Read Order: Harkesh Kaur v. Sr. Superintendent of Post Offices and Others 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, March 29, 2022: While allowing a petition filed by a widow holding a succession certificate to claim the amount lying in her deceased-husband’s account , the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the duty of a nominee is only to collect the amount on behalf of the person for whom the nominee is appointed.

The Court added that with the death of the nominee, the rightful owner cannot be deprived of his/her dues, which admittedly according to the parties, in this case, belonged to the deceased husband of the petitioner.  

The Bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh held, “… the petitioner being succession certificate holder can replace the status of the deceased nominee being a rightful owner so as to claim the amount which is lying deposited [in her deceased husband’s account] with the first and second respondents.”

In this case, the second respondent was the nominee of the deceased husband of the petitioner. The petitioner obtained a succession certificate from the Court of Additional Civil Judge (Senior Judge), Garhshankar by an order whereby the succession certificate was ordered to be issued to the petitioner subject to the petitioner furnishing indemnity bond in the sum of Rs 50 lakh with one surety in the like amount within a prescribed period. 

The petitioner approached the High Court with a petition seeking the issuance of an appropriate writ in the nature of mandamus, directing the first respondent to release the amount lying in the account of the deceased husband of the petitioner. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that necessary compliance with the Order of Additional Civil Judge (Senior Judge), Garhshankar was already done by the petitioner. It was further submitted that as per the order of the Additional Civil Judge, the succession certificate was to bear a clause directing the manager of the concerned bank to disburse the amount lying in the account of the deceased with interest to the registered nominee if any. 

The Court was informed by the counsel for the nominee-respondent that the nominee had expired. 

On the legality governing the role of a nominee, the Court opined that the duty of a nominee is only to collect the amount on behalf of the person for whom the nominee is appointed. The Court further added that a nominee is just like an agent to collect the money on behalf of the principal, and thus with the death of the nominee, the rightful owner cannot be deprived of his/her dues, which,  in the present case, admittedly belonged to the deceased husband of the petitioner. 

Thus, in this backdrop, the Court adjudged that the petitioner being succession certificate holder can replace the status of the deceased nominee being a rightful owner so as to claim the amount, which was lying deposited before the first and the second respondents. 

Consequently, this petition was allowed and the respondents were directed to do the needful in releasing the amount lying in the account of the deceased husband of the petitioner along with permissible interest in accordance with the law.

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment