Suit for Declaration of title and injunction -Status of Wife – with out production of marriage register of temple in which the marriage was taken place – producing other records does not confirm the status of wife – Legal heirs of deceased filed the suit against alleged second wife of deceased in respect of A-schedule ancestral properties of deceased and B – schedule properties of deceased first wife – Trail court decreed the suit – first appellant court decreed the suit against B schedule only and dismissed the suit against A schedule – in second appeal – High court reversed the first appellant court order and confirmed the order of trial court – holding that first defendant is not the wife of deceased Gounder – Apex court held that when there is perverse in the judgment of first appellant court – High court in second appeal interfere the same and further held that Highcourt rightly uphled that first defendant is not the wife of Gounder – except producing receipts from temple showing payment of marriage tax with out placing the marriage register before the court and mere producing other documents like voter list, bank books, mortgage deed etc., in which she was depicted as wife of Gounder not amounts to prove of marriage – non-producing birth certificates is also fatal to show that she was the wife and also her long co-habitation does not cloth her with the status of wife to claim property and as such dismissed the appeal and confirmed the judgement of high court =
The plaintiffs, respondents herein, filed
Original Suit No. 59 of 1985 before the
District Munsif Court at Polur
as the legal
heirs of deceased Ponnangatti Gounder.
disputes pertained to the properties which were
held by deceased Ponnangatti Gounder and his
first wife who pre-deceased him.
Gounder acquired the suit “A” schedule property
through succession from his ancestors.
property mentioned as schedule “B” property was
purchased by Muniammal by registered conveyance
deed dated September 14, 1970.
Both were in
possession and enjoyment of Ponnangatti Gounder
and Muniammal and
after their death the
plaintiffs were and are in possession of the
After the death of Muniammal,
it is alleged by the first defendant and her
brother, the second defendant that the said
Ponnangatti Gounder married the first defendant
as a result whereof she made a claim over the
The respondents herein (plaintiffs before the Trial Court) filed a
suit for declaration and injunction with regard to the properties described
as schedule “A” and schedule “B” properties and the Trial Court passed the
decree in favour of the plaintiffs for both the schedule properties.
The Lower Appellate Court
confirmed the “B” schedule property in favour of the plaintiffs
(respondents herein) but reversed the decree with regard to “A” Schedule
property culminating in filing the second appeal.
whether the first defendant, the
appellant herein, is the second wife of the deceased Ponnangatti Gounder
and whether she is entitled to have a share in the suit “A” schedule
The High Court dealt with the matter at length.
It is stated by the appellant herein before the
Trial Court that Muniammal died ten years ago
i.e. in 1976.
It is further stated that on
December 15, 1977 Ponnangatti married to the
first defendant, the appellant herein in the
Devasthanam of Sri Perianayaki Saneda
Kanagagiri Eswarar at Devikapuram.
To prove the
factum of marriage, she produced a temple
receipt before the High Court being Ex.B-8
which was produced from the lawful custody of
the trustee of the temple.
Exs.B-9 and B-10
were also produced and said to be the accounts
for the gifts made at the time of the said
The first defendant/respondent also
produced Exs.B-1 and B-2 which are the voters
list of 1978 and 1983 wherein it appears that
the first defendant was described as the wife
of Mannangatti and Ponnangatti.
The pass books
of the bank accounts for the year 1984 and 1985
being Exs. B-3 and B-4 and bankers’ reply were
also produced to show that the first defendant
was described as wife of the deceased
The High Court duly
assessed all documents and held that no
reliance can be placed on the Exh.B-3 to B-6 as
they only represent the unilateral description
of the first defendant as wife of Ponnangatti
Similarly, Ex.B-7 was a mortgage deed
executed just prior to the filing of the suit
where also the unilateral description of the
first defendant as wife of Ponnangatti Gounder
can be seen.
Similarly, Exs.B-9 and B-10 also
cannot be relied upon because it is not very
difficult to prepare these documents for the
Hence the High Court did not
place reliance on such exhibits.
of the respondent herein that Murugan and Selvi
were born to Ponnangatti but no birth
certificate was produced before the Court and
in these circumstances the High Court held that
the Lower Appellate Court, without proper
evidence of marriage of the first defendant
(appellant herein) with Ponnangatti, had
erroneously come to the conclusion as if the
marriage had been conducted properly.
Similarly, there could be no presumption under
Section 114 of the Evidence Act because the
factor of long cohabitation has not been
In these circumstances, the High
Court allowed the Second Appeal, set aside the
decree and judgment of the First Appellate
Court and confirmed the decree passed by the
Trial Court in respect of both Schedule “A” and
Schedule “B” properties in favour of the
Apex court held that
In Mohan v. Santha Bai Ammal being the case referred to in the
abovementioned question, it has been held that mere receipt of showing
payment of money without obtaining and producing the marriage certificate
or without summoning production of the original marriage register
maintained by the temple, may not be sufficient to establish the marriage.
In light of the same the High Court while answering the substantial
question, found no substantial evidence by which factum of marriage is
13. After perusing the documentary evidence and
other evidence before us, we are of the opinion
that the High Court was correct in entertaining
the matter in second appeal. The only aspect
which needs to be considered by us is, whether
the High Court correctly appreciated the
evidence and concluded that the First Appellate
Court without proper evidence of marriage held
that the marriage took place.
14. In our opinion, the High Court correctly
assessed and appreciated the facts in the
instant case and we concur with the views
expressed by the High Court. We also endorse
the reasoning given by the High Court. In our
opinion, from the evidence on record it cannot
be said that the marriage between Ponnangatti
Gounder and Easwari was proved.
15. For the discussions and the reasoning given in
the preceding paragraphs, we do not find merit
in the appeal and accordingly we affirm the
judgment and order passed by the High Court and
dismiss this appeal.