Thursday, 1 June 2017

Whether amount can be withdrawn from bank account of deceased on basis of will only?

The   submission   of   the   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the
petitioner is that in view of the express provisions of the Indian
Succession Act, 1925 (for short “the Succession Act”) and the law
laid down by this Court, it is not mandatory for the petitioner to
obtain Letters of Administration or Probate on the basis of the

Will as the deceased was not a resident of Mumbai and the Will
does not affect any property in Mumbai.   The learned counsel
appearing for the petitioner placed reliance on the decisions of
this Court which hold that in such cases, Probate or Letters of
Administration is not mandatory in view of the express provisions
of Section 57 of the Succession Act.  He would, therefore, submit
that   the   Banks   cannot   insist   on   production   of   a   Succession
Certificate as the petitioner is making a claim on the basis of the
Registered  Will  of   the     account  holder.    The  learned  counsel
appearing for the respondent no.1 supported the stand taken in
the letter dated 1st July, 2014.
6. We   have   perused   a   copy   of   the   alleged   Will   of   deceased
Shevantibai.   The Will itself discloses that though her husband
pre­deceased her,  she was survived by her son and six married
daughters.  
7. Under Section 370 of the Succession Act, on production of a
Succession Certificate, the Banks will get a valid discharge.   In
the   present   case,   admittedly,   the   petitioner   is   not   a  nominee
appointed by the deceased account holder. The petitioner is not a
natural legal heir who is entitled to succeed to the assets of the
deceased as per the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

8. Therefore,   the   respondent   no.1   called   upon   the   petitioner   to
produce a Succession Certificate to facilitate the speedy disposal
of his claim.  We find no error in the approach adopted by the
bank when it insisted on the  petitioner producing a Succession
Certificate.     This   will   enable   the   Banks   to   obtain   a   valid
discharge.       We   may,  however,   hold  that   on   production  of  a
Succession Certificate under Section 370 of the Succession Act
issued by the Competent Court to the petitioner, the respondents
Banks will have to release to the petitioner the amounts standing
to   the   credit   of   the   accounts   held   by   deceased   Shevantibai
without insisting upon complying with other formalities such as
production of an indemnity bond, consent of the natural heirs
etc.   The reason is that if the Banks pay the amounts to the
petitioner on production of the Succession Certificate issued by
the Competent Court, the Banks will get a valid discharge.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION NO.12350 OF 2015
Amol Rajgonda Patil 
vs.
The Manager,
Canara Bank & Anr. 
CORAM : A.S.OKA, &
          A. K. MENON, JJ.
                   DATE : 20th APRIL, 2017



1. Heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and the
learned   counsel   appearing   for   the   respondent   no.2.     In   this
petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, we are
concerned with the bank accounts held by one Smt. Shevantibai
Bhimgonda Patil.   The details of the bank accounts have been
mentioned in the prayer clause (b).
2. The petitioner is the grandson of the said Shevantibai.  The said
Shevantibai made a Registered Will dated 12th December, 2007 by
which a specific bequest is purportedly made in favour of the
petitioner in respect of the amount standing to her credit in her
bank   account   in   Ratnakar   Bank  Limited.     Another   bequest   is

purportedly made in favour of the petitioner in respect of the
movable   and   immovable   assets   which   are   not   specifically
mentioned in the Will.
3. The said Shevantibai died on 7th February, 2014.  The petitioner
on   the   basis   of   the   Will   applied   to   Canara   Bank   as   well   as
Ratnakar Bank seeking withdrawal of the amounts lying to the
credit of the accounts held by his deceased grandmother.  Canara
Bank by its letter dated 1st July, 2014 called upon the petitioner to
produce a Succession Certificate.
4. The prayer in this petition under Article 226 is for issuing a writ
of   mandamus   to   both   the   banks   directing   them   to   pay   the
amounts standing to the credit of the deceased to the petitioner
without insisting upon production of a Succession Certificate or
Probate.
5. The   submission   of   the   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the
petitioner is that in view of the express provisions of the Indian
Succession Act, 1925 (for short “the Succession Act”) and the law
laid down by this Court, it is not mandatory for the petitioner to
obtain Letters of Administration or Probate on the basis of the

Will as the deceased was not a resident of Mumbai and the Will
does not affect any property in Mumbai.   The learned counsel
appearing for the petitioner placed reliance on the decisions of
this Court which hold that in such cases, Probate or Letters of
Administration is not mandatory in view of the express provisions
of Section 57 of the Succession Act.  He would, therefore, submit
that   the   Banks   cannot   insist   on   production   of   a   Succession
Certificate as the petitioner is making a claim on the basis of the
Registered  Will  of   the     account  holder.    The  learned  counsel
appearing for the respondent no.1 supported the stand taken in
the letter dated 1st July, 2014.
6. We   have   perused   a   copy   of   the   alleged   Will   of   deceased
Shevantibai.   The Will itself discloses that though her husband
pre­deceased her,  she was survived by her son and six married
daughters.  
7. Under Section 370 of the Succession Act, on production of a
Succession Certificate, the Banks will get a valid discharge.   In
the   present   case,   admittedly,   the   petitioner   is   not   a  nominee
appointed by the deceased account holder. The petitioner is not a
natural legal heir who is entitled to succeed to the assets of the
deceased as per the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

8. Therefore,   the   respondent   no.1   called   upon   the   petitioner   to
produce a Succession Certificate to facilitate the speedy disposal
of his claim.  We find no error in the approach adopted by the
bank when it insisted on the  petitioner producing a Succession
Certificate.     This   will   enable   the   Banks   to   obtain   a   valid
discharge.       We   may,  however,   hold  that   on   production  of  a
Succession Certificate under Section 370 of the Succession Act
issued by the Competent Court to the petitioner, the respondents
Banks will have to release to the petitioner the amounts standing
to   the   credit   of   the   accounts   held   by   deceased   Shevantibai
without insisting upon complying with other formalities such as
production of an indemnity bond, consent of the natural heirs
etc.   The reason is that if the Banks pay the amounts to the
petitioner on production of the Succession Certificate issued by
the Competent Court, the Banks will get a valid discharge.
9. Subject to what is observed above, the petition is rejected.
                
(A. K. MENON, J.) (A. S. OKA, J.)

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