Allareddi Subbamma vs Nallapareddi Audilakshmamma And … on 13 September, 1888

Madras High Court
Allareddi Subbamma vs Nallapareddi Audilakshmamma And … on 13 September, 1888
Equivalent citations: (1912) 22 MLJ 260


1. The plaintiff’s claim is based upon an allegation that her husband’s family, the Allareddi family, has for a long time been joint with the family of the 1st defendant’s husband, the Nallappareddi family having equal rights in all their property.

2. The evidence shows that there have been no less than three intermarriages between the Allareddi and Nallapareddi families. It is admitted that whatever landed property there is in suit stands in the name of the Nallapareddi family, and the appellant’s pleader is not able to show that any property stands in the name of the Allareddi family. When Venkatramireddi, No. 8. in the pedigree, died in 1875, the male members of the Nallapareddi family became extinct, and it was not unnatural that plaintiff’s son Subbareddi, who was to be married to the only daughter of Venkataramireddi should, by arrangement, be allowed to take out the heirship certificate. In the petition, he is described as the undivided nephew and son of Venkataramaireddi’s senior uncle’s daughter, which might fairly enough represent the relationship though it was not co-parcenership according to Hindu Law. That Subbareddi prosecuted and defended suits after getting the heirship certificate proves nothing, as it was most probably with that object (he being the only male left in the house) that the arrangement was made.

3. Subbareddi died in 1879 unmarried, and when he died the two widow ladies undoubtedly represented themselves as joint in the petition which they put in asking for an heirship certificate. The certificate was as a matter of fact given to the 1st. defendant only without opposition, she representing the Nallapareddi family in whose name the landed property stood. Had there been any co-parcenership and had Subbareddi (plaintiff’s son) represented the last male holder, it seems to us very improbable that the plaintiff would have agreed to the certificate of heirship being issued in the name of the 1st defendant only.

4. Turning to the oral evidence, a good many witnesses were called to prove that a custom similar to that under which the plaintiff claimed prevails in the Pantakapu caste in the Nellore District. It was admitted that the evidence is not sufficient to establish a territorial custom but it is urged that the facts of the case and the history of the two families and the conduct of the parties are sufficient to show that these families are in,a similar position as those other families with regard to which evidence was called, and it is contended that from this state of facts it is right to infer an arrangement and trace it to a legal origin by virtue of which the plaintiff would be entitled to half the property. From the evidence which hss been brought, it seems clear that all the witnesses, in cases where a similar custom has been spoken of, have traced that custom to an arrangement of the parties, and that similar customs, where dependent upon family arrangements, may be held legal as may be inferred from the decisions in Challa Papi Reddi v. Chaka Koti Reddi (1872) 7 M.H.C.R. 25 and Hanumanthamma v. Rami Reddi (1881) I.L.R. 4 M. 272. In our opinion, however, isolated cases are of little value unless it be proved that these two families have been united together on equal terms. There is nothing to show that any member of the Allareddi family has ever managed any of the lands which stand in the name of the Nallapareddi family except Subbareddi, and he, only after the death of the last male owner in the Nallapareddi family. There is, however, evidence 011 record to show why it was that Subbareddi, the father of the plaintiff’s husband, did join the Nallapareddi family and that is given by the evidence of the plaintiff’s 1st witness and of the 1st defendant’s 5th witness, both of whom stated that he was taken into the Nallapareddi family on account of his poverty. This was not unnatural as the Nallapareddi family was wealthy. Subbareddi’s mother had Been a member of that family and his two children had both married into it, his son having married the daughter of Gangireddi and his daughter having married Venkataramireddi. The arrangement, if regarded as a union, was therefore unequal and though plaintiff’s son, if he had lived to marry Venkataramireddi’s daughter, would virtually have got the whole estate, he had no legal right to Claim the half. There is nothing really therefore to prove the plaintiff’s claim except the fact that these two ladies stated they were joint when making their applications for certificate of headship to Subbareddi in 1879. They were at that time living together and undoubtedly had always done so. But an admission of the 1st defendant in ignorance of her legal rights will not bind her, if as a matter of fact the plaintiff had no legal claim. The same remark will apply to the admission made by the 1st defendant in Exhibit A 24 the deed executed on the 30th September 1882.

5. Being of opinion that the plaintiff has failed to prove the basis of her claim we must dismiss the appeal with costs. The costs of the respondents other than the ist will be proportionate to their interest. Memo of objections is not pressed.

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