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Gour Chandra Das Vs. Sarat Sundari Dassi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1913)ILR40Cal50
AppellantGour Chandra Das
RespondentSarat Sundari Dassi
Cases ReferredBal Gangadhar Tilak v. Sakwarbai
Excerpt:
letters of administration - revocation--probate and administration act (v of 1881), section 50, expl.(4)--'just cause'--'useless or inoperative,' meaning of--disagreement between administrators whether a just cause for annulling letters of administration. - .....the 18th september 1909 refusing an application made by the present appellant for the removal of sarat sundari dassi from the administration of the estate of chaitan krishna poddar. it appears that the appellant and sarat sundari dassi are related to each other as adopted son and adoptive mother, and that letters, of administration to the estate of chaitan krishna poddar were granted to them after the death of the widow of chaitan krishna, in whose favour as the first beneficiary, under the will letters of administration had previously been granted. there was some difference of opinion between the parties at first, and, on the 31st august 1903, a compromise was arrived at and join administration was granted to both. on the 26th may 1909, tie petitioner made an application to the court.....
Judgment:

Cecil Brett and N.R. Chatterjea, JJ.

1. This is an appeal against an order passed, by the District Judge of Dacca on the 18th September 1909 refusing an application made by the present appellant for the removal of Sarat Sundari Dassi from the administration of the estate of Chaitan Krishna Poddar. It appears that the appellant and Sarat Sundari Dassi are related to each other as adopted son and adoptive mother, and that letters, of administration to the estate of Chaitan Krishna Poddar were granted to them after the death of the widow of Chaitan Krishna, in whose favour as the first beneficiary, under the will letters of administration had previously been granted. There was some difference of opinion between the parties at first, and, on the 31st August 1903, a compromise was arrived at and join administration was granted to both. On the 26th May 1909, tie petitioner made an application to the Court which contained several allegations against Sarat Sundari Dassi. Amongst them one was that she had taken hatchittas from various debtors to the estate during the time when she was the sole administratrix, and that those hatchittas had been taken in her name only. It was asked that the name of the present appellant as joint administrator should be added in those hatchittas. The learned. Judge took action on that complaint with the result that the addition asked for was made inmost of the hatchittas but, in the order recorded on the 3rd September 1909, it was stated that, in certain hatchittas, the addition prayed for had not been made, and, therefore, they would remain in Court in the record until the change could be made. There was also in the same petition a complaint against Sarat Sundari Dassi that she had not paid the allowance due to the appellant regularly and that she had not paid the municipal tax for his house which she was bound to pay. Sarat Sundari put in, on the 16th July 1909, a petition in which-with reference to these later complaints she made certain statements and alleged that, if there had been any failure on her part to pay the allowance as it fell due and the municipal tax, it was not the result of. any fault on her part, but was owing to the action taken on the part of the appellant and his father-in-law That matter does not appear to have been dealt with in the proceedings before the Judge on that application; but, on the 17th September 1909, a fresh application was put in by the present appellant asking that Sarat Sundari should be removed from the administration and that the grant of letters of administration to her should be revoked. It is not quite clear whether the learned Judge in passing the order, which be did, dismissing that application, did so in view of the action which had been previously taken on the previous application, but the question which we have to consider in this case is whether we should interfere with the order passed by the District Judge on the ground that that order was not in accordance with law or not justified by the circumstances of the case.' The learned pleader who appears in support of the appeal admits that the application was made under the provisions of Section 50 of the Probate and Administration Act, and he contends that 'the cause' for which it was asked that the grant of letters should be revoked or annulled in respect of Sarat Sundari was 'a just cause' within the meaning of that section. He refers to the 4th Explanation attached to that section, and argues that, in this case, the grant has become useless and inoperative through 'circumstances.' On being pressed to explain what the circumstances are, the learned pleader is unable to advance any other circumstance than the one that the lady and her adopted son have quarreled, and he says that in consequence of this quarrel it has become impossible to carry on the administration. It has also been suggested, but not very strongly pressed before us, that the allegations that she had not administered the estate properly would be a sufficient ground for annulling the grant of letters of administration. In our opinion, the grounds which have been advanced in support of the contention that the decision of the learned Judge should be set aside on the ground that he was not right in holding that just cause for annulling the letters of administration had not been made out cannot be sustained. It has been held by this Court in the case of Annada Prosad Chatterji v. Kali Krishna Chatterji (1886) I.L.R. 24 Calc. 95. that a mal-administration is not, under Section 50, Expl. (4) of the Probate and Administration Act, a just cause for revoking the probate. It has also been held by the Bombay High Court in the case of Bal Gangadhar Tilak v. Sakwarbai (1902) I.L.R. 26 Bom. 792. that the words 'become useless and inoperative' in Section 50, Clause (4) of the Probate Act imply the discovery of something which, if known at the date of the grant, would have been a ground for refusing it, e.g., the discovery of a later will or codicil or the subsequent discovery that the will was forged or that the alleged testator was still living. We see no reason to differ from the view which has been taken by the learned Judges in these two cases, and, following that view, we are of opinion that the only ground which has really been pressed in support of this appeal, namely, that the grant has become useless and inoperative because of the disagreement between the administrators, is not a just cause for annulling the letters. In these circumstances, we are of opinion that we cannot interfere with the decision of the lower Court and that the appeal must be dismissed with costs. At the same time, we desire to say that, if the appellant considers that he has any sufficient ground for pressing the complaints which were made in his application of the 20th May 1909 supposing that those complaints have not up to date received the consideration' of the District Judge, it will certainly be open to him to apply to the lower Court, in order that an inquiry may be made into the substance of the complaints, and such action taken as to that Court may seem fit.


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