Son-in-law does not have any legal right over father-in-law’s property: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has upheld that the son-in-law has no right to disrupt his father-in-law’s ownership of his building or property through THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE N.ANIL KUMAR in the case of Davis Raphel v. Hendry Thomas (RSA NO. 418 OF 2019)


A second appeal was filed against the orders of a trial court and the first appellate court by the defendant.

The original suit was filed before the trial court by the plaintiff, Sri. Hendry Thomas, the respondent in this appeal, who seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from trespassing into the plaint schedule property, interfering with the plaintiff’s peaceful possession and enjoyment of the property and the house therein, or committing any waste therein. The plaintiff claimed to have gotten the property through a gift deed. According to him, he built a concrete house with his own money and now lives there with his family.

The defendant was none other than the plaintiff’s son-in-law and thus had no legal claim to the property. The plaintiff’s principal issue was that the defendant was interfering with the plaintiff’s peaceful possession and enjoyment of the suit property. As a result, the suit was filed. The son-in-law claimed that he married the respondent’s only daughter and was effectively accepted as a part of the family as a result of the marriage. As a result, he claimed that he has the right to live in his father-in-building. law’s He further claimed that he built a house on the site with his own money and that he has no other place to live.


The Court considered whether a son-in-law had any legal interest to his father-in-law’s property and building.

The Court noted that the plaintiff received the plaint schedule property through a gift deed from the church authority. It did, however, believe that it was unnecessary to decide the legitimacy of the church’s gift deed in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s injunction claim deserves to be heard on the basis of the plaintiff’s established possession of the suit property and the building, according to the Court.

Furthermore, the Court dismissed the claims made against the father-in-law’s character because Section 52 of the Indian Evidence Act,1872 states that a fact pertaining to an individual’s character is irrelevant in civil cases.

The Court noted that the bonafide owner had filed a suit for an injunction preventing him from entering the property. The defendant’s residence in the plaint schedule building, if any, is purely permissive in nature. Thus, the defendant cannot claim legal possession of the suit property or the building. As previously stated, both courts below provided compelling reasons for concluding that the plaintiff’s injunction complaint was maintainable without further relief.

In addition to this, even if the evidence is inaccurate and the finding of fact is incorrect, a concurrent finding of fact that the plaintiff was in possession of the suit property on the date of suit is not subject to attack in the second appeal.

Hence, this Second Appeal was liable to be dismissed.

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