Case Comment on Gummanna Shetty and others v/s Nagaveniamma SC AIR 1967 1595


In our Indian society it is very common problem of partition of a joint family property, every brother and sister is in anxious to get more part in the property as compare to their siblings.

Even after the partition over after some years the siblings filled an amended claim to get more share in the family property whether they are entitled to claim or not.

With the recent trend it is came to know that persons like the property more than their blood relations as for them the money is bigger as compared to the relations as money is needed more then to fulfill the plenty needs and deeds in desire of a life time of a human being.

India is known in the world for their joint family systems, as how large/big family members consisting of brother, sisters, niece, aunt, uncle, grandfather, parents and grandmother and so on as they live collective under the same roof and eat food which comes from the single kitchen which leads to increase the bond of family  but with the emerging of time, slowly these traditions are seeing to be vanishing at a very fast speed as now there is a mind-set of people occurring that they should start living in a nuclear family by which they can grow more independently or they have more privacy then living in the joint family and now the price of assets is more than the emotional part of the value of human feelings.


Facts of the case

There was a group of 19 persons who formed joint family and they have possession of community property which was ruled by the Aliyasantana law of inheritance.

According to their own constructed registered deed dated September 4, 1900, they themselves divide the family property into two branches as per share -9-3-3 parties, which was not according to the real Aliyasantana law of inheritance, or can also be considered as a invalid deed as it Is not fulfilling the necessary obligations to be considered as a genuine or corrected deed.

After 53 years of the partition according to their own choice and the registered sale deed dated September 4, 1900 .In the year “1953”, the supporters of the first branch of the family has filed a suit against Damamma for partition of the listed properties which was in the deed dated September 4, 1900, which was made by them only alleging that the deed effected the division of property was for “convenience of enjoyment and maintenance only and was not the absolute for out-right partition”.

As “Damamma” is the last left sole surviving supporter in the second branch. She was the “nissanthathi kavaru” aged about 70 years aged women having not one offspring.



  1. The issue in this stated case is that whether according to U/S 36(6) of the “Madras Aliyasanthana Act, 1949” the registered deed dated September 4, 1900 is whether authorised to conduct a valid or legal problem free partition of the properties.
  2. Whether this deed is legally correct for the partition of the property according to the act “Madras Aliyasanthana Act, 1949”.
  3. The other query arising out in this plea is that is the partition deed formulated on the September 4, 1900, has fairly effected the disturbance of the joint family or whether it is fabricated for the division of property only for the convenience and for the enjoyment and for the maintenance of group members only.



The judgement given in this matter by the Hon’ble Supreme court is that deed on its true structure, did not distress an out-right partition nor could it be deemed to be a deed of partition U/S 36(6) according to the Act as the members of the family has separated themselves according to their own choice into 2 artificial groups created by their own state of mind which does not also state fit according to demarked guidelines under the kavarus.

Due to which U/S 36(6) cannot apply on the deed dated September 4, 1900, under which the kutumba according to their own choice split into 2 artificial groups, 1 comprises of descendants of Sarasamma and another one comprises the members of Brahmi and the other consisting of Nemakka, the rest of her descendants and Sivadevi, and the properties were divided between the stated of between 2 created artificial groups by the member of family by their own choice or state of mind.


Appeal is allowed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court without costs, the judgment and the decree awarded by the Hon’ble High Court is set aside, and decree passed by the trial court is restored by the .V.T.S. Appeal.


The Hon’ble High Supreme Court also stated that the joint family properties will now be officially managed by its yajaman and Manjappa. Upon their death, suit parties for the deed dated September 4, 1900, has to start incurred disputes. The object of the said deed was to avoid such disputes, and has to stop the significant depletion of the family property and to reserve the self-respect of the family in the eyes of the family members and the rest of the society should also respect the family nor see with the eyes of bad that, the own family members are fighting for the accusation of property within their family which is very bad.

The family properties were divided into parts:

A piece of land was assigned to each branch

  1. Deed stated that the list properties which has been allottedto the first branch would be solely enjoyed by its members of the group and would be mutated in the name of “Nemakka’s” and “Siddappa”, a member of this branch has been given with the responsibility to manage the whole properties, he would keep the account to pay the “tirve and cesses”, and will look forward for the upkeep and maintenance of the family members by that piece of property allotted to him by the Hon’ble Court.
  2. The properties given to the second branch is entitled to use by the members of second branch and would be in the name of “Nagu” an active fellow of that branch, and Chandayia, another participant of the branch is allotted with the responsibility as like group 1 that he has look forward for the upkeep and maintenance of the family members by that piece of property allotted to him by the Hon’ble Court.
  3. Shares of matters two and five of the properties were given to the two branches, as per the condition which was imposed that the entire tirve and cesses for the two items in the deed would be paid look and managed by the first branch members.


As we know in many parts of the India people divide the property according to their own choices by constructing a deed and jolting their wants in that will.  But to make that deed properly legal and without any faults or omissions it is very important that, deed should fulfil all the necessary rules and regulation of the law.

For distribution of property in joint family it is always preferable to go from the legal perspective of the court only, as according to your own choices after it can create a huge problem of distribution of family property in not an equitable way.

So it’ better to be go safe by the decree of court only by which it is difficult to challenge after so many years like in this case the second group has challenged the deed after 50 years and if a wrong deed is formulated by the family members Court has the right to struck down that will and order a direction for the new will which can also give a bad impact to the family of that persons.



Author: Pushkar Khanna,
Delhi Metropolitan Education affiliated to GGSIPU/ 2nd Year/ Law Student

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