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Madras High Court
Lakshminarayana Nainar vs Valliammal And Ors. on 24 February, 1910
Equivalent citations: (1911) ILR 34 Mad 250
Bench: Benson, K Ayyar


1. The decision in this ease depends on the construction of exhibit A. That was’ a raginamah filed before the District Munsif of Krishnagiri in Original Suit No. 256 of 189?. Peria Ramaswami, the vendor of the first defendant, was the plaintiff in that, case and the present third plaintiff was the then fourth defendant;–The razinamah provides that the properties therein referred to should be held and enjoyed in common by Peria Ramaswami and the then fourth defendant and that in the event of Peria Ramaswami becoming issueless the entire properties should belong to the then fourth defendant exclusively. Peria Ramaswami has died without leaving issue. The question is whether his alienation of the suit properties during his lifetime in favour of the first defendant can have any legal validity after his death. Assuming that Peria Ramaswami had an absolute estate in a moiety of the properties, there is a clear gift over that moiety on his dying without issue to the fourth defendant. In Sreemutty Kristoromoney Dossee v. Maharajah Nerendro Krishna Bahadur (1888)16 I.A. 40 the Privy Council observed with reference to an earlier decision of their Lordships in Bhoobun Mohini Debya v. Hurrish Chunder Chowdhry (1878) 5 I.A. 138. “In effect the construction was that if Kasiswari left issue, the absolute interest given to her in the first instance was to remain unaffected, but if she left none it was out down to a life interest. In the latter case nothing had passed from the donor but the life interest, and when that was spent he or his heir would lawfully re-enter.” The case in Bhoobun Mohini Debya v. Hurrish Chunder Chowdhry (1878) 5 I.A. 138 with reference to which the foregoing observations were made was one of gift to a sister “who and the generations born of her womb were to enjoy the properties successively but no other heir of hers was to have a right or interest.” Their Lordships held that the instrument conferred upon the sister an absolute estate but the absolute estate so given was “defeasible in the event of a failure of issue living at the time of her death in which event the estate was to revert to the donor and his heirs.’ That such a defeasance followed by a gift over in favour of a person in being is perfectly valid under the Hindu law has long been decided [see Sreemutty Soorjeemoney Dossee v. Deenobundo Mullick (1857) 6 M.I.A. 626 : 9 M.I.A. 123]. The effect of such a defeasance being to cut down the original absolute estate to a life estate, we cannot accede to the contention that it is only the property undisposed of by Peria Ramaswami that can pass to the fourth defendant in the former suit. The alienation by Peria Ramaswami in favour of the first defendant being invalid beyond his lifetime, the second appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.

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