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Report No. 110

Chapter 21

Conditional Bequests (Sections 126-137)

I. Introductory

21.1. Conditional Bequests.-

The power of the testator to dispose of his property by will1 implies that he has power to make a disposition which is- (i) absolute, or (ii) conditional.2 The power to impose conditions in regard to dispositions made in a will, though not enacted in so many words, is implicitly recognised by a number of sections of the Act.3

1. Section 59.

2. Cf. section 8, Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

3. E.g., sections 119-137.

21.2. Conditions precedent and subsequent.-

The position in this respect is substantially the same in India as in England,1 namely, a testator may, by his will, freely attach conditions to his gifts, provided the conditions do not conflict with certain recognised restrictions and are not inconsistent with the other provisions of the will. Conditions are either "precedent", i.e., precedent to the vesting of the bequest on which the condition is imposed or subsequent, i.e., conditions which divest the estate already vested. In the later case, again, there may or may not be a bequest to another person. Conditions must, however, be such that their performance is not illegal.

1. Halsbury's, 3rd Edn., Vol. 39, pp. 914, 1386.

21.3. Sections 126-137 grouped under broad categories.-

Certain aspects of conditional bequests form the subject-matter of sections 126 to 137. The provisions relating to conditional bequests can be grouped under these broad categories:-

(a) Conditions which are impossible, or contrary to law or to morality: sections 126-127.

(b) Conditions precedent-compliance therewith, and the effect of non-compliance: sections 128 to 130.

(c) Conditions subsequent with a bequest over-compliance therewith, and the effect of non-compliance: sections 131-133.

(d) Conditions subsequent with no ulterior bequest: sections 134 to 137.

(e) Time for performance of condition precedent and condition subsequent: section 137.

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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