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AIR 2001 SUPREME COURT 1151 ::2001 AIR SCW 890
Supreme Court Of India
Hon'ble Judge(s): S. Rajendra Babu, R. C. Lahoti , JJ

(A) Succession Act (39 of 1925) , S.213, S.57— Will - Requirement to produce probate or letters of administration for getting rights of executor or legatee recognised - Does not operate only against Indian Christians - S. 213 does not discriminate on basis of religion. Constitution of India , Art.14— A combined reading of Ss. 213 and 57 of the Act would show that S. 213 (1) which contains the restriction prohibiting recognition of rights as an executor or legatee under a will without production of a probate, is applicable to Parsis after the amendment of the Act in 1962 and to Hindus who reside within the territories which on 1-9-1870 were subject to the Lt. Governor of Bengal or to areas covered by original jurisdiction of the High Courts of Bombay and Madras and to all wills made outside territories and limits so far as they relate to immovable property situate within those territories and limits. If that is so, it cannot be said that the section is exclusively applicable only to Christians and, therefore, it is discriminatory. The differences are not based on any religion but for historical reasons that in British Empire in India, probate was required to prove the right of a legatee or an executor but not in part "B" or "C" States. That position has continued even after the Constitution has come into force. Historical reasons may justify di....

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