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Sakat Mul and ors. Vs. Musammat Katori, Minor Through Daulat Ram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1923All265; 71Ind.Cas.376
AppellantSakat Mul and ors.
RespondentMusammat Katori, Minor Through Daulat Ram
Excerpt:
.....- certificate, grant of--question of debts having already been discharged, consideration of--joint debt--certificate authorising collection of share of debt, whether valid. - - the circumstances are a good deal more complicated than any one reading the judgment of the court below would suppose, and, in the interests of the parties themselves, it is as well that we should set them out in some little detail. on the materials before him, the learned district judge was right in holding that musammat katori should be given authority under the succession certificate act to take steps for the realisation of these debts, if she was advised that she had a good claim to the same. we are satisfied that the order of the court below, including this judgment-debt from munni dal, or rather a share in..........not valid objections to the granting of the certificate in question in respect of these particular debts. musammat katori had a prima facie claim to represent the estate of makhan lal more particularly in view of the fact that she denied the alleged adoption of makhan lal by kalyan das. as regards these two debts which were, on the face of them, due to makhan lal alone, all she asked for was a certificate authorising her to take steps for the recovery of the same. the question whether the debtors, on being sued for these debts, can or cannot prove that they have paid the same to kalyan das, and that kalyan das was lawfully entitled to realise them, so that payment to him operates as a discharge of their liability, is one which obviously could not be gone into in proceedings under the.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal in a Succession Certificate matter. The circumstances are a good deal more complicated than any one reading the judgment of the Court below would suppose, and, in the interests of the parties themselves, it is as well that we should set them out in some little detail. One Kalyan Das died in the month of March 1920. He left behind him a Will under which he appointed three of his nephews, the sons of two previously deceased brothers, to be executors of his estate, with large powers in the matter of realization of outstanding debts. This Will was propounded by the executors in the month of Match 1921, and Probate of the same has been granted by the District Court. Kalyan Das had a daughter named Musammat Teji, who predeceased him. This daughter had a son named Makhan Lai, and one question about which the parties to this appeal are at issue, but which we do not propose to determine, is, whether Makhan Lai was or was not adopted by Kalyan Das. The said Makhan Lal died on the 16th of October 1914, leaving a widow, Musammat Chandrawati, who also died before Kalyan Das, the date of her death being the 5th of November 1918. The marriage of Makhan Lol and Chandrawati had issue, one daughter, Musammat Katori, who is the respondent to this appeal. Musammat Katori is still a minor, and there was a dispute about the guardianship of her person and property between Kalyan Das, already mentioned, and Daulat Ram, the maternal grandfather of Musammat Katori. This dispute was decided in favour of Daulat Ram, and the proceedings now before its have been conducted by Daulat Ram on behalf of Musammat Katori. The application out of which this appeal arises was one presented on behalf of Musammat Katori for a Succession Certificate for the collection of three specified debts. Two of these debts were said to be due to Makhan Lal on bonds executed in Ins favour. The third debt was specified as due upon a bond executed in favour of Kalyan Das and Makhan Lal, in which Makhan Lal was interested to the extent of a half share, and the application was for a certificate empowering Musammat Katori to collect the said half share. The application was opposed by the three executors under the Will of Kalyan Das. As regards the two debts specified as standing in the name of Makhan Lai, the objectors asserted, firstly, that the money had really been advanced by Kalyan Das, although he had chosen to make the advance in the name of Makhan Lal. Secondly, they alleged that Kalyan Das had already realised these debts in his own lifetime, so that it was futile to grant a Succession Certificate in respect of the same. These objections were not valid objections to the granting of the Certificate in question in respect of these particular debts. Musammat Katori had a prima facie claim to represent the estate of Makhan Lal more particularly in view of the fact that she denied the alleged adoption of Makhan Lal by Kalyan Das. As regards these two debts which were, on the face of them, due to Makhan Lal alone, all she asked for was a Certificate authorising her to take steps for the recovery of the same. The question whether the debtors, on being sued for these debts, can or cannot prove that they have paid the same to Kalyan Das, and that Kalyan Das was lawfully entitled to realise them, so that payment to him operates as a discharge of their liability, is one which obviously could not be gone into in proceedings under the Succession Certificate Act. It must be left to be determined if and when Musammat Katori, through her guardian, takes effective steps for the realisation of the debts. On the materials before him, the learned District Judge was right in holding that Musammat Katori should be given authority under the Succession Certificate Act to take steps for the realisation of these debts, if she was advised that she had a good claim to the same. The question regarding the third debt stands on a wholly different footing. It was due from one Munni Dal, and it was due on a hypothecation bond which, on the face of it, was in favour of Kalyan Das and Makhan Dal jointly. Now Kalyan Das in his lifetime sued upon this bond, claiming to be entitled to realize the whole debt after the death of Makhan Dal. In order to obtain a binding decision on this point he impleaded Musammat Chandrawati, who then represented the estate of Makhan Dal, as a pro forma defendant. Kalyan Das obtained a decree in this suit and the executors under his Will have already been taking steps to execute that decree under the authority conferred upon them by the Will. The debt in question has, therefore, ceased at present to be a debt on a hypothecation bond, but has become a judgment-debt in favour of Kalyan Das as, decree-holder. The learned District Judge has committed a double mistake. In the first place, he has acted contrary to the numerous decisions of this Court in granting Musammat Katori a Succession Certificate authorising her to, collect half of this debt. Even if it were not a decree-debt in favour of Kalyan Das alone, the Succession Certificate in respect of the same was bound to be one in favour of a single person, who would thereunder become authorised to collect the entire debt, subject to a liability to account for a share in the same to any person lawfully entitled to claim such share. In the second place, the learned District Judge was not entitled, under the circumstances, to ignore the order granting Probate of the Will of Kalyan Das in favour of the present appellants. The debt having become a judgment-debt in favour of Kalyan Das, the granting of the Probate of that gentleman's Will ipso facto authorised the executors under that Will to proceed with the execution of the decree, subject to proper orders being obtained from the Execution Court. The question whether, after the executors have realised this money, any claim can lie against them on the part of Musammat Katori as a claim for money had and received on her behalf, is one which cannot arise in the present proceedings, and the determination of which would depend upon many circumstances, amongst others the truth or otherwise of the allegation that Makhan Dal was adopted by Kalyan Das, and the effect of the decree in Kalyan Das favour as binding the estate of Makhan Dal, in view of the fact that the widow had been impleaded as one of the defendants in the suit. With these considerations we have at present nothing to do. We are satisfied that the order of the Court below, including this judgment-debt from Munni Dal, or rather a share in the said debt, in the Certificate granted in favour of Musammat Katori, is wrong and cannot be sustained. We, therefore, allow the appeal to this extent, that the Succession Certificate granted by, the Court below will be amended by striking out all reference to the debt due from Munni Dal. We are of opinion that this appeal has substantially succeeded and that the respondent is to blame for having made any attempt, under the circumstances stated, to include this debt amongst those in respect of which a Succession Certificate was asked for. We, therefore, order that the respondent do pay the costs of this appeal, including fees on the higher scale.


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