Opinion Of Eminent Legal Luminaries On Controversial Issues

What Is The Law On Impartible Estate Of HUF Property?

QUERY: What is the Law laid down by Hon. Supreme Court in respect of impartible estate of HUF property?
ANSWER: Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 as it stood before its substitution by the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 w. e. f. September 9, 2005 is reproduced as under:

“When a male Hindu dies after the commencement of this Act, having at the time of his death an interest in a Mitakshara coparcenary property, his interest in the property, shall devolve by survivorship upon the surviving members of the coparcenary and not in accordance with this Act.

PROVIDED that if the deceased has left him surviving a female relative specified in Class I of the Schedule or a male relative specified in that Class who claims, through such female relative, the interest of the deceased in the Mitakashara coparcenary property shall devolve by testamentary or intestate succession, as the case may be, under this Act and not by survivorship.

Explanation 1: For the purpose of this section,
the interest of a Hindu Mitakshara coparcener shall be deemed to be the share in the property that would have been allotted to him if a partition of the property had taken place immediately before his death irrespective of the fact whether he was entitled to claim partition or not.

Explanation 2: Nothing contained in the proviso to this section shall be construed as enabling a person who has separated himself from the coparcenary before the death of the deceased or any of his heirs to claim on intestacy a share in the interest referred to therein.”

On the basis of the then existing section, the Supreme Court in State of U.P. v. Raj Kumar Rukmini Raman Brahma [AIR 1971 SC 1687] pointed out that an estate, which is impartible by custom, cannot be said to be the separate or exclusive property of the holder of the estate. “If the holder has got the estate as an ancestral estate and he is succeeded to it by primogeniture, it will be part of the joint estate of the undivided Hindu family.” The Supreme Court further held that right of maintenance and right of survivorship would still remain,
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