25 May 2023 6:15 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has said that a court considering application for grant of Succession Certificate has no power to go into the substantial and intricate question of facts and law.A single judge bench of Justice C M Joshi sitting at Kalaburagi bench, dismissed a petition filed by parents of one deceased Nagappa, challenging order of the trial court and appellate court granting...
The Karnataka High Court has said that a court considering application for grant of Succession Certificate has no power to go into the substantial and intricate question of facts and law.
A single judge bench of Justice C M Joshi sitting at Kalaburagi bench, dismissed a petition filed by parents of one deceased Nagappa, challenging order of the trial court and appellate court granting succession certificate to the wife and son of the deceased. The court permitted the parents to approach the appropriate Court of law for determination of their grievance and for their share in the death benefits of the deceased.
The petitioners Gangamma and Gurupadappa had claimed that being parents of the deceased they were Class I heirs and they also have a right over the service benefits of the deceased Nagappa, who used to work as SDA at Sangameshwar Hospital.
However, the trial court had relied on the Supreme Court decision in the case of Banarsi Dass vs. Teeku Datta, (2005) 4 SCC 449 and allowed the application filed by the wife and son holding that they are entitled for grant of the Succession Certificate and they only represent the hands, in which, the service benefits are to be received from the employer of Nagappa. The order was upheld by the appellate court. Following which the parents approached the High Court.
In the high court the parents contended that though an enquiry under Section 372 of Indian Succession Act is summary enquiry, it does not prevent courts from deciding who amongst the parties to the lis would be entitled to the Succession Certificate.
It was argued that excluding a person and granting succession certificate to some others and calling upon the excluded litigants to have their rights to decide in the Courts would amount to non-application of the judicious mind.
Firstly the bench noted that as per Section 8 of the Hindu Succession Act, makes it clear that the mother alone happens to be the Class-I heir of the deceased and therefore the second revision petitioner (father) cannot claim himself to be the Class-I heir of deceased Nagappa.
Court referred to Sections 373 of the Indian Succession Act, which merely lays down that the court is required to be satisfied that there is ground for entertaining the application, namely by a person who desires to make a claim.
"It is not necessary for the Court to enter upon other questions involved. The entitlement of the benefits or other issues which would be a consequence of such character, which cannot be litigated upon on an application for Succession Certificate cannot be gone into. Therefore, the scope to determine the shares of the parties would not be available in a proceedings under Sections 372 and 373 of the Act,” it held.
The court also cited the example of proceeding under Section 295 of the Indian Succession Act for probates, wherein though the proceedings shall take as nearly as possible the form of a regular suit, the issues to be tried in such suit are however limited to the question as to whether the testator was of a sound and disposing state of mind and whether Will was duly executed and attested.
It said “It is not the duty of the probate Court to consider any issue as to the title of the testator to the property with which the Will was propounded, purports to deal with or the disposing power the testator may have possessed over such property.”
Accordingly it dismissed the petition.
Case Title: Gangamma & ANR And Pratibha & ANR
Case No: CIVIL REVISION PETITION NO.200010/2019
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 184
Date of Order: 21-04-2023
Appearance: Advocate Shivanand Patil for petitioners.
Click Here To Read/Download Order