Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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The judgment of a Criminal Court is not binding on a Civil Court in a subsequent proceeding for succession

Sampada Sharma ,
  13 June 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :

Brief :
The Civil Court has the power and jurisdiction to decide the question upon taking appropriate evidence as would be required for passing a declaration in terms of Section 25 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 to disqualify the husband defendant to inherit the property of the wife who was allegedly murdered by the husband.
Citation :
Appellant: Ram Chatterjee Respondent: Tapati Mukherjee Citation:(2002) 3 CALLT 208 HC

HINDU SUCCESSION ACT,1956 – CASE LAW – Section 25

Ram Chatterjee v. Tapati Mukherjee

Bench: P.K. Ray, J

Facts:

  • A Criminal Case was going on Ram Chatterjee( Appellant) for Murder Of his wife.
  • Tapati Mukherjee ( Respondent) Filed a Title Suit claiming the property of his daughter (deceased).

Issue:

  • Whether the husband(Appellant) was a murderer or not, to inherit the property of his wife?
  • Whether Civil Court has the jurisdiction to determine and/or adjudicate the husband's liability as murderer for passing a declaration in terms of Section 25 of Hindu Succession Act or not?

Contentions raised by Respondent:

  • The respondent contended that the appellant was not entitled to claim the property of his wife as he is disqualified Under Section 25 of Hindu Succession Act,1956.
  • The adjudication and/or a decision of a Criminal Court is not binding to a Civil Court and Civil Court is free to adjudicate the matter in its own way by taking evidence.

Contentions raised by Appellant:

  • The Title suit was pre-matured since there was no adjudication as yet by a competent Criminal Court holding that the husband committed murder to his wife or abetted such commission of murder. 
  • Civil Court has no jurisdiction to decide a question whether a person is a murderer or not and such jurisdiction only vests to Criminal Court

Held:

  • In a proceeding before Civil Court praying disqualification to inherit the property in terms of Section 25 of the said Act pre-trial and/or post trial of charge of murder by a competent Criminal Court regarding the issue in question is irrelevant.
  • The Civil Court has the power and jurisdiction to decide the question upon taking appropriate evidence as would be required for passing a declaration in terms of Section 25 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 to disqualify the husband defendant to inherit the property of the wife who was allegedly murdered by the husband.
 
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Published in Criminal Law
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