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Mahalakshmi Ammal Vs. G. Vijayasubramaniam and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberL.P.A. No. 23 of 1972, D/- 11-8-1975, against judgment of Raghavan J. in S.A. No. 786 of 1969, D/- 2
Judge
Reported inAIR1977Mad87; (1976)2MLJ284
AppellantMahalakshmi Ammal
RespondentG. Vijayasubramaniam and ors.
Excerpt:
- - she said that these properties might devolve on sithalakshmi ammal, her second daughter, and she should enjoy the property without any powers of alienation. , in second appeal on a reading of the entirety of the will and the pattern of the testatrix's intention as appearing in paragraphs 5 and 6 as well as 8 of the will, considered that the words 'sarva sudandhira paathiyamai' occurring in the disposition in favour of sundaram ammal did not really express what it meant......of the last will and testament of one rukmani ammal dated 9-12-1934, held that the interest which sundaram ammal was given thereunder, was but a life interest, the remainder in b end e schedule properties being vested in the testatrix's great grand children by sundaram ammal. the testatrix died in 1935. she had two daughters. muthumeenakshi ammal, who died in 1961, and sithalakshmi ammal, who died in 1963. the first had two daughters, sundaram ammal, who died on 2-6-1965, and subbunarasam ammal. sithalakshmi ammal had no issues. by the will, the testatrix gave the a schedule property to the eldest daughter muthumeenakshi ammal and her second daughter subbunarasam ammal each for life without powers of alienation. after their lifetime the direction in the will was the subbunarasam ammal's.....
Judgment:

Veeraswami, C.J.

1. Differing from the concurrent findings of the first two Courts, Raghaven J., on a construction of the last Will and Testament of one Rukmani Ammal dated 9-12-1934, held that the interest which Sundaram Ammal was given thereunder, was but a life interest, the remainder in B end E schedule properties being vested in the testatrix's great grand children by Sundaram Ammal. The testatrix died in 1935. She had two daughters. Muthumeenakshi Ammal, who died in 1961, and Sithalakshmi Ammal, who died in 1963. The first had two daughters, Sundaram Ammal, who died on 2-6-1965, and Subbunarasam Ammal. Sithalakshmi Ammal had no issues. By the Will, the testatrix gave the A schedule property to the eldest daughter Muthumeenakshi Ammal and her second daughter Subbunarasam Ammal each for life without powers of alienation. After their lifetime the direction in the Will was the Subbunarasam Ammal's heirs should get the A schedule property absolutely. B and E schedule properties were then next disposed of by the testatrix. She said that these properties might devolve on Sithalakshmi Ammal, her second daughter, and she should enjoy the property without any powers of alienation. After her lifetime. Muthumeenaskhi Ammal's eldest daughter Sundaram Ammal should get the properties. As to this disposition the language employed by the testatrix is

'EN MUTHA KUMARATI MUTTHU MANOKARI AMMALUDAIYA MUDHALAVADU KUMARTI SUNDARAMABAL SARVA SUDANDHIRA PAATHIYAMAI ANUBAVITTHU VANDU.'

The will proceeded to say that after the lifetime of Sundaram Ammal, her heirs should get the properties in the two schedules absolutely with powers of alienation.

2. The first two Courts construed the disposition of the B and E schedule properties in favour of Sundaram Ammal as absolute so that they considered that the subsequent disposition in favour of three children being in conflict with the earlier disposition, the latter should give way to the former. In other words, the disposition in favour of the heirs of Sundaram Ammal was considered by the first two Courts as being repugnant to the earlier disposition. Raghavan, J., in second appeal on a reading of the entirety of the Will and the pattern of the testatrix's intention as appearing in paragraphs 5 and 6 as well as 8 of the Will, considered that the words 'SARVA SUDANDHIRA PAATHIYAMAI' occurring in the disposition in favour of Sundaram Ammal did not really express what it meant. We are inclined to accept this construction of the will.

3. The pattern of the testatrix's intention appears to be to benefit eventually the great grand children either through Sundaram Ammal or her sister Subbunarasam Ammal. In the case of Subbunarasam Ammal, the testatrix has used a clear language that she should get only a life interest and after her life, the remainder should vest absolutely in her heirs. When it comes to the great grand children by Sundaram Ammal, we do not see why a different construction should be placed, her intention being plain, as we said, to benefit ultimately her great grand children. A great deal of stress has been laid on the expression 'SARVA SUDANDHIRA PAATHIYAMAI' while the testatrix gave an interest in the B and E schedule properties to Sundaram Ammal and it is contended that this meant that absolute was given to her and that the subsequent disposition should be held to be invalid, it being in conflict with the earlier one. But this contention does not satisfy the rule that in determining the intention of the testatrix we have to look into the entire will and all the clauses in the will, will have to be read together. It is only by that means the intention of the testatrix can be gathered satisfactorily. Apart from the pattern of the testatrix's intention we have one other fact that she has directed not merely the life estate holders but also ht ultimate beneficiaries, namely, the great grand children, to clear her debts, if any, remaining undischarged. This can only show the intention of the testatrix that she meant the great grand children as the ultimate destination of her properties. On that view, we concur with Raghavan J. that the expression 'SARVA SUDANDHIRA PAATHIYAMAI' occurring in the disposition in favour of Sundaram Ammal would not by itself be determinative of the quantum of the estate granted by the testatrix to her. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed. No costs.

4. Appeal dismissed.


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