1. The only question is, who is the nearest heir to the last male owner--his father's sister or hie 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 favour of male heirs, the maternal grandfather has the preference--Narasimma v. Mangammal I.L.R. 13 Mad. 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 Lall 11 M.I.A., 386. 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, 535, fourth edition; 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, 492. The maternal uncle has been recognized as a bandhu [Gridhari Lall Boy v. The Bengal Government 12 M.I.A. 448, and the maternal grandfather ranks higher than the maternal uncle.[See Mayne, 535, and Krishnayya v. Pichamma I.L.R. 11 Mad. 287] His right therefore as an undoubted male 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.