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Secretary of State Vs. Girindra Nath Saha and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1938Cal445
AppellantSecretary of State
RespondentGirindra Nath Saha and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....under order 21, rule 58, civil p.c. read with section 151 of that code. it appears that the post master general of bengal and assam was the custodian of certain post office cash certificates to the nominal value of rs. 10,000 which he held on behalf of a man named ramdas nath. this man died on 26th july 1933 and his heirs apparently took no steps to obtain a valid transfer to them of the cash certificates in accordance with the provisions of post office rules. in 1936 certain persons obtained a decree against the assets of ramdas nath, which were in the hands of his heirs, opposite parties 9 to 12. the munsif of ranaghat thereupon called upon the post master general to remit to him a sum of rs. 211-15-0 which had been deposited in the post office in connexion with cash certificate.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Edgley, J.

1. This rule is directed against the order of the Munsif of Ranaghat dated 14th June 1937 by which he dismissed an application filed on behalf of the Secretary of State for India in Council under Order 21, Rule 58, Civil P.C. read with Section 151 of that Code. It appears that the Post Master General of Bengal and Assam was the custodian of certain Post Office Cash Certificates to the nominal value of Rs. 10,000 which he held on behalf of a man named Ramdas Nath. This man died on 26th July 1933 and his heirs apparently took no steps to obtain a valid transfer to them of the Cash Certificates in accordance with the provisions of Post Office Rules. In 1936 certain persons obtained a decree against the assets of Ramdas Nath, which were in the hands of his heirs, opposite parties 9 to 12. The Munsif of Ranaghat thereupon called upon the Post Master General to remit to him a sum of Rs. 211-15-0 which had been deposited in the Post Office in connexion with cash certificate No: A/A 74413 of the nominal value of Rs. 1000 issued in the name of Ramdas Nath. In reply, the Post Master General pointed out that owing to the provisions of the statutory rules on the subject he was unable to pay the proceeds of the cash certificates to the decree-holders unless they established their title thereto by the production of the probate of the will of Ramdas Nath or produced letters of administration or a succession certificate. The learned Munsif refused to accept the contention of the Post Master General and allowed the attachment to stand. The Post Master General thereupon made a formal application to the Court of the Munsif under Order 21, Rule 58, Civil P.C. and the learned Munsif dismissed this application on the ground that it was not maintainable.

2. In my view the learned Munsif was in error in holding that the Post Master General's application was not maintainable. The latter was clearly in possession of the Cash Certificates which stood in the name of Ramdas Nath and he was only empowered to deal with them in conformity with the statutory rules which are published in the Post and Telegraph Guide and in accordance with the provisions of the Post Office Cash Certificate Act, Act 18 of 1917. This being the case, it was in my opinion the duty of the learned Munsif to treat the Post Master General's application as an application under Order 21, Rule 58 of the Code and to adjudicate thereon in accordance with law. In this connexion it may be observed that having regard to the provisions of Section 214 (b), Succession Act, (Act 39 of 1925) the learned Munsif should not have proceeded to execute the decree against the Cash Certificates in the possession of the Post Master General except on production by the decree-holders of one of the documents mentioned in the latter part of the section. These documents include letters of administration evidencing the grant to the applicant of administration to the estate of the deceased person. In a case such as the one now before me in which the heirs of Ramdas Nath had thereunder taken no steps to obtain the administration of their father's estate it would have been open to the decree holders to apply for such administration under the provisions of Section 218, Succession Act, and in my view, unless they take the requisite steps contemplated by the Succession Act, they have no locus, standi to execute their decree against Post Office Certificates standing in the name of Ramdas Nath which are still in the legal custody of the Post Master General.

3. In this view of the case the order of the learned Munsif dated 14th June 1937 must be set aside and in any execution proceedings which may subsequently be taken by the decree-holders the Munsif is directed to require them to produce one of the documents mentioned in the latter part of Section 214, Succession Act in support of their claim. The rule is accordingly made absolute. No order is made as to costs.


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