Escheat: Forum for adjudication of claim

Escheat: Intestate death resulting in vesting of property in Government.

Collector taking over the property u/s. Section 29 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. No recourse made to Administrator General Act, 1963. No adjudication of facts by a Judicial Forum. Validity of.

Section 29 in The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 is as under:

29 Failure of heirs .—If an intestate has left no heir qualified to succeed to his or her property in accordance with the provisions of this Act, such property shall devolve on the government; and the government shall take the property subject to all the obligations and liabilities to which an heir would have been subject.

Section 29, it may be noted, embodies a principle but does not provide a procedural mechanism for adjudication upon disputed questions. The canvas of the controversy before the Court is an abundant indication of matters which were seriously in dispute. The contention of the state that the property would devolve upon it as a result of Mohan Lal being presumed to be dead and having left behind no legal heir is seriously in question. Such a matter could not have been adjudicated upon by the Collector by assuming to himself a jurisdiction which is not conferred upon him by law. Continue reading “Escheat: Forum for adjudication of claim”