Chettiar Vs. Hamasaveni Ammal & Ors  INSC 210 (23 August 1991)
Kasliwal, N.M. (J) Kasliwal, N.M. (J) Ramaswamy, K.
1992 AIR 704 1991 SCR (3) 714 1991 SCC (4) 383 JT 1991 (3) 522 1991 SCALE
Succession Act, 1956: Section 14(1) Hindu Law--Will-Scope and construction
of--Testator bequething properties to daughter and after her to her male
children- Daughter whether acquiring absolute Estate.
of India, 1950: Article 136--Appeal by
Special Leave--Contention neither raised in Courts below nor in Special Leave
Petition--Cannot be raised for first time during the course of arguments in
executed a will on 22.6.1924. The terms of the will provided that after the
death of testator his wife shall enjoy the properties till her lifetime; after
her wife's lifetime the properties shall be enjoyed absolutely by his daughter
and after her daughter the properties should go to her male children.
question arose as to whether on the basis of the will the daughter acquired a
fife estate or an absolute estate.
High Court held that the fact that the testator directed that after her
daughter the properties shall go to her male children clearly showed an
intention that daughter's inter- est in the properties was not absolute.
Accordingly, the High Court held that the daughter acquired only a life estate
in the properties. Hence this appeal against the judgment of the High Court. .
the appeal, this Court,
1. It cannot be held that the,testator of the will wanted to give absolute
right in the property to his daugh- ter. The intention of the testator to give
absolute right in the property to his daughter is negatived by a clear mention
in the will that after his daughter the property shah ulti- mately go to her
male children. In case the intention of the testator was to give the properties
absolutely in favour of his daughter and not merely life interest then there
was no question of mentioning .that after her it should go to her male
children. Accordingly, the view taken by the High Court was correct. [716C-E]
contention neither raised in any of the courts below nor before the High Court
nor in the petition for special leave cannot he permitted to be raised for the
first time before this Court during the course of arguments. [716F]
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 902 of 1977.
the Judgment and Order dated 13.7.1976 of the Madras High Court in S.A. No.
1575 of 1973. , K. Ram Kumar and Ms. Janki Ramachandran for the Appellant.
for the Respondents- The Judgment of the Court was delivered by KASLIWAL, J.
This appeal by Special Leave is. directed against the Judgment of the High
Court of Judicature at Madras dated 29.7.1976. The short controversy
in the case is regarding the ambit and scape of a will dated 22.6. 1924.
by one Padmanabha Chettiar. The construction of the will is in question in the
present case. A translation of the will as supplied by the appellant in this
Court reads as under:
the 2nd day of June, 1924, i.e. Tamil 9th day of Ani of Raktakshi. year, this
will executed by me, Padmanabha Chettiar, son of Sami Chettiar, Vysya caste,
cultivation, resident of New Street, Sultanpettai, Koppam, Palakkadu Taluq, Kallikottai
District, presently at Aniaimalai, is to the effect. As I do not have male
progeny and I have attained old age, the movable and immovable properties
mentioned hereunder in my possession and enjoyment, both ancestral and also
self ac- quired, shall be enjoyed by me absolutely till my life time, after my
lifetime my wife Dhana- lakshmi Ammal shall enjoy likewise till her lifetime;
after her lifetime as described hereunder A Schedule properties shall be
enjoyed absolutely by my daughter and wife of Anaimalai Subramania Chettiar, Rajalakshmi
Ammal, and after her it should go to her male children".
question which arises on the basis of the contents of the above will is whether
Rajalakshmi Ammal had acquired a life estate 716 under the will or an absolute
estate. The High Court took the view that it was one of the cardinal principles
of construction of wills that so far as legally possible effect should be given
to every disposition contained in the will unless the law prevents such effect
being given to it. The High Court held that the fact that the testator directed
that after Rajalakshmi Ammal it shall go to her male chil- dren clearly showed
an intention that Rajalakshmi Ammal's interest in the properties should not be
absolute. The High Court thus arrived to the conclusion that Rajalakshmi Ammal
should be deemed to have held only a life estate in the properties and after
her death, her 'male children got the properties absolutely.
going through the contents of the will we agree with the view taken by the High
Court. We do not agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the
appellant raised before us that Padmanabha Chettiar, the testator, of the will
wanted to give absolute right in the property to his wife Dhanalakshmi Ammal
and thereafter absolute right in favour of his daughter Rajalakshmi Ammal. The
above inten- tion is negatived by a clear mention in the will that after Rajalakshmi
Ammal the property shall ultimately go to her male children. In case the
intention of the testator was to give the properties absolutely in favour of Rajalakshmi
and not merely life interest then there was no question of mentioning that
after her it should go to her male children.
counsel for the appellant also raised a conten- tion that even if it may be
considered that only life inter- est was given to Rajalakshmi Ammal under the
will, such right became absolute under Section 14 (1) of the Hindu Succession
Act, 1956. This contention was neither raised in any of the courts below nor
before the High Court nor in the petition for special leave and we cannot
permit this ground to be raised for the first time before us during the course
of arguments. In the result we find no force in this appeal and the same is
dismissed with no order as to costs.
Appeal dis- missed.