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November 24. CHINNIAH et al. v. VALLIPILLAI et al.
D. G., Trincomalee, 709.
Deed of gift—Gift to take effect after lifetime of donor — Irrevocability of suchgift.
A gift of property to take effect after the lifetime of the donoris irrevocable.
t ■ 1HE plaintiffs claimed the lands in dispute in this case,J- averring that one Chinniah became the owner thereofunder and by virtue of a deed of donation dated 4th November,1867, granted by one Theivane; that the said Theivane purportedto cancel that deed by deed dated 3rd April, 1894; that the latterdeed was set aside by a judgment of the District Court ofTrincomalee pronounced in case No. 22,787; that Chinniah, thedonee, died in 1885, leaving him surviving his widow and two
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children on whom devolved the said lands; that the said widowgranted to her daughter, the second plaintiff, an undividedone-fourth share of the said land by deed dated 2nd December,1895; that the second plaintiff, by virtue of the said deed fromher mother and by right of inheritance from her father, becameentitled to an undivided half share of the said lands; that thesaid widow sold to the third plaintiff an undivided one-fourth ofthe said lands by deed dated 7th December, 1896; that the fourthplaintiff inherited- from her late father Chinniah ah undividedone-fourth of the said land; and that defendants sinceNovember, 1892, have been in forcible possession of the lands andclaimed them as their own.
The defendants pleaded that the deed of donation bearingdate 4th November, 1867, from Theivane to Chinniah was a donatiomortis causa, and was revokable; and that as the donee Chinniahhad died before the donor, the latter had a right to revoke thesaid deed; that the Judge of the District Court of Trincomalee,in case No. 22,787, did not bar her right to revoke the said deed,nor did he set aside the deed of revocation, &c.
Several issues were framed, including the issue material to thepresent appeal, whether the deed of gift dated 4th November,1867, was a donatio inter vivos or a donatio mortis causa, andwhether title to the said lands passed to Chinniah under the saiddeed.
The deed in question ran as follows: —
“ Know all men by these presents that I, the undersigned
“ Theivane Pillai, wife of Sithambara Pillai donate the
“ immovable properties described hereunder, after the lifetime“ of both of us, to our youngest son Chinniah,” &c.
The District Judge held that this gift was a donatio inter vivos,not to be revoked except for one of the grave causes mentionedby the jurists; that it was not a conditional gift, but merelyreserved to the donors a life interest in the property; and thatupon the death of Chinniah it passed to his heirs subject to alife interest in favour of the donor. The District Judge alsofound that the judgment in 22,787 declared this deed to be adonatio inter vivos, and though no appeal was taken against ithe held it was binding on the present defendants. On the factsof the case the District Judge found in favour of the plaintiffs andentered up judgment for them.
The defendants appealed.
H. Jayawardena, for appellants.
Sampayo, for respondents.
r-RR 10790 (12/86)
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24th November, 1898. Bonser, C.J.—
The only ground of appeal which was urged before us was thata deed of donation which was expressed to take effect after thedeath of the donor failed of effect by reason of the death of thedonee before the death of the donor.
It seems to me that this is already covered by authority(see Voet. XXXIX., 5, 4), where it is stated that such giftsare irrevocable gifts, although the enjoyment of the gift ispostponed for a later day. Quibus consequens est, talem donationemad hercdes donatarii transitoriam esse, si contigerit, donatariumante mortem donantis, adeoque ante diem donationi adjectum fatofungi.
The appeal will be dismissed.
CHINNIAH et al. v. VALLIPn.LAI et al