High Court of Himachal Pradesh: While deciding a Regular First Appeal filed under Section 100 of CPC against the judgment passed by the Presiding Officer, Mandi whereby the suit for declaration having been filed by the appellant-plaintiff was dismissed, a Single Judge Bench of Sandeep Sharma, J. held that there were valid reasons to interfere with the concurrent findings of fact recorded by the Courts below, which were apparently not based upon correct appreciation of evidence and Courts below had drawn wrong inference from the proved facts by applying law erroneously and as such same were set aside and suit filed by the plaintiff was decreed.

Plaintiff filed a suit against the defendants for a declaration to the effect that Will dated 11.4.1996 executed by deceased Suramu in favor of the defendants was null and void and the plaintiff was owner in possession of the land concerned. The defendants resisted and contested the suit by filing written statement.

Learned trial court dismissed the suit of the plaintiff. Learned Presiding Officer, Mandi, vide impugned judgment, dismissed the appeal preferred by the plaintiff by affirming the judgment and decree passed by the learned trial court. This second appeal was admitted on the substantial question of law as to whether the execution of the will in question was shrouded by suspicious circumstances, which have remained unexplained.

After having carefully perused pleadings, evidence adduced on record and decrees passed by the courts below, the High Court was persuaded to conclude that the Will was shrouded by suspicious circumstances and could not be held to be a valid document. There were material contradictions in the statements of the DWs with regard to signatures/thumb impression of the testator on the Will as well as place of scribing of the Will. It also emerged from the statements of DWs that at the time of scribing of the Will, both the defendants were present and as such possibility of getting the Will scribed by defendants could not be ruled out. Accordingly, the impugned judgment was set aside and the suit filed by the plaintiff was decreed. [Netar Singh v. Gagan, 2017 SCC OnLine HP 1412, dated September 12, 2017]

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