Authority Cannot Interfere With Legal Heir Certificate When There Are No Issues Between 2 Wives: Madras High Court

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The petition, filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India in Madras High Court. The case of Lakshmi Jagannathan v. The Tahsildar, Tambaram Taluk, Chennai. was filed for issuance of Certiorarified Mandamus. Justice Mrs Pushpa Sathyanarayana heard and allowed the petition.

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner filed for a Legal heir Certificate which was rejected later by the Respondent, which is under question in the present case.

Arguments of the Parties

Whereas the Petitioner contended she married Ramachandran on 28-10-2009, which was the second marriage for both of them. Petitioner had two sons from her first marriage to 21-08-1997 to Bhargavi Shankar, which was dissolved on 30-03-2009 by mutual consent deed signed on 06-03-2009. Petitioner’s husband also had two kids from his first marriage on 19-12-1996 to Anurada, which was dissolved on 10-07-2009.

Ramachandran died on 09-10-2019 and hence Petitioner filed for a Legal Heirship Certificate Application on 12-11-2019 with required documents along with a notarized affidavit on 15-11-2019 stating that S. Senabegam, along with his mother, sons of the first wife and her are legal heirs. However, the said application was rejected on 13-01-2020 with the reason that since the Petitioner was alive, the Respondent should not be the legal heir of her sons from the first marriage and further one son had already attained majority.

Petitioner contended that since Ramchandran was not the biological father of her two sons, they cannot be legal heirs and again submitted the representation on 05-02-2020 for legal heir certificate for herself, his mother and two sons of deceased from the first marriage.

Observation of Court

The Court observed that since there was no dispute qua the relationship between the parties i.e. if there is no dispute among the parties why should the authorities about the same. When the petitioner herself excluded the sons of her from first marriage since the marriage was dissolved and the first of deceased also deposed the same in writing and agreed for the same application of Legal Heirship Certificate for mother of deceased, sons and herself. If there were no issues between wives of the deceased, the authorities had no right to pass impugned order without considering the various circulars and orders of Government and venture into the natural guardian question of her sons from the first marriage.

Decision of Court

The Court set aside the impugned order and directed the Respondents to issue legal heirship certificate to the Petitioner, as has been requested in her application dated 12.11.2019 and the representation dated 05.02.2020. The said exercise shall be complete within four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the Order.

Click here to view the Judgement.


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