1. The appellant was directed by the District . Munsiff of Kurnool in whose Court he had filed a suit for recovery of a sum due under a promissory note to produce a succession certificate. He accordingly filed a petition in the Court of the District Judge of Kurnool under Section 372 of the Indian Succession Act. This petition was opposed by one of the defendants in the suit on the promissory note, who was also the wife of the assignor of the promissory note to the appellant. She claimed that the debt in question together with other properties had been left to her husband and herself jointly and that her husband had no right to assign the promissory note to the appellant. The learned District Judge, taking the view that complicated questions of fact and law would have to be gone into before it could be decided which party had the right to the succession certificate proceeded to refer the parties to a suit, if so advised, and dismissed the petition. The learned District Judge was no doubt entitled to dismiss an application under Section 373 if he was satisfied that there were no grounds for entertaining it. The District Judge, however, has not dismissed the application for that reason, but for the reason that he thought the case was too complicated to be decided in summary proceedings. This is not a valid reason as is clear from Section 373, Sub-section (3) of the Act read with Sub-section (2). If there are grounds for entertaining an application but the right to a certificate is contested, it is plain that the District Judge must make an order for the grant of the certificate to one party or the other. Under Section 373 (2) he can make the order after going into the merits of the case. But under Section 373 (3), although again he must make an order, he need not determine questions of law or fact, which are too intricate and difficult for determination in summary proceedings.
2. The appeal must therefore be allowed and the application will be returned to be determined by the learned District Judge in the light of these observations. He will be at liberty to make an order under Section 373, Sub-section (2) or (3) or to dismiss the application if he thinks that there are not grounds for entertaining it. Costs of this appeal and of the petition in the lower Court will abide the result.