But this is not the exhaustive list; it is merely an illustrative one.
Atma Bandhus are preferred to Pitri Bandhus and Pitri Bandhus are preferred to Matri Bandhus.
Now the next question will be who is a heritable Bandhu? Are all the blood relations through a female heritable Bandhu or they are limited within certain specified degrees?
This issue arose for the determination in Ram Chandra v. Vinayaka, (1914) 141, A, 290, 312, 42 Cal. 384, 420, 25 I.C. 290 (40) A.P.C. 1.
The relationship between the claimant and the propositus is shown in the following pedigree:
Facts of the case.-52 were the last male owner of the property. After his death, his daughter enjoyed it. She died without any issue then the S (claimant) claimed the property. He traced his relationship to a common ancestor through-his mother. If the narrower and technical sense of “Sapinda” is taken the claimant is beyond the fifth degree. But it was agreed on his behalf that any person who is related through a female is a Bandhu without any restriction to the degree.
It was held by the Judicial Committee that “Vijnaneshwaras was using the term ‘bandhu’ in a restricted and technical sense” and that the claimant was not a heritable bandhu.
If the claimant claims through a male according to Madras view he must be within seven degrees. According to Allahabad and Bombay High Courts even in this case claimant must be within the fifth degree.
According to the Hindu mode of computation, degrees are to be calculated from the deceased in the case of ancedants and inclusive of the deceased in the case of descendants. In the case of the descendants of the common ancestor the degree is calculated from the inclusive of the common ancestor.
The right to inherit to a Bandhu accrues if the propositus and the claimant were sapindas to each other. This is known as the “principle of mutually.”
In the illustration (1) the claimant through a male 5 and is within 7 degrees from the common ancestor A yet he is executed because he further claims through female and is beyond the five degrees from A. So the claimant is excluded. He cannot claim the property of the owner. Now interchange the owner by the claimant and the claimant by the owner.
In that case the claimant will be within five degrees from the common ancestor A yet cannot inherit the property of the owner, the propositus of his case, because the propositus of his case who was the claimant of the first case was excluded from inheriting the property of the claimant of this case who was the propositus in the first case. This is on account of the application of the principle of mutuality.
Now consider the illustration (2). The claimant claims through a male and within the 7 degrees from the common ancestor A. So the claimant is a heritable Bandhu of the owner. Now interchange the owner with the claimant. The new claimant is within 3 degrees from the common ancestor A.
He is entitled to inherit the property of the owner of this case, because the claimant of the first case was entitled to inherit the property of the owner of the First case. So according to the doctrine of mutuality the claimant is entitled to inherit.
According to Dr. Sarvadhikari’s view the propositus must be a descendant of a common ancestor who is a member of the following families, viz., (i) claimant’s agnate family, (ii) claimant’s mother’s agnate family, (iii) claimant’s father’s mother’s agnate family, (iv) claimant’s mother’s agnate family.
According, (1) Daughter’s son’s son, (2) Daughter’s son’s son; (3) Daughter’s son’s daughter’s son; and (4) Daughter’s son are excluded from inheritance.
According to the other view there should not be any limitation because the old text does not support it. This list of the Bandhu is not an exhaustive list as decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. According the Madras High Court held in Keshav Singh v. Secretary of State, (1926) 49 Mad. 652, 951, 1. 65, (26) A.M. 881 that father’s daughter’s son’s daughter’s son was a heritable Bandhu. See the relationship from the diagram:
Se we see that in deciding the question who is a heritable Bandhu the following three points should be taken into consideration:
1. Whether the Bandhu is a Sapinda in. The restricted sense (within 5 degrees according to Allahabad High Court either through the male or female).
2. Whether there is mutuality between the claimant and the propositus.
According to Madras view there are the sufficient consideration but not according to the Allahabad High Court.
3. Whether the propositus was the descendant of a common ancestor who is a member of four families as enumerated by Dr. Sarvadhikari.