20 May 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

Moturu Nalini Kanth vs. Gainedi Kaliprasad (dead, through LRs.) (Neutral Citation: 2023 INSC 1004)

MANU/SC/1240/2023

20.11.2023

Family

To testify execution of Will, it is not enough to examine a random witness who asserts that he saw attesting witness affix his signature on Will

The present appeal is filed to determine the validity of a Will. The appellant claims to have been adopted by late Venkubayamma under registered Will Deed and that he has absolute right and title over the properties of late Venkubayamma. Respondent, grandson of late Venkubayamma, challenged the Will and adoption deed. The Trial Court held in the favour of Appellant but the High Court reversed that decision. Hence, the present appeal.

The Court observed that it is trite to state that mere registration of a Will does not attach to it a stamp of validity and it must still be proved in terms of Sections 68 and 69 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

The contention that Section 69 of the Evidence Act does not require actual proof of the handwriting of at least one attesting witness and proof of the signature of the executant being in that person’s handwriting cannot be accepted. Reference was made to precedents and latest judgments.

It was stated that for the purposes of Section 69 of the Evidence Act, it is not enough to merely examine a random witness who asserts that he saw the attesting witness affix his signature in the Will. The very purpose and objective of insisting upon examination of at least one attesting witness to the Will would be entirely lost if such requirement is whittled down to just having a stray witness deposes that he saw the attesting witness sign the Will. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Adoption Will Property

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