Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: In an important ruling, the Supreme Court has said that children born out of invalid marriages can claim a right in their parents’ ancestral property under the Hindu succession law.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, however, held that children from such “void or voidable” marriages will not be able to inherit the ancestral properties of the coparceners other than their parents.
The apex court passed the judgment while hearing a batch of petitions pertaining to legal questions on whether children, born out of annulled or invalid marriages, were entitled to a share in the ancestral property of their parents under Hindu laws.
Hindu Mitakshara law
The court said that its verdict would be applicable only to Hindu joint family properties governed by the Hindu Mitakshara law, under which the son, grandson and great grandson have a right to the family property through birth.
“Once the share of the deceased in property that would have been allotted to him if a partition had taken place immediately before his death is ascertained, his heirs, including the children who have been conferred with legitimacy under Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, will be entitled to their share in the property which would have been allotted to the deceased upon the notional partition, if it had taken place,” the Bench said.
“Since the child conferred with legitimacy under Section 16 is not a coparcener, the branch comprises the father and his children born out of the valid marriage. As such, the property, once partitioned from the larger coparcenary, and in the hands of the father, for his own branch, is not the father’s separate property, until the partition happens within the branch,” the court added.