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Report No. 110

Chapter 28

Bequests of Things Described in General Terms (Sections 171 and 172)

28.1. Scope.-

Bequests of things "described, in general terms" form the subject-matter of a chapter comprising two sections. The problems that these sections address themselves to are such as arise out of the generality (or vagueness) of the description of the thing bequeathed. Because of the implicit vagueness a certain elasticity of action is provided (section 171) and a bequest of interest can be construed as bequest of the principal also (section 172).

28.2. Section 171-Bequest of thing described in general terms.- Section 171 reads-

"171. If there is a bequest of something described in general terms, the executor must purchase for the legatee what may reasonably be considered to answer the description.


(i) A bequeaths to B a pair of carriage-houses or a diamond ring. The executor must provide the legatee with such articles if the state of the assets will allow it.

(ii) A bequeaths to B "my pair of carriage-horses". A had no carriage-horses at the time of his death. The legacy fails."

The section needs no change1.

1. Compare section 104.

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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