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Vittal Rao and anr. Vs. R. Hanumantha Rao and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Mad359; (1927)52MLJ171
AppellantVittal Rao and anr.
RespondentR. Hanumantha Rao and ors.
Cases ReferredAbdul Karim Khan v. Maqbul
Excerpt:
- - the respondents are ex parte and we have not bad the advantage of hearing their arguments; vanteddu ammiraju ilr (1911) m 162. clearly lays down that the policy is part of the estate of the deceased and that the heirs are entitled to the payment of the money under it after his death. ranganayaki ammal (1915) 32 ic 991. clearly turned on the applicability of section 6 of the married women's property act......grant a succession certificate in order that the petitioners might recover a sum of money due on a life insurance policy. the learned judge held, with reluctance, that the moneys did not form a debt under section 4 of the succession certificate act. the respondents are ex parte and we have not bad the advantage of hearing their arguments; but we have examined the cases relied on by the learned district judge in support of the view that moneys due from an insurance company under a policy of insurance are not debts within the meaning of section 4 of the succession certificate act. the learned judge deals with the decision in oriental government security life, assurance society, ltd. v. vanteddu ammiraju ilr (1911) m 162. and the decision of the full bench in bdlamba v. krishnayya 25 mlj 65.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal against the refusal of the District Judge of Bellary to grant a succession certificate in order that the petitioners might recover a sum of money due on a life insurance policy. The learned Judge held, with reluctance, that the moneys did not form a debt under Section 4 of the Succession Certificate Act. The respondents are ex parte and we have not bad the advantage of hearing their arguments; but we have examined the cases relied on by the learned District Judge in support of the view that moneys due from an insurance company under a policy of insurance are not debts Within the meaning of Section 4 of the Succession Certificate Act. The learned Judge deals with the decision in Oriental Government Security Life, Assurance Society, Ltd. v. Vanteddu Ammiraju ILR (1911) M 162. and the decision of the Full Bench in Bdlamba v. Krishnayya 25 MLJ 65 (FB). as confined to the applicability of Section 6 of the Married Women's Property Act. But Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Society, Ltd. v. Vanteddu Ammiraju ILR (1911) M 162. clearly lays down that the policy is part of the estate of the deceased and that the heirs are entitled to the payment of the money under it after his death. No doubt a question was raised in Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Society, Ltd. v. Vanteddu Ammiraju ILR (1911) M 162. as to the Married Women's Property Act but in Balamba v. Krishnayya ILR (1913) M 483. in which it is said that Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Society, Ltd. v. Vanteddu Ammiraju ILR (1911) M 162. was overruled it must be observed that the only question on which Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Society Ltd. v. Vanteddu Ammiraju ILR (1911) M 162. appears to have been overruled is the question of the Married Women's Property Act, because at page 506 Sir Arnold White, C.J., said:

If the view taken by the learned Judges as to the Married Women's Property Act was right, I should agree with their conclusion in that case that no cause of action arose to the beneficiaries and that the policy moneys formed part of the estate of the assured, notwithstanding that under the contract the money was payable to the beneficiaries in default of trustees.

2. Another case cited by the learned District Judge, Srinivasachariar v. Ranganayaki Ammal (1915) 32 IC 991. clearly turned on the applicability of Section 6 of the Married Women's Property Act. The dictum in Charusila Dasi v. Jyotish Chandra Sirkar (1916) 33 IC 157. relied on by the Judge must have reference to the facts of the case which it decided and it is at least doubtful as to whether this also is not a case under the Married Women's Property Act as the assured had constituted his widow his nominee for the receipt of the money. In so far as the learned Judge has held or may be taken to have held that an insurance policy is not contemplated by the Succession Certificate Act in that it is not a debt due to the deceased, it may be pointed out that in Matthew v. Northern Assurance Co. (1878) 9 CHDN 80. it was held that the Insurance Company is a debtor and in Vishvanath P. Vaidya v. Mulraj Khatau (1911) Bom. LR 590. the learned Judges held that the policy moneys are debts. Since the hearing of the appeal the Full Bench ruling of the Calcutta High Court in Bancharam Majumdar v. Adya Nath Battacharja has come to our notice which held that the ordinary meaning of the word 'debt', is to be ascribed to the language of Section 4 of the Act in question and that it applies to a sum of money which does not become payable till after the death of the creditor and that in such a case the heirs of the creditor cannot obtain a decree without the production of a certificate under the Succession Certificate Act. The case in Abdul Karim Khan v. Maqbul-un-nissa Begam which was a question of dower was referred to with approval. These two cases fortify the opinion we have previously formed at the hearing of the argument that it may be legitimately inferred from the decisions that a succession certificate may be granted in respect of the money due under a policy of insurance. In fact the decision of the Calcutta High Court seems to set the matter at rest. In this view the decision of the learned District Judge was wrong and his order must be set aside and the case remanded to him to be dealt with according to law in the light of the above observations.


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