IN THE GOODS OF MEGHRAJ KOTHARI, CHUNILAL AND OTHERS Vs. SM. GOPI DEVI
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
In The Goods Of Meghraj Kothari, Chunilal And Others
Sm. Gopi Devi
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P.C. Mallick, J. -
(1.) THIS is an application for the grant of probate of the will of Meghraj Kothari, who died on April 18, 1953. The applicants are the three brothers of Meghraj, namely, Chunilal, Hiralal and Kanhaiyalal. They are named as executors in the will which is dated October 6, 1952. The will recites that the latter had only one daughter who has already been married and had no son. The testator's wife is a lunatic. The will further recites that for spiritual benefit the testator had duly taken in adoption one Giridharilal, the eldest son of his brother Chunilal. The testator purports to make a testamentary disposition of his self -acquired properties only. Giridharilal, described as the adopted son, has been given the residue of the estate after payment of the marriage expenses of two daughters of Chunilal and a legacy of Rs.5000/ - to Ramkrishna Mission Vidyapith, Deoghur. The will records that :
"I have given some ornaments and moneys to my daughter and I have a desire to give further ornaments and moneys to her out of my personal estate. I have also given some shares to my adopted son Giridharilal."
Nothing has been given to the daughter by the will. Nor do I find any bequest in favour of the widow. The executors have not been directed to make provision for the maintenance and residence of the lunatic wife. There is an expression of desire, however, on the part of the testator that the adopted son should, out of his properties, pay Rs.250/ - per month for the maintenance of the testator's lunatic wife. The last paragraph of the Will records that Rs.50,000/ - deposited with the National Handels Bank N. V. is not the testator's money but belongs to the joint firm of Kanindan Rawatmull, who are to get it back after his death. The three brothers and a son of a pre -deceased brother are the attesting witnesses. The Will does not appear to have been prepared by a Solicitor. The paper on which the Will is written is such that the caveatrix is entitled to make comment and her counsel did make comment on it.
(2.) THE petition for the grant of probate was ready on May 17, 1953. It was not, however, presented till June 17, 1953. The reason given by learned Counsel for the delay is that the executors did not get the valuation of the estate till sometime after May 1953. It appears from the Registrar's certificate annexed to the petition that ad valorem fee was paid on June 2, 1953. In the affidavit of assets the estate has been valued at Rs.1,00,382/8/6. After deducting Rs.2000/ - on account of funeral expenses, the net value of the estate is stated to be Rs.98,382/8/6. Gopi Debi Memani, the only daughter of Meghraj, is contesting the Will. In her affidavit she denied (a) that Meghraj executed the Will, (b) that Giridharilal is the adopted son, and (c) that the valuation of the estate is not what is alleged in the affidavit. She contended that as the some heiress she had made an application for the grant of Letters of Administration of the estate on May 16, 1953. Her application for grant was being contended by the propounders of the Will and an affidavit to that effect has been affirmed on June 11, 1953. Comment is made by Mr. Hazra, learned Counsel appearing for the propounder, that in law she has no interest whatsoever. The heir of the testator, on intestacy, is his widow. It is nobody's case that the widow was a lunatic right from birth. Therefore the widow is the sole heiress on intestacy to the complete execution of the daughter.
(3.) THERE are, therefore, two proceedings pending in this Court in the above goods. One is the application for the grant of probate of the Will made by the three brothers, and the other is an application for the grant of Letters of Administration to the estate filed by the daughter Gopi Devi Memani on the basis that Meghraj died intestate. In due course, both the proceedings have been marked as contentions cause and are now appearing in my List for final disposal.;
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