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Lalta Prasad vs Salig Ram And Anr.

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad|24 July, 1908


1. The meaning of a gift in the Will of one Kedar Nath is the only question in this appeal. Kedar Nath made a Will on the 22nd of June 1888. The Will is very simple in its character. By it he gave to his wife all his property for her life, and after her death he declared that Lalta Prasad, his adopted son, should be the malik, or owner, of the property. The testator's wife predeceased him. He died on the 3rd of September 1904, and upon his death the defendants, who are his sister's sons, took possession of his property. Thereupon the suit, out of which this appeal has arisen, was instituted by Lalta Prasad. He claimed the property under the gift contained in the Will of Kedar Nath. The Court of first instance held that he was entitled to it as designata persona under the Will, and that it was immaterial to find whether or not he was the adopted son of Kedar Nath. It did, however, consider that question and came to the conclusion that the adoption was proved. On appeal the lower Appellate Court held that the will was genuine, but the adoption of the plaintiff was not proved, and it reversed the decision of the Court below, on the ground that the gift made to the plaintiff was so made to him not as a persona designata but as an adopted son, and that inasmuch as he had failed to prove his adoption, the gift failed, and it therefore dismissed the plaintiff's suit. The construction of the Will appears to us to be extremely simple. After the death of the widow, the testator gave his property to Lalta Prasad by name and then described him as an adopted son. There is absolutely nothing in the Will to show that the fact of the adoption of the plaintiff was the motive or reason for the gift, and, in the absence of anything of the kind, it appears to us that, interpreting the language of the gift in its ordinary meaning, we must treat it as a gift to Lalta Prasad as a persona designata, and that, therefore, the gift is valid. This case appears to resemble the case of Nidhoomoni Debya v. Saroda Pershad Mookerjee L.R., 3 I.A. 253; 26 W.R. 91 and to be governed by the decision in that case. We, therefore, allow the appeal. We set aside the decree of the lower appeal Court and restore the decree of the Court of first instance with costs in all Courts.
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Lalta Prasad vs Salig Ram And Anr.


High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad

24 July, 1908
  • J Stanley
  • Banerjee