Narhar Govind Kulkarni vs Narayan Vithal on 14 February, 1877

Bombay High Court
Narhar Govind Kulkarni vs Narayan Vithal on 14 February, 1877
Equivalent citations: (1877) ILR 1 Bom 607
Author: M Westropp
Bench: M Westropp, N Haridas


Michael Westropp, C.J.

1. It is unnecessary to resort to the doctrine of factum valet (if it to at all admissible in such a case) to uphold the adoption made by Ambabai, the adoptive mother of the plaintiff (respondent).

2. What may be or have been the right of Government to regulate adoption by the owners of principalities, in a point which it is unnecessary for us to consider. We have here simply to deal with the office of a Kulkarni and its appendant rights or vatan. No authority either in a text book of Hindu law nor in the reports has been cited to show that the sanction of Government to an adoption by a Kulkarni, or his widow, or by a co-parcener in a Kulkarniship, or his widow, is necessary to give it validity, or that Government has any right to prohibit or otherwise intervene in such an adoption. It has been argued for the appellant (the defendant) that Government ought to have a voice in such a matter in order to insure to itself a succession of suitable hereditary officers. No such right of intervention in adoption was claimed for Government by Act XI of 1843, when, if such a right existed, we might fairly expect to find that it would have been recognized; and Sections 33 and 34 of Bombay Act III of 1874 are inconsistent with the existence of any such right. The provisions of these sections seem to be in accord with the passage in Steele’s Hindu Law, page 51, para. XL, 1st edition; page 45, para. XL, 2nd edition, where it is said: “It is enjoined that notice of an adoption should be given to the relations within the Sagotra Sapindas, and to the Raja, though no provision appears in case of their disapprobation, even in adoption by widows.” Those Acts made sufficient provision for securing to Government the services of competent officiators: so that no such objection, in that respect, as suggested by the appellant’s pleader, can arise. In the case of Ramchandra v. Nanaji (7 Bom., H.C. Rep. 26, A.C.J.) the defence was that the adoption had been disallowed by Government; but that defence failed in the High Court. That, like the present case, related to vatan appendant to the office of Kulkarni. We affirm the decrees of the Courts below with costs.

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