CN Arunachala Mudaliar vs CA Muruganatha Mudaliar Case Summary 1953 SC

CN Arunachala Mudaliar vs CA Muruganatha Mudaliar Case Summary 1953 SC

CN Arunachala Mudaliar vs CA Muruganatha Mudaliar case held that where the will expressly provide that property should be treated as ancestral property the son would take the property as ancestral concerning his male issue and in all other cases it would be separate property of the legatee.

FACTS OF MUDALIAR vs. MUDALIAR CASE:

  • In the present case, the testator made a will of his self-acquired properties or separate properties in favor of his son and some properties were given to the female members.
  • “Sons were to enjoy possessions with absolute rights with power of alienation such as gift etc. from son to grandson on the death of grandpa, the grandson seeks the partition of goods in the hand of his Father,” according to the original will (Defendant No1, which he acquired through a will).

LEGAL ISSUES:

Whether the properties that defendant No 1 received under his fathers will be considered ancestral or self-acquired property in his possession concerning his son?

CONTENTIONS:

Plaintiff’s contention

The properties in defendant No.1’s possession are ancestral, and he had a claim to them, including the right to partition, and the father has demanded sole ownership of the Joint Family Property.

Defendant’s contention

All of his father’s holdings were self-acquired, and he received them through his father’s bequest.

RATIO DECIDENDI:

Bench: Mukherjea, B.K.

The Mitakshara Text established a father has exclusive authority over the disposition of his self-acquired property and that no one has the authority to interfere with him.

Mitakshara’s father is not only capable of selling his property to a stranger without his son’s consent, but also of making a gift of it to one of his sons and of making an uneven distribution among his heirs.

It is not viable to maintain that property given or gifted to a son must be ancestral property in the hands of the done, in which his son would gain interest, for two reasons: (a) Equal Ownership Doctrine (b) Definition of self-acquisition.

  • Mayne’s Hindu Law states a son can demand equal rights with his father only once grandpa’s property has devolved and became ancestral property in his possession. Aside from that, the father owns most of his self-acquired property.
  • The testator has the authority to select not only the donee under the will but also the nature of the interest he takes in the property, which is determined by the conditions of the gift.
  • If there is no specific statement defining the type of interest, the donee would get, the court will have to infer the donor’s purpose from the document’s wording and the surrounding circumstances.
  • Reading the will in this case, the estates donated were to be held by sons, and the document mentions many other relatives, but there is no mention of the son’s son at all.

DECISION:

Hence, this indicates that the testator desired that his son should have full ownership of the property, as mentioned in the will.

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Ankit Kumar

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