In a recent case, a Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka. held that to revoke a will, one must do it as per the procedures laid down in section 70 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925. One cannot simply agree to revoke the will.
Mangilal, the owner of some lands, bequeathed some of the lands to his daughter Ramkanya and his nephews Suresh, Dilip and Prakash. Suresh and Ramkanya have agreed to divide the lands bequeathed to them by Mangilal. The will was executed by Mangilal on 9th June 2009 and he died on 26th July 2009. Whereas Suresh and Ramkanya formed the agreement on 12th May 2009. Ramkanya executed a sale deed on 22nd February 2011 by the virtue of which she sold some of the lands agreed to her to Badrilal.
After the will came into knowledge, Suresh filed an injunction on Badrilal from interfering with his possession, as well as filed a suit to declare the sale deed between Ramkanya and Badrilal null and void. The trial court held in favour of Suresh by declaring the sale deed void and restricting Badrilal from using the said land. Badrilal filed an appeal in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh which was dismissed by the court. He again filed an appeal in Supreme Court.
As section 70 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 states that Will be revoked by the testator's (maker of the will), some writing declaring an intention to revoke the same or by burning or tearing of the will in front of the testator, with his permission or directions. The court held that even by looking from the perspective of the Appellant i.e., Badrilal, the signature of Mangilal only appears in the margin of the last page of the agreement dated 12th May 2009. The court said that the agreement will not be considered as revocation of the will of Mangilal as:
1. It was not registered
2. It is not a sale deed between Mangilal and Suresh and Ramkanya.
The agreement will not have any effect on the will of the Mangilal. Hence, the Supreme Court declared "We, therefore, clarify that the sale deed dated 21st February 2011 executed by Ramkanya in favour of appellant - Badrilal, will be valid only to the extent of the land which was bequeathed to Ramkanya under the Will dated 6th May 2009 executed by Mangilal".
Tags : #Section 70 #Indian Succession Act #Will #changing the will #Agreement #Supreme Court #Appeal #Void Agreement #Land transfer #Sale of land