1. This appeal arises out of a suit to recover arrears of maintenance under a Masahara Bandegi Patra, dated the 12th Sraban 1255,
2. The deed was executed by one Jugal Kishore Acharji Choudhuri in favour of his daughter Janoki Debi. It recites that she had been receiving Rs. 317 for her maintenance and other expenses from his Zamindary, and that unless some deed was executed, objection might be raised in future to her getting the ' settled amount of maintenance. ' The deed then (according to the translation furnished to the Court on behalf of the appellant) runs as follows: 'So I make the said amount of your maintenance permanent. Oat of the said amount deducting Rs. 79 which is the annual profits from the 25 Puras of Brahmattar lands within my Zamindary, you shall get year after year the balance of Rs. 238 in Company's coin from my Zemindary in the line of my daughter's sons born of your womb.'
3. The word in the original is Douhitransha and has been rendered as 'in the line of my daughter's sons' in the above translation. The decision of the question involved in the case turns largely upon the meaning of that expression. The Subordinate Judge was of opinion that the word Angsha means heirs, and having regard to the circumstances mentioned in his judgment held that the grant was perpetual. On appeal the learned District Judge, Mr. Seaton, held that the grant was limited to the daughter's sons only. The plaintiff has appealed.
4. Janoki, it appears, had two sons, one of whom died childless. The other received the full amount of maintenance until his death. The plaintiff is his widow and she claims the right to the maintenance under a Will executed by her husband.
5. The word 'Angsha' means a share and sometimes it has been used in the books in connection with ' heritage, ' We have, however, not come across the expression Douhitransha in any document, and there is some force in the observation of the learned District Judge about the absence of ' some expression in common use and acknowledged meaning such as Putrapoutradi Krame.' But the expression 'Douhitransha' must have been used to mean some persons besides the daughter's sons and we think it was intended to mean ' in the line of the daughter's son.?. ' The expression is also to be considered along with the fact that the settled amount of maintenance was made Kaim, which we think means, having regard to the context, permanent. The document was executed about 70 years ago (in 1848). It was drafted evidently not by a lawyer, and should be liberally construed having regard to its real meaning. The grantor was the owner of substantial Zemindary, the income whereof is admittedly about Rs. 20,000 a year. He had no eon and had only two daughter?, of whom Janaki was one. Thy amount of maintenance was a very small one, but as suggested on behalf of the appellant it might be due to the reluctance to impair the value of the estate which the male heir (the adopted son) was to receive.
6. It is unlikely, however, that the Zemindar should have intended that such a small grant, which might place the family of the daughter's sons at any rate above actual want, should cease after the daughter's sons, and if that was the intention, it could have been clearly expressed by saying that the daughter's sons (Douhitragan) would get it.
7. Having regard to the expression used and the fact that the settled amount of maintenance was made Kaim (permanent) and that the grant was made to the daughter by a Zemindar of considerable means who hod no son, we think that the grant was intended to be perpetual.
8. Some reliance was placed upon the principle enunciated in Section 160 of the Indian Succession Act in support of the contention that the giant was limited to the life of, the daughter's sons. But apart from other considerations, the principle contended for cannot apply when a contrary intention appears in the document.
9. It is unnecessary to consider the question whether the amount of maintenance is a charge upon the defendants' estate, as the plaintiff has not in her plaint claimed any charge nor asked for declaration of any charge, and the suit is not framed for enforcing a claim for money charged upon immoveable property.
10. We think, therefore, that the decree of the lower Appellate Court should be set aside and that of the Court of first instance restored with costs here and below.