There was partition in the family in the year 1903 as a result of which the father with his second wife and children separated and begin to live apart from his sons by the first wife. The case of the respondent was that he and his brothers continued to remain joint after their father decided to remain away from them in 1903. An alternative case was also put forward that there has been a reunion amongst the brothers after the partition. Madras High Court in paragraph 5 stated:-
“5………………………But if a general partition between all the members takes place, reunion is the only means by which the joint status can be re-established. Mere jointness in residence, food or worship or a mere trading together cannot bring about the conversion of the divided status into a joint one with all the usual incidents of jointness in estate and interest unless an intention to become re-united in the sense of the Hindu law is clearly established. The rule is, if I may say so with respect, correctly stated by the Patna High Court, in Pan Kuer v. Ram Narain Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1929 Pat. 353 where the learned Judge observes that:
To establish it, (reunion), it is necessary to show not only that the parties already divided, lived or traded together, but that they did so with the intention of thereby altering their status and of forming a joint estate with all its usual incidents.
The High Court held that the brothers, who had divided, lived and traded together, the case of the reunion was accepted.
In paragraph 17, following was laid down:-
“17. The question then is, whether this finding is sufficient to support a case of reunion. We are conscious that the burden of proof is heavily on the respondent and also that proof of mere jointness in residence, food and worship does not necessarily make out reunion. What is to be established is that not only did the parties who had divided lived and traded together, but that they did so with the intention of thereby altering their divided status into a joint status with all the usual incidents of jointness in estate and interest. In our opinion the way in which the brothers dealt with each other leaves no room for doubt that it was their deliberate intention to reunite so as to reproduce the joint status which had existed before the partition of 1903. The immediate object of the partition was to enable the father to live separately from his sons by the first wife, as misunderstandings had arisen between them. As between the sons themselves there never was any reason for a separation inter se and there can be no doubt that the moment they separated away from their father they desired to live and lived together in joint status. It is true that at that time the first respondent was a minor. But this can make little difference if after he attained majority he accepted the position in which the appellant and Nagayya had already begun to live together. In our view it is not necessary that there should be a formal and express agreement to reunite. Such an agreement can be established by clear evidence of conduct incapable of explanation on any other footing. Such, in our view, is the position here established. That being so, the claim of the appellant to the exclusive ownership of the properties in suit must be negatived. The appeal fails and must therefore be dismissed with costs.”
Mukku Venkataramayya v. Mukku Tatayya and Ors., AIR 1943 Mad. 538