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Present : Shaw A.C.J. and De Sampayo J.
HUDI v. RANGI et al.
340—D. C. Badulla, 3,028.
Kandyan la u>—Life interest of widow over husband’s acquired' property—Widow marrying a second time- contrary to the wishes of thehusband's family.
The life interest of the widow of a deceased Kandyan over hisacquired property does not cease on her marrying a second timecontrary to the wishes of her late husband's family.
HE facts appear from the judgment.
J. W. de Silva, for the appellants.
E. W. Jayewardene, for the/respondent.,
September 14, 1916. Shaw A.C.J.—
The plaintiff in this case is a childless Kandyan widow, andbrings the present action claiming a declaration that she is entitledto possession of the acquired property of her late husband and to alife interest therein. The defendants by their answer alleged that
the plaintiff had married a second time contrary to the wishes ofthe heirs, and had left her late husband's house. The DistrictJudge has decided that the answer affords no defence in law. andhas given judgment for the plaintiff for the declaration claimed.It is well-established law that a Kandyan widow has the right toretain possession during lier lifetime of the acquired property of thehusband. (Sec Kalu v. Lami,1 Kuda Etana v. Ran Etana.a) It hasalso been held in two cases that the life interest of a widow of adeceased Kandyan in his acquired property does not cease on hermarrying a second time. (See Nila Henaya v. Dissanayaka Appu-hamy* Manilca v. Horetala.4) This latter case was decided byLawrie and Withers, Justices, the former of whom says in hisjudgment: “ I do not find authority of a kind which I think sufficientthat the widow’s possession of acquired land was to come to an endon a second marriage. One reason why she was allowed to possessfor her life was that in most cases it had been purchased by thesavings and exertions of his wife as much as of the husband.”The defendants in the present case base their argument on thisappeal upon a passage in Armour’s Grammar of Kandyan Law23, in Percra'x Edition 27, which is cited in Marshall's Judgmentsat page 326, which is to the effect that the widow will lose herrights and life interest in her husband’s estate by taking a secondhusband contrary to the wishes of her first husband’s family, orby disgraceful conduct, and it is said that it applies in the presentcase. It will be noticed that in the portion of Armour’s work inwhich this paragraph occurs he is dealing with the widow’s rights inher husband's paraveni property and for her maintenance therefrom,and I think that the statement of the law which I have referred tois intended to refer to her interest in the paraveni property only,and the- author is not directing his mind to question the widow’srights in acquired property, and this, I think, is the view of thestatement of this paragraph in the cases I have referred to.. Nocase has been cited to us in which it has ever been held by theCourts that a widow loses her interest in acquired property if shemarries against the wishes of her late husband’s family, and the dictain the cases appears to me to exclude any such reading of the law.The reason given by Mr. Justice hawrie for her being allowed a lifeinterest in acquired property, namely, that it had very likely beenacquired largely by the exertions of the wife, seems equally to beopposed to any attempt to take it from her by her late husband’srelations should they chose to oppose a second marriage. More-over, that this is the view taken in recent times appears in Mr.Modder’s work on Kandyan law, where he says at paragraph 169:
“ A widow forfeits her right to maintenance by contracting asubsequent marriage contrary to the wishes of the first husband’s
< (1905) 11 N. L. R. 222.* 6 N. L. R. 214.
2 (1912) 15 N. L. R. 154.* 3 S. C. R. 167.
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family or by disgraceful conduct. The author is obviously herereferring to the passage in Armour’s work, to which I have referred,and he restricts it to the right of maintenance, namely, to her rightin the paraveni property, of her husband, and does not extend it toher right in his acquired property, which it is sought to do in thepresent case* In my opinion the decision of the District Judge 13right, and should be affirmed, with costs.
J->k Sampayo J.—T agree.
HUDI v. RANGI et al