Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: The Division bench of C.P. Kirtisinghe and Mayadunne Corea, JJ. (No claim to the property of the testator under Kandyan Law).

The Petitioner-Respondent had instituted testamentary action in the District Court of Avissawella to administer the estate of his deceased father Anhettigama Gamaralalage Punchimahattaya. The Petitioner was the only son of the deceased testator and the Petitioner had taken up the position that his sisters-1st to 9th Respondents were not entitled to the properties of his father as the sisters had entered into Deega marriages under the Kandyan Law. The sisters had taken up the position that their father the deceased testator was not a Kandyan and therefore, they were also entitled to the properties of the deceased testator. District Judge concluded that the deceased testator was governed by the Kandyan Law and so the properties of his estate will be governed by the same law. Appeal against the above finding was withdrawn and dismissed by this Court on 19-12-2022.

Respondent 10 requested to exclude Bopewatte from inventory. District Judge concluded that there was no reason to exclude it from the inventory as the contents of the deed showed that the deceased Testator owned soil rights and buildings in Bopagewatte.  Petitioner had not included the business in the name of “Asiri Stores” in the inventory.

The rights of Siriwardane which Respondent 10 had inherited would not be affected as they were not included into the inventory. The entirety of rights in ‘Hathepmewatte’ had not been included in the inventory. In any event, an undivided right of a third party will not get wiped out because of the fact that they were not excluded from the inventory. The purpose of this Testamentary action was to administer the estate of the deceased testator and this was not a case to decide the undivided rights of properties owned by him. District Judge had correctly observed that the Petitioner had not included that bakery to the inventory.

The Petitioner had included in the inventory the movables and goods for sale/stocks in the business premises in the name of Manoranjanee.

The Court was of the view that the District Judge had correctly concluded that Siriwardane was only an employee of the deceased testator and one cannot come to the conclusion that Siriwardane was doing the business on his own. Therefore, the 10th Respondent had no claim whatsoever to ask for the letters of administration. The District Judge was justified in granting the letters of administration to the Petitioner.

Court affirmed to the judgment of the District Judge dated 03-09-1999 and dismissed the Appeal of the 10th Respondent-Appellant with costs fixed at Rs 21,000/-. [Anhettigama GamaralalageDharmawardana v. Anhettigama Gamaralalage Mary Nona of Anhettigama , 2022 SCC OnLine SL CA 6  decided on 08-02-2022]

S.A.D.S. Suraweera for the Substituted 10th Intervenient-Petitioner- Appellant

Harishka Samaranayake for the Petitioner-Respondent

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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