Legal heir certificate: Madras HC wants penal action for false information

The court also pointed out that legal heir certificates involve civil consequences as the legal heirs are inheriting the property of deceased persons.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court(File photo | Express)

CHENNAI: Expressing concern over incidents of people furnishing false information to obtain legal heir certificate to inherit family properties, the Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to initiate criminal action against those indulging in such irregularities.

Justice SM Subramaniam, in a recent order, also directed the Commissioner of Revenue Administration (CRA) to formulate procedures for issuance of legal heir certificates and ordered a circular to be issued within five weeks on modalities to prosecute offenders for submitting false information.

“The revenue authorities shall prosecute the offenders by registering a complaint under Section 200 of the CrPC. It would be very difficult for the revenue authorities to control the menace of furnishing false information and suppression of facts for obtaining legal heirship certificate unless such penal actions are initiated,” the judge said.

The court also pointed out that legal heir certificates involve civil consequences as the legal heirs are inheriting the property of deceased persons. “When the legal heir certificate involves civil consequences, the suppression of facts has to be viewed seriously since such suppressions infringe the rights of other legal heirs of the deceased person,” the judge ruled while dismissing a petition filed by M Marannan of Mettupalayam.

Petitioner had concealed info on siblings

Manimaran has approached the court seeking an order to the revenue authorities to issue him a legal heir certificate.

The petitioner had two sisters and a brother but he had concealed the details while applying for a legal heir certificate after the death of his father.

His application was duly rejected by the revenue authorities. Challenging the rejection order, he had approached the court.

Saying that suppression of facts is leading to infringement of civil rights of some persons, the judge said those indulging in such irregularities are liable to be ‘prosecuted’ under the criminal law.

The judge also directed the CRA to initiate disciplinary action against officials if they fail to prosecute the persons indulging in irregularities for obtaining such a certificate.

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