SHANTI DEVI Vs. MAYA DEVI
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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DEVINDER GUPTA,J. -
(1.) At the time of admission of appeal, the following question of law was formulated - "Whether the interpretation of the Will shows that the testator had individual share in the legacy to the legatees
(2.) One Babu Ram son of Nihala owned and possessed the suit property. He died in the year 1973 without leaving any male issue. His wife had pre -deceased him Maya Devi, respondent, is his only daughter. On December 4, 1967, he executed a Will, Ex. P -L, which was got registered by him with the Sub -Registrar, Una, on the same day, bequeathing his movable and immovable property in favour of three grandsons of his brother Piara Singh. One of the legatees, under the Will, namely, Shakunt Raj, a son of Jagdish Singh son of Piara Singh died on June 25, 1970. After the death of Babu Ram, mutation of inheritance No. 4812 to his estate was entered by the revenue officials, on the basis of a Will, in favour of three legatees, although one of them had pre -deceased Babu Ram but at the time of attestation, on the objection of the daughter of the deceased, mutation was instead attested in her favour as if Babu Ram had died intestate. This prompted the two legatees, namely, Kewal Singh and Yog Raj and Smt. Shanti Devi the widow of third legatees to file a suit in the trial Court for grant of a decree for possession of the suit property on the ground that the deceased had died testate by having executed a Will bequeathing his movable and immovable property, therefore, his daughter, Maya Devi, respondent had neither inherited the same, nor had acquired any right, title or interest therein The order of attestation of mutation in her favour was challenged being bad in law.
(3.) The suit was contested by Maya Devi, defendant -respondent, who denied the deceased having executed any valid Will in favour of the three legatees. In the alternative, it was claimed by her that the Will propounded by the plaintiffs was not a valid Will and the same was the result of fraud, mis -representation and undue influence It was specifically contended in the written statement that it was just possible that the plaintiffs, in the garb of getting a general power of attorney executed, might have got the thumb impression of Babu Ram on the Will. Defendant also pleaded that there was no valid ground in bequeathing his properties in favour of the three legatees by ignoring her claim to the property. On the pleadings of the parties, the trial Court framed the following two issues: -. "1. Whether Babu Ram deceased had executed a valid Will in favour of the plaintiffs as alleged ? OPP 2. Whether the Will was got executed as a result of fraud, misrepresentation and undue influence as alleged ? OPD.";
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