(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying this Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents jointly and severally to issue the copies of the death claim application with the reports of the Recommending, Sanctioning and Disbursing Authorities along with enclosed documents filed there at viz.,1.Copy of the Death Certificate 2.Legal heir Ship Certificate 3.Identity Proof of Claimants/Legal Heirs 4.Affidavits, 5.Indemnity executed by Legal Heirs with two (third party) sureties 6.Consent letters from legal heirs.)
1. The Petitioner has prayed for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents jointly and severally to issue the copies of the death claim application with the reports of the Recommending, Sanctioning and Disbursing Authorities along with enclosed documents filed there at viz.,1.Copy of the Death Certificate 2.Legal heir Ship Certificate 3.Identity Proof of Claimants/Legal Heirs 4.Affidavits, 5.Indemnity executed by Legal Heirs with two (third party) sureties 6.Consent letters from legal heirs.
2. Mr.N.Dilip Kumar, learned Counsel takes notice for the respondents/Bank. By consent of both parties, the Writ Petition is taken up for final disposal at the admission stage itself.
3. The Petitioner submits that his father is a State Pension Holder and he has Savings Bank Account in Indian Overseas Bank, Aringnar Anna Nagar Branch, Madurai in S.B.Account No.065101000004743. He further submitted that his father has left behind his surviving wife-Mrs.Sarojini and four children as his legal heirs. Out of four children, three sons namely S.Kannan(died), S.Raja and the Petitioner herein and one daughter namely S.Seethalakshmi and also the wife of Late.Kannan, Mrs.K.Joshua and K.Subbiah, being the minor son of Late Kannan are entitled to succeed as legal heirs. The Petitioner came to know through reliable sources that the above mentioned Bank Account of the petitioner's father has been closed in the month of September/October 2015 and his father's money which is lying in the credit of the said account to the tune of Rs.1,00,692/- has been deliberately transferred by the second respondent to the Petitioner's mother's Savings Bank Account No.826310100002262, in Bank of India, Aringnar Anna Nagar Branch, Madurai, through NEFT. Therefore, the Petitioner has approached the second respondent with an application along with Death Certificate of his father, Petitioner's Identity Card, his Family Card and the 'Will' in support of his statement that he is the son of Late. Subbiah. The concerned Chief Manager of the respondents/Bank has after receipt of his letter, sent a reply, dated 7.9.2018 stating that Bankers-Customer relation is a fiduciary relation and it is exempted to disclose as per Bank's Customer Policy. Only legal heirs are entitled for the details stands in the name of the deceased constituents. Hence, the Petitioner was directed to produce the details in S.B.Account No.061501000004743 on production of valid legal documents(like legal heirship certificate or through a decision of a competent Court of Law) establishing his claim as the legal heir of the deceased constituent. In case, if he does not produce the legal documents or a decision of a competent Court of Law, establishing his claim as the legal heir of the deceased constituent, then information sought by him will be treated as third party, which was exempted as per Bank's Customer Policy. The Petitioner would submit that he has produced necessary documents as such and the respondents are bound to issue him the copy of all the above certificates which are sought for in the above prayer.
4. The learned counsel appearing for the respondents/Bank would submit that the amount lying in the account of the Petitioner's late father was transferred by way of NEFT transaction to Bank of India, Aringnar Anna Nagar Branch, Madurai on 31.5.2016 based on the legal heirship certificate and other documents produced by the mother of the Petitioner herein and the Petitioner also accepts the same in his affidavit that he came to know about the transaction that the money has been transferred to his mother's account.
5. On a perusal of the documents produced by the Petitioner herein at page No.5 of the typed-set of papers, which is a copy of the 'Will', dated 25.09.2014, it could be seen that the property which was purchased by them and constructed a house on their own fund, is a self acquired property devolves on and can only be enjoyed by their grand-son K.Siddarth Gowtham, Son of Seethalakshmi(daughter) after their death namely, the husband and wife- S.Subbiah and S.Sarojini, who had signed in the 'Will' in Document No.27 of 2014, dated 25.09.2014, found in page No.3 of the typed-set of papers filed along with this Writ Petition, which is extracted hereunder:-
6. From the above, it could be seen that the Petitioner's parents had an intention to give all the movable and immovable properties only after their death and not before that and it can go only to their grand-son Mr.Siddharth Gowtham, son of Seethalakshmi who is entitled to get the said property which has been mentioned in the schedule. No-where in the 'Will', the parents of the Petitioner has stated that their sons are entitled to have a share in the property.
7. From the submission made by the learned counsel appearing for the respondents/Bank, it could be inferred that wife, who is the surviving legal heir is entitled for the amount lying in the credit of Bank and husband's property and as such as legal heir, the amount lying in the respondents/Bank Account has been transferred to his wife/mother of the petitioner and that the Petitioner cannot question the same by way of filing the present Writ Petition before this Court and has to approach the Civil Court to establish his rights. The documents which the Petitioner has sought for from the respondents/Bank will be issued only after production of the valid legal documents(like legal heirship certificate or through a decision of a competent Court of Law) to prove that the legal heir of his father Late. S.Subbiah. This Court finds no merit in the case of the Petitioner. The Respondents/Bank as per the Banking Policy and rules in force , the Petitioner has to produce the necessary valid legal documents to get the above mentioned certificate as sought for in his prayer.
8. While-so, the Petitioner has sought for liberty to approach the concerned authority, and the Petitioner being a learned Advocate, this Court need not issue such direction and it is open to the Petitioner to follow proper procedure to obtai
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n Legal Heirship Certificate etc, from the authorities concerned. 9. The Bank and its clients have identical cordial relationship and the Bank is not duty bound to provide the Certificates asked for and there is no privity of contract between the Petitioner and the Bank. Hence, rightly the Bank has directed him to produce all the necessary documents to prove that he is one of the legal heirs of Subbiah and Sarojini and this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot interfere in a contractual agreement between the parties and as such, this Court is not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the Indian Overseas Bank. Accordingly, the Writ Petition fails and the same stands dismissed. No costs.