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Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium: Ensuring Equitable Solutions in Property Rights Cases

  • By Priya
  • August 14, 2023

In the realm of the Indian legal framework, succession encompasses the orderly transfer of rights and obligations from a deceased person to their rightful legal beneficiaries. The specifics of succession laws in India diverge based on the personal laws adhered to by different religious groups. For instance, the Hindu Succession Act is applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs, while matters concerning Muslims are governed by the Muslim Personal Law. These regulations delineate the order of entitlement for relatives inheriting assets, their respective shares, and potential restrictions or prerequisites. Essentially, the lawful heirs inherit property through two avenues: inheritance and succession.

An heir is an individual with the rightful claim to inherit the wealth, assets, or titles of a deceased person upon their demise. This inheritance can be established either through a Legal Heir Certificate provided by local revenue or municipal authorities, or a Succession Certificate issued by a competent civil court.

The purpose of a Legal Heir Certificate is to validate the identity and rights of the legal heirs of the deceased. It primarily aids administrative processes such as claiming pensions, insurance benefits, or government subsidies.

There is a common misconception that a “Succession Certificate” and a Legal Heir Certificate” can be used interchangeably. While they might seem to have a similar purpose, they are often considered separate in legal terms, despite both aiming to safeguard the rights and responsibilities of the deceased person’s heirs. A legal heir certificate is required for transferring property or benefits owned by the deceased. On the other hand, a succession certificate is applicable for authorized successors who are asserting their claim over the deceased person’s movable and immovable assets.

Conversely, a succession certificate’s purpose is to expedite the acquisition and transfer of financial assets like bank accounts, stocks, and other movable assets in the name of the rightful heirs.

In the case of Vidyadhari vs. Sukhrana Bai – the Supreme Court granted a succession certificate to the live-in partner on the grounds that the children from the relationship were legitimate and based on the man’s nomination, regardless of his legally-wedded wife who did not cohabit with him.

The Latin maxim “ubi jus ibi remedium,” signifying “where there is a right, there is a remedy,” stands as a cornerstone in law. This principle finds particular resonance in property rights disputes, emphasizing that a breach of property rights necessitates an appropriate remedy for restoring fairness and equity.

This principle, “ubi jus ibi remedium,” holds relevance in various legal scenarios, including cases involving legal heirship and succession. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that its precise application and relevant case laws might vary according to jurisdiction and the specific inheritance and succession laws in that region.

In a notable case of Sardar Amarjit Singh Kalra v. Pramod Gupta & Ors., the court affirmed the maxim “ubi jus ibi remedium” as a fundamental legal principle. The Supreme Court held that it’s the responsibility of courts to safeguard people’s rights and provide relief to aggrieved parties rather than denying it.

It’s crucial to underline that succession laws and procedures can be subject to interpretation and complexities, guided by varying principles contingent upon the distinct circumstances of each individual case.

Ubi jus, ibi remedium” remains a fundamental principle within the context of succession laws as well. In the context of inheritance and succession, this principle asserts that when someone possesses a lawful entitlement to inherit property or assets from a deceased individual, a corresponding legal mechanism or remedy must exist to ensure a just and lawful inheritance process.

By Pavani Vasamsetty

Associate Advocate – Compass Law Associates

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