June 29, 2024 In Uncategorized



A Single Judge Bench of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court comprising of Hon’ble Justice Manish Pitale, vide Order dated 10.06.2024, revoked the grant of Letters of Administration under the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (‘Succession Act’) in the Miscellaneous Petition filed in Manju Anil Aggarwal v. Rajeev Lalchand Goyal and Anr. MPT/116/2017. The Hon’ble Court held that the said Letters of Administration were obtained based on false statements and representations made by the Respondents and hence, the same ought to be revoked.


The Petitioner, Manju Anil Aggarwal, filed this Miscellaneous Petition in relation to the original Testamentary Petition No. 530 of 1992. The Petitioner claimed that the Respondent in the present Petition, i.e., Rajeev Lalchand Goyal (‘Respondent’) and now Deceased, Ramamurti Goyal, were related to her in the capacity of adoptive brother and mother, respectively. The original Testamentary Petition was concerned with the property of Late Lalchand Goyal, who, along with his wife Ramamurti Goyal, had adopted two children – i.e. the Petitioner and the Respondent.

The Petitioner claimed that throughout her life, she was treated as the adopted daughter of Lalchand Goyal by Respondent and others. She presented several legal documents before the Hon’ble Court that showed Lalchand Goyal as her father. This included an Affidavit signed by the Respondent in 1991 before the Small Causes Court stating that the legal heirs of the Deceased Lalchand Goyal included the Petitioner (as his married daughter), Smt. Ramamurti Goyal (Wife) and the Respondent himself.

The Petitioner alleged that the Respondent and Late Ramamurti Goyal fraudulently presented themselves as the only legal heirs of Late Lalchand Goyal in the original Testamentary Petition and stated that he had no daughters. Based on this, the Hon’ble Court granted Letters of Administration on 08.09.1993. However, the Petitioner had no knowledge of the same and only became aware of it in 2015.

The Petitioner contended that since the aforesaid fraud was only brought to her knowledge in August 2015, her Misc. Petition ought to be allowed by this Hon’ble Court by virtue of Section 17 the Limitation Act, 1963 (‘Limitation Act’) (‘Effect of fraud or mistake’) read with Article 137 of the Limitation Act. The Petitioner sought the revocation of the aforementioned Letters of Administration under Section 263(b) of the Succession Act (‘Revocation or Annulment for just cause’) through the aforesaid Misc. Petition.


The issues before the Hon’ble Court in the present case were as follows:

I) Whether the current Petition was maintainable and within the limitation period under the Limitation Act?

II) Whether the Letters of Administration ought to be revoked in the current case?


The period of limitation for filing a revocation petition with respect to Letters of Administration is three years, as per Article 137 of the Limitation Act. However, the Hon’ble Court observed that the Petitioner had raised the ground that the grant was fraudulently obtained under Section 263(b) of the Succession Act, which is enough to invoke Section 17 of the Limitation Act in the present case. The Court considered all these provisions and concluded that the cause of action for taking appropriate steps to seek revocation would arise when the fraud comes to Petitioner’s knowledge for the first time, i.e., August 2015. The Petitioner filed the said Misc. Petition in 2016, which is well within the limitation period.

The Hon’ble Court further observed that the Respondent had failed to deny or rebut the documents presented by the Petitioner, which prove that she was adopted by Late Lalchand Goyal. The Court heavily relied on the non-denial of the Affidavit submitted by Respondent in another case before the Small Causes Court in 2003. The said Affidavit clearly mentioned the Petitioner as the daughter of Late Lalchand Goyal. The Court noted the Respondent’s inability to present any reasonable defense against the documents produced by the Petitioner.

The Court also delved into the essentials of valid adoption as stated by the Hon’ble Apex Court, noting that in the absence of formal documents showing adoption, the Court must consider the treatment of the adopted child and if there is no proof to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume that the child was validly adopted. This principle was upheld in the present case by concluding that the Petitioner was the adopted daughter of Late Lalchand Goyal.

After analysing the aforementioned provisions and facts of the case, the Hon’ble Court held that the Letters of Administration were obtained fraudulently by the Respondent and revoked the same.


Thus, based on the aforesaid observations, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court revoked the Letters of Administration granted in 1993. The Court found that the Respondents had fraudulently misrepresented themselves as the sole heirs of Late Lalchand Goyal, excluding the Petitioner, who was legally adopted by the Deceased. Further, as the Respondents failed to rebut the evidence presented by the Petitioner, the fraudulent grant Letters of Administration was accordingly annulled under Section 263(b) of the Succession Act.


Himangi Nagar

5th year

Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad


The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services


Edited by

Kartik Khandekar

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services

Leave a Reply