Jaffna Matrimonial Rights
and Inheritance Ordinance

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Application of Ordinance.

3. Applicability of Tesawalamai to married women.

PART II

MATRIMONIAL RIGHTS OF HUSBAND AND WIFE WITH REFERENCE TO PROPERTY

4. Matrimonial rights of spouses married before the Ordinance.

5. Matrimonial rights of those married after the Ordinance to be governed by the Ordinance.

6. Property of a wife acquired during or before marriage to remain her separate property.

7. Property of husband acquired before or after marriage to be his separate property.

8. Power to District Court to supply consent in certain cases.

9. Power of husband or wife to make gifts to each other.

10. Power of District Court to settle dispute between husband and wife.

11. Power to husband or wife to effect policy of insurance upon his or her life.

12. Effect of life insurance by husband in favour of wife or children.

13. Married woman having separate property to be liable to maintain her children. Husband's liability not affected thereby.

PART III

INHERITANCE

14. Applicability of sections of this part of the Ordinance.

15. Mudusam or property devolving on death of ancestor.

16. Urumai or property devolving on death of relative.

17. Property derived from the father's side.

18. Property derived from the mother's side.

19. Meaning of the diathed-dam.

20. Devolution of the diathed-dam.

21. Inheritance generally.

22. Rights of children, grandchildren, and remoter descendants.

23. Heir in default of children.

24. Mother's right where children fail.

25. Rights of brothers and sisters where father has pre-deceased intestate.

26. Rights where mother has pre-deceased intestate.

27. Rights of paternal grandparents, paternal uncles and aunts, and great-grandparents.

28. Rights of maternal grandparents, maternal uncles and aunts, and maternal great-grandparents.

29. How estate is divided where those who inherit are equally near in degree to intestate.

30. How property is divided on failure of kindred on the side of either parent.

31. When whole inheritance goes to the surviving spouse.

32. When estate escheats to the State.

33. Collation of property by children or grandchildren.

34. Rights of illegitimate children.

35. Devolution of property of illegitimate children.

36. Cases not provided for by this Ordinance.

PART IV

LIFE INTEREST

37. Interest of surviving spouse in estate devolving on minor child.

38. Liability of surviving spouse to maintain minor child.

PART V

INTERPRETATION AND REPEAL

39. Interpretation.

40. Repeal.

1 of 1911,

58 of 1947.

AN ORDINANCE to amend the law relating to the Matrimonial Rights of the Tamils who are now Governed by the "Tesawalamai” with regard to property and law of Inheritance.

[Date of Commencement: 17th July, 1911]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Jaffna Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance.

2. Application of Ordinance.

This Ordinance shall apply only to those Tamils to whom the Tesawalamai applies, and it shall apply in respect of their movable and immovable property wherever situate.

3. Applicability of Tesawalamai to married women.

(1) Whenever a woman to whom the Tesawalamai applies marries a man to whom the Tesawalamai does not apply, she shall not during the subsistence of the marriage be subject to the Tesawalamai.

(2) Whenever a woman to whom the Tesawalamai does not apply marries a man to whom the Tesawalamai does apply, she shall during the subsistence of the marriage be subject to the Tesawalamai.

PART II

MATRIMONIAL RIGHTS OF HUSBAND AND WIFE WITH REFERENCE TO PROPERTY

4. Matrimonial rights of spouses married before the Ordinance.

The respective matrimonial rights of any husband and wife with regard to property or status arising under or by virtue of any marriage solemnised before the commencement of this Ordinance, and all rights which any other person may have acquired or become entitled to under or by virtue of any such marriage, shall (except where hereinafter is otherwise expressly provided) be governed by such law as would have been applicable thereto if this Ordinance had not been passed.

5. Matrimonial rights of those married after the Ordinance to be governed by the Ordinance.

The respective matrimonial rights of every husband and wife married after the commencement of this Ordinance in, to, or in respect of movable or immovable property shall, during the subsistence of such marriage, be governed by the provisions of this Ordinance.

6. Property of a wife acquired during or before marriage to remain her separate property.

All movable or immovable property to which any woman married after the commencement of this Ordinance may be entitled at the time of her marriage, or which she may during the subsistence of the marriage acquire or become entitled to by way of gift or inheritance or by conversion of any property to which she may have been so entitled or which she may so acquire or become entitled to, shall, subject and without prejudice to the trusts of any will or settlement affecting the same, belong to the woman for her separate estate, and shall not be liable for the debts or engagements of her husband, unless incurred for or in respect of the cultivation, upkeep, repairs, management, or improvement of such property, or for or in regard to any charges, rates, or taxes imposed by law in respect thereof, and her receipts alone or the receipts of her duly authorised agent shall be a good discharge for the rents, issues, and profits arising from or in respect of such property. Such woman shall, subject and without prejudice to any such trusts as aforesaid, have as full power of disposing of and dealing with such property by any lawful act inter vivos without the consent of the husband in case of movables, or with his written consent in the case of immovables, but not otherwise, or by last will without consent, as if she were unmarried.

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