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Report No. 86

7.8. Meaning of "family".-

The term "family" as occurring in section 4 has been widely construed,1 so as to cover cases of Hindu sisters2 or Muslim sisters3 living together and even a son-in-law who4 frequently comes and stays with the father-in-law. As observed by Kindersley V.C.,5 the word "family" is in itself, a word of most loose and flexible description. It has also been observed6 that "family is a popular and not a technical expression and its meaning is often controlled by the context". Indeed, in a still later case,7 the matter was put perhaps in a more general form:

"The term family embraces a collective body of persons living together in one house or within the curtilage. In legal phrase this is the generic description of a 'family'. It embraces a household comprised of parents "or children or other relatives or domestic servants, in short, every collective body of persons living together within the same curtilage, subsisting in common, and directing their attention to a common object, the promotion of their mutual interests and social happiness. This is the most popular acceptation of the word."

1. Khirode Chandra v. Saroda Prasad, (1910) 7 IC 436 (Ashutosh Mukerjee, J.).

2. Krishna Pillai v. Perukutty, AIR 1952 Mad 33.

3. Aley Hussain v. Toorab Hussain, AIR 1958 Pat 232 (Ramaswami, C.J. and Prasad, J.).

4. Ahinad Khan v. S. Maijar, AIR 1971 Ori 284 (B.K. Patra & R.N. Misra, JJ.).

5. Green v. Marsden, (1853) 1 Drew 646 (651): 61 ER 598.

6. Burt v. Heliar, (1872) 14 Eq 160.

7. Wilson v. Cochran, (1869) 31 Texas 677, cited in Salim Ullah v. Bacir Ullah, AIR 1948 All 142 (143).

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