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Branch Manager, State Bank of Hyderabad Vs. Gadiraju Rama Bhaskara Viswanadha Raju - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 172 of 1991 and C.M.P. No. 3927 of 1993
Judge
Reported inAIR1993AP337; 1993(2)ALT274
ActsIndian Contract Act, 1872 - Sections 174; Indian Succession Act, 1925 - Sections 214, 214(1), 370 and 372; Administrator-General Act, 1913 - Sections 31 and 32; Succession Certificate Act, 1989
AppellantBranch Manager, State Bank of Hyderabad
RespondentGadiraju Rama Bhaskara Viswanadha Raju
Appellant Advocate M/s. C. Poornaiah & ;C. Subba Rao, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Ch. Srinivas, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....produce succession certificate or letters of administration or probate and bank directed to return pledged articles. - motor vehicles act (59 of 1988)section 149 (2): [v. gopala gowda & jawad rahim, jj] insurers entitlement to defend the action joint appeal by insured and insurer - held, the language employed in enacting sub-section (2) of section 149 appears to be plain and simple and there is no ambiguity in it. it shows that when an insurer is impleaded and has been given notice of the case, it is entitled to defend the action only on grounds enumerated in sub-section (2) of section 149 of the act, and no other grounds are available to it. the insurer is not allowed to contest the claim of the injured or heirs of the deceased on other grounds, which are available to the insured...........respondent may or may not be true and the appellant-bank is justified in refusing to return the pledged articles in the absence of production of a succession certificate as the question as to who is entitled to those articles cannot be decided by the bank.3. it is relevant to note s. 214 of the indian succession act, which reads thus :'(1) no court shall- (a) pass a decree against a debtor of a deceased person for payment of his debt to a person claiming on succession to be entitled to the effects of the deceased person or to any part thereof; of (b) proceed upon an application of a person claiming to be so entitled, to execute against such a debtor a decree or order for the payment of his debt, except on the production, by the person so claiming of- (i) a probate or letters of.....
Judgment:

1. The defendant in O.S. No. 112/83 in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Amalapuram is the appellant. The respondent filed the suit for a mandatory injunction to the appellant for return of the gold articles shown in the plaint schedule, pledged with the appellant-Bank. The respondent's father-late Gadiraju Subbaraju borrowed a sum of Rs. 8,000/- on 15-3-1984 under gold loan from the appellant-Bank and pledged gold jewellery mentioned in the plaint schedule. Subsequently, Subbaraju died having executed a registered will dated 28-2-1983 bequeathing his imnoveable and moveable properties to the respondent. Therefore, the respondent is entitled to recover the goldjewellery after discharging the loan. However, in the suit widow and daughter of Subbaraju were also implcaded as defendants Nos. 2 and 3. Although ah amount of Rs. 11,340/- being the principal together with interest was paid on 23-6-1986 towards the loan account No. 49/84 by the respondent, the appellant-bank did not return the gold articles. The appellant-Bank contended that unless a Succession Certificate is produced, the articles cannot be returned. The trial Court as well as the appellate Court, rejected the said contention and decreed the suit. This second appeal is filed challenging the concurrent findings of the courts below.

2. Sri C. Poornaiah, the learned counsel for the appellant, submits that unless Succes-sion Certificate is produced, the gold articles cannot be returned to the respondent as the registered will produced by the respondent may or may not be true and the appellant-Bank is justified in refusing to return the pledged articles in the absence of production of a Succession Certificate as the question as to who is entitled to those articles cannot be decided by the Bank.

3. It is relevant to note S. 214 of the Indian Succession Act, which reads thus :

'(1) No Court shall-

(a) pass a decree against a debtor of a deceased person for payment of his debt to a person claiming on succession to be entitled to the effects of the deceased person or to any part thereof; of

(b) proceed upon an application of a person claiming to be so entitled, to execute against such a debtor a decree or order for the payment of his debt, except on the production, by the person so claiming of-

(i) a probate or letters of administration evidencing the grant to him of administration to the estate of the deceased, or

(ii) a certificate granted under S. 31 or S. 32 of the Administrator-General's Act, 1913, and having the debt mentioned therein, or

(iii) a succession certificate granted underpart X and having the debt specified therein,

(iv) a certificate granted under the Succession Certificate Act, 1989, or

(v) a certificate granted under BombayRegulation No. VIII of 1827, and, if granted,after the first day of May, 1889, having thedebt specified therein.

(2) The word 'debt' in sub-sec. (1) includes any debt except rent, revenue or profits payable in respect of land used, for agricultural purposes'.

A reading of this section makes it clear that no Court shall pass a decree against a debtor of a deceased person for payment of his debt, or execute a decree obtained by the deceased person except on production of a probate, letters of administration, or a succession certificate etc.,

4. In this case, the appellant-Bank is not a debtor of the deceased-Gadiraju Subbaraju. Therefore, the question of submitting a probate or letters of administration or a Succession Certificate does not arise.

5. The Orissa High Court in Branch Manager, S. B. I., Puri Branch v. Satyaban Pathal, : AIR1989Ori236 , observed that Succession Certificate can be granted on an application under S. 372 of the Indian Succession Act in respect of a debt or a Security. Interpreting S. 370 of the Indian Succession Act, which defines security as any pronote, debenture, stock or other security of Central or State Government, any bond, any stock or debenture or share in a company etc., the court held that articles pledged do not come within any of the categories mentioned above and as such, gold articles pledged with the Bank cannot be held as securities and hence, the question of obtaining a Succession Certificate does not arise. I am in entire agreement with the view expressed by the learned Judge in the reported case. Therefore, viewed from any angle, it is clear that the Bank has no jurisdiction to insist upon production of a Succession Certificate or letters of administration or probate in this case. Therefore, the second appeal is devoid of merits. Noquestion of law much less substantial ques-tion of law arises in this appeal.

Since the respondent has discharged theentire loan as long back as on 23-16-1986, theappellant-Bank will return the pledged goldornaments within one week from the date ofreceipt of this judgment.

6. Appeal dismissed.


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