the case of Mrs. Pritam (Plaintiff No.2) falls under Section 14 (2) of the Act insofar as it relates to the suit house.=“life interest” means an interest which determines on the termination of life. It is incapable of being transferred by such person to others being personal in nature. Such person, therefore, could enjoy the “life interest” only during his/her lifetime which is extinguished on his/her death. Such is the case here. Her “life interest” in the suit house was extinguished on her death on 12.09.2016.- The facts of the case of Sadhu Singh were that the husband executed a Will in favour of his wife of his self-acquired property in 1968. Though he gave to wife absolute rights in the properties bequeathed but some restrictions were put on her right to sell/mortgage the properties and further it was mentioned in the Will that the said properties after wife’s death would go to testator’s nephew. Due to these restrictions put by the testator on his wife’s right to sell/mortgage, it was held that the wife received only the “life interest” in the properties by Will and such “life interest”, being a “restricted estate” within the meaning of Section 14(2) of the Act, did not enlarge and nor ripen into the absolute interest under Section 14(1) but remained a “life interest” i.e. “restricted estate” under Section 14(2) of the Act. It was held that such disposition made by the husband in favour of his wife was permissible in law in the light of Section 14(2) read with Section 30 of the Act. In our view, the facts of the case on hand are similar to the facts of Sadhu Singh’s case(supra) and, therefore, this case is fully covered by the law laid down in Sadhu Singh’s case.

 

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL No. 21784 OF 2017
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) No.32044/2016)
Mr. Ranvir Dewan …Appellant(s)

VERSUS
Mrs. Rashmi Khanna & Anr. ….Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal is filed by plaintiff No.1 against the
final judgment and order dated 13.07.2016 passed
by the Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at
New Delhi in R.F.A.(OS) No.147 of 2013 whereby the
High Court dismissed the appeal filed by Plaintiff
1
No.2 (since dead) and the appellant (plaintiff No.1)
herein and confirmed the judgment and order
dated 11.10.2013 of the Single Judge of the High
Court in C.S.(O.S.) No.1502 of 2010.
3. In order to appreciate the controversy involved
in the appeal, it is necessary to set out the facts of
the case.
4. The appellant is plaintiff No.1 whereas the
respondents are the defendants in a suit out of
which this appeal arises. The appellant is the
brother whereas respondent No.1 is the appellant’s
sister.
5. The dispute in this appeal is essentially
between the mother, brother(son) and the
sister(daughter). It relates to a residential house
consists of basement and two floors situated at D246,
Defense Colony, New Delhi (hereinafter referred
to as the “suit house”).
2
6. Mr. B.R. Dewan was the sole owner of the suit
house. He had two wives-Mrs. Kamla Devi and
second – Mrs. Pritam. Out of wedlock with first wife
– Mrs. Kamla Devi, a son – Ashok was born whereas
out of wedlock with second wife -Mrs. Pritam, a sonRanvir-appellant
and a daughter-Rashmirespondent
No.1 were born. Mr. Dewan owned
moveable and immovable properties,
7. On 24.06.1984, Mr. Dewan executed a Will of
his properties (movables and immoveable). So far
as the suit house with which we are concerned in
this appeal, Mr. Dewan gave its ground floor to his
son-Ranvir Dewan exclusively whereas the first
floor, he gave exclusively to his daughter-Rashmi
Khanna.
8. So far as wife-Pritam was concerned, he gave
to her a “life interest” to reside in the suit house till
her death and also to recover the rent and utilize
the income earned by way of rent to maintain
3
herself and the suit house. He also gave her a right
to evict the tenants and induct the new ones.
9. The Will, in clear terms, recited that the wife –
Mrs. Pritam is given “life interest” in the suit house
and she will act as a trustee of its legal owners (son
and daughter) and utilize the income earned out of
it and on her death, by his son and daughter to
whom the suit house was given exclusively.
10. The Will also recited that Ranvir and Rashmi
would be free to get themselves assessed as owners
of their respective shares in the suit house in their
wealth tax assessment cases on the death of Mr.
Dewan.
11. Mr. Dewan then gave his share in HUF
property – B.R. Dewan & sons which consists of a
plot at Ghaziabad, bank balances, shares,
debentures, fixed deposits and all household
articles exclusively to his wife –Mrs. Pritam. He also
made provision for his first wife-Kamla Devi for her
4
maintenance to pay Rs.500/- per month to her
during her life time.
12. In this manner, Mr. Dewan made disposition of
his entire moveable and immoveable property in the
Will. In the last, he expressed that he has executed
the Will with a hope that there would be no dispute
and litigation amongst his family members qua the
properties on his death.
13. On 16.09.1984, Mr. Dewan expired. Mrs.
Pritam – second wife of late Mr. Dewan then applied
for grant of probate of the Will dated 26.04.1984.
The Competent Court granted the probate on
12.10.1987. It was followed by the consequential
order dated 05.01.1989 to enable the parties to give
effect to the Will. The son and daughter accordingly
got their names mutated in the municipal records
as owners of their respective shares in the suit
house.
5
14. Contrary to the testator’s hope, soon after his
demise, the disputes started between the mother
and son on one side and the daughter on the other
side. Initially, parties sat together and decided to
develop the suit house by making some
additions/alterations and accordingly entered in
family settlement followed by an agreement with the
developers/builders to develop the suit house.
15. However, the disputes could not be settled
amicably and instead got precipitated. The disputes
were essentially centered around to their inter se
ownership rights over the suit house including its
nature, their shares, income earned from the suit
house and the newly constructed 3rd floor and who
should receive it and lastly, ownership rights over
the 3rd floor.
16. Mrs. Pritam-mother and Ranvir-son then
jointly filed a suit being O.S. No.1502/2010 against
the daughter/sister – Rashmi and the developer on
6
the original side of the High Court at New Delhi out
of which this appeal arises and claimed following
reliefs:
“(i) That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to
pass a decree of permanent injunction
restraining the Defendants, their
agents, successors and any third party
claiming through them from creating
any/any further third party rights in
respect of the 2nd and 3rd floors of the
property bearing No.D-246, Defence
Colony, New Delhi.
(ii) That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to
pass a decree of declaration that the
alleged tenancy agreement dated 7th
July, 2010 executed by Defendant
No.01 in favour of Defendant No.02 are
illegal, null and void and of no effect.
(iii) That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to
pass a decree of declaration that the
Plaintiff No.02 is entitled to the rental,
the security deposit all other incomes
accruing from the 2nd floor of the
property bearing No.D-246 Defence
Colony, New Delhi.
(iv) That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to
pass a decree of declaration that the
Plaintiff No.02 is entitled to the rental,
the security deposit and all other
income accruing from the 3rd floor of
the property bearing No.D-246, Defence
Colony, New Delhi.
(v) That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to
pass a decree of declaration that the
Plaintiff No.01 is entitled to absolute
7
rights over the 3rd floor and roof rights
of the 3rd floor apart from the Basement
and Ground Floor of the property
bearing No.D-246, Defence Colony, New
Delhi.”
17. Though the plaint runs into several pages and
seeks to claim five reliefs but, in substance, the
controversy centered around to relief No.(v) only.
18. According to the plaintiff, Mrs. Pritam (wife)
was entitled to seek a declaration that she is the
absolute owner of the suit house including its 3rd
floor. It was alleged that her “life interest” was
enlarged and ripened into an absolute interest by
virtue of Section 14 (1) of the Hindu Succession Act
(hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) on the death of
her husband. Though the plaint contains several
other averments but they need not be stated herein
being unnecessary to examine the issue relating to
grant of relief No. (v).
19. Respondent No.1 (defendant No.1) filed the
written statement. While denying the plaintiffs’
8
claim, it was contended that plaintiff No.2-Mrs.
Pritam did not acquire absolute interest in the suit
house and nor her “life interest” was enlarged and
ripened into an absolute interest by virtue of
Section 14 (1) of the Act. It was contended that
plaintiff No.2 received only “life interest” to live in
the suit house during her lifetime in terms of the
Will and, therefore, such right squarely falls under
Section 14(2) of the Act. It was contended that so
far as respondent No.1 is concerned, she acquired
an absolute ownership right in the first floor of the
suit house on the strength of clear recitals in the
Will.
20. The Single Judge framed the issues. Parties
adduced their evidence. By judgment/decree dated
11.10.2013, the suit was dismissed. It was held
that Mrs. Pritam received only “life interest” in the
suit house. In other words, it was held that the
plaintiffs’ case falls under Section 14 (2) of the Act.
9
21. Felt aggrieved, plaintiffs filed first appeal
bearing R.F.A. (OS) No.147 of 2013 before the
Division Bench of the High Court. By impugned
judgment dated 13.07.2016, the Division Bench
dismissed the appeal and upheld the
judgment/decree of the Single Judge giving rise to
filing the present appeal by way of special leave by
plaintiff No.1 in this Court.
22. Heard Mr. Guru Krishan Kumar, learned
senior counsel for the appellant and Mr. K.
Ramamoorthy, learned counsel for respondent No.1
and Mr. S.S. Jauhar, learned counsel for
respondent No.2.
23. Mr. Guru Krishan Kumar, learned senior
counsel for the appellant while assailing the legality
and correctness of the impugned judgment
reiterated the same submissions, which were urged
unsuccessfully before the Courts below.
10
24. His main submission was that the appellant’s
case squarely falls under Section 14(1) of the Act,
which confers on Mrs. Pritam the absolute right of
ownership over the suit house.
25. Elaborating the submission, learned counsel
urged that since the wife is entitled in law to claim
maintenance from her husband even prior to and
also after coming into force of the Act, it is in
recognition of this pre-recognized right when the
husband gave a “life interest” through Will, the
same got enlarged and ripened into an absolute
right by virtue of Section 14 (1) of the Act. It is
essentially this submission, which was elaborated
by the learned counsel with reference to decided
cases.
26. In reply, Mr. K. Ramamoorthy, learned senior
counsel for respondent No.1 while supporting the
reasoning and the conclusion arrived at by the two
Courts below contended that the same is in
11
accordance with the law and does not call for any
interference.
27. According to learned counsel, as rightly held
by the two Courts below, the appellant’s case
squarely falls under Section 14 (2) of the Act.
28. Having heard the learned counsel for the
parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we
find no merit in the appeal. In our view, the
reasoning and the conclusion arrived at by the two
Courts is just and proper and being in accordance
with law does not call for any interference.
29. Before we proceed to decide the appeal on
merits, we may take a note of one subsequent event,
which occurred during the pendency of this
litigation. It is the death of wife-Mrs. Pritam
(plaintiff No.2) on 12.09.2016. She left behind her
two legal representatives, namely, appellant, i.e.,
son and respondent No.1, i.e., daughter. Both being
Class I heirs would succeed to their mother’s estate
12
in equal share, if she has died intestate. However, if
she has made any testamentary disposition of her
estate in favour of any person then subject to
proving the claim in accordance with law by the
person(s) concerned, the disposition of her estate
would take place accordingly.
30. We, however, express no opinion on any of
these issues because, in our view, it is not the
subject matter of this appeal and leave the parties
to work out their inter se rights, if any, in
accordance with law in the estate of Mrs. Pritam in
appropriate forum as and when occasion so arises.
31. The main question, which arises for
consideration in this appeal, is whether two Courts
below were justified in holding that the case of
appellant, i.e. Mrs. Pritam falls under Section 14 (2)
of the Act thereby she continued to enjoy only the
“life interest” in the suit house.
13
32. In other words, the question arises for
consideration in this appeal is, what is the true
nature of the right received by Mrs. Pritam in the
suit house through Will dated 24.08.1986 from her
husband, viz., “absolute” by virtue of Section 14 (1)
of the Act or “life interest” by virtue of Section 14 (2)
of the Act.
33. In order to decide the question as to whether
the appellant’s case falls under Section 14 (1) or (2)
of the Act, it is necessary to first examine as to what
is the true nature of the estate held by the testator.
Second, what the testator had intended and actually
bequeathed to his wife by his Will; and lastly, the
right in the property received by Mrs. Pritam, viz.,
absolute interest by virtue of sub-section (1) or “life
interest” by virtue of sub-section (2) of Section 14 of
the Act.
34. Coming now to the facts of the case, it is not in
dispute that the suit house was the self-acquired
14
property of late Mr. Dewan. It is also not in dispute
as one can take it from reading the contents of Will
that Mr. Dewan had intended to give only “life
interest” to his wife in the suit house, which he gave
to her for the first time by way of disposition of his
estate independent of her any right. It is also not in
dispute that it was confined to a right of residence
to live in the suit house during her lifetime and to
use the income earned from the suit house to
maintain herself and the suit house. It is also not
in dispute that the testator gave to his son ground
floor of the suit house and first floor to his daughter
with absolute right of ownership. The testator also
permitted both of them to get their names mutated
in the municipal records as absolute owners and
also get them assessed as owners in the wealth tax
assessment cases.
35. So far as other properties, viz., one plot at
Ghaziabad, share in HUF and moveable properties
15
were concerned, Mr. Dewan gave these properties to
Mrs. Pritam-his wife absolutely.
36. It is a settled principle of law that what the
testator intended to bequeath to any person(s) in his
Will has to be gathered primarily by reading the
recitals of the Will only.
37. As mentioned above, reading of the Will would
go to show that it does not leave any kind of
ambiguity therein and one can easily find out as to
how and in what manner and with what rights, the
testator wished to give to three of his legal
representatives his self acquired properties and how
he wanted to make its disposition.
38. Law relating to interpretation of Section 14 (1)
and (2) of the Act is fairly well settled by series of
decisions of this Court. However, the discussion on
the interpretation of Section 14 (1) and (2) of the Act
can never be complete without mentioning the first
leading decision of this Court in V. Tulasamma &
16
Ors. vs. Sesha Reddy(Dead) by L.Rs. (1977) 3 SCC
99. In this decision, Their Lordships (Three Judge
Bench) interpreted succinctly sub-sections (1) and
(2) of Section 14 of the Act and then on facts
involved in that case held that the case falls under
Section 14(1) of the Act. This decision is referred by
this Court in every subsequent case dealing with
the issue relating to Section 14 of the Act and then
after explaining its ratio has applied the same to the
facts of each case to find out as to whether the case
on hand attracts Section 14(1) or 14(2) of the Act.
Indeed, we find that attempts were made in past for
reconsideration of the law laid down in V.
Tulasamma (supra), but this Court consistently
turned down the request. (see-Gullapalli Krishna
Das vs. Vishnumolakayya Venkayya & Anr. (1978)
1 SCC 67, Bai Vajia (Dead) by L.Rs. vs.
Thakorbhai Chelabhai & Ors., (1979) 3 SCC 300
and Thota Sesharathamma & Anr. vs. Thota
17
Manikyamma (Dead) by L.Rs. & Ors., (1991) 4
SCC 312 ).
39. In the case of V. Tulasamma(supra), the
learned Judge, Justice S. Murtaza Fazal Ali,
speaking for the Bench, succinctly and in a lucid
manner while analyzing the true scope of Section
14(1) and (2) of the Act held as under :
“Section 14(1) and the Explanation thereto of
the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 provide that
any property possessed by a female Hindu,
whether acquired before or after the
commencement of the 1956 Act, shall be
held by her as full owner thereof and not as a
limited owner; and that ‘property’ includes
both movable and immovable property
acquired by her by inheritance or devise, or
at a partition, or in lieu of maintenance or
arrears of maintenance, or by gift from any
person, whether from a relative or not,
before, at or after her marriage, or by her own
skill or exertion, or by purchase or by
prescription, or in any other manner
whatsoever, and also any such property held
by her as stridhana immediately before the
commencement of the 1956 Act. The
language is in the widest possible terms and
must be liberally construed in favour of the
females so as to advance the object of the Act
and promote the socio-economic ends,
namely, to enlarge her limited interest to
absolute ownership in consonance with the
changing temper of the times sought to be
achieved by such a long legislation.
18
Section 14(2) provides that nothing
contained in Section 14(1) shall apply to any
property acquired by way of gift or under a
will or any other instrument or under a
decree or order of a civil court or under an
award where the terms of the gift, will or
other instrument or decree, order or award
prescribes a restricted estate in such
property. It is in the nature of a proviso and
has a field of its own without interfering with
the operation of Section 14(1) materially.
The proviso should not be construed in a
manner so as to destroy the effect of the
main provision or the protection granted by
Section 14(1) or in a way so as to become
totally inconsistent with the main provision.
Section 14(2) applies only to
instruments, decrees, awards, gifts, etc.
which create independent and new titles in
favour of the females for the first time and
has no application where the instrument
concerned merely seeks to confirm, endorse
declare or recognize pre-existing rights. In
such cases, a restricted estate in favour of a
female is legally permissible and section
14(1) will not operate in that sphere. Where,
however, an instrument merely declares or
recognizes a pre-existing right such as a
claim to maintenance or partition or share to
which the female is entitled, Section 14(2)
has absolutely no application and the
female’s limited interest would automatically
be enlarged into an absolute one by force of
Section 14(1) and the restrictions placed, if
any, under the document would have to be
ignored. Thus, where a property is allotted or
transferred to a female in lieu of
maintenance or a share at a partition, the
instrument is taken out of the ambit of
sub-section (2) and would be governed by
Section 14(1) despite any restrictions placed
on the powers of the transferee.
19
The use of terms like ‘property acquired
by a female Hindu at a partition’, ‘or in lieu
of maintenance’, or ‘arrears of maintenance’
etc. in the Explanation to Section 14(1)
clearly makes sub-section (2) inapplicable to
these categories which have been expressly
excepted from the operation of sub-section
(2).
The words ‘restricted estate’ in Section
14(2) are wider than limited interest as
indicated in Section 14(1) and they include
not only limited interest but also any other
kind of limitation that may be placed on the
transferee.”
.
40. Similarly, while explaining the ratio of V.
Tulasamma (supra) and how one has to read the
ratio for being applied to the facts of a particular
case, this Court in the case of Sadhu Singh vs.
Gurudwara Sahib Narike & Ors., (2006) 8 SCC 75
again succinctly discussed the applicability of
Section 14 (1) and (2) of the Act and on facts
involved therein held that the facts involved would
attract Section 14(2) of the Act. Justice
Balasubramanyan speaking for two Judge Bench
held in paras 13 and 14 and 15 as under:
20
“13. An owner of property has normally the
right to deal with that property including the
right to devise or bequeath the property. He
could thus dispose it of by a testament.
Section 30 of the Act, not only does not
curtail or affect this right, it actually
reaffirms that right. Thus, a Hindu male
could testamentarily dispose of his property.
When he does that, a succession under the
Act stands excluded and the property passes
to the testamentary heirs. Hence, when a
male Hindu executes a will bequeathing the
properties, the legatees take it subject to the
terms of the will unless of course, any
stipulation therein is found invalid.
Therefore, there is nothing in the Act which
affects the right of a male Hindu to dispose of
his property by providing only a life estate or
limited estate for his widow. The Act does
not stand in the way of his separate
properties being dealt with by him as he
deems fit. His will hence could not be
challenged as being hit by the Act.
14. When he thus validly disposes of his
property by providing for a limited estate to
his heir, the wife, the wife or widow has to
take it as the estate falls. This restriction on
her right so provided, is really respected by
the Act. It provides in Section 14(2) of the
Act, that in such a case, the widow is bound
by the limitation on her right and she cannot
claim any higher right by invoking Section
14(1) of the Act. In other words, conferment
of a limited estate which is otherwise valid in
law is reinforced by this Act by the
introduction of Section 14(2) of the Act and
excluding the operation of Section 14(1) of
the Act, even if that provision is held to be
attracted in the case of a succession under
the Act. Invocation of Section 14(1) of the
Act in the case of a testamentary disposition
21
taking effect after the Act, would make
Sections 30 and 14(2) redundant or otiose. It
will also make redundant, the expression
“property possessed by a female Hindu”
occurring in Section 14(1) of the Act. An
interpretation that leads to such a result
cannot certainly be accepted. Surely, there is
nothing in the Act compelling such an
interpretation. Sections 14 and 30 both have
play. Section 14(1) applies in a case where
the female had received the property prior to
the Act being entitled to it as a matter of
right, even if the right be to a limited estate
under the Mitakshara law or the right to
maintenance.
15. Dealing with the legal position
established by the decisions in Tulasamma1
and Bai Vajia v. Thakorbhai Chelabhai13
the position regarding the application of
Section 14(2) of the Act is summed up in
Mayne on Hindu Law thus:
“Sub-section (2) of Section 14
applies to instruments, decrees,
awards, gifts, etc., which create
independent and new title in
favour of females for the first
time and has no application where
the instruments concerned
merely seek to confirm, endorse,
declare or recognise pre-existing
rights. The creation of a
restricted estate in favour of a
female is legally permissible and
Section 14(1) will not operate in
such a case. Where property is
allotted or transferred to a female
in lieu of maintenance or a share
at partition the instrument is
taken out of the ambit of
sub-section (2) and would be
22
governed by Section 14(1) despite
any restrictions placed on the
powers of the transferee.”(See p.
1172 of the 15th Edn.)”
41. Reading of the aforementioned principle of law
laid down in the cases of V. Tulasamma and Sadhu
Singh (supra), it is clear that the ambit of Section
14(2) of the Act must be confined to cases where
property is acquired by a female Hindu for the first
time as a grant without any pre-existing right,
under a gift, will, instrument, decree, order or
award, the terms of which prescribe a “restricted
estate” in the property. Where, however, property is
acquired by a Hindu female at a partition or in lieu
of right of maintenance, it is in virtue of a
pre-existing right and such an acquisition would not
be within the scope and ambit of Section 14(2) of
the Act, even if the instrument, decree, order or
award allotting the property prescribes a “restricted
estate” in the property.
23
42. Applying the principle laid down in the
aforementioned two cases to the facts of the case on
hand, we are of the considered opinion that the case
of plaintiff No.2-Mrs. Pritam does not fall under
Section 14 (1) of the Act but it squarely falls under
Section 14 (2) of the Act. In other words, in our
view, in the facts of this case, the law laid down in
Sadhu Singh’s case(supra) would apply.
43. A fortorari, plaintiff No.2-late Mrs.Pritam
received only “life interest” in the suit house by the
Will dated 24.06.1986 from her late husband and
such “life interest” was neither enlarged nor ripened
into an absolute interest in the suit house and
remained “life interest”, i.e., “restricted estate” till
her death under Section 14(2) of the Act. This we
say for following factual reasons arising in the case.
44. First, the testator-Mr.Dewan being the
exclusive owner of the suit house was free to
24
dispose of his property the way he liked because it
was his self earned property.
45. Second, the testator gave the suit house in
absolute ownership to his son and the daughter and
conferred on them absolute ownership. At the same
time, he gave only “life interest” to his wife, i.e., a
right to live in the suit house which belonged to son
and daughter. Such disposition, the testator could
make by virtue of Section 14 (2) read with Section
30 of the Act.
46. Third, such “life interest” was in the nature of
“restricted estate” under Section 14(2) of the Act
which remained a “restricted estate” till her death
and did not ripen into an “absolute interest” under
Section 14(1) of the Act. In other words, once the
case falls under Section 14(2) of the Act, it comes
out of Section 14(1). It is permissible in law
because Section 14(2) is held as proviso to Section
14(1) of the Act.
25
47. Fourth, the effect of the Will once became
operational after the death of testator, the son and
the daughter acquired absolute ownership in the
suit house to the exclusion of everyone whereas the
wife became entitled to live in the suit house as of
right. In other words, the wife became entitled in
law to enforce her right to live in the suit house qua
her son/daughter so long as she was alive. If for
any reason, she was deprived of this right, she was
entitled to enforce such right qua son/daughter but
not beyond it. However, such was not the case
here.
48. Fifth, the testator had also given his other
properties absolutely to his wife which enabled her
to maintain herself. Moreover, a right to claim
maintenance, if any, had to be enforced by the wife.
She, however, never did it and rightly so because
both were living happily. There was, therefore, no
26
occasion for her to demand any kind of
maintenance from her husband.
49. Sixth, it is a settled principle of law that the
“life interest” means an interest which determines
on the termination of life. It is incapable of being
transferred by such person to others being personal
in nature. Such person, therefore, could enjoy the
“life interest” only during his/her lifetime which is
extinguished on his/her death. Such is the case
here. Her “life interest” in the suit house was
extinguished on her death on 12.09.2016.
50. Seventh, as mentioned above, the facts of the
case on hand and the one involved in the case of
Sadhu Singh (supra) are found to be somewhat
similar. The facts of the case of Sadhu Singh were
that the husband executed a Will in favour of his
wife of his self-acquired property in 1968. Though
he gave to wife absolute rights in the properties
bequeathed but some restrictions were put on her
27
right to sell/mortgage the properties and further it
was mentioned in the Will that the said properties
after wife’s death would go to testator’s nephew.
Due to these restrictions put by the testator on his
wife’s right to sell/mortgage, it was held that the
wife received only the “life interest” in the properties
by Will and such “life interest”, being a “restricted
estate” within the meaning of Section 14(2) of the
Act, did not enlarge and nor ripen into the absolute
interest under Section 14(1) but remained a “life
interest” i.e. “restricted estate” under Section 14(2)
of the Act. It was held that such disposition made
by the husband in favour of his wife was
permissible in law in the light of Section 14(2) read
with Section 30 of the Act. In our view, the facts of
the case on hand are similar to the facts of Sadhu
Singh’s case(supra) and, therefore, this case is fully
covered by the law laid down in Sadhu Singh’s
case.
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51. In view of foregoing discussion, we are of the
considered opinion that there is no error in the
impugned judgment, which has rightly held that the
case of Mrs. Pritam (Plaintiff No.2) falls under
Section 14 (2) of the Act insofar as it relates to the
suit house.
52. We, therefore, find no merit in the appeal,
which thus fails and is accordingly dismissed.

…………………………………….J.
[R.K. AGRAWAL]

…………………………………….J.
[ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]
New Delhi;
December 12, 2017
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