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Re Estate of JAYAWAEDENA.D. C., Matara, 1,187.
Civil Procedure Code, ss. 538 and .718—Executor's valuation of propertyinventorized—Power of Court to order valuation by a third party—Expenses of such valuation■—Remedy for undervaluation.
Section 718 of the Civil Procedure Code does not empower a DistrictJudge to direct an executor, who has filed an inventory with a valua-tion of his testator’s property, to get a third person to ptake an inventoryand valuation ; nor to require him to deposit in Court a sum of money topay such officer’s fees.
If the Court suspects undervaluation by the executor, the StampOrdinance (No. 3 of 1890, sections 26, 29) provides a remedy.
HE facts pertinent to this appeal from an ex paHe order appearin the following judgment of the Chief Justice.
Wendt, for the executrix, appellant.
23rd February, 1899. Bonser, C.J.—
This is an appeal by an executrix who has proved her hus-band’s will, and has, as required by section 538 of the CivilProcedure Code, filed an inventory of her testator’s property,with a valuation of the same, verified by herself by affirmation.The District Judge was apparently not satisfied that her valuationwas correct. He suspected that the estate was undervalued. Nogrounds for that suspicion are recorded by him. He merelyremarks that the inventory is insufficient, but he does not say inwhat respects it is insufficient, and he requires a further valuationto be made by a Mr. Erskine. He proposes to make that orderunder section 718 of the Civil Procedure Code, which providesthat where an inventory has not been filed, or where the inventoryfiled is insufficient, the Court may, of its own motion, make anorder for the filing of an inventory or a further inventory, as thecase may be. That section does not empower the District Judgeto make an order directing the executrix to get a third person tomake an inventory or valuation of property. The form of veri-fication of inventory and valuation as given in the Code runsthus:—*' I have made a careful estimate and valuation of the said“ property, the particulars of which are set forth and contained" in the said inventory, and to the best of my judgment and belief“ the several sums respectively set opposite to the several items“ in the said inventory fully and fairly represent the present“ values of the items to which they are so respectively set opposite.”That shows quite clearly that the inventory is to be made by theexecutrix and not by a third person.
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February 23.Bonbbb C.J. I should have mentioned that, on the 19th January, the Courtmade an order requiring the executrix to deposit a sum of Rs. 100in Court for Mr. Erskine’s expenses. The Court had no power tomake such order.
If the property was undervalued by the executrix, the StampOrdinance makes provision for that case.
I agree. I do not say that if a Court, for reasons given, distruststhe correctness of the inventory and the valuation required bysection 538, it ought not to reject the inventory and call on theexecutor or administrator to file an amended inventory andvaluation.
A Court, of course, is not obliged to accept an inventory, eventhough verified, which ex facie is incorrect and insufficient, orwhich the Court has reason to believe is untrue.
Withers, J., agreed.
Re Estate of JAYAWABDENA