1. The only question is--who is the nearer heir to the last male owner, his father's sister, or his mother's father The Lower Courts have decided in favour of the father's' sister on the ground that she being related through a male must be held to be more closely related to Kuppusami than the defendants, the parents of Kuppusami's mother, who are related through a female. It is argued here that in virtue of the rule excluding females in favor of male heirs the maternal grandfather has the preference, (Narasimma v. Mangammal I. L. R 13 M. 10). On the other side, it is contended that the father's sister comes in under the father's brother as the sister is included in the term brethren. This construction of the text, of the Mitakshara has not been approved by commentators and has been rejected by the Privy Council, (Thakoorain Sahiba v. Mohun hall 11 M. I. A 403). A father's sister cannot be a gotraja sapinda, because as soon as a female marries she passes into a different gotra but she is a, bandhu and the son of the paternal aunt ranks higher than any maternal bandhu, (Mayne's Hindu Law, p. 641, 4th Ed.) But it does not follow that his mother is a bandhu of the same class. The son takes by his own independent merit, not through her, (Mayne's Hindu Law, 4th Ed., Section 472). The maternal uncle has been recognized as a bandhu (Gridhari Lall Roy v. The Bengal Government 12 M. I. A 448) and the maternal grandfather ranks higher than the maternal uncle, (see Mayne, p. 641, and Krishnayya v, Pichamma I. L. R 11 M 287). His right therefore as an undoubted male heir heir must prevail over that of the paternal aunt. The decrees of the Lower Courts must be reversed and the suit dismissed with costs throughout.