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Hindu Succession Act 1956-Section 14(1)-Rights of a Female Hindu-‘ Maintenance’-Meaning of-Whether or not the maintenance given to a female Hindu would necessarily encompass a provision for her residence. Specific property allotted to a widow, of a co-parcener in a Hindu joint family, in lieu of her claim for maintenance-Whether said allotment is by virtue of a pre-existing right-Can such claim be equated with a right of ownership. Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act-Scope of. Object of legislature-To wipe out the disabilities suffered by a Hindu woman, under the old Shastric Law, in regard to ownership of property-To recognise her status as an independent and absolute owner of her property. Sub Sec. (1) of Sec. 14-Large enough in its amplitude to cover every kind of acquisition of property by a female Hindu, including acquisition in lieu of maintenance-Sub Sec. (2) Sec. 14-Confined only to cases where property was acquired for the first time by a Hindu woman without any pre-existing right. Right to receive maintenance-A pre-existing right-Possession of property pursuant to or in recognition of such a right-Sufficient title to enable ripening of possession into full ownership. Legal position prior to enactment of the Act-Right of a female Hindu, in the property-only a limited interest-Disability imposed by law, wiped out and limited interest enlarged to a full and absolute interest under Sec. 14(1) of the Act. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 7959–Sec. 3(d)-Definition of `Maintenance’-Includes in all cases-Among other things, provision for residence. In the year 1934 , as a result of arbitration proceedings, between one S widow of a co-parcerner in a Hindu joint family and her father-in-law, A certain immovable properties, belonging to the joint family and a lump sum amount of Rs. 38000 was allotted to said S. The terms of the award made it abundantly clear that the said property was allotted to her for her life time, for the purpose of residence and maintenance and upon her death would revert back to, A his heirs and legal representatives. Said A expired in 1945 and in 1956 the Hindu Succession Act came into force. By virtue of Sec. 14(1) of the said Act, property held by a female Hindu immediately, prior to the commencement of the Act was made her absolute property. In April 1960 said S sold the properties in her possession to the predecessor in title of the Appellants/Vendees. Consequently a suit was filed by the legatees under A’s will challenging the validity of the said sale. The Trial Court, dismissed the suit, holding that S had become, by reason of the Act, the full owner of the disputed property and hence the sale was valid. The High Court, in appeal however took a contrary view and set aside the sale, holding that S had only restricted life estate in the property and therefore, had not become the full owner of the said property. The Vendees, in appeal, before this Court, contended that: (a) S had a pre- existing right to maintenance, (b) that the disputed properties having been allotted to her in lieu of that right, she had acquired a limited ownership of the properties under the award in 1934. (c) That on coming into force of the Hindu Succession Act, her limited ownership had blos-somed into a full ownership. The Respondents resisted the said appeal on the grounds that: (a) For the application of Sec. 14(1), it was requisite that the property should have been `acquired’ and that the acquisition was of ownership rights, comparable to those a limited estate holder under the old Hindu Law (b) Since S had been conceded only the right of residence in the disputed property, she had not acquired any right thereto, (c) Sub Sec. (1) of Sec. 14, presupposed the existence of a limited ownership before the same could be converted into a full ownership, (d) Modes of acquisition contemplated in the Explanation to Section 14(1) suggested that it was the right of ownership that was insisted upon and a right in the nature of a right of residence could not be equated with a right of ownership, (e) The fact that . even during the life time of S the reversioners to whom the disputed property belonged as legatees under A’s will could create a mortgage thereof without her permission, indicated that they continued to be owners of the disputed property. (1) The concession in the award of the right of residence in the disputed property to S was over and above the provisions for her maintenance in terms of money, (f) Even if the award conferred a title to the property for the purpose of Sec. 14(1), it did not come from any pre-existing right. =Allowing the appeal this Court HELD : 1.1. When specific property was allotted to a widow in lieu of her claim for maintenance, the allotment was in satisfaction of her right to be maintained out of the joint family property. It was not a grant for the first time without any pre-existing right in the widow. The widow got the property by virtue of pre-existing right, the instrument giving the property being merely a document effectuating such pre-existing right. [378-D] ] 1.2. Sec. 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act was large in its amplitude and covered every kind of acquisition of property by a female Hindu, including acquisition in lieu of maintenance. Where such property was possessed by her at the date of commencement of the Act, she became its full owner. [378-E] 13. Where property was acquired by a Hindu woman in lieu of her right to maintenance, it was by virtue of a pre-existing right and such acquisition was not within the scope and ambit of Sub- Sec. (2) of Sec. 14, even if the instrument allotting the property prescribed a restricted estate in it. Under the law as it stood prior to the enactment of the Act, a Hindu woman had no more than a limited interest in the property, and the restriction on her interest, being a disability imposed by law, was wiped out and her limited interest enlarged under Sub Sec. (1) of Sec. 14 of the Hindu Succession Act 1956. [378-H; 379-A-B] V. Tulsamma and Ors. v. Sesha Reddy (Dead) by Lrs., [1977] 3 SCR 261, relied on. 2. Sec. 14, was aimed at removing restrictions or limitations on the right of Hindu woman to enjoy, as a full owner property possessed by her, ] so long as her possession was traceable to a lawful origin. It made no difference as to how property was acquired. [379-D] The Explanation to Sec. 14(1) expressly refers to property acquired in lieu of maintenance. Therefore, in respect of property given to a widow and possession by her in lieu of maintenance, there is no further title that she must establish before claiming full ownership under Sec. 14(1). [379-E] Gulwant Kaur and Another v, Mohinder Singh and Ors., [1987] 3 SCR 576, relied on. 3. If a Hindu woman was put in possession of property pursuant to or in recognition of a right to maintenance, it could not be denied that she had acquired a limited right or interest in the property and once that position was accepted it followed that the right got enlarged into full ownership under Sec. 14(1). [379-H; 380-A] 4. The word `acquired’ in Sec. 14(1) is to be given the widest possible meaning. Sub Sec. (2) of Sec 14 was more in nature of a proviso to Sub Sec.(l). It could come into operation only if acquisition by any of the methods indicated therein was made for the first time without there being any pre-existing right in the Hindu woman who was in possession of the property. [380-C] Badri Pershad v. Smt. Kanso Devi, [1970] 2 SCR 95, relied on. 5. The relevant date on which the Hindu woman should be possessed of the property, ought to be the date on which the question of applying the provisions of section 14(1) arise. If on that date the property was possessed by a Hindu woman, it would be held that she was a full owner of it and not merely a limited owner. [380-B] Mongol Singh & Others v. Smt. Rattno (dead), [1967] 3 S.C.R. 45 referred to. 6. Sec. 14 of the Hindu Succession Act was a step in the direction of practical recognition of the equality of the sexes and also a step calculated to ensure uniformity in the law relating to the nature of ownership of `Stridhana’. This dual purpose underlying the Explanation to Sec. 14(1) had to be borne in mind and given effect to when the Section is subjected to analysis and interpretation. Sub Sec. (2) was not to be given a meaning which would defeat that purpose and negative the legislative intent and did not operate to take in properties acquired by a Hindu woman in lieu of maintenance or arrears of maintenance. [382-F-H; 383-A] Bai Vijiya v. Thokorbhai Chelabhai, [1979] 3 SCR 291, referred to. 7. Maintenance necessarily must encompass a provision for residence. Maintenance is given so that the lady can live in the manner, more or less, to which she is accustomed. Where provision for her residence is made by giving a life interest in property, that provision is made in lieu of a pre existing right to maintenance and the Hindu lady acquires far more than the vestige of title which is deemed sufficient to attract Sec. 14(1) the Act. [383-H; 384-B] 7.1. Even the position in law as it stood prior to the Act was that a widow who does not succeed to the estate of her husband as his heir is entitled to maintenance out of his separate property as well as out of property in which he was a co-parcerner at the time of his death. She is entitled to reside in the family dwelling house in which she lived with her husband. A widow who is entitled to maintenance may sue, inter alia, for a charge on a specific portion of her husband’s estate for her maintenance and residence. [385-A-B] Mulla’s Hindu Law (Sixth Edition), referred to. 8. In the present case, perusal of the terms of the reference and the award, it is clear that S acquired the disputed property and the sum of Rs. 38,000 in lieu of her pre-existing right to maintenance. Family disputes had made the continuance of joint lodging and boarding impossible and there-fore an arbitrator was appointed “to allot property and cost” to her for her life, for residence and maintenance. There was, therefore, a clear recogni-tion of her pre-existing right to maintenance, because of which she ac-quired, limited ownership rights in the disputed property and upon the coming into force of the act in 1956, the said limited right acquired by her in 1934 blossomed into full ownership. She was therefore entitled to sell the said property. The sale was thus a valid sale. [383-F; B-C] CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 1304 of 1972.

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MANGAT MAL (DEAD) AND ANR.

 Vs.

RESPONDENT:
SMT. PUNNI DEVI (DEAD) AND ORS.

DATE OF JUDGMENT01/09/1995

BENCH:
M.K. MUKHERJEE, G.T.NANAVATI

ACT:

HEADNOTE:JUDGMENT:
 JUDGMENT
BHARUCHA, J.
 This appeal by special leave impugns the judgment and
order dated 8th May, 1970 of the High Court of Rajasthan.
The issue in the appeal relates to the application of
Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. It stands
outside the line of cases decided by this Court in that it
is argued that, in giving maintenance, provision for
residence is not to be made.
 One Karam Chand had two sons, Dhanraj and Askaran.
Dhanraj died in 1891 leaving no issue. Askaran had two sons,
Johri Mal and Bhikam Chand. In 1905 Johri Mal was taken in
adoption by Dhanraj`s widow. After the adoption of Johri
Mal, Askaran and Bhikam Chand remained co-parceners until
the death in 1911 of Bhikam Chand. Bhikam Chand left behind
his wife Sukh Devi and a daughter. On 7th February, 1928,
Askaran executed a will bequeathing his estate to Johri Mal.
Sukh Devi, who had been living with her father-in-law
Askaran, protested; being the widow of a co-parcener she was
entitled to be maintained out of joint family property. An
agreement was then entered into between Askaran and Sukh
Devi. It was dated 26th June, 1934. It recited that Sukh
Devi had been boarding and lodging with Askaran, and that
family disputes had arisen. To put an end to the family
disputes, Askaran and Sukh Devi, by the agreement, appointed
one Mool Chand as arbitrator to ~allot property and cost for
executant number 2 for her life for residence and
maintenance~. The arbitrator Mool Chand entered upon the
reference and made an award on 9th July, 1934. He set out
the particulars of properties belonging to Askaran at
Bidasar and Ladnu and gave the choice of selecting one to
Sukh Devi to "reside till her life time in them or in it and
she can use it in any way she likes. On necessity she will
get its repairs done with her own money. She will have no
right to sell, mortgage or transfer in any other way. After
her death, the properties stated in Para No.1 or 2
(whichever she might take) will revert to Askaran, his heirs
and legal representatives. Her right will be only in her
lifetime. She is authorised to undertake construction for
necessity and convenience. She may increase or decrease
apartments with her money. But she will not be authorised to
destroy, deteriorate its usefulness and condition, etc.
 (4) For the maintenance of Smt. Sukh Devi, I give my
finding that it is better to give a lump sum instead of
giving monthly or annually because she wants to receive
money in lump sum. By giving lump sum, the disputes, which
might arise from time to time at the time of demand and
payment, might be avoided. Therefore I give my finding that
Askaran will pay a sum of Rs.45,000/- (rupees forty five
thousand only) to Smt. Sukh Devi for maintenance in case she
accepts the house at Ladnu and in case she takes the house
and the Nohra at Bidasar, she will be given Rs.37,000/-
(rupees thirty seven thousand only). Since there is no
apartment in the Nohra, Askaran will pay a sum of Rs. 1000/-
(rupees one thousand only) more besides Rs.37,000/- (rupees
thirty seven thousand only) for constructing Dhalia, room
for keeping grass and fodder and a Hauz............
 (5) The money which will be given to her for
maintenance will be her personal money and she can use it as
she likes........................
 (8) After the execution of the aforesaid terms, Askaran
will be free from all kinds of litigations or compensation
of Smt. Sukh Devi and she will have no right in the
ancestral or personal properties of Askaran or his heirs or
legal representatives. Further, Askaran, his heirs or legal
representatives will also have no right in Smt. Sukh Devi`s
any property or her Shtridhan except noted in Para
No.3.........................."
 On 10th July, 1934, Sukh Devi executed a document
wherein she stated that she had accepted the property at
Bidasar under the terms of Mool Chand`s award. She would
"have right in the house and Nohra at Bidasar in the manner
that I will go on residing in the said house at Bidasar till
my life time and go on using the Nohra. I will keep the
house and Nohra in my possession and use them in the manner
I like and on necessity, I will get it repaired with my
money. I will be authorised to effect minor changes etc. by
way of construction for my convenience, but I will not be
authorised to waste or damage the said Haveli and Nohra.
After my death the house will again revert to Askaran, his
surviving sons and grandsons or other heirs and successors
or legal representatives. My heirs and successors or legal
representative will have no right of possession or ownership
over the said property.
 (3) The arbitrator has allowed me Rs. 37,000/- in case
I take the house and Nohra at Bidasar (Nohra with Rs. 1000/-
for constructing rooms). I agree to take this amount for my
maintenance etc. over which I will have absolute right.
 (7) In the end it is clearly stated that now I shall
have no concern of any kind in the movable and immovable
properties and the cash of Askaran which might be existing
in this state or in British India or at any other place.
 Askaran died on 24th April, 1945.
 Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, reads
thus :
 "Property of a female Hindu to be her
 absolute property - (1) Any property
 possessed by a female Hindu, whether
 acquired before or after the
 commencement of this Act, shall be held
 by her as full owner thereof and not as
 a limited owner.
 Explanation - In this sub-section,
 "property" includes both movable and
 immovable property acquired by a female
 Hindu by inheritance or devise, or at a
 partition, or in lieu of maintenance or
 arrears of maintenance, or by gift from
 any person, whether a relative or not,
 before, at or after her marriage, or by
 her own skill or exertion, or by
 purchase or by prescription, or in any
 other manner whatsoever, and also any
 such property held by her as stridhana
 immediately before the commencement of
 this Act.
 (2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1)
 shall apply to any property acquired by
 way of gift or under a will or any other
 instrument or under a decree or order of
 a civil court or under an award where
 the terms of the gift, will or other
 instrument or the decree, order or award
 prescribe a restricted estate in such
 property.~
 On 11th April, 1960, Sukh Devi executed sale deeds
relating to the 'nohra' in the Bidasar property in favour of
one Mangat Mal, in respect of its Western side, and one
Trilok Chand, in respect of its Eastern side.
 On 17th May, 1960, Johri Mal and his sons filed a suit
challenging the validity of the sale. The vendees were made
parties. The trial court dismissed the suit holding that
Sukh Devi had become, by reason of the Act, the full owner
of the property at Bidasar. The plaintiffs appealed to the
High Court. The High Court took the view that the words "in
lieu of maintenance" in the Explanation to Section 14 (1)
applied to property specifically allotted to a widow for her
maintenance while the words "or in any other manner
whatsoever" covered specific property allotted to her for
her residence. It held that Sukh Devi had not become the
full owner of the property at Bidasar on the coming into
force of the Act because she had only a restricted life-
estate therein. The appeal was, accordingly, allowed. The
sale deeds were held to be void and the plaintiffs to be
entitled to possession of the nohra upon the death of Sukh
Devi
 This appeal is by the vendees of the `nohra`, Mangat
Mal and Trilok Chand.
 Mr. Bagga, learned counsel for the appellants,
submitted that Sukh Devi had a pre-existing right to
maintenance and that under the award she was given a life
interest in the Bidasar property along with a sum of Rs.
37,000/- in lieu of that right. She, therefore, acquired
limited ownership of the Bidasar property under the award in
1934 and that limited ownership blossomed into full
ownership on the coming into force of the Act.
 Mr. Thakur, learned counsel for the respondents,
submitted that, for the application of Section 14(1) it was
requisite that the property should have been `acquired` and
that the acquisition was of ownership rights comparable to
those of a limited estate holder under the old Hindu law.
Since Sukh Devi had been conceded only the right of
residence in the Bidasar property, she had not acquired any
right thereto. Hence, Section 14 (1) did not apply. The use
of the two expressions "limited owner" and "full owner" in
Section 14 (1) presupposed the existence of a limited
ownership right before the same could be converted into full
ownership. The modes of acquisition contemplated in the
Explanation to Section 14 (1) suggested that it was the
right of ownership which was insisted upon. A right in the
nature of a right of residence could not be equated with a
right of ownership. Even during the life time of Sukh Devi,
the reversioners, to whom the Bidasar property belonged as
legatees under Askaran`s will, could create a mortgage
thereof without her permission because they continued to be
the owners of Bidasad property. The concession in the award
of the right of residence in the Bidasar property to Sukh
Devi was over and above the provision for maintenance in
terms of money. Even if it were to be held that the award
conferred a title to the property for the purposes of
Section 14 (1), it did not come from any pre-existing right.
 In the leading case on the subject of section 14, V.
Tulasamma & ors. vs. V. Sesha Reddi (Dead) by L.Rs., 1977-3
S.C.R. 261, it was held that under the Sastric Hindu Law a
Hindu Widow had a right to be maintained out of joint family
property and this right ripened into a charge if the widow
took the necessary steps for having her maintenance
ascertained and specifically charged on the joint family
property. Even if no specific charge were created, this
right was enforceable against joint family property in the
hands of a volunteer or a purchaser taking it with notice of
her claim. When specific property was allotted to the widow
in lieu of her claim for maintenance, the allotment was in
satisfaction of her right to be maintained out of the joint
family property. It was not a grant for the first time
without any pre-existing right in the widow. The widow got
the property by virtue of her pre-existing right, the
instrument giving the property being merely a document
effectuating such pre-existing right. Section 14 (1) was
large in its amplitude and covered every kind of acquisition
of property by a female Hindu including acquisition in lieu
of maintenance. Where such property was possessed by her at
the date of commencement of the Act, she became its full
owner. The words "any property" were large enough to cover
any and every kind of property but in order to expand the
reach and ambit of the Section and make it all comprehensive
the Explanation thereto had been enacted . Whatever be the
kind of property, movable or immovable, and whichever be the
mode of acquisition, it would be covered by Section 14 (1).
The object of the Legislature was to wipe out the
disabilities from which a Hindu woman suffered in regard to
the ownership of property under the old Sastric Law and to
recognise her status as an independent and absolute owner of
property. Sub-section (2) of Section 14 was in the nature of
a proviso to sub-section (1). It had to be read in the
context to sub-section (1) to leave as large a scope for the
operation of sub-section (1) as possible. So read, sub-
section (2) had to be confined to cases where property was
acquired by a Hindu woman without any pre-existing right for
the first time under a gift, will, instrument, decree, order
or award, the terms of which prescribed a restricted estate
in the property. Where property was acquired by a Hindu
woman in lieu of her right to maintenance it was by virtue
of a pre-existing right and such acquisition was no within
the scope and ambit of sub-section (2) even if the
instrument allotting the property prescribed a restricted
estate in it. Where property was acquired by a Hindu woman
under an instrument by virtue of a pre-existing right to
maintenance and, under the law as it stood prior to the
enactment of the Act, she would have had no more than a
limited interest in the property, a provision in the
instrument giving her limited interest in the property was
merely by way of recognition of the legal position as it
existed and the restriction on her interest, being a
disability imposed by law, was wiped out and her limited
interest enlarged under sub-section (1).
 In Smt. Gulwant Kaur and anr. vs. Mohinder Singh and
ors., 1987-3 S.C.R. 576, it was argued that even if the land
in question had been given to the appellant in lieu of
maintenance, it had to be established that what was given to
her was a limited estate in the sense of ownership without
the right of alienation and that under Section 14 of the Act
only such a limited estate would blossom into her absolute
estate. This Court rejected the argument. It said that it
was obvious that Section 14 was aimed at removing
restrictions or limitation on the right of a Hindu woman to
enjoy, as a full owner, property possessed by her so long as
her possesion was traceable to a lawful origin, that is to
say, if she had a vestige of a title. It made no difference
whether the property was acquired by inheritance or devise
or at a partition or in lieu of maintenance or arrears of
maintenance or by gift or by her own skill or exertion or by
purchase or by prescription or in any other manner
whatsoever. The Explanation to Section 14 (1) expressly
referred to property acquired in lieu of maintenance and the
Court could not see what further title the widow was
required to establish before she could claim full ownership
under Section 14 (1) in respect of property given to her and
possessed by her in lieu of maintenance. The very right to
receive maintenance was sufficient title to enable the
ripening of possession into full ownership if she was in
possession of the property in lieu of maintenance. The Court
added that it did not understand that in the case of Bai
Vajia vs. Thakorbhai Chelabhai, 1979-3 S.C.R. 291, it had
been laid down that what was enlarged by Section 14 (1) into
a full estate was the Hindu woman`s estate known to Hindu
law. When the Court had used the words "limited estate",
they were used to connote a right in the property to which
the possession of the Hindu woman could legitimately be
traced, but it was not a full right of ownership. If a Hindu
woman was put in possession of property pursuant to or in
recognition of a right to maintenance, it could not be
denied that she had acquired a limited right or interest in
the property and once that position was accepted it followed
that the right got enlarged to full ownership under Section
14 (1).
 The property acquired by a Hindu widow under an award
for partition of her late husband`s estate was the subject-
matter of the decision of this Court in Badri Pershad vs.
Smt. Kanso Devi, 1970-2 S.C.R. 95. The word "acquired" in
Section 14 (1) had, the Court said, to be given the widest
possible meaning. This was so because of the language of
the Explanation which made sub-section (1) applicable to
acquisition of property by inheritance or devise or at a
partition or in lieu of maintenance or arrears of
maintenance or by gift or by a female`s own skill or
exertion or by purchase or prescription or in any mannere
whatsoever. Sub-section (2) of section 14 was more in the
nature of a proviso to sub-section (1). It could come into
operation only if acquisition by any of the methods
indicated therein was made for the first time without there
being any pre-existing right in the Hindu woman who was in
possession of the property. The mere fact that there had
been a partition by means of arbitration which resulted in
an award and a decree based on it did not bring the matter
within sub-section (2) as the provisions of sub-section (1)
became fully applicable in view of the terms of the
Explanation.
 Mr. Thakur drew our attention to Eramma vs. Veerupana
and ors., 1966-2 S.C.R. 626, and he emphasised a passage
which reads thus :
 "(7) It is true that the appellant was
 in possession of Eran Gowda`s properties
 but that fact alone is not sufficient to
 attract the operation of S.14. The
 property possessed by a female Hindu, as
 contemplated in the section is clearly
 property to which she has acquired some
 kind of title whether before or after
 the commencement of the Act. It may be
 noticed that the Explanation to S.14 (1)
 sets out the various modes of
 acquisition of the property by a female
 Hindu and indicates that the section
 applies only to property to which the
 female Hindu has acquired some kind of
 title, however restricted the nature of
 her interest may be. The words "as full
 owner thereof and not as a limited
 owner" as given in the last portion of
 sub-section (1) of S. 14 clearly suggest
 that the legislature intended that the
 limited ownership of a Hindu female
 should be changed into full ownership.
 In other words, S.14 (1) of the Act
 contemplates that a Hindu female who, in
 the absence of this provision, would
 have been limited owner of the property,
 will now become full owner of the same
 by virtue of this section. The object
 of the section is to extinguish the
 estate called `limited estate` or
 `widow`s estate` in Hindu Law and to
 make a Hindu woman, who under the old
 law would have been only a limited owner
 a full owner of the property will all
 powers of disposition and to make the
 estate heritable by her own heirs and
 not revertible to the heirs of the last
 male holder. The Explanation to sub-
 section (2) of S. 14 also refers to
 acquisition of property. It is true that
 the Explanation has not given any
 exhaustive connotation of the word
 "property" but the word `acquired` used
 in the Explanation and also in sub-
 section (2) of S. 14 clearly indicates
 that the object of the section is to
 make a Hindu female a full owner of the
 property which she has already acquired
 or which she acquires after the
 enforcement of the Act. It does not in
 any way confer a title on the female
 Hindu where she did not in fact possess
 any vestige or title. It follows,
 therefore, that the section cannot be
 interpreted so as to validate the
 illegal confer any title on a mere
 trespasser. In other words, the
 provisions of Section 14 (1) of the Act
 cannot be attracted in the case of a
 Hindu female who is in possession of the
 property of the last male holder on the
 date of the commencement of the Act when
 she is only a trespasser without any
 right to property."
 It is difficult to see how this judgment can assist the
respondents` case. The Court did not intend to mean that
the object of Section 14 was only to extinguish the estate
called `limited estate` or `widow`s estate` under the Hindu
Law. That is clear from the passage quoted when it refers to
"some kind of title" and "any vestige of title". It is clear
also from what the Court held in the last sentence quoted
above, namely, that the provisions of Section 14 (1) are not
attracted in the case of a Hindu woman who is in possession
of property only as a trespasser and without any right
thereto.
 The next case which Mr. Thakur cited was Mangal Singh
and ors. vs. Smt. Rattno (dead). 1967-3 S.C.R. 454. Mr.
Thakur stressed that it was there stated that the expression
"possessed by" in Section 14 (1) was not intended to apply
to a case of mere possession without title and the
Legislature intended this provision for cases where the
Hindu woman possessed a right of ownership in the property
in question. In paragraph 9 of the same judgment the Court
said that it appeared that the relevant date on which the
Hindu woman should be possessed of the property in dispute
should be the date on which the question of applying the
provisions of Section 14 (1) arose. If, on that date, when
the provisions of this Section were sought to be applied,
the property was possessed by a Hindu women, it would be
held that she was full owner of it and not merely a limited
owner.
 The next judgment upon which Mr.Thakur placed reliance
was that of this Court in Bai Vajia vs. Thakorbhai
Chelabhai, 1979-3 S.C.R. 291, to which reference has already
been made. It was pointed out that the Court had said that a
plain reading of Section 14 (1) made it clear that the
concerned Hindu woman should have limited ownership in the
property, which limited ownership would get enlarged by the
operation of that sub-section. It was not intended to
enlarge any sort of a right which in no sense could be
described as ownership. The expression "and not as a
limited owner" would, then, not have been used at all. Now,
in this case it was also said that limited ownership in the
Hindu woman was a sine qua non for the applicability of
Section 14 (1) and this requirement stood fully satisfied in
the case of a widow to whom property was made over in lieu
of maintenance with full rights of enjoyment thereof minus
the power of alienation. These were precisely the incidents
of limited ownership. It was also said that the enactment
of Section 14 was a step in the direction of practical
recognition of the equality of the sexes and was meant to
elevate woman from a subservient position in the economic
field to a pedestal where they could exercise full power of
enjoyment and disposal of property held by them as owners,
untrammelled by artificial limitations placed on their
rights of ownership by a society in which the will of the
dominant male prevailed to bring about a subjugation of the
opposite sex. It was also a step calculated to ensure
uniformity in the law relating to the nature of ownership of
`stridhana`. This dual purpose underlying the Explanation
to Section 14 (1) had to be borne in mind and given effect
to when the section was subjected to analysis and
interpretation and sub-section (2) was not to be given a
meaning which would defeat that purpose and negative the
legislative intent, if the language used so warranted. A
combind reading of the two sub-sections and the Explanation
left no room for doubt that sub-sections (2) did not operate
to take in property acquired by a Hindu woman in lieu of
maintenance or arrears of maintenance (which was property
specifically included in the enumeration contained in the
Explanation) out of the purview of sub-section (1).
 The reference made by Askaran and Sukh Devi to the
arbitration of Mool Chand records that Sukh Devi was the
widow of Askaran`s son and had been boarding and lodging
with Askaran. Family disputes had made the continuance of
joint lodging and boarding impossible and Mool Chand was
appointed arbitrator "to allot property and cost" to Sukh
Devi" for her life for residence and maintenance". There
was, therefore, clearly, recognition of Sukh Devi`s pre-
existing right to maintenance. The award that Mool Chand
made gave Sukh Devi an alternative in respect of the
property in which she desired to reside, one at Bidasar and
one at Ladnu. The award stated that if she chose the
property at Ladnu she would receive Rs. 45,000/- in
addition, and if she chose the property at Bidasar she would
receive Rs. 37,000/- in addition (as also Rs. 1,000/- for
constructing certain apartments). The award entitled Sukh
Devi to use the property she chose for residence for life
and "she can use in any way she likes". She was entitled to
undertake construction for necessity and convenience, to
increase and decrease apartments with her money and to get
repairs done. The only limitation was that she should not
destroy or damage the property. Sukh Devi chose the
property at Bidasar for residence and in the deed she
executed in that behalf she stated that she would "keep the
house and Nohra in my possession and use them in the manner
I like".
 In our view, on a perusal of the terms of reference,
the award and the document executed by Sukh Devi indicating
her preference for the Bidasar property, there is no doubt
that Sukh Devi acquired the Bidasar property and the sum of
Rs. 38,000/- in lieu of her pre-existing right to
maintenance. That the award of the property and the money
was linked is clear from the fact that the quantum of the
money depended upon whether Sukh Devi chose the Bidasar
property or the Ladnu property. The award of both property
and money was in lieu of her pre-existing right to
maintenance.
 Maintenance, as we see it, necessarily must encompas a
provision for residence. Maintenance is given so that the
lady can live in the manner, more or less, to which she was
accustomed. The concept of maintenance must, therefore,
include provision for food and clothing and the like and
take into acount the basic need of a roof over the head.
Provision for residence may be made either by giving a lump
sum in money, or property in lieu thereof. It may also be
made by providing, for the course of the lady`s life, a
residence and money for oher necessary expenditure. Where
provision is made in this manner, by giving a life interest
in property for the purposes of residence, that provision is
made in lieu of a pre-existing right to maintenance and the
Hindu lady acquires far more than the vestige of title which
is deemed sufficient to attract Section 14 (1).
 We are supported in the view that we take by Mulla`s
Hindu Law (Sixteenth Edition) which sets out the position in
law prior to the Act. The Manager of a joint Mitakshara
family is under a legal obligation to maintain all male
members of the family, their wives and their children. On
the death of any one of the male members he is bound to
maintain his widow and his children. The obligation to
maintain these persons arises from the fact that the Manager
is in possession of the family property (para 543). An heir
is legally bound to provide, out of the estate which
descends to him, maintenance for those persons whom the late
proprietor was legally or morally bound to maintain (para
544). A wife is entitled to be maintained by her husband,
whether he possesses property or not. When a man with his
eyes open maries a girl accustomed to a certain style of
living, he undertakes the obligation of maintaining her in
that style (para 554). A widow who does not succeed to the
estate of her husband as his heir is entitled to maintenance
out of his separate property as well as out of property in
which he was a co-parcener at the time of his death (para
559). A Hindu widow is, in the absence of special
circumstances, entitled to reside in the family dwelling
house in which she lived with her husband (para 562). The
maintenance to be allowed to a widow should be such an
amount as will enable her to live consistently with her
position as a widow, with the same degree comfort and
reasonable luxury as she had in her husband`s house, unless
there are circumstances which affect, one way or the other,
her mode of living there. In determining the amount of
maintenance the Court should have regard, inter alia, to the
provision and status of the deceased husband and of the
widow and the reasonable wants of the widow, including not
only the ordinary expenses of living, but what she might
reasonably expend for religious and other duties incidental
to her station in life (para 566). Where an undivided
family consists of two or more males, related as father and
son or otherwise, and one of them dies leaving a widow, she
is entitled to reside in the family dwelling house in which
she lived with her husband. If the house is sold by the
surviving coparceners without necessity, the sale does not
affect her right, and the purchaser cannot evict her until
another suitable residence is found for her (para 573). A
widow who is entitled to maintenance may sue, inter alia,
for a charge on a specific portion of her husband`s estate
for her maintenance and residence (para 579).
 The Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, 1959, was enacted
to amend and codify the law relating to adoptions and
maintenance among Hindus, and it defines maintenance in
Section 3 (d) to include "(1) in all cases, provision for
food, clothing, residence, education and medical attendance
and treatment." (Emphasis supplied.)
 Under the award provision was made, in lieu of Sukh
Devi`s pre-existing right to maintenance, of money and
interest for life in the Bidasar property. Sukh Devi,
therefore, acquired limited ownership rights in the Bidasar
property in recognition of her pre-existing right to
maintenance. Upon the coming into force of the Act the
limited rights acquired by Sukh Devi in 1934 blossomed into
full ownership of the Bidasar property, and she became
entitled to sell its `nohra`. In our view, therefore, the
High Court was in error in the view that it took.
 The appeal is allowed. The judgment and order under
appeal is set aside and the judgment and order of the Sr.
Civil Judge, Churu is restored.
 In the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall
be no order as to costs.

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