Supreme Court’s significant ruling in inheritance case

ABU DHABI - The Federal Supreme Court has declared null and void a lower court judgment,

By (By Adel Arafah)

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Published: Fri 18 Aug 2006, 10:05 AM

Last updated: Tue 31 Jan 2023, 2:10 PM

Which ruled that the heirs of one of the partners in the Al Bawardi Enterprises Group had given up their rights to the legacy provided the other partner paid off their debts.

Court records show that on September 10, 2003, the Abu Dhabi Shariah Court of First Instance issued two verdicts vis-a-vis the legacy of Hassan Ali Darwish, who passed away on August 11, 2003. The court specified the legal heirs - parents, wife, and four minor children - and their shares in the inheritance and granted the wife the guardianship of the four children.

Moreover, the court sustained an agreement between the heirs and Juma Ahmed Al Bawardi, the other partner in the Al Bawardi Enterprises Group, according to which some of the heirs had agreed to give up their rights to the inherited shares, provided Juma Al Bawardi paid off all the debts of the legator.

The wife contested the verdict before the Abu Dhabi Shariah Court of Appeal, which on October 10 last year, dismissed her petition and upheld the earlier judgment. The wife moved the Federal Supreme Court, contending that the previous appellate court’s verdict should be declared null and void.

The apex court on June 25 this year, after seeking expert opinion from scholars of the Maliki Jurisprudence School, quashed the verdict of the lower court. It’s decision came on the grounds that, “a deceased’s debt shall not be endorsed or ratified if a minor is included among the heirs, unless the creditor agrees to it under judicial oath,” as opined by the MJS scholars.

The apex court also referred the case back to the trial court for a fresh hearing before another bench of judges.

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