1. The question raised before us in this appeal is whether a succession certificate can be granted to a minor on an application made by him through his natural guardian. We answer the question, which is not absolutely free from difficulty, in the affirmative. Apart from Section 9 of the Succession Certificate Act VII of 1887 which we shall consider generally, there is nothing in the Act which precludes a minor from applying for a certificate, while we find that Sections 8 to 13 of Probate and Administration Act V of 1881 prohibits grants of probate and letters of administration to minors. If the minor is the heir of the deceased, as is the case, the property will vest in him and he would be the person entitled to institute suits to recover debts due to the estate. Section 4 of the Succession Certificate Act lays down that no Court shall pass a decree against a debtor of the deceased person in favour of a person claiming to be entitled to the effects of the deceased except on the production by the person so claiming of a certificate issued under the Act. Now if where a minor is so entitled, the certificate were to be granted to his guardian as suggested in Ex parte Mahadeo Gangadhar I.L.R. (1904) 28 Bom. 344 the requirements of Section 4 would not be satisfied; and if the certificate could not also be granted to the minor as held in Gulabchand v. Moti I.L.R. (1901) 25 Bom 523 the result would be that no suit could be instituted at all during the minority of the heir, a result which could not have been contemplated by the legislature. Section 9 no doubt lays down that whenever the Court considers it desirable to take security from the applicant, it shall require him to execute a bond with two sureties, and it is argued that, as a minor cannot execute such a bond, it must be held he is incompetent to apply for a certificate. But we think that execution of the bond by the guardian on behalf of the minor applicant would bind the minor and thus satisfy the provisions of Section 9. In our opinion, therefore, this section does not present any serious difficulty. We may observe with reference to the Bombay decisions that the attention of the learned Judges, who decided these cases, does not appear to have been drawn to the difficulty that would arise in collecting debts of the minor heir of a deceased person, if this view of the law were to be accepted as sound.
2. On the other hand the Calcutta and Allahabad High Courts have held in Kali Coomar Chatterjea v. Tara Prosunno Mookerjea (1879) 5 C.L.R. 517 and Ram Kuar v. Sardar Singh (1898) 20 All 352 that a certificate can be granted to a minor. We think this is the correct view and dismiss the appeal with costs.