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UKKU v. KALCJ.
D. G., Kandy, 13,889.
Intestate succession—Plaintiff’s title—Necessity for administration—Duty ofplaintiff to shout that estate was less thaif. Rs. 1,000 in value.
It is incumbent on a plaintiff claiming title by intestate succession toshow affirmatively that the intestate estate was less than Bs. 1,000 invalue. If over that value, probate or administration must be taken.
It is not sufficient that both parties ignore the necessity for adminis-tration, or even agree that it is not necessary.
The Court must be satisfied that in every intestate succession probateor administration has been taken; if not taken, that it was dispensedwith owing to the smallness of the estate.
N this case the plaintiff alleged that her son Wattuwa was byinheritance from his father Sirimala entitled to an undivided
half of certain lands which were the acquired property ofSirimala; that Wattuwa died in January, 1896, leaving himsurviving his mother, the plaintiff, who succeeded to his shares ofthe said lands; and that defendant had taken forcible possessionof all the said lands, though he was bound by- the decree of theDistrict Court of Kandy, pronounced in the case No. 9,519, whichwas a suit instituted by the next friend of Wattuwa against thedefendant and the administrator of Sirimala.
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1903. The District Judge (Mr. J. H. de Saram) found that Wattuwa’sJanuary 12. eight to an undivided hall share in the land was established insuit No. 9,519 as against the present defendant and the adminis-trator of Sirimala, and that therefore the decree was res judicata.
As regards the contention for the defendant, that Wattuwashould have obtained a transfer from the administrator ofSirimala of his estate for his share, and that in the absence of sucha transfer he could not inherit any share, the District Judge heldas follows: —
“ By our law inheritance devolves instantly upon death, andthe successor takes the estate subject to administration, if any.Tikiri Banda v. Ratwatte (3 0. L. R. 70). I take this tomean if administration be taken and a sale to pay debts becomesnecessary. That is not the case here. Having already held thatthe decree in action 9,519 is res judicata, I must hold that theplaintiff succeeds to her son’s share, and I give her judgment asprayed for. ”
The defendant appealed.
Bawa, for appellant.—Sirimala’s estate, being of higher valuethan Bs. 1,000, was administered. The estate vested in theadministrator; and Wattuwa, if an heir, ought to have obtained aconveyance from the administrator. Moysa Fernando v. AliceFernando, (4 N. L. R. 201). Wattuwa was an illegitimate child ofSirimala. He could succeed only to the purchased property of hisfather, not to all his acquired property. Armour, 34; Sawers, S;Niti-nighanduwa, 71. But the plaintiff’s claim to a moiety ofWattuwa’s property cannot be maintained, because his estate hasnot been administered. Her title having been put in issue, itwas incumbent on her to prove affirmatively either that she hadobtained letters of administration or that the estate was so smallas to dispense with the necessity for administration.
Van Langenberg, for respondent.—There was no issue framedas regards the value of the estate. It is not fair to bring it withinthe general issue as to title.
January 12, 1903. Wendt, J.—
The only objection seriously pressed by the appellant is thedefect in plaintiff’s title owing to the want of administration to hisson’s estate. She claims by intestate succession from him, and it isincumbent on a plaintiff in that position to show affirmatively thatthe intestate estate was less than Bs. 1,000 in value. It is notsufficient that both parties ignore the necessity for administration,or even agree that administration was not necessary. They might
well do that in order to save themselves expense, even in theease of a very large estate.
Where the Court has to be satisfied that the plaintiff has title, itmust be satisfied that in every intestate succession upon whichthe plaintiff’s title depends, "probate or administration has beentaken; if not taken, that it was dispensed with by reason ofthe smallness of the estate.
The case will go back to the District Judge to find on thesepoints. If he finds that administration is not required, the appealwill stand dismissed. If he finds the contrary, the action will standdismissed, with liberty to the plaintiff to perfect his title and sueagain if necessary. The costs of the appeal will abide the resultof the District Judge’s final inquiry.
January 12.Wendt, J.
Layard, C.J.—I agree.
UKKU v. KALU