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Present: The Hon. Sir Joseph T. Hutchinson, Chief Justice,and Mr. Justice Grenier.
SILVA v. SILVA.
. D. C., Grille, 7,997.
Donation . U> minor—Acceptance by unde—Invalidity—'Naturalguardian—
Acceptance at some future time by minor after attaining majority.
In the case of a donation to a minor the. law requires a presentacceptance by the natural or legal guardian of the minor, and notan acceptance at some future indefinite time by the minor himself,after he has attained majority..
Where a deed of gift executed in favour of a minor by his fatherwas accepted by the uncle of the minor on behalf of the minor—Held, that such acceptance was invalid, the uncle not being thenatural guardian of the minor.
PPEAL from a judgment of the District Judge of Galle.
The facts sufficiently appear in the judgment of Grenier A. J.
Bawa, for the defendant, appellant.
A. St. V. Jayewardene (with him H. Jayewardene), for the plain-tiff, respondent.
Cur. adv. vuIt.
May 29, 1908. Grenier A.J.—
The simple question in this case is whether the deed of gift No. 595dated May 1, 1893, which was executed in favour of the plaintiff byhis father, was duly accepted or not. The District Judge held in theaffirmative, and the defendant has appealed.
The plaintiff was a minor at the date of the gift, and it was con-tended for the respondent that there was acceptance of the samefor him by his uncle Paulis Silva. Admittedly Paulis Silva wasnot the legal guardian of the minor appointed either by will or bythe Court, and he cannot be regarded as his natural guardian forobvious reasons. According to the Boman Dutch Law, the motherand father stood in the relationship of natural guardians, as also thegrandfather and grandmother. I do not know of any case, nor hasany been cited to us, in which an uncle was regarded in the light of alegal or conventional guardian. See Avichchi Ghetty v. FonsekaJ andCornels v. Dharmawardana,2 and the cases therein cited. I adhereto my decision in the first case, Mr. Justice Wendt having been ofthe same opinion. Mr. Justice Middleton’s views were precisely thesame in the second case.
3 App. Court Reports 5.* 8 App. Court Reports Supplement 13.
eJ. N. A9*909 (8/50)
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if ay 20.
It was argued for the respondent that it was open to the donee toaccept the gift at any time before the death of the donor. Theanswer to this is that the law requires a present acceptance by thenatural or legal guardian to give validity to a donation in the caseof a minor, not an acceptance at some future indefinite time, by theminor himself, after he had attained majority. In the case beforeus the property which was the subject of the donation never cameinto the possession either of the donee or of his self-constitutedguardian, but always remained with the donor. The District Judgehas expressly found this to be so. He was in error, however, inholding that there was due acceptance. There could not be in lawany acceptance, as I have already pointed out, by an uncle asnatural guardian of his minor nephew.
I would set aside the judgment of the Court below, and dismiss,the action with costs.
Hutchinson C.J.—I am of the same opinion.
SILVA V. SILVA