A. SREENIVASA PAI AND ANR. vs SARASWATHI AMMAL ALLAS G. KAMALA BAI. Supreme Court, 12-07-1985

CourtSupreme Court (India)
JudgeVENKATARAMIAH,E.S. (J)
Parties A. SREENIVASA PAI AND ANR.SARASWATHI AMMAL ALLAS G. KAMALA BAI
Docket NumberAppeal Civil 410 of 1971
http://JUDIS.NIC.IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA Page 1 of 7
PETITIONER:
A. SREENIVASA PAI AND ANR.
Vs.
RESPONDENT:
SARASWATHI AMMAL ALLAS G. KAMALA BAI
DATE OF JUDGMENT12/07/1985
BENCH:
VENKATARAMIAH, E.S. (J)
BENCH:
VENKATARAMIAH, E.S. (J)
KHALID, V. (J)
CITATION:
1985 AIR 1359 1985 SCR Supl. (2) 122
1985 SCC (4) 85 1985 SCALE (2)78
ACT:
Interpretation:
Construction of documents - Intention of parties in
construing a "Will" - Intention, how to be ascertained.
HEADNOTE:
The appellant No. 1, A Sreenivasa Pai, executed a
Settlement Deed in Malayalam language on 12th December, 1932
transferring two plots of land with some buildings and out
houses at Quilon in favour of his mother-in-law Padmavathi
Ammal. The 1st appellant’s father-in-law died in the year
1932. His brother-in-law, V. Sreenivasa Pai died in the year
1935. After the death of mother-in-law in 1951, her
daughter-in-law/respondent (wife of V. Sreenivasa Pai) filed
a suit for possession of the aforesaid properties on the
ground that under the Settlement Deed, her mother-in-law,
Padmavathi Ammal had been conferred only a life estate and
the properties had been given absolutely to V. Sreenivasa
Pai to enjoy them after the life time of Padmavathi Ammal.
It was further pleaded that on the death of Padmavathi Ammal
who was only a life estate holder, the properties devolved
on the respondent who was the sole heir of V. Sreenivasa
Pai. On the other hand, the appellant pleaded that
Padmavathi Ammal had been conferred absolute title in
respect of the aforesaid properties and on her death the
said properties being Streedhana properties of Padmavathi
Ammal had devolved on her daughter Lakshmi Ammal, the wife
of the 1st appellant i.e. appellant No.2.
The trial court dismissed the suit. But, on appeal the
High Court reversed the judgment of the trial court holding
that the respondent was entitled to the properties on the
ground that under the Settlement Deed Padmavathi Ammal had
been conferred a life estate only in the properties settled
under the document in question and that V. Sreenivasa Pai,
the husband of the respondent - Saraswathi Ammal alias
G.Kamala Bai had been conferred an absolute estate in those
properties to be enjoyed by him after the death of
Padmavathi Ammal.
123
Dismissing the appeal,
^
HELD: 1. In construing a document, whether in English

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