The Hindu Succession Act 1956.

  1. Restriction on grant of certificates under this Part.—

(1) A succession certificate (hereinafter in this Part referred to as a certificate) shall not be granted under this Part with respect to any debt or security to which a right is required by section 212 or section 213 to be established by letters of administration or probate: Provided that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent the grant of a certificate to any person claiming to be entitled to the effects of a deceased Indian Christian, or to any part thereof, with respect to any debt or security, by reason that a right thereto can be established by letters of administration under this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this Part, “security” means—

(a) any promissory note, debenture, stock or other security of the Central Government or of a State Government;

(b) any bond, debenture, or annuity charged by Act of Parliament 1[of the United Kingdom] on the revenues of India;

(c) any stock or debenture of, or share in, a company or other incorporated institution;

(d) any debenture or other security for money issued by, or on behalf of, a local authority;

(e) any other security which the 2[State Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a security for the purposes of this Part.

What is a Succession Certificate for Immovable Property?

Succession certificate is a document issued by a competent court (civil) certifying a rightful person to be the successor of a deceased person. This certificate authorizes successor(s) to realize debts and securities of the deceased person. Issuance of succession certificate does not give “right of succession to the claimed property” of a deceased person, because it does not determine the right, title and interest of the deceased person to a particular property or entire property. However, successor(s) of intestate deceased person is/are entitled to inherit the deceased person’s property (ies).

As per Section 370 of Indian Succession Act, when the deceased person has left a validly executed “Will”, the entire estate of the deceased person under that “will” vests on the executor of the will and in such cases “Succession Certificate” cannot be granted. In eligible cases, the competent court to issue such certificate is the District Court(Section 371 of the said Act) in whose jurisdiction the deceased person generally resided.

  1. Court having jurisdiction to grant certificate.—The District Judge within whose jurisdiction the deceased ordinarily resided at the time of his death, or, if at that time he had no fixed place of residence, the District Judge, within whose jurisdiction any part of the property of the deceased may be found, may grant a certificate under this Part.

372 Application for certificate. —

(1) Application for such a certificate shall be made to the District Judge by a petition signed and verified by or on behalf of the applicant in the manner prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) for the signing and verification of a plaint by or on behalf of a plaintiff, and setting forth the following particulars, namely:—

(a) the time of the death of the deceased;

(b) the ordinary residence of the deceased at the time of his death and, if such residence was not within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Judge to whom the application is made, then the property of the deceased within those limits;

(c) the family or other near relatives of the deceased and their respective residences;

(d) the right in which the petitioner claims;

(e) the absence of any impediment under section 370 or under any other provision of this Act or any other enactment, to the grant of the certificate or to the validity thereof if it were granted; and

(f) the debts and securities in respect of which the certificate is applied for.

(2) If the petition contains any averment which the person verifying it knows or believes to be false, or does not believe to be true, that person shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 198 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).

56 [(3) Application for such a certificate may be made in respect of any debt or debts due to the deceased creditor or in respect of portions thereof.]

  1. Procedure on application.—

(1) If the District Judge is satisfied that there is ground for entertaining the application, he shall fix a day for the hearing thereof and cause notice of the application and of the day fixed for the hearing—

(a) to be served on any person to whom, in the opinion of the Judge, special notice of the application should be given, and

(b) to be posted on some conspicuous part of the court-house and published in such other manner, if any, as the Judge, subject to any rules made by the High Court in this behalf, thinks fit, and upon the day fixed, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, shall proceed to decide in a summary manner the right to the certificate.

(2) When the Judge decides the right thereto to belong to the applicant, the Judge shall make an order for the grant of the certificate to him.

(3) If the Judge cannot decide the right to the certificate without determining questions of law or fact which seem to be too intricate and difficult for determination in a summary proceeding, he may nevertheless grant a certificate to the applicant if he appears to be the person having prima facie the best title thereto.

(4) When there are more applicants than one for a certificate, and it appears to the Judge that more than one of such applicants are interested in the estate of the deceased, the Judge may, in deciding to whom the certificate is to be granted, have regard to the extent of interest and the fitness in other respects of the applicants.