19 Sep 2023 6:00 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court recently refused to grant Legal Heirship Certificate to the wife and daughters of a man who had gone missing in the year 2002, and could not be found since. Justice Devan Ramachandran observed that a Legal Heirship Certificate could only be granted if there is a legally sanctioned presumption possible, or if it is factually assessed that the missing person is no...
The Kerala High Court recently refused to grant Legal Heirship Certificate to the wife and daughters of a man who had gone missing in the year 2002, and could not be found since.
Justice Devan Ramachandran observed that a Legal Heirship Certificate could only be granted if there is a legally sanctioned presumption possible, or if it is factually assessed that the missing person is no more. It thus observed that an enquiry was required to be done by the Police to ascertain the same, which did not happen till date.
"This Court is persuaded to say as afore because, it is certainly possible that Sri.Rajendran is still available somewhere, perhaps being without the capacity to contact the petitioners for some reason; and it is, therefore, in their interest also that he is traced out, if possible," it observed.
The petitioners who are the wife and daughters of Rajendran who went missing on June 20, 2002, averred that although an FIR was registered by their relatives, there had not been any headway in the same. They thus submitted that the appropriate authorities were obligated to grant them the Certificate without insisting on a 'Man Missing Certificate'.
The Government Pleader Vidya Kuriakose however argued that as long as there was nothing concrete that Ranjendran was missing, and that he is perhaps not alive, the Legal Heirship Certificate sought by the petitioners could not be granted. The counsel added that no FIR, as had been claimed, was placed on record by the petitioners.
The Court was thus fortified in its view regarding the possibility of the missing person being alive somewhere without the capacity to contact the petitioners, and added that in the absence of the possibility of a legally sanctioned presumption or factual assessment regarding the death of the missing person, no such Heirship Certificate could be granted.
The petitioners were thus directed to register an FIR with the jurisdictional Police Station regarding the missing of Rajendran within a period of ten days. The Station House Officer was directed to complete the investigation in this regard within a period of one month.
The Court further ordered that on completion of the Police enquiry and on the basis of the report by the Police, the petitioners would be at full liberty to approach the Tahsildar for issuance of a Legal Heirship Certificate, which shall be considered and issued to them if they are found to be entitled, within a period of one month from the date on which such request is made.
Counsel for the Petitioner: Advocates T.D. Susmith Kumar, T.O. Deepa, and C. Sivadas
Counsel for the Respondents: Government Pleader Vidya Kuriakose
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 491
Case Title: Suseela & Ors. v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Case Number: WP(C) NO. 1293 OF 2023
Click Here To Read/Download The Judgment