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Bharatha Matha & Anr vs R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors on 17 May, 2010
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Supreme Court of India Bharatha Matha & Anr vs R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors on 17 May, 2010 Author: . B. Chauhan Bench: B.S. Chauhan, Swatanter Kumar Reportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7108 of 2003 Bharatha Matha & Anr. .......Appellants Versus R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors. .........Respondents ORDER Dr. B. S. CHAUHAN, J 1. This appeal has been preferred against the Judgment and Order of the High Court of Judicature at Madras dated 10th July, 2001 allowing the appeal filed by the respondent No.1 against the judgment and decree of the Ist Appellate Court dated 17.9.1986 affirming the judgment and decree of the Trial Court dated 7.3.1977 in O.S. No.269/1975 instituted by the predecessor-in-interest of the present appellants for claiming the property in dispute and denying the share to the respondent Nos. 2 to 5 or their predecessor-in-interest. 2. The facts and circumstances giving rise to the present case are that the predecessor-in-interest of the present appellants, Peria Mariammal instituted a suit, being O.S. No. 269 of 1975 against the respondents and their predecessor-in- interest claiming the share

counsel for the parties and perused the record. 7. The Trial Court as well as the First Appellate Court have recorded a categorical finding of fact that Smt. Rengammal, defendant No.1 had been married to Alagarsami Reddiar who was alive on the date of institution of the suit and, therefore, the question of marriage by presumption between Smt. Rengammal and Muthu Reddiar would not arise and for determining the same all the material on record had been taken into consideration including the statement of 5 Seethammal, DW1 along with all other defence witnesses and the documents, particularly, Exts.B14, B18, B19 and B2. 8. However, the High Court framed two substantial questions of law, namely: (a) Whether on the admitted long cohabitation of the First defendant and Muthu Reddiar, a legal presumption of a lawful wedlock is not established; and (b) Whether the specific case of prior and subsisting marriage between defendant and Alagarsami Reddiar set up by Plaintiff is established as required by law and she could have a preferential claim over defendants 1 to 3? 9. While determining the substantial question (b) the High Court only considered the statement of Seethammal, DW1, the step mother

judgment of the High Court is liable to be set aside only on this sole ground. 19 29. In view of the above, the appeal succeeds and is allowed. The judgment and order of the High Court dated 10th July, 2001 is hereby set aside. No order as to cost. 30. However, it shall be open to R.5 to resort to legal proceedings, permissible in law for recovery of the sale consideration from his vendors as he has purchased the property in lis pendis and the appellants are still in possession of the suit property. .........................................J. (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN) .........................................J. (SWATANTER KUMAR) New Delhi, May 17, 2010 20 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION JUDGMENT TO BE PRONOUNCED BY HON'BLE DR. JUSTICE B.S. CHAUHAN ON 25.5.2010 (TUESDAY) 21 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION Civil Appeal No. 7108 of 2003 Bharatha Matha & Anr. .......Appellants Versus R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors. .........Respondents Dear brother A draft judgment in the above mentioned matter is being sent herewith for your kind perusal and favourable consideration. With regards, Yours sincerely, (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN) 19.5.2010 HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SWATANTER KUMAR

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7108 of 2003 Bharatha Matha & Anr. .......Appellants Versus R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors. .........Respondents ORDER DICTATED BY HON'BLE DR. JUSTICE B.S. CHAUHAN