In Re: The Last Will And Testament … vs Unknown on 11 September, 1900

Madras High Court
In Re: The Last Will And Testament … vs Unknown on 11 September, 1900
Equivalent citations: (1901) ILR 24 Mad 120
Author: Shephard
Bench: Shephard


Shephard, J.

1. Under the Letters Patent of 1862 it was ordained that the High Court should “have like power and authority as that which may now be exercised by the said Supreme Court whether within or without the Presidency of Madras in relation to the granting of probate of last wills and testaments and letters of administration of the goods, chattels, credits and all other effects whatsoever of persons dying intestate whether within or without the said presidency” (Clause 34). The Letters Patent of 1800 do not seem to define the testamentary jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but I do not think it can be doubted that its jurisdiction was limited, like that of the Ecclesiastical Courts in England, to the oases in which the deceased testator or intestate had dwelt or his goods and effects were found within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court. (See Williams on ‘Executor,’ pages 293, 407.)

2. The Secession Act, Section 240, prescribes the same limits for the jurisdiction of the District Judge, and Section 264 declares that the High Court “shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the District Judge in the exercise of all the powers hereby conferred upon the District Judge.”

3. In the present case the testator did not live in the Presidency of Madras nor did she leave any goods or effects within the limits of the presidency.

4. In my judgment, therefore, the Court has no jurisdiction and the petition must be dismissed.

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