|It must be supported by other documents akin to revenue records|
MADURAI: A will cannot be a conclusive proof to claim ownership over an immovable property unless it is supported by other documents such as revenue records, the Madras High Court has ruled.
Disposing of two second appeals filed before the Madurai Bench by a common judgement, Justice K.K. Sasidharan said: “A will is not a document of title and as such the respondents cannot solely depend upon the will to show that the property belongs to them absolutely.”
The case relates to a property which originally belonged to one Arockiasamy (since dead) of Tiruchi. Some of his legal heirs filed a suit in 1981 claiming that the deceased bequeathed the property to them through a will executed in their favour in 1931. Contesting the suit, other legal heirs challenged the validity of the will.
However, the First Additional District Munsif decreed the suit on December 16, 1991 in favour of those who filed it. The judgement was confirmed by the First Additional Subordinate Judge in 1994 and the second appeal was filed before the Madras High Court in1995. After a gap of nine years, the case was transferred to the Madurai Bench pursuant to its establishment in July 2004.
Pointing out that the lower courts had erroneously decreed the suit by relying upon the will, which did not indicate how the executant enjoyed right over the property, Mr. Justice Sasidharan remanded the matter to the trial court to decide the whole issue afresh with liberty to both the parties to let in additional evidence.
“Since the matter is of the year 1981, it is needless to mention that the trial court will give priority for disposal of this case and to see that the case is disposed of at the earliest point of time and in any case not later than four months,” the Judge ordered.
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