Revisiting V. Tulasamma And Ors. Vs Sesha Reddy (Dead) By Lrs.: An Overview and Social Analysis

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Suhani Dube & Dhruv Kaushik
Published On: 30/06/2022
Volume: 8
Issue: 3
First Page: 198
Last Page: 208
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Suhani Dube & Dhruv Kaushik, Revisiting V. Tulasamma and Ors. Vs Sesha Reddy (Dead) By Lrs.: An Overview and Social Analysis, Volume 8 Issue 3, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 198-208, Published on 30/06/2022, Available at https://jlsr.thelawbrigade.com/article/revisiting-v-tulasamma-and-ors-vs-sesha-reddy-dead-by-lrs-an-overview-and-social-analysis/

Abstract

  • Tulasamma’s husband died in the year 1931, in a state of jointness with his step brother Sesha Reddy, leaving behind Tulasamma as his widow.
  • Tulasamma filed a petition for maintenance against Sesha Reddy in the Court of the District Munsif, Nellore.
  • Sesha Reddy filed an interlocutory application for recording a compromise, alleging that the parties had arrived at an out of Court settlement. Tulasamma opposed this application, which was ultimately dismissed.
  • Sesha Reddy filed an appeal to the District Judge, Nellore, which was also dismissed. Certified by the Executing Court, Tulasamma put the decree in execution and the parties arrived at a settlement, out of Court.
  • The terms of the compromise allotted Tulasamma the schedule properties, with only a limited interest therein, and no power of alienation. Furthermore, the properties were to revert to the Sesha Reddy after the death of Tulasamma. Subsequently, Tulasamma continued to remain in possession of the properties even after the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (HSA) came into force.
  • Tulasamma leased out some of the properties to Defendants No. 2 and 3 and sold some of the properties to Defendant No. 4.
  • Sesha Reddy filed a suit before the District Munsif, Nellore challenging the alienations made by Tulasamma, as she had received a restricted estate under the terms of the compromise and claiming that it was not binding on him and could remain valid only till the lifetime of Tulasamma.
  • Tulasamma claimed that by virtue of the provisions of the HSA, she had become the full owner of the properties with absolute right of alienation. Thus, Sesha Reddy had no locus standi to file the suit.
  • The learned Munsif held that Tulasamma got merely a limited interest in the properties which could be enjoyed during her lifetime and that the alienations were not binding on the reversionary.
  • Tulasamma filed an appeal before the District Judge, Nellore who reversed the finding of the trial Court, allowed the appeal, and dismissed Sesha Reddy’s suit. The Court held that the Tulasamma had acquired an absolute interest in the properties by virtue of the provisions of the HSA.
  • Sesha Reddy filed a second appeal to the High Court against the said judgement, which ruled in favour of him stating that Tulasamma’s case was clearly covered by Section 14(2) of the HSA and since the compromise was an instrument, Tulasamma could not get an absolute interest under Section 14(1) of the HSA.
  • Further, the High Court held that it was not a question of recognizing a pre-existing right, which she had none since her husband had died even before the Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act, 1937.
  • Tulasamma thus approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court, by way of appeal.
Keywords: Women’s Rights, Property Rights, Maintenance, Succession, Family Law

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