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A Karta has legal authority to execute an agreement to sell land of agricultural nature: Supreme Court of India

A joint Hindu family is capable of acting through its Karta or adult member of the family in the management of the joint Hindu family property. A coparcener who has the right to claim a share in the joint Hindu family estate cannot seek an injunction against the Karta restraining him from dealing with or entering into a transaction from sale of the joint Hindu family property, albeit post alienation has a right to challenge the alienation if the same is not for legal necessity or for the betterment of the estate. Where a Karta has alienated a joint Hindu family property for value either for legal necessity or benefit of the estate it would bind the interest of all undivided members of the family even when they are minors or widows. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court before Hon’ble Justice M.R. SHAH & Hon’ble Justice SANJIV KHANNA in the matter of BEEREDDY DASARATHARAMI REDDY vs V. MANJUNATH AND Anr [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7037 OF 2021].

The fact of the case was that an agreement to sell was executed by the Karta of a Hindu Undivided Family which was signed by him and his wife but not by his son. An amount of Rs. 4 lakhs out of 29 Lakhs were received in favor of the said agreement in advance. On 26.09.2007 Beereddy Dasaratharmi Reddy instituted the suit for specific performance of the agreement to sell which was allowed. Aggrieved the Karta’s Son preferred an appeal before the High Court and succeeded in his appeal by order dated 06.03.2021. Thus, the appellate has preferred the present appeal.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court referred to the case of Sri Narayan Bal and Others v. Sridhar Sutar and Others (1996) 8 SCC 54  wherein it was held that a joint Hindu family is capable of acting through its Karta or adult member of the family in the management of the joint Hindu family property. A coparcener who has the right to claim a share in the joint Hindu family estate cannot seek an injunction against the Karta restraining him from dealing with or entering into a transaction from the sale of the joint Hindu family property.

Additionally, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that signatures of V. Manjunath, son of Karta – K. Veluswamy, on the agreement to sell were not required. K. Veluswamy being the Karta was entitled to execute the agreement to sell and even alienate the suit property. The absence of signatures of V. Manjunath would not matter and is inconsequential.

Finally, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the instant appeal with a direction to the appellate to deposit the balance sale consideration of Rs.25 lakhs in the trial court within a period of eight weeks from the date of the order.

Click Here To Read The Judgment

Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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