(1) Atma Bandhus succeed in preference to Pitri Bandhus and Matri Bandhus.
(2) Descendants are preferred to ascendants and collaterals.
(3) Father’s descendant’s take before the descendants of grandfathers.
(4) Pitri Bandhus succeed before the Matri Bandhus.
(5) Among the Bandhus of the same class the nearer excludes the piore remote.
(6) If the rule of nearness in blood fails to furnish a guide the rule of conferring superior spiritual benefit is taken into consideration.
(7) When the above rules do not work the Bandhus exparte paterna is preferred to bandhus exparte materna.
(8) All other things being equal the Bandhus who are related to the propositus only through one female are preferred to those related through two females.
The leading case on the points is Muthusami v. Muthukumarasami, (1896) 19 Mad.405:23 I.A. 83.
The claimants were: (1) mother’s half brother, and (2) father’s father’s son i.e., the contest was between an Atma Bandhu and a Pitri Bandhu. The Madras High Court held that Atma Bandhu is preferred to Pitri Bandhu. This judgment was affirmed by the Privy Council.
Second case on the point Jotindra Nath Ray v. Nogendra Nath Ray (1932) 59 Cal. 57658 LA. 372, 135 I.C. 637, (31) AP.C. 268.
The contest was between mother’s sister’s son and father’s half sister’s son after the death of the owner. The family was governed by the Mitakshara School of Hindu law. Both the contestants are Atma Bandhus in equal degree of propinquity to the owner.
Their Lordships of the Privy Council observed, “No doubt,
Propinquity in blood is the primary test but the Virmitrodaya bring in the conferring of spiritual benefit as the measure of propinquity where the degree of blood relationship furnishes no certain guide”. Accordingly father’s half sister’s son was preferred to mother’s sister’s son.