Hindu female must be in possession of property for conferment of a full ownership under Hindu Succession Act: SC
New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court has recently held that a Hindu female must be in possession of property for conferment of a full ownership under Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act.
A bench comprising Justices C.T. Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia was considering a special leave petition filed against an order of the Kerala High Court upholding dismissal by the trial court of a partition suit claiming ancestral rights over the property.
The suit was dismissed on the ground that the land along with the house sought to be partitioned is an agricultural land on which the appellants cannot claim any right. The trial court had held that in the facts of the case Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act, 1937 was not applicable to agricultural land.
The Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 provided that any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, will be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner.
Prior to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, amongst “Thiyyas” of Kozhikode, ancestral property devolved only on the male children and daughters had a right of maintenance till the time of their marriage.
The Supreme Court said that the essential ingredient for a property of a female Hindu to be her absolute property is possession over the property.
“A preexisting right is a sine qua non for conferment of a full ownership under Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act. The Hindu female must not only be possessed of the property but she must have acquired the property,” it said, referring to an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court
Admittedly the plaintiff, Hindu female, was never in possession of the property, noted the top court while dismissing the civil appeal.