My late mother left a registered will leaving her share of property to me among other things and some property to my brother. The two witnesses have both turned hostile and refuse to testify and one was cropss examined and said it was not signed in her presence. I feel the sb registrar has followed his procedure and the witness is lying.
What options do I have to prove the will? call teh sub registrar as a witness? forensic examination of teh signatures ion the will? What can I do?
my brother is using this to claim my share of the property.
You are having a bump in the road to probate. Try to understand why the witnessses have become hostile ? Is it money? Your brother;s influence ? or something else.
In today's world ,technology can help. Their signatures can be verified by comparison of their regular handwriting and signatures on other documents..by a hand writing expert. The age of the paper and age of ink can be determined to close extent by experts.
But all this takes time and money and I don't know if Indian judges even allow such evidence. Ask a lawyer. Try to collect as much circumstantial evidence as possible. People who knew about will, other relevant facts about Wil etc.
If the will is registered..you are in a stronger place.
Where have the witnesses turned hostile, before a court of law? From your writing it appears that you have not gone to court and they are not denying in front of a judge or a magistrate? A probate is not required in MP. It is OK if all concerned accept the will. Sometimes even all concerned accepting the will will not be sufficient. For instance if you want to sell the property now or later, the buyer is not going to search for the witnesses to satisfy himself that the wiil is genuine. Probate or no probate if you want to enforce a will you have to approach a court of law. Approaching a court of law amounts to applying for a probate. You approach the court with the will and pray to the court to order that you are now the rightful owner. According to you the witnesses are not denying that it was their signaures. They are only denying that the testator signed in their presence. Hence forensic examination of the signatures is not necessary. Also standing in the witness box they may not dare to tell a lie. They will be cross-examined by your lawyer.
The witness said before teh court during cross examination that she was called in by teh registrar to sign as a witness. AT that time my mother had already signed. Maybe that was the procedure. Both went to the registrar's office together and came back together in the same car.
Why did you go to court? What did your lawyer tell the court after the cross examination? Your mother and the witness went together to the Registrar's office. Your mother signed before the registrar. The witness signed before the registrar. Both were done at the same time. If the witness did not see your mother signing, what for she was thinking that she was signing? The testator and the witnesses appeared before the Registrar at the same time and signed on the document one after the other right before the registrar. Is this not sufficient for the court? If the court has given an adverse verdict go on appeal.
How long back was the registration done? Will it be possible to get the registrar or other staff in the registrar's office who were present at the time of registration. If so first you personally meet them and talk to them before calling them as witness. Remember they are less of witnesses than the witnesses who have signed on the documents. They can easily try to escape saying so many people come people and how they can remember a particular case. The opposite side lawyer will also cross examine them and ask them how they are remembering. As the witnesses have not said that they did not sign the document, forensic examination of the signatures or handwriting is irrelevant here. Do not get diverted. Many times wills are not registered. In your case the will has been registered. That itself is solid evidence. It would be atrocious if the will was not accepted.