Collector can’t take over property if childless owner dies without will: SC
The Supreme Court has stopped governments from taking over private properties, including those belonging to Hindu religious and charitable institutions, through adjudications by collectors if the owners of these assets had no heirs and died without executing wills.
In a significant ruling, a bench of Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud barred collectors from taking up adjudication of title over any property, which fell squarely within the domain of civil courts.
“To allow administrative authorities of the state — including the collector — to adjudicate upon matters of title involving civil disputes would be destructive of the rule of law. The collector is an officer of the state… An adjudicatory function could not have been arrogated to himself by the collector. Adjudication on titles must follow recourse to the ordinary civil jurisdiction of a court of competent jurisdiction under Section 9 of Code of Civil Procedure,” said Justice Chandrachud, writing the judgement for the bench.