By Lovisha Aggarwal | January 24, 2019
COURT: Supreme Court of India
CASE: Radhamma vs H.N. Muddukrishna on 23 January, 2019
POINT: Prior to coming into force of the Hindu Succession Act, no coparcener could dispose of whole or any portion of his undivided coparcenary interest by Will but by virtue of Section 30 of the Act read with explanation, a coparcener derives his right to dispose of his undivided share in Mitakshara joint family property by Will or any testamentary disposition i.e. by virtue of law. Section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act permits the disposition by way of Will of a male Hindu in a Mitakshara coparcenary property. The significant fact which may be noticed is that while the legislature was aware of the strict rule against alienation by way of gift, it only relaxed the rule in favour of disposition by way of a Will of a male Hindu in a Mitakshara coparcenary property. Therefore, the law insofar as it applies to joint family property governed by the Mitakshara school, prior to the amendment of 2005, when a male Hindu dies after the commencement of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 leaving at the time of his death an interest in Mitakshara coparcenary property, his interest in the property will devolve by survivorship upon the surviving members of the coparcenary. An exception is contained in the explanation to Section 30 of the Act making it clear that notwithstanding anything contained in the Act, the interest of a male Hindu in Mitakshara coparcenary property can be disposed of by him by Will or any other testamentary disposition.
Since the testator has bequeathed his share/his undivided coparcenary interest by Will, no further independent share could be claimed by the appellants in the ancestral properties as a member of the family.
RELEVANT LEGAL PROVISIONS
Section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act
(1) Any Hindu may dispose of by will or other testamentary disposition any property, which is capable of being so disposed of by him, in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, or any other law for the time being in force and applicable to Hindus. Explanation: The interest of a male Hindu in a Mitakshara coparcenary property or the interest of a member of a tarwad, tavazhi, illom, kutumba or kavaru in the property of the tarwad, tavazhi, illom, kutumba or kavaru shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, be deemed to be property capable of being disposed of by him or by her within the meaning of this subsection.
(2) For the removal of doubts it is hereby declared that nothing contained in subsection (1) shall affect the right to maintenance of any heir specified in the Schedule by reason only of the fact that under a will or other testamentary disposition made by the deceased the heir has been deprived of a share in the property to which he or she would have been entitled under this Act if the deceased had died intestate.
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