SC: Desire of testator can’t be read as strict bar on vested absolute rights

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 5th March 2020, in the matter of M.S. Bhavani and Anr. v. M.S. Raghu Nandan observed that a mere “desire” for the sale of the property and for the children to get a share in the proceeds therefrom cannot be read as a strict bar on the absolute right vested with the beneficiary to deal with the property as the beneficiary thought fit.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Intention of the testator has to be gathered primarily from the language of the will, reading the entire document as a whole, without indulging in any conjecture or speculation as to what the testator would have done had he been better informed or better advised. (Para 9)

In construing the language of a will, the Courts may look to the nature and the grammatical meaning of the words used, and also consider surrounding circumstances such as the position of the testator, his family relationship, and other factors that may surface once the Court puts itself in the position of a person making the will (Para 9)

A mere “desire” for the sale of the property and for the children to get a share in the proceeds therefrom cannot be read as a strict bar on the absolute right vested with the beneficiary to deal with the property as the beneficiary thought fit. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 12.1)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_05-Mar-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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