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Balkishan and anr. Vs. Prabhu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtRajasthan
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 5 of 1949
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Raj27
ActsSuccession Act, 1925 - Sections 213
AppellantBalkishan and anr.
RespondentPrabhu and ors.
Appellant Advocate Hasti Mal, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Sohan Lal, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredJogendra Nath v. Makhanlal A. I. R.
Excerpt:
- - he argued that section 213, marwar succession act, was very clear and under it no right to any property of a deceased person as executor or legatee could be established in any court of justice, unless a court of competent jurisdiction bad granted letters of administration with the will or with a copy of an authenticated copy of the will annexed......by the plaintiffs has been held proved by both the courts and from this geneological tree, it is proved that the plaintiffs are en-titled to succeed to the property left by birdi chand in case of intestacy. the defendants-respondents want to defeat the plaintiff's rights by sayins that under the will the property is bequeathed to their caste and that they are exe-cutora under the will. this, in our opinion the defendants cannot do in view of the provisions of section 213, succession act, as held by the two aforesaid high courts. in our opinion, the contention of the appellants must prevail.6. the counsel for the appellants raised another objection to the effect that the disposition of the property in the will in question was for 'dharmarth'--an objection which has been held uncertain.....
Judgment:

1. This is a second appeal of the plaintiffs who had filed a suit against the respondents in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Balotra (Jodhpur). The appellants had claimed that they were the nearest relatives of Birdichand and entitled to succeed to his property of which they alleged the respondents had taken wrongful possession. The defendants in their written statement alleged that the plaintiffs were not entitled to succeed to the property in dispute and that they were rightfully in possession of the same under a will of the deceased Birdichand. Both the lower Courts have dismissed the plaintiffs suit and the plaintiffs have now come up in sec and appeal to this Court.

2. The counsel for the appellants tried to raise the objection that it was not proved that the will had been properly executed inasmuch as Birdichand was not proved to have been in full possession of his senses at the time of making the will. As no such objection had been taken either in the written statement or in the memo randum of first appeal, this objection was not allowed to be raised because it rested on a question of fact. The learned counsel for the appellants further argued that the Courts below had erred when they held that it was not necessary for the defendants to have obtained probate of the will in question. He argued that Section 213, Marwar Succession Act, was very clear and under it no right to any property of a deceased person as executor or legatee could be established in any Court of justice, unless a Court of competent jurisdiction bad granted letters of administration with the will or with a copy of an authenticated copy of the will annexed. The learned counsel has drawn our attention to the decisions of the Madras and Calcutta High Courts reported in Ganshamdoss Naraindoss v. Gulab Bi, A. I. R. (14) 1927 Mad. 1054: (50 Mad. 927 F. B.), Jogendra, Nath v. Makhan Lal, A. I. R. (29) 1942 Gal. 401 : (I. L. R. (1942) 9 cal. 13). The counsel for the respondent has, on the other hand, placed his reliance on older rulings of these Courts and argued that the defendants respondents need not have obtained any probate of the will. According to him the defendants-respondents could defeat the plaintiffs title by merely proving that there was a will of the deceased in existence because of which the plaintiffs were not entitled to succeed to the property of the deceased Birdichand.

3. In our opinion, the contention of the counsel for the appellants must prevail. In Ganshamdoss Naraindoss v. Gulab Bi, A. I.R. (14) 1927 Mad. 1054 : 60 Mad, 927 (P, B.), the officiating C. J. had answered the first question in the reference to the effect that a defendant could rely on an unprobated will provided that he did not do so in order to establish a right under the will but further remarked as follows:

The plaintiff is suing as heir at law, but be was resisted by the defendant, who claimed under a will of which no probate has been taken. It is argued that is a sufficient answer to the plaintiff's case to allege and prove the existence of a will; for in that case the plaintiff who would be the heir in case of intestacy, would no longer have any rights. This rather ignores one point which, I think is important namely that the plaintiff being the heir under intestacy which must be presumed until a will is proved, is entitled to succeed to the property, unless it can be shown that his title has been displaced. It the defendant merely proves that a Trill is in existence and does not prove the terms of that will, that is not necessarily inconsistent with the plaintiff's title. In the first place, the will may not be a valid will and, in the second place, the plaintiff may be a legatee under the will. The mere existence, therefore of a will does not necessarily displace the plaintiff's title. It is necessary for the defendant to go farther and to prove that some one other than the plaintiff has title under the will, this he cannot do by virtue of the provisions of Section 187. In the circumstances of the present case, I would, therefore, hold that the defendant cannot use an unprobated will as a defence.'

4. It may be mentioned here that Section 187, Succession Act, referred to above is what we now have Section 213. In the decision reported in Jogendra Nath v. Makhanlal A. I. R. (29) 1942 cal. 401 : (I. L. B. (1942) 2 Cal. 13), their Lordships have remarked as follows:

'In our opinion, therefore in order to defeat the claim of the present plaintiff it would not suffice in present case simply to establish that his father left a valid will and that intended disposition of that will covered this property. The defendant must proceed further and must establish that the disposition in favour of the deity was a successful one. This would really be establishing the right of the deity as a legatee under the will. And this is exactly what is prohibited by Section 213, Succession Act, so long as the will remains unclothed with a probate.'

5. In the case before us, the geneological tree set up by the plaintiffs has been held proved by both the Courts and from this geneological tree, it is proved that the plaintiffs are en-titled to succeed to the property left by Birdi Chand in case of intestacy. The defendants-respondents want to defeat the plaintiff's rights by sayins that under the will the property is bequeathed to their caste and that they are exe-cutora under the will. This, in our opinion the defendants cannot do in view of the provisions of Section 213, Succession Act, as held by the two aforesaid High Courts. In our opinion, the contention of the appellants must prevail.

6. The counsel for the appellants raised another objection to the effect that the disposition of the property in the will in question was for 'Dharmarth'--an objection which has been held uncertain and that therefore, the will was invalid. As the appeal succeeds on the first objection, we do not think it necessary to give a decision on this objection.

7. In the view of the matter that we have taken, this appeal deserves to be accepted. It is therefore accepted with costs throughout, judgment of the lower Court is reversed and the suit of the plaintiffs appellants is decreed as there is no other question that remains to be decided in this suit.


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