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Krishna Lal Sadhu v/s Pramila Bala Dassi

On 29th March 1910, one Bihari Lal Sircar insured his life for a sum of Rs. 500 at Hindustan Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd. According to the conditions laid down in the policy, society guarantees that "if Mr. Bihari Lal (insured) pays them Rs. 1910 every year on 5th of March, 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 installments thereof as may be agreed upon (of which agreement the receipt granted by the Society shall be full.

Sufficient evidence then upon the proof to the satisfaction of the office committee of society of the death of insured & the little of the policy the Society will pay to Srimati Pramila Bala Dashi, wife of the insured (hereinafter called the nominee at the head 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 & become payable in respect of the policy after deducting therefor:
  1. the balance of the premium, if any payable in respect of the year of the insured's death ; and
  2. also another sums or sums if any due from him to the Society"

Decided on:- 22 February, 1928
At Calcutta High Court
Bench: G C Rankin, C C Chose
Judgment: Charu Chunder Ghose.d.
Citations:- 114 Ind Case 658

Till death the insured paid all the premiums on time, leaving behind his widow Pramila Bala Dashi (plaintiff) & his 3 sons. The heirs & the plaintiff claimed the policy amount. It was observed that the Society was about to pay the claimed amount but due to defendant 1 & defendant 2 who obtained an official order from court against the heirs of the deceased & also defendant 3 who insisted on using the payable insurance money for paying off of the 3 creditors the deceased owed.

Procedural History
After 3 defendants obtained a decree against the plaintiff's sons & the policy amount;

Mrs. Pramila claimed under provisions of Code of civil Procedure but the decision was not in her favor & the insurance money was distributed among the defendants i.e. the creditors of the deceased Then she filed a case in Court of First instance for the recovery of money & it was held that the money due under the Policy became the property of the plaintiff, on the death of the deceased, and did not form part of the assets of the estate left by him.?? The lower Appellate court stated the decree of First court i.e. only Defendant 1 & 2 are considered as appellants & Defendant 3 is dismissed as an appellant before them.

  1. Married Women's Property Act whether applicable or not in this case?
  2. Whether the wife of the deceased is entitled to realize the insurance money from Hindustan Co-operative Insurance society?
  3. Can the plaintiff being no party to the contract between the deceased & Insurance society has the right to sue? (Section 2(d))
  4. Whether the deceased creditors were entitled to attach the insurance amount in execution of their decree under the Code of Civil Procedure?

Plaintiff was not a party of the contract made between deceased & the Insurance society, but it can't be denied that she was the nominee of the deceased. According to the English Law, if2 persons form a contract unorder to benefit the 3rd person who is not a party to the contract, then the 3rd person gam 'at sue except the contracting party was a trustee of the 3rd person & the other exception is for the benefit of the children from marriage asks to enforce the contract under the marriage settlement.

Following the Khawaja Mohammad Khan vs Hussain Begum' it was sighted that if a 3rd party to the contract is the sole beneficiary of the amount then it may not claim under any law but under Principle of Equity only. Also the married women's Property Act 1874 doesn't applies to this case as it's only applicable to Muslim marriages.

As per Section 2(d) of Indian contract Act which ONLY talks about consideration of both parties further limiting the scope that any new party which did not pay any consideration isn't likely to be added as apart to the contract; so the plaint lift being the widow of the deceased was benefitted from the contract but can't claim performance as she was not a party of the same.

According to section 6, if a trust has been created in the favor of wife of the deceased , then only she has the right to claim. But it's also stated in section 2(7) that this act is only applicable to Muslim married women & not to any bind married women.

So the necessity of consideration for a party to be part of a contract is not fulfilled in this case.

The appeal of the defendants succeeded with the cost entitled in the court & the plaintiff failed to get the insurance amount.

The precedent of section 60 of civil procedure code was inapplicable in this case as because it was mentioned that " 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 benefit's, so the defendants (creditors of the deceased) had the right to take the money from the policy amount.

The final decision of the court was in favour of the defendants.

The insurance money was distributed among the Defendants to clear the credit of the deceased.

Plaintiff being no party of the contract has no right to claim the insurance amount as the Section(d of Indian contract Act says that any new party which has no consideration with the contract can't be considered as a party to the same,

Regarding the Married Women's Property Act 1874, can't be applied in this ease as this case is related to the Hindu community & this act is only applicable for Muslims.

  • Khawaja Mohammad Khan vs Hussain Begum, (1910) 12 Bom.L.R.638

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