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The Privy Council reversed this decision. Ameer Ali, pointed out that since both are in the same class of heirs (Atma Bandhus) nearness of degree would prevail. The maternal uncle is nearer being only two degrees of descent from the common ancestor (maternal grandmother, counting the common ancestress as one degree). So the maternal uncle was to be preferred.

(3) When the test of degree is not decisive for establishing propinquity, i.e. nearness of blood relationship, the comparative spiritual benefit of the claimants may be considered.

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Thus, in Jatindra v. Nagendranath, 59 Cal. 576 (PC), the rival claimants were Mother’s father’s daughter’s son and father’s father’s daughter’s son. Each claimant was three degrees in ascent to the common ancestor from the propositus and three degrees in descent to the claimant from the common ancestor. So nearness of degree is not proving a decisive test.

Then spiritual benefit was considered as a measure of propinquity. In this connection it should be borne in mind that the propositus participates only in the oblations made to his paternal ancestors. It is the father’s father’s daughter’s son that can offer oblations to the paternal ancestors. So he confers more spiritual benefit upon the propositus and was held to be the preferable heir.

It was pointed out that it is true that the Mitakshara proceeds upon propinquity and not spiritual benefit in determining heritable capacity. But still spiritual benefit need not be ignored altogether. It can be taken as a measure of propinquity when other tests fail to determine who the nearer blood relation is.

These were the rules for determining priority among bandhus.

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