SC: Signing the will in presence of attesting witnesses is not necessary

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 11thJuly, 2019, in the matter ofGanesan (D) Through Lrs. Kalanjiam And Otherspronounced that there is no express prescription in the Indian Succession Act, 1925 that the testator must necessarily sign the will in presence of the attesting witnesses only or that the two attesting witnesses must put their signatures on the will simultaneously at the same time in presence of each other and the testator.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Section 63 (c) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 gives certain alternatives and it is sufficient if conformity to one of the alternatives is proved. The acknowledgement may assume the form of express words or conduct or both, provided they unequivocally prove an acknowledgement on part of the testator. (Para 5)

Where a testator asks a person to attest his Will, it is a reasonable inference that he was admitting that the Will had been executed by him. (Para 5)

There is no express prescription in the Indian Succession Act, 1925 that the testator must necessarily sign the will in presence of the attesting witnesses only or that the two attesting witnesses must put their signatures on the will simultaneously at the same time in presence of each other and the testator.(Para 5)

Copy of judgement: Order_11-Jul-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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