HC notice to Law Ministry on PIL on bequeathing of property

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Law and Company Affairs Ministry to file within four weeks a counter affidavit on a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of an act related to bequeathing of property.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 29, 2014, 00:58 AM IST

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Law and Company Affairs Ministry to file within four weeks a counter affidavit on a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of an act related to bequeathing of property.

Additional Solicitor General, appearing on behalf of the Ministry, took notice.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, directed the state government to examine the larger issue of rationalisation of court fees, especially in matters relating to immovable property on inheritance as it becomes almost punitive.

The Bench called upon the Advocate General to assist in the matter on the PIL filed by K Mohan.

The petitioner challenged the constitutional validity of Section 213 of Indian Succession Act, which compels to probate the property bequeathed under a will, to establish the right of the person to whom it was bequeathed.

The petitioner's father had executed a will dated January 4 last year regarding two properties in his favour and registered on the file of Sub-Registrar Office, Singannallur of Coimbatore whereas one property is situated here, which falls under the jurisdiction of Madras High Court, and another one in Tiruppur which falls outside.

After his father's death, the petitioner said even though his father has made testamentary disposition of the property under the will he was not in a position to establish his right or deal with it without obtaining probate under Section 213 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

Challenging this, the petitioner said this provision was not applicable in case of will made by Muslims and as per the amendment even Christians were exempted from it. It was only in the case of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains or Parsis, he submitted and prayed for declaring the provision as unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.