Madras High Court Orders FIR Against Those Providing False Information for Legal Heir Certificates

The Madras High Court has directed the Commissioner of Revenue Administration to issue instructions to competent revenue officers across Tamil Nadu to file criminal cases against individuals who submit applications for legal heir certificates with false information or by concealing material facts. This directive aims to address the growing concerns over the misuse of this legal process, which is critical in determining rightful heirs to estates.

The order was issued during the resolution of a petition by M. Marannan, whose application for a legal heir certificate was rejected by the tehsildar of Mettupalayam, Coimbatore. Marannan had claimed to be the sole legal heir of the deceased Marana Gauder, but a subsequent investigation revealed that the deceased had four legal heirs, including two sons and two daughters, all of whom are alive. The revenue officer rejected Marannan’s application due to these concealed facts, prompting him to appeal to the High Court.

Justice S.M Subramaniam, who presided over the case, emphasized the need for stringent measures against those manipulating information to obtain legal heir certificates. The judge ordered that a circular should be issued within five weeks to guide revenue officers on handling such cases and ensure that complaints are filed promptly.

The court highlighted the frequency of cases where individuals provide misleading information to secure legal heir certificates, a practice that has become all too common in the public domain. The court stressed that such actions are not only unethical but also constitute a criminal offense under the Indian Penal Code.

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