Jagdish Chand Sharma Vs. Narain Singh Saini (D)
The Indian Evidence Act,1872 - Section 68 , Indian Succession Act, 1925 - Section 63 (c)
Will - Valid execution - Held that the propounder would be required to prove by satisfactory evidence that (i) the Will was signed by the testator, (ii) he at the relevant time was in a sound and disposing state of mind, (iii) he understood the nature and effect of the dispositions, and that (iv) he put his signature to the document of his own free will - Removal of the suspicious circumstances attendant on the execution of the Will required to be discharged by propounder of Will - That no hard and fast or inflexible rule can be laid down for the appreciation of the evidence to this effect.
The Indian Evidence Act,1872 - Section 68 , Section 71 , Indian Succession Act, 1925 - Section 63 (c)
Will - Proof of execution - Evidence of AW 1, AW 3 and AW 5, anlaysed collectively or in isolation, does not evince animo attestandi, an essential imperative of valid attestation of a Will - No means can be conceived of to be a diluent of the rigour of Section 63 of the Act, the testimony of these witnesses fall short of the probative content to construe Ex. A-1 to be a validly executed and attested Will as envisaged in law.
The Indian Evidence Act,1872 - Section 71 , Indian Succession Act, 1925 - Section 63 (c)
Proof of Will - When attesting witness denies execution - Account of the relevant facts bearing on the execution and attestation of the Will as provided by these witnesses though is thoroughly inadequate qua the prescriptions of Section 63 (c) of the Act does not amount to denial of execution or failure to recollect the said event as contemplated in this provision - Section 71 of the Act is not invocable in the facts and circumstances of the case.
Proof of Will -Testimony of AW 3 i.e. Registering authority does not conform to the imperatives of the Section 63 (c) of the Act - His narration on affirmation at the trial, does not either by itself meet the essentialities of Section 63 (c) of the Act or can be construed to be a supplement of the evidence of AW 1 and AW 5 to furnish the proof of execution and attestation of the Will as enjoined by law to seek refuse under Section 71 of the Act.
Will - Valid execution - Suspicious circumstances - Appellant not related to the testator in any way and only collector of rent of his properties - Materials on record, as a whole, also do not present a backdrop, in which, in normal circumstances, the testator would have preferred the appellant to be the legatee of his property as set out in the Will, Ex. A-1, by denying his wife, children and grand-children who were alive and with whom he did share a very warm affectionate and cordial relationship - Viewed in this context, the bequest is exfacie unnatural, unfair and improbable thus reflecting on the testator's cognizant, free, objective and discerning state of mind at the time of the alleged dispensation - Suspicious circumstances attendant on the disposition do militatively impact upon the inalienable imperatives of solemnity and authenticity of any bequest to be effected by a testamentary instrument - Challenge laid in the instant appeal lacks in merit - High Court held to have appropriately appreciated the law and the facts in the right perspective and the impugned decision does not call for any interference.
Will - Valid execution of Will- Proof of - Propounder of Will can be initiated to the benefit of Section 71 of the 1872 Act only if the attesting witness/witnesses, who is/are alive and is/are produced and in clear terms either denies /deny the execution of the document or cannot recollect the said incident - Not only, this witness/witnesses has/have to be credible and impartial, the evidence adduced ought to demonstrate unhesitant denial of the execution of the document or authenticate real forgetfulness of such fact - If the testimony evinces a casual account of the execution and attestation of the document disregardful of truth, and thereby fails to prove these two essentials as per law, the propounder cannot be permitted to adduce other evidence under cover of Section 71 of the 1872 Act.
Topic(s)-Will - Valid execution - Suspicious circumstances - Will not valid
Important Decision(s)- Witnesses fall short of the probative content to construe Ex. A-1 to be a validly executed and attested Will as envisaged in law.