Venkata Subbamma Vs. Yadalla Chinna Subbaiah (Dead) by LRS. & Ors  INSC
595 (29 November 2000)
V.N.Khare PHUKAN, J.
appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh
High Court passed in Letters Patent Appeal No. 82 of 1982. Appellant who was
the original plaintiff has challenged the impugned judgment in this appeal.
stated the facts are as follows. It will be convenient to refer to the parties
in the judgment according to their position in the original suit. One Thummalapenta
Nagayya was the owner of the suit property and through his first wife he got a
daughter, Subbamma who was married to defendant No.1. After death of his first
wife Nagayya married defendant No.4, Polamma and through her he got two
daughters, Narayyamma and Pitchamma. On 4.6.1927, Nagayya executed a will and
shortly thereafter died. In the will it was recorded by him that he wanted to
give his daughter, Pitchamma in marriage to his nephew, Yadalla Lakshmaiah and
wanted to give all his properties to him, whom he brought to his house two
years back from the date of the will. As he could not perform their marriage
during his lifetime, the marriage should be performed after his death in his
house and all properties except the properties given to his grandson defendant
No.3 should go to his daughter Pitchamma and the said Lakshmaiah. He declared
that both his daughter and son-in-law shall be entitled to all his outstanding
properties and liable for his debts, if any. He stated that his second wife Polamma
defendant No.4 should be looked after properly by his daughter and son-in-law.
Regarding their daughter Narayanamma, he stated that she should be married
after attaining proper age and that at the time of marriage she should be given
30 cents of land and further in case his wife Polamma did not wish to reside
with his daughter and son-in-law, she would be entitled to be in possession of
the house property, then available and shall have life interest in such
property and these properties shall devolve upon his daughter and son-in-law
after the death of his wife Polamma, defendant No.4. After the death of Nagayya
his daughter Pitchamma was married to Lakshmaiah but she died within about two
years of her marriage.
the other daughter of Nagayya died soon after the death of Nagayya with the
result that all the suit properties came to devolve upon Yadallay Lakshmaiah
who married second time who also died soon. Thereafter Lakshmaiah married the
plaintiff and died soon after without leaving any issue through the plaintiff.
time of death, Lakshmaiah was living with his brothers, defendants herein and
after death of Lakshmaiah, plaintiff continued to live with her husbands family
until about 1949. Some disputes arose and plaintiff expressed her desire to
live separately. There was a panchayat in that connection and a document
Exhibit B-1 was executed by which cash, jewellery, etc. were agreed to be given
to the plaintiff and another widow of the family by name Yellamma.
few months two other documents were executed namely B-2 and B-3. Exhibit B-2,
which was a settlement deed, was executed by defendant Nos. 1 and 2 in favour
of the plaintiff. In this deed, arrangement was made by which some properties
were given to the plaintiff which were to be reverted back to the family of the
defendant Nos.1 and 2.
Exhibit B-3 executed by the plaintiff, some properties were relinquished in favour
of the defendant Nos. 1 and 2.
4th defendant also wanted to live separately in the house, which was given to
her by her husband as per the will. As there were disputes between parties,
plaintiff filed the suit for declaration of title and possession of the suit
property. The suit was dismissed by the Trial Court. The learned single Judge
allowed the first appeal, which was set aside by the impugned judgment. Hence
this appeal two questions need our consideration namely: (1) Whether there was
blending by husband of plaintiff of his separate property which he inherited by
virtue of the will with the joint family properties; and (2) Whether by the
deed of relinquishment Ex. B-3, the plaintiff relinquished the property
inherited by her husband? The learned single judge in the first appeal gave a
clear finding that there was no blending of property which was affirmed by the
impugned judgment. We have perused the judgment and we hold that the concurrent
finding by the two courts is based on clear evidence. Therefore, we accept the
second question, we extract below operative portion from the deed of
relinquishment Ex. B-3 executed by the plaintiff, which has been quoted in the
hereby relinquish the 1/4th share I have in the properties under the Hindu Womens
Rights to Property Act and ...
the above extracts we have no hesitation to hold that what was relinquished by
the plaintiff was the 1/4th share which she had in the joint property under the
Hindu Womens Rights Property Act. It is true that in the deed of relinquishment
Ex. B-3, mention has been made regarding the property inherited by the husband
of the plaintiff but there was no specific relinquishment of the said property.
We, therefore hold that the plaintiff did not relinquish the property inherited
by her husband.
extract below the following portion of the will by which maintenance was
provided by the testator for his wife, defendant No.4: If at any future time my
wife Polamma is not agreeable to live under the care and protection of Lakshmayya
and Pitchamma, she should be given a half share in the movable and immovable
properties to be enjoyed by her during her life without any right of alienation
and after her life time, the said property given to Polamma, should revert back
to my daughter Pitchamma and my son-in- law Lakshmayya.
impugned judgment there is a clear finding that when defendant No.4 decided to
live separately, she shifted her residence from the joint family and,
therefore, it has been held clearly that she acquired title to half share of
the property left by her husband as full owner thereof and her title has not
been affected in any manner in view of the provisions of the Hindu Succession
Act. This is the correct view taken in view of the decision of this Court in Beni
Bai versus Raghubir Prasad [(1999) 3 SCC 234].
we hold that there was no blending of property inherited by the husband of the
plaintiff through the will and that plaintiff has not relinquished the said
property by the deed of relinquishment Ex. B-3. We also find that defendant
No.4 has become full owner in respect of the half share of the suit property.
In the result and to adjust the equity, we allow the appeal partly and decree
is modified in the following terms: (1) Both the plaintiff and defendant No.4
(now her legal heirs) shall be entitled to half share each of the suit
property; and (2) Neither party shall alienate the property or any part thereof
by sale mortgage or otherwise without giving first option to the other party.
facts and circumstances of the case, parties shall bear their own costs.