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NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY ODISHA CONTRACTS I

CASE ANALYSIS: KRISHNA LAL SADHU & ANR V. PRAMILA BALA DASSI

SUBMITTED BY: PRANJAL DUBEY 13/BA/032

KRISHNA LAL SADHU & ANR V. PRAMILA BALA DASSI

FACTS OF THE CASE

In the case the case main contention was that the appellant in the case is that the deceased Behari Lal Sircar had a policy with Hindustan co-operative insurance society limited i.e no 4667 and didnt form the part of his asset .Bihari Lal Sircar insured for a sum of rs 500 . the word of the policy read as followThe Society hereby guarantees to insure that if the insured pays to the society at their office in Calcutta on the 5th day of March 1910 each succeeding year up to and including the year of his death the sum of Rs. 21 and 11 annas only or in lieu of any such annual premium the full number of instalments thereof as may be agreed upon (of which agreement the receipt granted by the Society shall be full and sufficient evidence) then upon proof to the satisfaction of the office committee of the Society of the death of the insured and the title to the policy, the Society will pay to Srimati Pramila Bala Dassi, wife of the insured (hereinafter called the nominee) at the head office of the Society, in Calcutta or at the permanent residence of the nominee whichever may be preferred the sum, of Rs. 500 only together with such additional sum or sums by way of profits as, according to the Society's regulations may accrue and become payable in respect of the policy, after deducting therefrom : (1) the balance of the premium, if any, payable in respect of the year of the insured's death; and (2) also other sum or sums, if any due from him to the Society. 1 The deceased paid all the dues until his death ,he was survived by his widow and three sons , the society was about to make payment to the widow but defendant no1 and defendant no 2 who had obtained decree from court against the sons of the widow and a third defendant too obtained a decree for using the amount payable under the policy for execution of the cedit the deceased owed to the three defendants.

Krishna Lal Sadhu Anr v Pramila Bala Dassi, A.I.R. 1928 Cal. 518

ISSUES FRAMED BY THE COURT

Whether the plaintiff has the right to enforce her claim against the Hindustan Co-operative Insurance Society? Whether the Married Womans Property Act of 1874 is applicable in this case? The attachment of policy money by decree by defendant 1 and defendant 2 is in violation of section 60 of the civil procedure code.

ISSUES OVERLOOKED BY THE COURT

DECISION BY THE HONBLE COURT

The majority decision was given in favour of the appellant no 1and no 2. Charu Chunder Ghose, J 1 It was held by the honble judge that there was no mention of a trust in the policy and therefore how could the plaintiff the deceaseds wife claim the money from the Hindustan co-operative insurance society and therefore the policy money formed the part of the assets of the property. The claim from the plaintiffs side is that she was entitled to the money under the insurance policy although she is not a party to the contract. The party to the contract was late Behari Lal Sircar and The Hindusthan Co-Operative Insurance Society. In a contract between two party if the contract is for providing benefit to the third party, the third party cannot stake claim even though it may be the beneficiary there are only two exceptions to this one is when the third

party had a relationship of trust with the other person for using of the property of third person for the benefit of his, the other exception is in marriage settlement in which the children from the marriage may ask the court to enforce the contract.. The Honble judge cited the case of khwaja Mohammad Khan vs Hussani Begum2 it was said that if a third party to the contract is the sole beneficiary of the award than it may not claim it under any law but under principle of equity. In another case sighted Deb Narain Dutt Vs Chunin Lal Ghose3 it was mentioned by the honble judge according to the aforementioned case the wife is a not a party to the Insurance contract if the policy is in the name of her husaband and that the promise can only be enforced upon death of the policy holder and that only it can be executed not just because the wife was named as the beneficiary in the policy. Two other cases cited by the judge were Shankar v umabai ishana devi v gopal Chandra4. and

Khwaja Mohammad Khan v Hussani Begum, (1910) 12 Bom.L.R. 638 Narain Dutt v Chunin Lal Ghose (1914) I.L.R. 41 Cal. 137 Ishana Devi v Gopal Chandra, A.I.R.1915 Cal. 9

Regarding the married womens property act 1874 doesnt apply in this case as the plaintiff belong to the hindu community and that it is only applicable for muslims , the judge cited the case of Shankar v Umabai5 and Mohammad Khan V Hussani Begum in order to prov the difference in marriage and application odf section 6 of the married womens property act 1874. Regarding the application of section 60 of civil procedure code the judge said it wasnt being applied in this case and that the defendants had the authority to attach the policy money the precedent set intthe Shankar vs umabai was used. Rankin, C.J. 1 Suggested that only parties to the contract could sue except for minority religious community in which pre marriage agreement can be enforced , a trust in contract can only be enforced by the the trust and there is no mention of trust for widow .Furthermore he gave the reason of definition of consideration under the Indian Cntract Act 1872 as the reason for this as only parties to the contract can claim performance of it As defined under the definitonof promisor and promise. Final Order The defendants are entitled to the cost recovered from the policy money of Behari lal Sircar and the plaintiff doent have any write over it.

Shankar Vishvanath Wagh vs Umabai Sadashiv Wagle, 19 Ind Cas 736

REASONS FOR DECISION OF THE COURT

The first contention dealt by the court was whether the widow of the deceased had the right to claim performance of contract on the mere basis of being beneficiary of the policy didnt confer her the right to be a party to exercise of contract eventhough there were exceptions to this rule for the muslims who generally have contractual marriages. the honble court found that she didnt have the right to claim the right to enforcement of the contract although the policy was made for her benefit but that didnt make a relationship of trust for her and the only time the contract could be enforced was because of death of the policy holder . The court reffered to the section 2(d) of the Indian contract act , 1872 which talks about consideration i.e the benefit each party provides to the other by performing or not performing any action and interpreted it by saying that only one has a consideration in the contract can acclaim for its performance. Nextly regarding the contention regarding of the married womens property act 1874,it was held that the wife of the man didnt become the trustee by merely her being the beneficiary and according to section 6 and the interpretation followed in the ishana devi v gopal chandraray6 it was held that a hIndu married woman didnt enjoy the benefits under section6 . As established in ishna devi vs gopal Chandra dey7 that insurance policy issued for the benefit of the wife and children is considered as an asset of the property and is availaibe to the creditors to attach for exeutions of decree nothing in section 60 of cpc which says otherwise.

Supra note 4 Ibid

PERSONAL ANALYSIS OF THE CASE


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In the case of Krishna lal sadhu and anr vs ramila bala dassi contention I.

there were three points of

That whether the deceaseds wife had right to claim performance of the contract although she was not a party to the contract and was there trust arising out of contract for the wife Whether the married womens property act 1874 is applicable in this case. Whether section 60 of CPC prevents attachment of policy monedy from insurance policies.

II. III.

The reason the court gave for the ruling in favour of the appellant was because the plaintiff the wife diidnt have any prima facie right to claimperformance of the contract as she was not an original party to the contract and eventhough the contract benefitted her i.e she was the beneficiary of the policy but that in any way didnt give her the right to claim the policy money as the clause (d) of the section2 of the indian contract act nowhere talks about the fact that a third party cannot ask for performance of contract moreover section2(d) nly talks about consideration ofboth the parties further limiting the scope that any new party whch didnt pay any consideration isnt likely to added as a party to the contract .Eventhough the wife is the legal representative of the deceased and beneficiary for the insurance policy of her husband she still doesnt have the right to claim performance of contract .And the court followed the precedent set I the Ishani Dasi v Gopal Chandra Dey in which it was said that Shankar v Umabhai that hindus dont come under the marriage pro section 6 as section 2 clearly states that hindu married woman doesnt come under the ambit of the aforementioned section.Moreover the necessity of consideration for a party to be part of a contract is not fulfilled in this case.

Supra note 1

whether th e married womens property act is applicable in the case The court justified in negating the calim of the palintff was as it is clearly mentioned in the section 6 of the married womeamns propertyact 1874 stats that the wife would claim rights only when a trust in her favour has been created otherwise ,section 2 f the married womens property act clearly states this act shall not apply to any married woman who practices hindu religion moreover section 4 which talks about distribution of property of deceased of the succession act is universal in its application so there is no reason for application of the married womens property act 1874 section 6 shoul not conflict with section 4 of the succession act in case of conflict the succession act prevails section 331. The contention for the application of section 60 of civil procedure code was set aside by the honble high court rightly so because as mentioned in the case of Shankar vs umabai interpretation of section 60 a security for money or other saleable property belonging to the judgement debtor over which he had a disposing power which he might exercise for his own benefit9 and so under section 60 of the civil procedure code the creditors were perfectly right while attaching the money from the policy under the attachments. Departures from earlier precedents The case whilst followed the precedent set in the case of Shankar v uma bai10 in which it was ruled that section 6 of the women properties acts section 6 was not applicable on hindus and similarliy the precedent set in ishna devi vs gopal Chandra dey . the major precedent from which this case deviates is the Pokkunuri Balamba vKakarraprati11 in which the judege interpreted section 6 differently and stated in his judgement that the most likely interpretation would be that the wife and both children are entitled to the husbands insurance policy without any separate provisio for trust on behalf of wife and the children.

Shankar Vishvanath Wagh vs Umabai Sadashiv Wagle 19 Ind Cas 736 Ibid Pokkunuri Balamba v Kakarraprati, A.I.R.1914 Mad. 595

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