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Unnatural exclusion of legal heirs makes Will suspicious: SC

Unnatural exclusion of legal heirs from property bequeathed in a will, which is itself replete with confounding and vague stipulations, amounts to a suspicious circumstance, Supreme Court has said in a judgment.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing an appeal against the Delhi High Court's affirmation of a lower court decision to not grant the probate of a will allegedly made by a widow after finding “several unexplained suspicious circumstances” surrounding the document.

Writing the judgment, Justice Maheshwari said “thick clouds of suspicious circumstances are hovering over the will in question which have not been cleared”.

Describing the nature of the will in question, the court said “every suspicious circumstance is confounded by another”.

The court paid separate attention to the contents of the third page of the testament, saying the page “effectively and completely demolishes the case of the appellant [the widow's younger daughter and major beneficiary].

“It is difficult to be satisfied that what is literally coming out of the document in question had been the last wish and desire of the testatrix as regards succession of her estate. On the contrary, we find enough and cogent reasons to affirm the material findings of the trial court and the High Court that it cannot be said that the testatrix executed and signed the document in question as her Will after having understood the meaning, effect and purport of the contents,” the Supreme Court concluded.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 11:56:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/unnatural-exclusion-of-legal-heirs-makes-will-suspicious-sc/article31643792.ece

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