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A. Rathnasabhapathy Chetty Vs. Lakshma Ammal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in80Ind.Cas.618
AppellantA. Rathnasabhapathy Chetty
RespondentLakshma Ammal and ors.
Excerpt:
.....as you are my wife and as you have no male issue. the rest of my heirs shall have no right, title or interest in the said property which you shall hold and enjoy from this day getting certificate, etc. it is obvious that the language is merely accidental and that what was intended was that rajammal could become the absolute owner after the expiration of the life interest of lakshmu ammal that lady shall also do exactly what is done by lakshmi ammal' is merely a limitation of the estate, because it is perfectly obvious that it means nothing more than that she should continue to pay rs......'after your life-time, you shall leave the said manai, house and the document relating thereto to rajammal, the eldest daughter of my second brother samarapuri chetty. that lady shall also do exactly what is done by the said lakshmu ammal. the rest of my heirs shall have no right, title or interest in the said property which you shall hold and enjoy from this day getting certificate, etc., for the property, in your name. that appears to be as clear a gilt over to rajammal absolutely on the termination of the life interest of lakshmu ammal, as it seems possible to frame. the argument apparently is that, because there are the words 'you shall leave the house to rajammal,' that amounts to nothing more than a power. i have never heard of a power which can and must only be exercised in one.....
Judgment:

Coutts Trotter, J.

1. This is a hopeless appeal arising on the construction of a deed of gift, dated the 16th of January 1888. By that the testator, one Tiruvanmiyur Murugappa Chetty, made a disposition of his properties as follows: He executes a deed of gift in favour of his wife Lakshmi Ammal and later on in the second clause, after setting out that it is his self-acquired property, he says that he brought a deed of gift into existence 'in order that you may enjoy my self-acquired property as you are my wife and as you have no male issue.' Later on he once more recites that he has gifted away this house worth Rs. 1,000 and provides that out of the rent she is to pay Rs. 5 every month to the Dharmakartha of Tiruvanmiyur temple for performing pooja and utilise the remainder for her maintenance. Then comes the clause which is sought to be made the basis of the argument. 'After your life-time, you shall leave the said manai, house and the document relating thereto to Rajammal, the eldest daughter of my second brother Samarapuri Chetty. That lady shall also do exactly what is done by the said Lakshmu Ammal. The rest of my heirs shall have no right, title or interest in the said property which you shall hold and enjoy from this day getting certificate, etc., for the property, in your name. That appears to be as clear a gilt over to Rajammal absolutely on the termination of the life interest of Lakshmu Ammal, as it seems possible to frame. The argument apparently is that, because there are the words 'you shall leave the house to Rajammal,' that amounts to nothing more than a power. I have never heard of a power which can and must only be exercised in one way and in favour of one donee. It is obvious that the language is merely accidental and that what was intended was that Rajammal could become the absolute owner after the expiration of the life interest of Lakshmu Ammal That lady shall also do exactly what is done by Lakshmi Ammal' is merely a limitation of the estate, because it is perfectly obvious that it means nothing more than that she should continue to pay Rs. 5 towards the pooja in the temple. If there were any doubt or ambiguity about the deed so far it would be entirely removed by the fact of the express exclusion from any interest in this property of the very person who now comes before us as the plaintiff and asks us to say that it really belongs to him. It is a hopeless appeal and must be dismissed with costs.

Ramesam, J.

2. I agree and will only add that the death of Rajammal before Lakshmi Ammal has no bearing in the case as, according to the proper construction of the deed, what was given to Rajammal was a vested remainder and not a remainder contingent on her surviving Lakshmi Ammal.


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