Daughters born even BEFORE HINDU SUCCESSION ACT Entitled share in the joint family properties HOLDS SC
DANAMMA @ SUMAN SURPUR AND ANOTHER
AMAR AND OTHERS
[A.K. SIKRI and ASHOK BHUSHAN, JJ.]
1. The appellants herein, two in number, are the daughters of one, Gurulingappa Savadi, propositus of a Hindu Joint Family. Apart from these two daughters, he had two sons, namely, Arunkumar and Vijay. Gurulingappa Savadi died in the year 2001 leaving behind the aforesaid two daughters, two sons and his widow, Sumitra. After his death, Amar, S/o Arunkumar filed the suit for partition and a separate possession of the suit property described at Schedule B to E in the plaint stating that the two sons and widow were in joint possession of the aforesaid properties as coparceners and properties mentioned in Schedule B was acquired out of the joint family nucleus in the name of Gurulingappa Savadi. Case set up by him was that the appellants herein were not the coparceners in the said joint family as they were born prior to the 2 enactment of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’). It was also pleaded that they were married daughters and at the time of their marriage they had received gold and money and had, hence, relinquished their share.
2. The appellants herein contested the suit by claiming that they were also entitled to share in the joint family properties, being daughters of Gurulingappa Savadi and for the reason that he had died after coming into force the Act of 1950.
3. The trial court, while decreeing the suit held that the appellants were not entitled to any share as they were born prior to the enactment of the Act and, therefore, could not be considered as coparceners. The trial court also rejected the alternate contention that the appellants had acquired share in the said properties, in any case, after the amendment in the Act vide amendment Act of 2005. This view of the trial court has been upheld by the High Court in the impugned judgement dated January 25, 2012 thereby confirming the decree dated August 09, 2007 passed in the suit filed for partition.
4. In the aforesaid backdrop, the question of law which arises for consideration in this appeal is as to whether, the appellants, daughters of Gurulingappa Savadi, could be denied their share on the ground that they were born prior to the enactment of the Act and, therefore, cannot be treated as coparceners? Alternate question is as to whether, with the 3 passing of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the appellants would become coparcener “by birth” in their “own right in the same manner as the son” and are, therefore, entitled to equal share as that of a son?
On facts, there is no dispute that the property which was the subject matter of partition suit belongs to joint family and Gurulingappa Savadi was propositus of the said joint family property. In view of our aforesaid discussion, in the said partition suit, share will devolve upon the appellants as well. Since, Savadi died leaving behind two sons, two daughters and a widow, both the appellants would be entitled to 1/5th share each in the said property. Plaintiff (respondent No.1) is son of Arun Kumar (defendant No.1). Since, Arun Kumar will have 1/5th share, it would be divided into five shares on partition i.e. between defendant No.1 Arun Kumar, his wife defendant No.2, his two daughters defendant Nos.3 and 4 and son/plaintiff (respondent No.1). In this manner, the plaintiff/respondent No.1 would be entitled to 1/25th share in the property.
The appeals are allowed in the aforesaid terms and decree of partition shall be drawn by the trial court accordingly.