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Narinder Kumar Govil vs. M K Govil & Ors - (High Court of Delhi) (08 Aug 2022)

Mere writing a document by hand without execution and without compliance of the prescribed legal standards does not render it final, as a Will

MANU/DE/2811/2022

Civil

By virtue of instant appeal, Appellant impugns the preliminary decree of partition and the final decree of partition passed by Learned Single Judge. Learned Single Judge proceeded to pass a preliminary decree of partition of property declaring Respondent nos. 1 to 3 to be the rightful owner of 1/5th share each and Respondent nos.4 and 5 to be the rightful owner of 1/5th share together in the said property. Learned Single Judge further passed a decree for recovery of the rental amount of Rs. 57,600 in favour of Respondent nos.1 to 3 each and Respondent nos.4 and 5 together against Appellant. In the end, Learned Single Judge granted an opportunity to the parties to consider amicable settlement.

Since there was no amicable settlement, Learned Single Judge proceeded to pass a final decree for partition and sale of property and distribution of sale proceeds amongst the parties thereof as per their respective proportionate shares set out in the preliminary decree as the property was incapable of partition by metes and bounds. Hence, the Appellant vide present appeal challenges both the preliminary decree and the final decree passed by the Learned Single Judge.

A bare perusal of the document proclaimed as a Will by Appellant reveals that, though handwritten, however, it does not bear signature of the so-called Testator; does not bear the details/ signatures of either of the 2 witnesses; and is an incomplete document as it contains blanks and corrections. The document proclaimed as a Will is not final and was never concluded by Late N.K. Govila, the Testator named therein. The said document is not a validly executed Will as per Section 63 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925. Mere writing a document by hand without execution and without compliance of the prescribed legal standards of Section 63 of the Act does not render it final, as a Will. Even otherwise, neither Section 59 nor Section 63 of the Act come to the aid of Appellant. The said Will being non-est in law, cannot be read in evidence and thus, Appellant is barred from placing any reliance upon it and cannot take any benefit thereof.

Appellant has failed to show or prove the Will, the same cannot be considered. Appellant has also failed to show that Late N.K. Govila had ever executed any document, much less the alleged Will during his lifetime, either in favour of appellant or disowning Respondent no.1. As such Late N.K. Govila never conferred any right, title, interest or share upon any of the parties herein and thus the Appellant and respondent nos.1 to 3 have rightly acquired 1/5th share each and the Respondent nos.4 and 5 also have rightly acquired 1/5th share together in the property. Thus, the preliminary decree and the final decree passed by Learned Single Judge do not call for any interference by this court. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : WILL   EXECUTION   PROOF  

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