$~26. * + % IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI TEST.CAS. 11/2013 & IA Nos. 10944/2016 & 10945/2016 Judgment dated 02nd November, 2016 TANIA DAS GUPTA & ORS ........ Petitioner
s THE STATE Through : Mr. S N Mitra, Advocate versus ..... Respondent Through : None CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S.SISTANI G.S.SISTANI, J (ORAL) IA Nos. 10944/2016 & 10945/2016 1. The present case was filed to seek letters of administration in respect of the estate of late Sh. Prabuddha Das Gupta. The petitioners before the Court are the wife and two daughters of the deceased, being the only surviving Class-I legal heirs. Citations were duly published and the brother of the deceased, being the only other close relative, did not object to the grant, the letter of administration was granted to the petitioners vide order dated 25.10.2013. The estate constituted of the following immovable properties: a. Flat No.505, Plot No.10, Sheetal Vihar, CGHS Ltd., Sector-23, Dwarka, New Delhi b. House No.3 „AASRA‟ Nilaya Road, Arpora, Bardez, Goa- 403515 2. While granting the Letters of Administration, this Court had directed the petitioners to file the administrative bond.
3. Present applications have been filed by the sureties to the CS(OS).281/2013 Page 1 of 4 administration bond. For the grant of letters of administration, two sureties had given administration-cum-surety bonds to the tune of Rs. 99,15,812/- each. Smt. Jyoti Sethi (applicant in IA No.10944/2016) had furnished as security the property bearing No.F-10, Nizamuddin West, New Delhi-110013. Mr. Nitin Sethi and Mrs. Ritu Sethi (applicants in IA No.10945/2016) had jointly furnished as security the property bearing No.F338, Asian Games Village, New Delhi – 110049. By means of the present applications, the applicants/sureties seek discharge of the administration-cum-surety bonds executed by them and cancellation of endorsement on their respective properties.
4. The counsel for the applicants submits that both the properties, in respect of which the letters of administration was granted stand mutated in the name of the heirs and accordingly the administration stands complete.
5. Section 291 of the Indian Succession Act mandates the execution of a bond along with sureties by any person in favour of whom letter of administration is granted. The purpose of such a bond and surety is to ensure the due administration of the estate. The object of the administration bond was summed up in Paruck, The Indian Succession Act, 1925, 9th Ed. (ed Justice SS Subramani and K. Kannan), Butterworths India as follows: “The purpose for which a bond is taken is for the due and proper administration of the estate of the deceased. It is the duty of the executor and the administrator to get in all the assets of the deceased, to pay the funeral expense, the debts and the legacies and to ascertain the residue of the estate. As soon as the residue is ascertained it is the duty of the executor to hand over the residue to the residuary legatee named in the will and in case of interest, of the administrator to distribute the estate amongst the next-of- kin of the instate. At that stage the executor or administrator CS(OS).281/2013 Page 2 of 4 becomes a trustee and of he retains the residue and the residue is lost he is guilty of conversion.” (Emphasis Supplied) 6. To ensure the due administration of the estate, the bond is required from the person seeking letter of administration. Once the duties are fulfilled by the administrator and he holds any property, he does so as a trustee, incase he holds for someone else, and as a heir, if he holds it for himself. The administration comes to an end with the distribution of the residue.
7. Where engagement secured in the bond has not been properly kept, the court may issue a direction, on an application being made, to the bond being assigned in favour of such person under Section 292 of the Indian Succession Act and such person may sue based upon the bond.
8. In respect of discharge of surety, it can be divided into three heads: a. Discharge or vacating the bond at the instance and the will of the surety; b. Discharge from or vacating the bond by order of Court on the ground of default by the administrator; and c. Discharge from the bond by the Court because of the fulfilment of the obligation by som form of declaration or finding that the estate has been properly administered.
9. In the present case, the applications are premised on the third criteria, i.e. the purpose of the bond has been fulfiled and accordingly, the sureties can be discharged.
10. I have gone through the applications and heard the counsel for the applicants. The letter of administration granted in favour of the petitioners was granted after due citations being published and notice having been sent to all close relatives. The applicants have attached CS(OS).281/2013 Page 3 of 4 proof of due administration of the estate, i.e. the properties have been mutated in favour of the heirs. Now the petitioners hold the residue not as administrators or trustees, but as heirs. Any person claiming right in the estate may do so, but not based upon the bond as the administration is complete. The administration of the property is complete and accordingly, the retention of the administration-cum-surety bonds of the applicants will serve no pupose.
11. Accordingly, the present applications are allowed. The endorsement made on the respective Sale Deeds shall be cancelled.
12. Both the applications stand disposed of.
13. List the matter before the Registrar (General) for carrying out the necessary cancellation.
14. List on 16.11.2016. G.S.SISTANI, J NOVEMBER02 2016 //P CS(OS).281/2013 Page 4 of 4