High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Radha Sham v. Rajwant Kaur & Anr. - CR-1159-2004  RD-P&H 4656 (24 July 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Date of decision: 15.05.2006
Rajwant Kaur and another.
CORAM: HON'BLE MRS.JUSTICE NIRMAL YADAV
Present:- Mr.R.C.Setia, Sr. Advocate, with Mr. Anish Setia, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. A.K.Chopra, Sr. Advocate, with
Mr. Harminder Singh, Advocate, for the respondents.
This revision petition is directed against the impugned judgment of the learned Appellate Court affirming the order of the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Gurdaspur, exercising powers under the Indian Succession Act, vide which the application for grant of succession certificate regarding the bank account of Smt. Satya Wanti has been rejected.
The facts, in brief, are that Radha Sham son of younger brother of husband of Smt. Satya Wanti, moved an application for grant of succession certificate on the basis of a Will dated 2.3.1995 Ex. A.1 in his C.R.No.1159 of 2004
favour. Notice of the application was given to the general public through publication. In pursuance of the notice, one Rajwant Kaur alias Devaji appeared and filed written reply, wherein it was admitted that Smt. Satya Wanti expired on 28.10.1995 at Dhariwal. However, she denied that Satya Wanti had executed a Will in favour of the applicant. She was having no love for the applicant or her brother. Rather, they were having strained relations. It was pleaded that Rajwant Kaur was living with Satya Wanti and used to serve her. Accordingly, Satya Wanti executed a registered Will dated 24.8.1995 in her favour. It was further stated that the applicant is not entitled to any relief on the basis of alleged Will dated 2.3.1995.
During the pendency of proceedings, one Raman Kumar, the nephew of Smt. Satya Wanti, moved an application for impleading him as a necessary party. He also pleaded that Satya Wanti had bequeathed a Will in his favour on 13.6.1994 out of love and affection and having pleased with his services towards her. Both the other Wills i.e. dated 2.3.1995 in favour of Radha Sham applicant and dated 22.8.1995 in favour of Rajwant Kaur are frivolous and have been obtained by fraud. Accordingly, her estate should be mutated in his favour and he should be allowed to withdraw the amount lying in various banks.
The Civil Judge (Senior Division),Gurdaspur, exercising the powers of District Judge under the Indian Succession Act, dismissed the application and issued succession certificate in favour of Rajwant Kaur alias Devaji upon her furnishing surety bond to the extent of Rs. 2,50,000/- to indemnify the better claimant, if any. The trial Court observed that neither of the parties have led any evidence that Satya Wanti was not of sound and C.R.No.1159 of 2004
disposing mind. Even her death certificate finds mention that she died in Devi Bhawan Mandir. She executed sale-deed Ex. RW 7/A dated 27.3.1995 in favour of Devi Bhawan Mandir. After the execution of the said sale- deed, her house was converted into a `temple'. She continued to reside in it till her death. In the Will Ex. R.5, which has been executed in favour of Smt. Rajwant Kaur, there is a specific recital that Rajwant Kaur had been looking after her, therefore, she was executing a Will in her favour and that no other legal heir will have any right in her property. It further finds mention that amount of fixed deposit receipts will be spent for the better management of the temple. As per the evidence on record Smt. Satya Wanti had religious bent of mind before her death and she converted her house in to a temple during her life time.
Aggrieved by the said order, Radha Sham filed an appeal under Sections 384 and 388 of the Indian Succession Act. The Appellate Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the findings of the Court below.
In this revision petition, learned counsel for the revisionist argued that the impugned Will Ex. R.5 is shrouded by suspicious circumstances. According to him Smt. Rajwant Kaur was not related to the deceased. There is a wrong recital in the Will that this is the first and the last Will of the deceased, whereas there were two more Wills prior to the impugned Will. It is further pointed out that a reading of the Will would show that it is the tutored Will and Rajwant Kaur took active part in execution of the same. He further pointed out that the scribe of the Will had not been produced. Even the attesting witnesses of the Will are not reliable as Swaran Kumar, one of the attesting witnesses, was also a witness of the C.R.No.1159 of 2004
Will executed in favour of Raman Kumar.
On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents argued that though applicant Radha Sham is the son of younger brother of the husband of Satya Wanti, but there is nothing on record to prove that Satya Wanti had ever lived with him or the applicant ever served her during her life time. He further pointed out that Satya Wanti during her old age had become a totally religious person. She converted her house into a temple and lived therein till her death, which is corroborated from the death certificate. She was looked after by Smt.Rajwant Kaur, who was also care- taker of said temple. Even last rites of Satya Wanti were performed by Rajwant Kaur alias Devaji, which is evident from photographs Ex. RW 6/1 and RW 6/2. There is no iota of evidence on record to show that Radha Sham had ever lived with Satya Wanti during her life time.
On careful consideration of the rival contentions and the facts on record it is not disputed that Will Ex. R.5 in favour of Rajwant Kaur is the last Will of the deceased. It is a registered document. Neither any evidence has been led by the applicant to disprove the execution of this Will, nor thumb impressions of the deceased on the Will have been challenged by the applicant. There is also no evidence that Rajwant Kaur had exerted any influence on Satya Wanti for execution of the said Will.
Rather a recital in the Will Ex. R.5 shows that Satya Wanti had expressed her desire that even the amount lying in the banks in the shape of fixed deposits should be utilised for the up-keep of the temple. From the recital of the Will it is more than evident that deceased was totally inclined towards the religion and she wanted that her entire property should be spent in the C.R.No.1159 of 2004
name of God and temple. She had executed sale-deed in favour of temple itself. Above mentioned circumstances are a stronger pointer towards the fact that the testator Satya Wanti executed her last Will in favour of Smt.
Rajwant Kaur and desired that the entire amount lying in the banks vide her fixed deposit receipts be spent for the welfare of the temple.
In view of the above discussion, I do not find any merit in this revision petition. Dismissed.
( Nirmal Yadav)
May 15, 2006.
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