Whether previous judgment of criminal court convicting son for murder of the testator father would be relevant in subsequent proceeding for revocation of grant of probate.

Supreme Court  In Anil Behari Ghosh v. Latika Bala Dasi [1955 AIR 566, 1955 SCR (2) 270] a question was raised whether previous judgment of criminal court convicting the son for murder of the testator father would be relevant in the subsequent proceeding for revocation of grant of probate. There also a question that fell for consideration was whether the son of the testator murdered him. It was held by the Supreme Court that it could not be assumed on the basis of the previous Judgment of the criminal court convicting and sentencing the son for murder of his father that the son was the murderer of the testator and that the Judgment of the criminal court was relevant only to show that there was such a trial resulting in the conviction and sentence of the son but it was not evidence of the fact that the son was the murdered of the testator which question must be decided buy the probate court on evidence.

The grant of probate was made under the provisions of the Probate and Administration Act (V of 1881); but the Indian Succession Act (XXXIX of 1925) consolidated the law relating to intestate and testamentary succession and thus incorporated the other Acts relating to the same subject, including Act V of 1881. In order to be entitled to a revocation or annulment of the grant aforesaid the appellant has to bring his case within the purview of section 263 of the Indian Succession Act (XXXIX of 1925), which will hereinafter be referred to as the Act). Section 263 of the Act is substantially in the same terms as section 50 of Act V of 1881. Section 263 provides that “The grant of probate or letters of administration may be revoked or annulled for just cause”. Under the Explanation-

“Just cause shall be deemed to exist where–

(a) the proceedings to obtain the grant were defective in substance, or

(b) the grant was obtained fraudulently by making a false suggestion, or by concealing from the court something material to the case, or

(c) the grant was obtained by means of an untrue allegation of a fact essential in point of law to justify the grant, though such allegation was made in ignorance or inadvertently, or

(d) the grant has become useless and inoperative through circumstances, or

(e)the person to whom the grant was made has wilfully and without reasonable cause omitted to exhibit an inventory or account in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VII of this Part, or has exhibited under that Chapter an inventory or account which is untrue in a material respect”. After the explanation, there are eight illustrations of the grounds on which a grant of probate may be revoked, of which the first three are material. They are as follows:-

” (i) The court by which the grant was made had no jurisdiction.

(ii) The grant was made without citing parties who ought to have been cited.

(iii) The will of which probate was obtained was forged or revoked”.