A. WILSON PRINCE
V THE NAZAR & ORS.
DATE OF ORDER:
Petitioner:A. WILSON PRINCE
Respondent:THE NAZAR & ORS.
The Supreme Court denied A. Wilson Prince's petition for a copy of a will and probate in a testamentary proceeding. The issue centered on the availability of the original will and the destruction of records by the Destruction of Records Act of 1917.
- A wealthy man named Rev. Salusbury Fynes Davenport passed away at Udhagamandalam, Ooty, on January 24, 1972.
- He had signed a will during his lifetime on July 19, 1969, designating respondent number three, M/s King and Partridge, as the will's executor.
- Mr. Chakravarthy Duraisamy, a senior partner of the aforementioned firm, requested the award of probate for the aforementioned Will under Sections 222(1) and 272 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, to carry out his duties as the executor under the Will.
- In probate case, No. 15 of 1972, the court in Ooty issued an order granting probate to the executor on July 29, 1972. On January 20, 1973, the executor submitted an inventory to the court, which was registered on January 24, 1973. On July 9, 1973, the executor presented the case's final accounts, which were later recorded on July 17, 1973.
- Later that day, on January 30, 2016, Smt. Mary Brigit, who is now deceased, requested a copy of the probate for the aforementioned Will. Because the copy was not provided, she filed Writ Petition No. 11266 of 2018 asking for a direction like a mandamus directing the respondents to provide the probate copy granted in O.P. No. 15 of 1972 on the file of the respondent, i.e., the Office of the District Judge, Ooty, as well as to pass such other or other orders that may be deemed appropriate and fit given the facts and circumstances of the case.
ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER
- The petitioner argues that the original documents, particularly the Will, are always preserved in safe custody in testamentary issues of this sort and cannot be destroyed by using the Destruction of Records Act, of 1917. The responders must provide information and documentation related to the topic of O.P. No. 15 of 1972.
- The respondents are obligated to provide the original Will or a duplicate of it since they were unable to destroy the original Will.
- It was suggested that if a vigilant investigation was ordered into the situation, the truth would soon come to light and the Will in question would almost certainly come to light.
Analysis Of Court
- The court further emphasized that by obtaining probate, making the required inventory, and presenting final accounts by Section 317 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, the executor of the will had satisfied their obligations. Regarding the distribution of assets according to the will, there were no complaints.
- The judges agreed that the original ought to have been kept or given back to the executor following probate. The court concluded that an investigation could not be authorized due to a lack of supporting documentation and the petitioner's scant understanding of the provisions of the will. As a result, the High Court's ruling to reject the writ petition was upheld.
- The Supreme Court's ruling emphasized the significance of reliable evidence and the impossibility of granting relief based solely on speculation. The special leave petition was dismissed, signifying that the court cannot get involved when the original will is lost after a considerable amount of time.