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Present: Sir Charles Peter Layard, Chief Justice, andMr. Justice Grenier.
KULENDOEVELOE v. KANDEPERUMAL.
D. C., Batticaloa, 2,496.
Claim byadministrator—Prescription—-Englishlau> of . Executors and
Administrators—3 and 4WilliamIV.,c.27,s.6—Ordinance
No. 22 of 1871.
In Ceylon prescription begins torunagainst,anadministrator
claiming property on behalfof the estate fromthedateof the grant
of letters of administrationand notfromthedateofthe death of
Statute 3 and 4 William IV., c. 27, s. 6, is not in force in Ceylon.
HE facts and arguments sufficiently appear in the judgmentof Layard C.J.t-
Walter Pereira, K.G. (with him Tambimuttu), for the defendant,appellant.
Bawa (with him Wadsworth), for the plaintiff, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
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19th May, 1905. Layabd C.J.—
In this case the appellant’s counsel points out that the plaintalleges thatiin the month of September, 1895, shortly after the deathof the plaintiff’s intestate, the defendant took wrongful possessionof c&tain property belonging to the intestate’s estate, and that theadministrator of the intestate’s estate did not bring this action untilthe 21st October, 1903, and the appellant’s counsel argues that thedefendant was in the same position as if letters of administrationhad been granted immediately after the death of the intestate, andaccordingly that, under our Ordinance of Limitations, time beganto run as from the.date of the death of the intestate, and not fromthat of the grant of letters of administration to the estate of the in-testate. In support of that contention he cites a passage fromWilliams on Executors, which discloses that in England, in view ofsection 6 of 3 and 4 William IV., c. 27, time begins to run againstthe administrator claiming personal or other property of the intestatefrom the date of the death of the intestate, and not from the dateof the grant of letters of administration, and he argues that theEnglish Law of Executors and Administrators now being in force inthis Island, the provisions of that section are applicable to thisIsland.
I understand that what has been introduced into Ceylon isthe English Law as regards executors and administrators, subjecthowever to the provisions of our local statutes, and I find that ourOrdinance of Prescription is silent in respect to executors andadministrators, and no mention is made of them. For questions ofprescription and of limitation we must look to our own Ordinance,and with regard to executors and administrators we are bound toadminister the general law of England which effects them, or anyStatute Law dealing generally with the rights of executors or admi-nistrators or treating of the manner in which property is vested inthem. We are however not bound by the English Law, which laysdown the limitation of causes of action in England, unless the Statutesdealing with them have been introduced into this Colony. Now 3and 4 Will. IV., c. 27, is not in force in this.Colony, and none of theprovisions for the limitation of actions laid down in that statute arebinding on us; consequently section 6 of that statute will not beoperative in this Colony, unless it in any way effects the English Lawwith respect to executors and administrators outside the provisions of3 and 4 Will. IV., c. 27. We have only to look at the section itselfto see what the English' Legislature intended. It laid down nogeneral law that letters of administration shall be taken as grantedimmediately on the death of the intestate; what it did enact was thatfor the purposes of dealing with limitations provided by that statute“ an administrator claiming the estate or interests of a deceasedperson of whose chattels he shall be appointed administrator shall
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1906. be deemed to claim.as if there bad been no interval of time betweenMayJM. ^eatk 0f g^^ deceased and the grant of letters of administration, ”Lavabo C.J. the words clearly referring merely to limitations of actions providedby the Act itself.1
Mr. Pereira for the appellants suggests that if we do not incorporateinto our law the provisions of section 6 of 3 and 4 Will. IV., c. 27,hardships will arise, because an administrator might be appointedmany years after the death of the intestate and he will still be ableto maintain an action under the provisions of our Prescription Ordi-nance. I do not think we should be justified in incorporating anyprovisions into our law which are not contained in it to prevent hard-ships arising. If the Legislature considers it advisable to add thesame provisions as are contained in 3 and 4 Will. IV., c. 27, to ourlaw of prescription it is for the members of the Legislative Councilto pass an amending Ordinance to Ordinance No. 22 of 1871, but, aslong as our law of Limitations is silent, this Court cannot add provi-sions not enacted by the Ordinance itself.
This was the only point urged before us in this appeal, in view ofthe fact that the District Judge’s finding was one on facts, and itbeing well recognized that in regard to questions of fact this Courtdoes not interfere unless the finding of the Judge is obviously andclearly wrong. There is no reason for this Court to think that theDistrict Judge has come to a wrong-decision in this case.
The appeal consequently must be dismissed with costs.
Grenier A.P.J.—I agree.
KULENDOEVELOE v. KANDEPERUMAL