mentioned that at that time Venugopal, the last of the sons, was a minor, Consequent upon the advice given by the father and mutual friends the claim was withdrawn and a settlement arrived at which was embodied in a document marked as Ex. A-1 in these cases.Under the terms of this document, the Venkatagiri Estate was recognised as an imparitable one with the right of premogeniture, that the other three sons should receive amounts specified therein besides a provision being made for the marriage of Venkatakrishna and Venugopal who were then unmarried and the Rajah Gopalakrishna and his successors to the estate should pay to the three brothers and to their male descendants a sum of Rs.1,000.00 by way of allowance. The purport of the clause in Ex. A-1 as regards maintenance is as follows: Venkatagiri Estate being impartible, Sri Muttukrishna, Sri Venkatakrishna and Sri Venugopalakrishna and their purusha Santhathi (made issue, progenyor descendants) are entitled to get allowances from the said estate. Thefour brothes , the last being a minor, by his father and guardian Kumar Yachama Nayudu Bahadur, appointed the Rajah of Bobbili as mediator to determine the amount of allowance to be given to the three above-named brothers and to their Purusha Santhathi. The mediator taking fully into consideratioin the status of all the parties, the condition and respectability of the estate and all other matters fit to be consdered, decided that Sri Rajah Gopalakrishna, Raja of Venkatagiri and those that succeeded him should pay the allowance in the manner fixed hereinbelow:"
(2.)In purseuance of that, the Rajah and those that succeeded him undertook and accepted to pay allowance every year from the income of the estate from 6.4.1889. The three brothers should be paid at the rate of Rs. 1,000.00 per month for the rest of their lives. The Rajah and his successors should pay the Purusha SAnthathi and the three persons mentioned above in perpetuity in the manner aforesaid the same allowance. If, at any time, in any of the branches any male should be without any male decendant either by way of aurusa or by way of adoption the amount of allowance should go to the gnatis in his own branch according to Hinu Law. Should any of the said three branches of the family become extinct by the total absence of Pursusha Santhathi either by way of aurusa or by way of adoption, the allowance being paid to their branch should be stoped subject to the condition that if there be a widow or widows left of the last male who died in that branch one half of the allowance of Rs. 1,000.00 should be paid to the widow or widows of the person who so died without Purusha Santhati as maintenance for life. But it there be female Santhati in that branch it shall not be paid to that female Santhati. Nor should it be paid to the Pursha Santhati of the other two branches or to either of the branches or in any other manner.
(3.)In 1890, a suit was filed on behalf of Venugopal who was still a minor impeaching the settlement and repeating the claim that the estate was partible. On the attaining majority he withdrew the suit and recongnised the validity of the document. Thus, the settlement became final as regards all the brothers.
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