Madras HC Orders Probe Into Filing Of Case In SC By Dead Woman [Read Order]
The Madras High Court has ordered a probe into the filing of a petition before the Supreme Court on behalf of a woman who had passed away almost a decade before the case was filed.
The direction was issued by Justice PN Prakash on a petition filed by an octogenarian, SN Kulasekaran who had purchased a vacant site through a registered sale deed in August 1969. After a trespassing attempt in 1981, Mr. Kulasekaran filed a suit before the District Munsif Court, seeking a declaration that he had the title to the property. He had also sought recovery of possession and permanent injunction.
This suit was decreed in November 1988, after which he filed execution proceedings before the Executing Court in 1991. This led to several rounds of litigation between the parties until Revision Petitions were answered in the petitioner’s favor by the High Court.
However, this order was challenged by one S. Rajeswari before the Supreme Court in 2001. The said Appeal was allowed by the Apex Court, holding that the Revision Petition was not maintainable. More litigation ensued before the Chennai City Civil Court and the Madras High Court between Kulasekaran and Rajeswari between 2007 and 2013.
In 2013, a single judge of the High Court ruled in Kulasekaran’s favour, recognising his title over the full 10 cents of land. However, the same year, a Special Leave Petition came to be filed against the single judge’s ruling by the same Rajeswari.
To sum up, several suits were being contested against the petitioner’s ownership of the property before Poonamalle District Munsif Court, City Civil Court, High Court and the Supreme Court by one Rajeswari since 1999. However, much to the petitioner’s surprise, he later discovered that the said Rajeswari had passed away as early as in February, 2003, but the litigation had continued in her name by unknown offenders.
He had now approached the Court, seeking a direction to the Commissioner of Police, Chennai to investigate and find out whether the said Rajeswari was in fact dead. He had, in fact, alleged that the elaborate strategy had been put into play by one Ratna Raja, who had also recently passed away, to obstruct Kulasekaran’s claim to the property under the name of Rajeswari.
The petitioner’s affidavit had stated, “Now Ratna Raj is no more. He died recently, but the proceedings continue before all the courts in the name of Rajeswari. Some unknown person impersonating Rajeswari has preferred the two Civil Appeals before the Supreme Court by suppressing the fact of Rajeswari’s death before the Supreme Court. It is very clear that proceedings have been initiated, conducted and contested in the name of dead person since 2003 for nearly 15 years by cheating all the courts successfully. The said cheating continues till today.”
Over the course of investigation, the Court was presented with a death certificate issued by the Corporation of Chennai, confirming the petitioner’s allegations. Sympathising with the petitioner, Justice Prakash then observed, “…it can be believed that certain persons with vested interest are conducting litigations in the name of a dead person and are freely forging documents and are filing the same before the Supreme Court.
It must also be noted that the petitioner before this Court, having purchased property as early as 50 years ago and at present, running 82 years, is unable to enjoy the fruits of his property. The persons who are responsible in conducting such litigations in the name of a dead person and forging documents must be punished by the long arm of the law.”
The Court, however, noted that since three Civil Appeals are pending before the Supreme Court and there was an interim stay of the execution of the decree, there existed very little scope for the High Court to exercise its extra-ordinary jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Under such circumstances, it directed the Police to register an FIR, investigate into filing of these cases, and then file a final report before the jurisdictional court within six months. It further directed the Registry to forward a copy of the order to the Supreme Court Registry, to be placed before the Chief Justice of India, so that appropriate action can be taken on the pending Appeals.
The petition was disposed of with the liberty to the petitioner to pursue the criminal complaint as well as to continue the execution proceedings, after the disposal of the Civil Appeals pending before the Supreme Court.
Read the Order Here