1. The question in this case is what is the true meaning of Section 5 Sub-section (2), Provident Funds Act (19 of 1925). The appellant applied in the Court of the District Judge of Chittagong for a Succession Certificate in respect of a debt in favour of a deceased person recoverable from the A.B. Railway Co. Ltd. The debt was an amount of Provident Fund money due to the deceased, in respect of which the appellant was the nominee. The respondent as widow of the deceased had, prior to the said application, obtained a Succession Certificate in respect of the assets of the deceased from the Court of the District Judge of Trichinopoly. The appellant's application has been refused by the learned Judge on the ground that the certificate previously obtained by the respondent affords a bar. The question turns on the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 5, Provident Funds Act (19 of 1925). The relevant words of the sub-section are:
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Succession Certificate Act, 1889... any such person (i.e. a nominee) shall, on the death of the subscriber or depositor, be entitled to the grant of a certificate under that Act... entitling him to receive payment etc.
2. Does it mean only this that the nomination will entitle the nominee to a certificate without any proof of his right thereto such as an applicant for a certificate has otherwise to establish (vide Section 373, Succession Act 39 of 1925)? Or, does it go further and mean that other provisions of the Act which may afford as a bar will also be operative. The matter is one of first impression and it is not easy to see what exactly was the intention of the Legislature. But it appears that there is no provision in the Act laying down that no certificate shall be granted in respect of assets for which a previous certificate has been obtained. Section 385, Succession Act, merely says that a certificate subsequently granted would be invalid under certain circumstances. Moreover, the effect of Section 4, Provident Funds Act, is that in a competition between two persons it is the nominee who holds a certificate who is entitled to the money. We therefore think it would be reasonable to hold that the former meaning should be attributed to the sub-section in question. The result is that, in our judgment, the appeal should be allowed and the order complained of being set aside, the case will go back to the Court below, and that the application for certificate, if it is otherwise in order, should be granted. No order as to costs.