Properties given as dowry to be included in partition suit instituted by daughter under Hindu Succession Act

Properties given as dowry to be included in partition suit instituted by daughter under Hindu Succession Act

Hemalatha Vs Venkatesh and Ors

Karnataka HC

16/02/2022

Writ Petition No. 39982 Of 2018

About/from the judgment:

The High Court has held that the properties which had been given as dowry or otherwise at the time of marriage of the daughter, would be amenable for partition and the same will have to be included in a suit for partition, instituted by the daughter.

A single judge bench said,

"In a suit for partition, the properties which had been given as dowry or otherwise at the time of marriage of the daughter plaintiff, claiming a right of partition under Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, would be amenable for partition and the same would have to be included in a suit for partition."

Petitioner Hemalatha had approached the court challenging and order dated August 8, 2018, passed by the City Civil Judge Bengaluru, allowing the application filed by the brother of the petitioner seeking to include two properties in the partition suit filed by the petitioner, claiming that they were given in dowry at the time of her marriage.

The petitioner submitted that there are no reasons which had been given by the Trial Court for allowing the application for amendment and therefore, such order is required to be set-aside. Further, it was said that the item No.9 property was purchased by the petitioner's father-in-law and item No.10 was purchased by her husband out of their own funds and therefore, they are not amenable for Partition.

On the contrary, the respondent brother contended that the properties covered item Nos.9 and 10, which were sought to be introduced by way of amendment, were given as dowry and therefore, in a suit for partition, the said properties would also be amenable for partition.

Court findings:

The court on going through the record was of the opinion that a beneficiary under Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act cannot claim a benefit by way of partition as regard to joint family properties without reference to the properties already received by her at the time of marriage as dowry/gift or otherwise.

It observed,

"The said properties at an undisputed point of time forming part of the joint family property and the plaintiff having received it, the same would also have to be made part of the partition suit in order for the partition to be equitable hence, those properties would also be amenable to partition."

The court also observed that whether the properties in question were independently purchased and would not be amenable for partition is an issue that would have to be decided by the trial court and it cannot adjudicate on it.

The bench observed, "It is for the parties to establish during the course of trial as to whether the properties belonged to the joint family or not. If the properties belong to the joint family, then the same would be amenable for partition. If the plaintiffs were able to establish that the properties had been independently purchased out of their own funds and the said properties are not joint family properties, then the same would not be amenable for partition. This aspect would have to be ascertained by the Trial Court only after trial."

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