Escheat – Claim of – It is well settled that when a claim of escheat is put forward by the Government the onus lies heavily on the appellant to prove the absence of any heir of the respondent anywhere in the world. Normally, the court frowns on the estate being taken by escheat unless the essential conditions for escheat are fully and completely satisfied. Further, before the plea of escheat can be entertained, there must be a public notice given by the Government so that if there is any claimant anywhere in the country or for that matter in the world, he may come forward to contest the claim of the State. In the instant case, the States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh merely satisfied themselves by appearing to oppose the claims of the plaintiffs-respondents. Even if they succeed in showing that the plaintiffs were not the nearest reversioners of the late Maharaja, it does not follow as a logical corollary that the failure of the plaintiffs’ claim would lead to the irresistible inference that there is no other heir who could at any time come forward to claim the properties.
Read here: 1983 PLRonline 0004
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