When once succession certificate Ex.A3 is filed into the Court, the plaintiff need not prove in this suit that he was adopted son of late Narayanamma and that therefore he is entitled to recover the suit debt as legal heir of the payee. On the basis of mere succession certificate, the plaintiff is entitled to obtain decree in the suit, when there is no dispute about Ex.A1 pronote and when discharge pleaded by the defendant was disbelieved.

Andhra High Court
Alla Nagireddy vs G.Narayana Reddy on 1 March, 2013
       

  

  

 
 
 THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE SAMUDRALA GOVINDARAJULU             

SECOND APPEAL No.1090 OF 1998       

01.03.2013 

Alla Nagireddy

G.Narayana Reddy  

JUDGMENT:   
Unfortunate plaintiff, who failed in both the courts below, is the appellant in the second appeal. He filed the suit for recovery of Rs.11,900/- from the defendant on the basis of Ex.A1 promissory note dated 1.7.1979 executed by the defendant in favour of one Narayanamma. Narayanamma is no more. Execution of Ex.A1 pronote by the defendant after receiving the consideration thereunder is admitted. Plea of the defendant is one of discharge of the amount to Narayanamma when she was alive. The trial court disbelieved the plea of discharge. But the trial court, after trial, dismissed the suit on the ground that Ex.A3 succession certificate dated 20.12.1988 in favour of the plaintiff is invalid. On appeal by the plaintiff, the lower appellate court dismissed the appeal on the ground that Ex.A3 being certified copy of succession certificate, no decree can be passed on its basis.
This Court while admitting the second appeal framed the following substantial question of law:
"Having held that execution of the pronote is proved and the defendant failed to discharge his burden that the pronote amount he paid to the deceased Narayanamma, whether both the courts below are correct in non-suiting the plaintiff only on the ground that adoption is not proved and when in fact the succession certificate is proved, entitling the plaintiff to receive the amount under the pronote, since the order of granting the succession certificate has become final."
The plaintiff/appellant claims to be adopted son of Alla Narayanamma, who is the payee under Ex.A1 pronote. Though the plaintiff did not obtain any succession certificate in his favour at the time of filing of the suit, subsequent to filing of the suit he obtained succession certificate of Narayanamma in his favour from the District Court, Kurnool. It is commented by the trial court that the defendant is not a party to the proceedings relating to the succession certificate. The defendant need not be made as party to the proceedings relating to the succession certificate. In fact the plaintiff impleaded no party at all in the proceedings relating to the succession certificate. He can do so as there are no rival claimants for succession certificate for the plaintiff. It is only after making paper publication of the succession certificate proceedings, the District Court, after following due procedure prescribed by law, issued the succession certificate. The aggrieved party if any has to question the same in higher Court. The defendant who is not a party to the succession certificate proceedings and who is not a rival claimant for the estate of the deceased Narayanamma, is not entitled to question the succession certificate. Succession certificate is only an instrument which confers right on the holder thereof to receive the amounts due on the pronote or other security which are mentioned therein and to give valid discharge to the person liable to the deceased creditor; and nothing more. Since the defendant is only a debtor and has no claim over the estate of Narayanamma, he has no jurisdiction either to plead or to question validity of Ex.A3 succession certificate.
The only plea of the defendant in the suit was one of discharge and it was disbelieved by the trial court and it has become final.
The lower appellate Court without going into the question of validity of the certificate issued by the District Court, came to a different conclusion that certified copy of succession certificate cannot be issued and cannot be produced in court by the plaintiff and no decree can be passed thereon. According to the lower appellate Court original succession certificate has to be filed. Certified copy of succession certificate was not issued by the court which granted the same. When the original certificate which was engrossed on proper stamp duty was filed in another suit, certified copy thereof was granted and it was filed in the trial Court. When the succession certificate covers several debts and several securities, single original certificate cannot be filed in all the suits. Therefore, the plaintiff obtained certified copy from another suit where it was filed and filed the same in the trial court to prove his entitlement of the suit debt on behalf of the deceased Narayanamma. In any event, at the time of filing the same and marking the certified copy, there was no objection by anybody. This question was not at all put forwarded by the defendant in the trial Court. For the first time, the lower appellate court took the said ground, perhaps by itself and dismissed the appeal.
There is no material before the Court to show that the succession certificate covered by Ex.A3 was set aside by any higher court in any appeal filed by rival claimants for the estate of deceased Narayanamma. Therefore, the plaintiff/ appellant is entitled to recover the suit debt from the defendant and to give valid discharge of the debt in case it is paid.
Therefore, I find on the substantial question of law that the trial court as well as the lower appellate Court erred in non-suiting the plaintiff on the ground that Ex.A3 succession certificate is invalid.
When once succession certificate Ex.A3 is filed into the Court, the plaintiff need not prove in this suit that he was adopted son of late Narayanamma and that therefore he is entitled to recover the suit debt as legal heir of the payee. On the basis of mere succession certificate, the plaintiff is entitled to obtain decree in the suit, when there is no dispute about Ex.A1 pronote and when discharge pleaded by the defendant was disbelieved.
In the result, the second appeal is allowed with costs through out granting decree as prayed for in the suit.

__________________________ SAMUDRALA GOVINDARAJULU, J Date: 01.03.2013

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