Guramma Bhratar Deshmukh vs Mallappa Chanbasappa Case Summary 1964 SC

Guramma Bhratar Deshmukh vs Mallappa Chanbasappa Case Summary 1964 SC

In Guramma Bhratar Deshmukh vs Mallappa Chanbasappa case, on January 8, 1944, the spouse ‘A’ passed away. He was survived by three wives and two widowed daughters, all of whom were his predeceased wife’s children. After setting aside her husband’s alienations on January 4 and 5, 1944, the senior-most widow launched a civil suit for partition and possession of a 1/6th share.

FACTS:

  • It was said that ‘A’s youngest wife was pregnant at the time of his death and that she gave birth to a boy kid on October 4, 1944. The senior-most widow adopted her sister’s son on January 30, 1944.
  • ‘A’ completed two deeds of maintenance in favor of his two wives (defendants 1 and 2), as well as gift deeds in favor of a widowed daughter, a son of an illegitimate son, and a relative, just days before his death.
  • He also completed two documents, one a deed of maintenance and the other a deed of gift, in favor of Nagamma, the senior-most widow (the plaintiff). The two widows (Gramma and Venkamma) were named as defendants 1 and 2 in this claim, together with the putative adoptive son, defendant 3, the supposed posthumous son, defendant 4, and the alienees, defendants 5 to 8.

ISSUES:

  • Does the presence of a son in the embryo render the adoption of a son in a joint Hindu family invalid?
  • Is the adopted son entitled to the same portion of the Hindu family property as the natural-born son?
  • Whether a present of this sort made out of love and compassion to a relative qualifies as a gift for “pious intentions” as defined by Hindu law?
  • Whether the Karta’s gift of immovable property belonging to the joint family to his daughters after marriage was lawful, and does the Karta have the ability to make such a gift, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case?

CONTENTIONS:

  1. Plaintiff’s contention

The petitioner’s attorney argued that defendant 3’s adoption was unlawful since defendant 4 was conceived at the time of the adoption. This is something that Dattaka Chandrika and Dattaka Mimansa think about.

  • Defendant’s contention

The existence of a boy in the womb, according to the Respondent, does not invalidate the first widow’s adoption. There are no writings in Hindu law that stipulate that the wife, son’s widow, or grandson’s widow must not be pregnant in order to exercise a person’s authority to adopt.

RATIO DECIDENDI:

  • Bench: Subbarao, K.
  • The Hon’ble court cited Nagabhushanam v. Seshammagaru[1], in which it was determined that a Hindu’s adoption of his pregnant wife was not illegal. Daulat Ram v. Ram Laal took the same stance.
  •  Because the case involved adoption rather than inheritance, legitimacy was anticipated. The father’s authority is primarily intended to assist him spiritually.
  • It follows the Vyavahara Mayukha texts instead. The court cited the view held in Giriapa v. Ningappa, that the share of an adopted son in competition with a natural-born son among Sudras has always been 1/5th in the family property, i.e., 1/4th of the natural-born son’s share. So, nothing was placed before the court to compel them to depart from the long-established rule prevalent in the Bombay State.

DECISION:

  • The existence of a son in the embryo does not invalidate the adoption, according to the court. In Shamavahoo vs DwarakadasVasanji, a division bench of the Madras court agreed that an adoption by a Hindu with knowledge of his wife’s pregnancy was not illegal.
  • The case of Giriapa v. Hingappa dealt with shares between an adopted son and an after-born son. It was maintained that in Western India, the authority of Vyavahara Mayukha is obeyed and that the adopted son’s entitlement to a fifth portion of the father’s inheritance was limited to a fifth share in contrast to a legal son born after the adoption.

CONCLUSION:

  • The court has completely relied on the underlying core of the customs practiced in various parts of India.
  • That is why the instances of Dattaka Chandrika’s widespread acceptance in Bengal and Madras presidency were not elicited broad approval.
  • This case has also fairly construed the law’s provisions, else there would have been many inconsistencies in the long term.
  • A slew of recent instances has clarified India’s long-standing practices regarding the transfer of property to daughters.
  • As a result, in this case, the court took a broad perspective of the parties’ arguments and addressed all competing interests, with special attention to Hindu laws, practices, and textbooks.

Found Guramma Bhratar Deshmukh vs Mallappa Chanbasappa Case summary useful? We have a bunch of useful topics from family law that will help you in your preparation here >>> FAMILY LAW

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Ankit Kumar

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