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Report No. 110

IV. Stock

26.15. Sections 158 and 159.-

Two special provisions relating to legacies of stock are contained in sections 158 and 159. If stock specifically bequeathed does not exist at the time of the death of the testator, the legacy is adeemed under section 158. Where stock specifically bequeathed exists only in part at the time of the death of the testator, the legacy is adeemed so far as regards that part of the stock which has ceased to exist.

This is provided for in section 159, which, in reality, carries out the same principle as is the basis of section 158. The expression "stock" is used in the two sections in a wide sense, as is shown by the illustrations, and is not confined to stock in a company. The sections need no change.

26.16. Sections 160 and 161.-

In the case of specific bequests, certain questions arise where the goods are described with reference to a certain place. The connection of the goods with that place might have disappeared at the time of death, and the court has then to decide whether the connection is treated as to be material so that the specific bequest is adeemed, or whether the connection is, in the circumstances of the case, to be disregarded. To deal with this problem, two general rules have been enacted, in section 160.

The first is that if the removal of the goods from the specific place is due to a temporary cause, or by fraud, or without the knowledge or sanction of the testator1, then there is no ademption. This is to be found in section 160. Secondly, section 161 provides that removal of the thing from the specified place does not constitute an ademption, where the place is referred to only in order to complete the description of what the testator meant to bequeath. The illustrations to the section explain its purport. But the third illustration seems to stretch the language of the section. It puts the facts as under:

"(iii) A bequeaths to B all his goods on board a certain ship, then lying in the river Hoogli. The goods are removed by A's direction to a warehouse, in which they remain at the time of A's death."

The illustration then provides that the legacy is not revoked by ademption.

1. Compare section 154.

26.17. Recommendation to amend section 161.-

Now, although it could be said that here the mention of the place was, in a sense, necessary to complete the description of what the testator meant to bequeath, a more convincing reason for not allowing ademption in such a case is that, by the very nature of the case, the situation mentioned or the place mentioned could only be temporary. A more accurate way of expressing section, therefore, to cover such a case, would be to add at the end of section 161, some such words as "or where, by its very nature, the place is such that the thing bequeathed would remain at that place only for a temporary period."

We recommend that section 161 should be amended as above.

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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