Move to cut number of testamentary cases

By Chandani Kirinde

Amendments to the Civil Procedure Code seeking to raise the value of an administrable estate, from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 1,000,000, were debated in Parliament on Tuesday but the Bill was referred back to a committee prior to approval at the request of Opposition legislators on the grounds that it needs further discussion.

Justice Minister Athauda Seneviratne who introduced the amendments said that testamentary cases are clogging up the courts, so raising the value of the estate at which legal intervention can be sought will lead to the reduction of such cases filed in courts.

“There have been suggestions by some MPs to increase this value to five million rupees or even to ten million rupees. There were also suggestions that the value for urban areas be set at Rs. 5 million and at Rs. 3.5 million for pradeshiya sabha administered areas. I hope to bring more amendments in the future in this regard,” the Minister said.

United National Party (UNP) MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the amending Bill needs to undergo a few changes if it is to be advantageous to litigants, who in the case of testamentary cases, are forced to resort to legal action just to get their inheritance rights.

Tamil National Alliance MP A.Vinayagamoorthy said testamentary cases tend to drag on for years and hence welcomed the amendments.

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