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A succession certificate, strictly speaking, does not effect adjudication of title of the deceased far less than that of the holder as regards the debts and securities covered thereunder. Yet, simply to afford protection to the parties paying the debts. A person who expires has either made a ‘will’ or died ‘intestate’.

The grant of succession certificate is conclusive against the debtor. A succession certificate is effect throughout the whole India as per section 380 of The Indian Succession Act,1925 (herein after referred as the Act). According to sections 381 and 386 of the Act, a succession certificate is conclusive as against the person/persons liable to whom full indemnity is afforded (make available) for payments made. But, despite the succession certificate is only conclusive of the representative title of the holder thereof as against the debtors, a suit of declaration will not lie that the holder of the certificate is not the legal representative of the deceased.

Application for Certificate:-

 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).

 (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.

Following information must be mentioned in the application:-

  • The name and relationship of the person requiring this certificate.
  • Names of all heirs and close relatives of the deceased,
  • Details about the time, date and place of death should be mentioned in the application.
  • Copy of the death certificate need to be filed along the application.
  • Details of the immovable properties for which Certificate is sought.

On making the petition, if the District Judge is satisfied as to the ground of making the petition, can grant an opportunity of hearing to persons who, in his/her opinion, should be heard. After hearing all parties, the Judge can decide the right of the petitioner to be granted the succession certificate. The Judge would then pass an order for grant of certificate specifying the debts and securities set forth in the application empowering the person to receive interest or dividend or to negotiate or transfer or do both.

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