Property Inherited by Female Hindu to Devolve on Father’s Heirs and not Husband

0
1218

Tarabai Dagdu Nitanware and Ors. v. Narayan Keru Nitanware & Anr. 

Date of Judgment: January 15, 2018

Advertisement

January 29, 2018

In this recent case, the Bombay High Court has held that if a Female Hindu dies childless then her property inherited by Parents will devolve upon the legal heirs of her Father and not husband.

Brief Facts of the case: In the case, the petitioners have challenged the order of Trial Court. In the case originally the deceased’s husband i.e. respondent in the instant case had filed a suit for declaration, partition and injunction in respect of the suit properties belonging to the deceased. Here it would be relevant to mention that the suit properties were received by the deceased from her parents.

In the case, the respondent and his children who were not born to the deceased but to respondent’s second wife were claiming share in the property. According to the petitioners, deceased Sundarabai had died issue-less and as the respondent husband’s children were not born to the deceased, but as admitted by respondent himself, were born from his second wife they had no share in the suit properties.

The Trial Court accepted the fact that deceased Sundarbai was not the mother of respondent’s children as they were born from second wife of respondent and hence could not claim any share in the suit properties. However, as regards respondent husband, the trial Court held that the claim raised by him required adjudication and therefore, application was allowed partly.

The Petitioner’s in the case challenged Trial Court’s order contending that respondent cannot have any share in the suit property in view of provisions of section 15(2) (a) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.  The said provision states that any property inherited by a female Hindu from her father or mother shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the not upon the other heirs referred to in sub-section (1) in the order specified therein, but upon the heirs of the father..

Bench’s verdict

The Bombay High Court allowed the appeal and made the following observations:

  • That as per section 15(2) (a) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956., notwithstanding anything contained in sub section (1), any property inherited by a female Hindu from her father or mother, shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased not upon the legal heirs referred in sub section (1) in the order specified therein, but upon the heirs of the father. This provision, thus, clearly excludes the husband from inheriting the property received by a female Hindu from her parents if she was not having any children or has died issueless.
  • That in the instant case, the suit property was received by deceased Sundarabai from her parents and plaintiff Nos. 2 to 5 are not her children as they were born to respondent from his second wife. Therefore, it follows that Sundarabai has died issue-less and in such situation, in the absence of her son or daughter, her husband also cannot inherit her property and the property will devolve upon the legal heirs of her father.
  • That Respondent being deceased’s husband and not the legal heir of her father, cannot get any share in the property left behind by Sundarabai. Therefore, he had no cause of action to file the suit for partition of Sundarabai’s property.

The entire case can be accessed here.