LUIS CAETANO VIEGAS Vs. ESTRELINE MARIANA RMA DACOSTA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
LUIS CAETANO VIEGAS
ESTRELINA MARIANA R.M.A.DA'COSTA
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(1.)The brief facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows :
Rosa Fonseca had married Antonio D'Costa on 15-4-1889 and a male child Jose Philipe was born to them. The said Antonio D'Costa died in 1892, and almost seven years after his death, his wife Rosa Fonseca gave birth to a daughter in 1899. On 21-2-1903, the baby girl was baptised and named Maria Da Graca Albertina Luiza Fonseca and the date and time of her birth were recorded in the Parochial Book of Records of Baptism of the Taleigao Church. The names of the maternal grandparents were mentioned and the godfather and godmother also signed the register respectively. In 1933, the daughter Maria Fonseca married Camilo Viegas and in 1935 the appellant was born out of this wedlock. Their marriage certificate dated 4-5-1933, stated that Maria Fonseca was an illegitimate child and only mentioned the name of the mother. In 1952, rosa Fonseca, the grandmother and in 1967 Maria Fonseca, the mother died.
(2.)In 1985, the appellant filed inventory proceedings for partition of inheritance of Rosa Fonseca and Antonio D'Costa in the Court of Civil Judge [Senior Division]. The locus standi of the appellant was challenged by the Cabeca-de-Casal [Head of family] on the ground that the appellant is not an heir of the deceased person Rosa Fonseca. The inventory proceedings were restricted to the estate of Rosa Fonseca only making her the sole inventariado in the matter.
(3.)The Trial Court decided that the said proceedings were not maintainable and an appeal against the order of the Trial Court was preferred in the High Court of Bombay at Panaji. The High Court set aside the order of the Trial Court and remanded the matter for dealing with it afresh. On remand, the Trial Court passed an order observing that Maria Fonseca had not been legitimised as per law and she had no right to the estate of Rosa Fonseca. The same issue came up in appeal before the High Court in appeal No. 34/1996 wherein the High Court once again remanded the matter to the Trial Court, directing that the arguments of the appellant must be taken into account for deciding the case. After remand, on the second occasion, the Trial Court by an order dated 4-9-1999 rejected the challenge to locus standi of the appellant and observed that the appellant was entitled to participate in the inheritance proceedings to the estate of Rosa Fonseca. Challenging this order, the respondents filed an appeal, before the Additional District Judge, North Goa, who held by an order made on 20-7-2000 that there was no proper legitimation of Maria Fonseca and hence, the appellant is not an heir.
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