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Bai Kamala Vs. Revashankar Ranchhod - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 718 of 1922
Judge
Reported inAIR1924Bom350; (1924)26BOMLR249
AppellantBai Kamala
RespondentRevashankar Ranchhod
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
hindu low-will-construction of will-life-estate gioen to daughter-daughter having a son taking absolutely-absolute interset of daughter who had a son.;a hindu testator devised his estate by will to his three daughters, one of whom wan a childless widow. each of the daughters was given a life estate but if any or both of the remaining two daughters had any male issue, she or they would take the estate absolutely. one of the daughters had a son, but he died in his infancy. on a construction of the will:-;that the daughter who had a son took an absolute interest in the whole estate subject to the life interests of the remaining two daughters. - maharashtra scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, de-notified tribes (vimukta jatis), nomadic tribes, other backward classes and special backward..........interest, so that in the events that have happened mahalaxmi had an absolute interest in the suit property as soon as her son was born, subject of course to the life interests of ruxmani and ichha. if ichha had had a son, then ichha and mahalaxmi would both be absolute owners subject to the life interest of ruxmani. accordingly the first and second plaintiffs as heiresses of mahalaxmi would succeed to her absolute interest in the property, and when ruxmani died in 1915, they would become absolute owners of the whole property without any further limitations. the fourth plaintiff clearly had no interest in the property as ichha died without having a son, nor has the third plaintiff, the husband of mahalaxmi, any interest in her estate.5. the other construction which found favour with.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, C.J.

1. One Vidyaram died on July 30, 1897, leaving three daughters, Ruxmani, Ichha and Mahalaxmi. He left a will, dated June 22, 1807, whereby he disposed of his property, and with regard to certain property, which is the subject matter of this suit, ho made dispositions in favour of the daughters. At the date of the will Ruxmani was a childless widow, while lchlta and Mahalaxmi were married. Thereafter Mahalaxmi had a son who predeceased her. She died in 1908, while Ichha died in 1904, leaving a daughter. The property in suit was claimed by the tirst and second defendants as reversioners to Vidyaram, while the plaintiffs are the husband of Mahalaxmi, her two daughters and the daughter of Ichha.

2. The question in the suit, therefore, is what interests did the daughters take under the will of Vidyaram. The trial Court passed a decree in favour of the plaintiffs. The learned Assistant Judge in appeal dismissed the suit.

3. There are considerable difficulties in construing the will according to the ordinary rules of construction, but after hearing the arguments on both sides, we have no doubt as to what is the proper construction to be placed upon it. The testator commences by declaring that of all the other properties, except these specifically mentioned and dealt with, his three daughters should be the owners after his death, and they should manage the properties accordingly. If the will had stopped there, the three daughters would have been absolute owners as tenants in common of the suit properties. But thereafter limitations are imposed upon the interests of the daughters. The eldest being a widow, is declared to have an interest only for her life-time. With regard to the other two daughters the will states that 'she who has male issues is the owner of my property, that is to say, if they both have male issue then both are owners, and if one of those two has male issue then one is the owner. What I mean to say is only this that finally who has male issue is the owner of my property since after my death.'

4. We think, therefore, that the testator directed that if either Ichha or Mahalaxmi had male issue, then their life interests would mature into an absolute interest, so that in the events that have happened Mahalaxmi had an absolute interest in the suit property as soon as her son was born, subject of course to the life interests of Ruxmani and Ichha. If Ichha had had a son, then Ichha and Mahalaxmi would both be absolute owners subject to the life interest of Ruxmani. Accordingly the first and second plaintiffs as heiresses of Mahalaxmi would succeed to her absolute interest in the property, and when Ruxmani died in 1915, they would become absolute owners of the whole property without any further limitations. The fourth plaintiff clearly had no interest in the property as Ichha died without having a son, nor has the third plaintiff, the husband of Mahalaxmi, any interest in her estate.

5. The other construction which found favour with the Assistant Judge was that Ruxmani had a life interest in the whole property, and that the interests of Ichha and Mahalaxmi were contingent on their surviving Ruxmani. That would have been a perfectly sound construction if the will had not in the first instance directed that the three daughters were to be Maliks of the property devisted to them, with powers of management.

6. We think, therefore, that the appeal must succeed. We reverse the decree of the lower appellate Court and restore that of the trial Court, with this amendment that it should only be in favour of plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2. In the circumstances of the case the parties should bear their own costs throughout.


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