BHANWAR LAL Vs. MST. MANGI BAI
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
Mst. Mangi Bai
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Wanchoo, J. -
(1.) THIS is an appeal by Bhanwarlal in a case under 'the Indian Succession Act. It came up before a learned Single Judge for decision, and as the points involved were of great importance and complexity, he referred the case to a larger Bench.
(2.) THE facts, which led to this appeal may be briefly narrated. One Kishanlal was a flourishing business man and died in Kuchaman on 8 -1 -1952. An application was made on 14 -10 -1952 by his widow Mst. Mangibai for grant of succession certificate with respect to certain monies due to Kishanlal which were lying in certain banks. A little later, on the 6 -12 -1952, the present appellant Bhanwarlal also made an application for grant of succession certificate claiming to be the adopted son of Kishanlal deceased. He also filed objections to the grant of succession certificate to Shrimati Mangibai on the ground that he being the adopted son had a preferential claim. The two application's were tried together by the Senior Civil Judge, Merta. There is no dispute that Shrimati Mangibai is the widow of Kishanlal. There was, however, serious dispute to the claim of Bhanwarlal to be the adopted, son of Kishanlal deceased. Evidence, therefore, was led by both parties on the question of adoption. The trial Court, however, did not go into all the evidence, and addressed itself to the question whether there was a registered deed of adoption in favour of Bhanwarlal or not.
In this connection, the appellant relied on a copy of a registered deed of adoption said to have been executed by Kishanlal, the original being not available, and being said to be in the possession of Shrimati Mangibai. The case of Shrimati Mangibai in reply was that the alleged registration was a forgery, and that no adoption deed was ever executed by Kishanlal and much less registered. The trial Court addressed itself in detail to this question, and came to the conclusion that the registration appearing in the books of the Registration Department did not prima facie appear to be genuine. It was therefore not prepared to accept the copy relied upon by Bhanwarlal as the copy of a prima facie genuinely registered document. Having come to this conclusion the trial Court followed the law as said to be prevalent in the former State of Marwar, and held that as prima facie there was no registered deed of adoption in favour of Bhanwarlal, it could not be held that he was the adopted son of Kishanlal. Consequently his claim for succession certificate was dismissed, and a succession certificate was granted to Shrimati Mangibai who was prima facie entitled to it in the absence of an adopted son.
The present appeal is against the order by which succession certificate has been granted to Shrimati Mangibai. No appeal seems to have been filed against the order refusing to grant succession certificate to the present appellant on his application. The contention of the appellant before us is, in the first place, that the trial Court was wrong in coming to the conclusion that the document appearing in the registration books was not genuinely registered, and that therefore there was no registered adoption deed in favour of Bhanwarlal at all. In the second place, it has been urged that even if it be accepted that there was no registered adoption deed in favour of Bhanwarlal, the matter having come up before the Courts in 1952 after the coming into force of the Constitution, the law of Marwar, which required that there must be a registered deed of adoption before the Courts could recognize adoption, was void in view of Arts. 13 and 14 of the Constitution, and the trial Court, therefore, should have proceeded to consider the oral and other evidence in proof of adoption and decide on that evidence whether Bhanwarlal was the adopted son of Kishanlal deceased.
(3.) SO far as the first contention, namely that the trial Court was wrong in holding that the document which appeared in the registration books as having been registered by Kishanlal in 1943 was not genuine, and that there was therefore no prima facie proof that Kishanlal ever executed a registered adoption deed in favour of Bhanwarlal, may be shortly disposed of. We have seen the document in question in the registration books, and have heard all that learned counsel for the appellant had to say against the judgment of the trial Court on this question. We think it unnecessary to repeat what the trial Court has said in coming to the conclusion that that particular document in the Registration books was a forgery, and was introduced into the books by fraud, and was never genuinely registered by the proper registering authority. The trial Court has given cogent reasons for coming to this conclusion, and it is sufficient for us to say that we agree with these reasons, and have no hesitation in holding that the document appearing in the registration books of 1943 was introduced there by some kind of fraud, and was never really registered by the proper registering officer.;
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