Madras HC orders stringent action against corrupt practices in issuance of legal heir certificates

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 14, 2024 IST

MADRAS

Chennai, May 14: The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered stringent action against corrupt practices in the issuance of legal heir certificates.

A single judge bench of Justice S.M.Subramaniam took serious note of the corrupt practices involved while issuing legal heir certificates and sought criminal action against those who suppressed vital facts while applying for them.

The court also said that strict action has to be taken against those government officials who issue these certificates by colluding with fraudulent applicants.

It directed the Commissioner of Revenue Administration to issue a circular, within five weeks, instructing all revenue officials across the state to lodge police complaints, if and when they come across any application having been filed for a legal heir certificate by suppressing vital information.

The single bench judge issued the direction while disposing of a writ petition filed by M. Marannan of Coimbatore. The petitioner had challenged an order passed by the Mettupalayam Tehsildar rejecting his request for issuance of a legal heir certificate to him, following the death of his father, Maranna Gowder.

However, Additional Government Pleader U. Bharanidharan told the court that the petitioner had suppressed the fact of having a brother and two sisters while making an application for the certificate and therefore, the Tehsildar had refused to issue it to him.

On hearing this, the court expressed its concerns in coming across many such cases related to false claims for legal heir certificates.

Government Advocate (Criminal Cases) S. Vinoth Kumar informed the court that Sections 177 (furnishing false information to a public servant), 182 (furnishing false information with intent to make public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person) and 199 (false statement made in a declaration) of the Indian Penal Code could be invoked against the applicants who suppress vital information for legal heir certificates.

He also said that if the false certificates had been used to take away the property or insurance amount of the deceased, the police could invoke Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC against the applicant.

Justice Subramaniam then directed the revenue authorities to promptly lodge criminal complaints against all dishonest applicants.

"Unless such penal actions are initiated, it would be very difficult to control the menace," he said, adding that if any practice of abetment to commit the offences is identified, then the government officials are also liable to be prosecuted under criminal law.

The judge directed the Commissioner of Revenue Administration to warn Tehsildars of disciplinary action if they failed to lodge police complaints against fraudulent applicants. (IANS)

 

 

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