Skip to content


Administrator-general of Bengal Vs. A.D. Christiana - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in34Ind.Cas.157
AppellantAdministrator-general of Bengal
RespondentA.D. Christiana
Cases ReferredLord v. Lord
Excerpt:
succession act (x of 1865), sections 311, 312 - will--demonstrative legacies, payment of interest on--from, what time payable--rate of interest. - .....with regard to it, that a legacy payable at a future day carries interest only from the time fixed for its payment. on the other hand, where no time for payment is fixed, the legacy is payable at, and therefore bears interest from, the end of a year after the testator's death, even though it be expressly made payable out of a particular fund which is not got in until after a longer interval.' that principle has been upheld and followed in walford, in re, kenyon v. watford (1912) 1 ch.d. 219 at p. 225 : 81 l.j.ch. d. 828. here there is no express direction fixing the date of payment. it seems to me to be a case covered by the ruling in lord v. lord (1867) 2 ch. app. 782 at p. 789 : 36 l.j.ch. 533 at p. 538, that is to say, that there is no time for payment fixed, although the.....
Judgment:

Chaudhuri, J.

1. This suit relates to the estate of one Alexander Watson Christiana. He left a Will, dated the 1st October 1897. On the 10th January 1898, Probate was granted. The Administrator-General is now in possession of the estate. The following questions have arisen and the plaintiff is desirous to have them determined by this Court: (i) Whether interest is payable out of the estate of the testator, on the legacies of Rs. 1,000, to each of the surviving grandchildren named in the margin of the said Will and the representative of a deceased grandchild, and, if so, from what date and at what rate? (ii) Amongst whom, in the events which have happened, is the residue of the estate of the testator, after payment of the aforesaid legacies of Rs. 1,000 each, and interest thereon, if any, divisible, and in what shares and proportions is it so divisible? The paragraphs in the Will relating to the legacies run thus: 'To my grandchildren named in the margin I leave Rs. 1,000 each from the sale of house No. 8, Lindsay Street, and my half share in house No. 4, Crooked Lane, that is, after the death of my daughter Mrs. Georgiana Harriett Russell, and the marriage of my granddaughter, Florence Elder.' These legacies are demonstrative legacies, and the question is as to whether any interest is payable upon these legacies. The Succession Act, Section 311, provides: 'Where no time has been fixed for the payment of a general legacy, interest begins to run from the expiration of one year from the testator's death.' There are certain exceptions to that section to which I need not refer at present. Section 312 deals with the question of interest where time has been fixed for payment of a general legacy. The first point argued in this case is that inasmuch as there is no specific provision for payment of interest for demonstrative legacies, no interest was payable in this case. It has, however, been held in the case of Chinnam Rajamannar v. Tadikonda Ramachendra Rao 29 M. 155 that the Law in England relating to. interest on a demonstrative legacy is applicable to Sections 130 and 131 of the Probate and Administration Act, which correspond to Sections 311 and 312 of the Indian Succession Act. The learned Judges held in that case that the absence of a distinct provision in regard to the payment of interest on demonstrative legacies did not imply an intention to disallow interest in such cases. They approved and followed the case of Mulling v. Smith (1860) 1 Dr. & Sm. 204 : 8 W.R. 739 : 62 E.R. 356 : 127 R.R. 88. I follow the decision of the Madras Court and hold that interest is payable on demonstrative egacies. The question is whether Section 311 or 312 is applicable to this case, that s to say, whether a time has been fixed for the payment of the legacy, or whether;here is no fixed time for such payment. The principle applicable to cases of this bind has been laid down by Lord Cairns, L.J., in the case of Lord v. Lord (1867) 2 Ch. App. 782 at p. 789 : 36 L.J. Ch. 533 at p. 538in these terms: The rule of law is clear, and there can be no controversy with regard to it, that a legacy payable at a future day carries interest only from the time fixed for its payment. On the other hand, where no time for payment is fixed, the legacy is payable at, and therefore bears interest from, the end of a year after the testator's death, even though it be expressly made payable out of a particular fund which is not got in until after a longer interval.' That principle has been upheld and followed in Walford, In re, Kenyon v. Watford (1912) 1 Ch.D. 219 at p. 225 : 81 L.J.Ch. D. 828. Here there is no express direction fixing the date of payment. It seems to me to be a case covered by the ruling in Lord v. Lord (1867) 2 Ch. App. 782 at p. 789 : 36 L.J.Ch. 533 at p. 538, that is to say, that there is no time for payment fixed, although the amount is expressly made payable out of a particular fund, which was not to be got in until after a longer interval. The testator said that he was leaving Rs. 1,000 each to the grand-children, that it was to be paid out of the sale of the premises, 8, Lindsay Street, and his share in 4, Crooked Lane, and that such sale was not to take place till after the death of Mrs. Georgiana Harriett Russell and the marriage of his granddaughter, Florence Elder. Mrs. Georgiana Harriett Russell died on the 13th February 1915, and Florence Elder was married on the 30th June 1909. Therefore it seems to me to be a case which is governed by the decision I have referred to, and in that view I think Section 311 of the Succession Act applies. It is necessary to refer to Exception (2) to that section. This is a case where the testator is not the parent, but a mere remote ancestor. I understand that the legatees, Elizabeth Christiana Swaries and Jessie Houston Russell, have attained majority, but it is unnecessary to refer to their case, because no distinction is made in the section in respect of adults and miners. Now about the rate of interest. The Act provides 4 per cent. which will be the rate allowed upon these legacies. The further question is about the division of the residue. The clause in the Will dealing with it runs thus : ' The remaining portion as well as the balance of the accumulated interest or any other money that may be due is to be equally divided among my sons and daughter.' I have examined the original Will, and learned Counsel appearing for the parties have also seen it. There is no question that the expression 'daughter' there is in the singular, and there is no mistake in the copy annexed to the plaint. The difficulty that has arisen is owing to the fact that the testator had two daughters, and the question is, to which of these daughters does this clause refer; and, if it is uncertain, can it have any effect so far as the daughters are concerned? It is clear to my mind that the daughter referred to in that clause is Louisa Amelia Sinclair. The residue is only to be divided after the payment of the legacies, which can be only ascertained after the death of the daughter Mrs. Georgiana Harriett Russell, and, therefore, there is only one daughter left at the time of the division of the residue, and that daughter is Louisa Amelia Sinclair. Therefore, the residue is to be divided according to the ordinary rule, there being two sons and one daughter. Costs of this suit of all the parties to come out of the estate. The costs of the Administrator-General to come out of the estate as between attorney and client to be fixed on scale No. 2.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //