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Kerala High Court Directs Treasury To Hand Over KR Gouri's Savings To Her Niece

Hannah M Varghese
9 Jan 2022 4:59 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Directs Treasury To Hand Over KR Gouris Savings To Her Niece
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Coming to the rescue of K.R Gouri's niece, who was her caretaker till her death, the Kerala High Court ordered the Department of Treasuries to release her entire treasury savings amounting to over Rs 30 lakh.KR Gauri was the first women minister of Kerala.Justice N Nagaresh issued the order on a petition filed by Beenakumari, the daughter of Gouri's younger sister, challenging the...

Coming to the rescue of K.R Gouri's niece, who was her caretaker till her death, the Kerala High Court ordered the Department of Treasuries to release her entire treasury savings amounting to over Rs 30 lakh.

KR Gauri was the first women minister of Kerala.

Justice N Nagaresh issued the order on a petition filed by Beenakumari, the daughter of Gouri's younger sister, challenging the treasury secretary's order rejecting the request to release the money deposited in the Pension Treasury savings account in two District Sub-treasury savings accounts.

The state treasury department had refused to hand over the savings to Beenakumari citing that the account had no mention of the nominee. 

The Court noted that the testator of the Will is a Hindu Woman. The question, therefore, was whether the rejection by the department of the petitioner's claim to pay the amounts belonging to the Testator and bequeathed to the petitioner by a Will, for the reason that the Will is not probated, is justified. 

Upon perusing certain provisions and judgments, the Court decided: 

"It is evident that the requirement of probating a Will is applicable to Wills and codicils made by Hindus who were subject to the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal or within the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Courts of Madras or Bombay."

In the circumstances, the Judge observed that the respondent's stand that the amounts left behind late Gouri Amma and bequeathed to the petitioner cannot be paid to the petitioner without probating the Will cannot be sustained.

Senior Advocate N Nandakumara Menon submitted: "Gouri had executed her last Will and testament registered strictly in accordance with law wherein she had bequeathed an item of immovable property having an extent of 19 cents in Alappuzha, and also her treasury deposits in the Alappuzha district sub-treasury and in Thiruvananthapuram district treasury, and other bank deposits, in favour of the petitioner."

The counsel said Beenakumari is legally entitled to receive the money in the pension savings bank accounts in the light of the Will.

Gouri Amma had passed away, aged 102, on May 11, 2021 without any children. 

Case Title: Dr PC Beenakumari v. State of Kerala & Ors

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Ker) 11

Click Here To Read/Download The Order

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