Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.
1. This is a special case stated for the opinion of the Court under the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, Section 90, and Order XXXVI.
2. The defendant Bank is constituted and regulated under the Presidency Banks Act, 1876. By Section 23 of the said Act it is provided as follows:-
When by the death of any proprietor or shareholder his stock or shares shall devolve on his legal representative, the Bank shall not be bound to recognise any legal representative of such proprietor or shareholder, other than a parson who has taken out from a Court having jurisdiction in this behalf probate of the will or letters of administration to the estate of the deceased.
3. Maharaj Rajkumar Shri Raghunathsinh Wakhatsinhji was during his lifetime the registered holder of fifteen shares in the Bank of Bombay particulars whereof are given in the schedule to the special case. The Maharaj died on or about the 7th day of September 1916 intestate and without having made any will. On the 28th of February 1918 the District Judge and Political Agent, Rewakantha, issued a certificate under the Succession Certificate Act, 1889, in respect inter alia of the said fifteen shares. Under Section 17 of the Act:-
Where a certificate in the form, as nearly as circumstances admit, of the second schedule has been granted to a resident within a Foreign State by the British representative accredited to the State, or where a certificate so granted has been extended in such form by such representative, the certificate shall, when stamped in accordance with the provisions of the Court-Fees Act, 1870, with respect to certificates under this Act, have the same effect in British India as a certificate granted or extended under this Act.
4. The plaintiff sent the certificate to the defendants for registration and requested them to send to him the dividend warrants for the interest accrued due on the said fifteen shares. The defendants informed the plaintiff that they could not recognise the said certificate but would require under Section 23 of the Presidency Banks Act probate of the will or letters of administration to the estate of the deceased.
5. The first question referred to us is this:-
Whether in view of the provisions contained in Section 23 of the Presidency Banks Act, 1876 (Act XI of 1870) the defendants are bound to accept the said succession certificate dated the 28th February 1918 and are bound thereon to pay the dividends on the said fifteen shares to the plaintiff and to transfer the said shares as requested to the plaintiff.
6. It cannot be disputed that the defendants are not bound to recognise the holder of a succession certificate. But the question arises whether they would be contravening the provisions of the Presidency Banks Act if they did accept the succession certificate; and the second question is really drafted for deciding that point, although we found it necessary to alter the form of the question so that it runs thus:-
Whether the defendants would be justified under the provisions of Section 23 of the Presidency Banks Act (Act XI of 1876) in paying such dividends to the plaintiff and in transferring the said shares to the plaintiff upon the plaintiff producing the said succession certificate.
7. We see nothing in the provisions of Section 23 of the Presidency Banks Act of 1870 which prevents the defendants from accepting the succession certificate if in the exercise of their discretion they decide that they should do so. The certificate affords full indemnity to all the persons who are liable on securities specified in the certificate as regards all dealings in good faith in respect of such securities.
8. If, therefore, the defendants choose to accept the certificate, they will not be contravening the provisions of their Act if they pay the dividends on the said fifteen shares to the plaintiff and on his requisition transfer the said shares to the plaintiff or his nominee.
9. I think it was agreed that there ought to be no costs.
10. I concur.