Section 276 Indian Succession Act

The Supreme Court has ruled that Letters of Administration can be revoked on the ground that not all legal heirs have been involved in the petition under Section 276 of the Indian Succession Act for the grant of Letters of administration with attached will.

In this case, the High Court granted an application for the Letters of Administration to be revoked on the ground that not all legal heirs were involved in the proceedings for the granting of the Letters of Administration.

Before the Apex Court, the appellant argued that the obligation to give details of the family and other relatives of the deceased, contained in section 278(1), cannot be imported into section 276 by under which he had filed an application for the issuance of letters of administration with the will attached.

The bench consisting of Judges Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian, however, took notice of Section 263 and observed:

“But unfortunately for the appellants, the rub is not in the distinction between section 276 and section 278. It is in section 263…..
…. In accordance with Article 263, the granting of letters of administration may be revoked for “just cause”. Explanation (a) of Section 263 states that good cause is deemed to exist when the proceeding is defective on the merits. Illustration (ii) of Section 263 deals with a case where “the delivery was made without citing the parties who should have been cited”. It may be worth noting that some of the colonial laws contain illustrations that are part of the laws themselves. The Indian Succession Act, 1925 is one such enactment.”

Dismissing the appeal, the bench held that the High Court was correct in concluding that there was just cause to revoke the grant.

Summaries

Indian Succession Act, 1925; Sections 299, 279, 276, 263 – Revocation of Letters of Administration – Appeal against High Court judgment upholding application for revocation of Letters of Administration on grounds that not all legal heirs were in cause in the procedure for granting letters of administration – Rejected – The trap is not in the distinction between section 276 and section 278. It is in section 263 – Illustration (ii) of Section 263 deals with a case where “the concession was made without citing the parties who should have been cited”.

Case details

Case name | Quote: Swaminathan versus Alankamony (D) | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 276

Case No| date: CA 798-799/2013 | March 9, 2022

Coram: Judges Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian