Succession Certificate issued by competent court provides valid discharge to banks

Bombay High Court: In a case regarding the Indian Succession Act, 1925, a Division Bench of the Court comprising A.S. Oka and A.K. Menon, J.J. held that the production of a Succession Certificate is necessary for the transfer of credit from any deceased’s account to another person.

The bank had demanded a Succession Certificate from the petitioner when he went to the bank to transfer the credit in the deceased’s account under the will. The petitioner had contended that the Banks cannot insist on production of a Succession Certificate as the petitioner is making a claim on the basis of the registered will of the account holder and that it was not mandatory for the petitioner to obtain letters of administration on the basis of the will since the deceased was not a resident of Mumbai and the will doesn’t affect any property in Mumbai, placing reliance on the decisions of the Court in view of express provisions of Section 57 of the Succession Act.

The Court rejected the petition and held that the bank had not erred in its decision to not transfer the credit without a Succession Certificate as that serves as a valid discharge to the bank. However, it went on to observe that, in case, a competent court grants a Succession Certificate, the bank would have to follow the order and transfer the credit. [Amol Rajgonda Patil v. The Manager, Canara Bank, 2017 SCC OnLine Bom 1272, decided on 20-04-2017]

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