Daughter’s Right in Coparcenary Property:  Bombay High Court Affirms.

Case Title – Kamalakar Purushotam Inamdar & Ors. vs. Smt. Rajani Shriram Madiwale & Ors.

Case No. – Second Appeal No. 335, 336 of 2015

Dated on – 14th June, 2024

Quorum – Hon’ble Justice Sharmila U. Deshmukh

Facts of the Case –

Purushotam, upon his death, left behind two properties: Kashidwadi (self-acquired) and Padali (ancestral). Dispute arose over the inheritance of these properties, particularly concerning the applicability of the 2005 Amendment Act to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which granted daughters equal coparcenary rights in ancestral properties. The main issue was whether Purushotam’s daughters, Defendant Nos. 7 and 8, could claim coparcenary rights in Padali despite their mother’s death before the enactment of the amendment. The case revolved around interpreting the retroactive application of the amended law to determine the inheritance rights of the parties involved.

Issues –

  • Whether the finding of the 1st Appellate Court that the suit property was the self-acquired property is based on misreading of the evidence on record and the evidence which has come on record?
  • Whether on proper appreciation of the evidence the Plaintiff can be stated to have discharged the burden of proving that the suit properties are the self-acquired properties?
  • Whether the Courts have properly interpreted amended Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 2005, while granting equal share to the Plaintiffs?

Legal Provisions –

  • Section 6 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956


Contentions of the Appellant –

The appellant in this case primarily contends that the lower court erred in its classification of the properties in question, specifically Kashidwadi and Padali, as self-acquired and ancestral, respectively. It is argued that the evidence presented clearly establishes Kashidwadi property as ancestral, contrary to the lower court’s finding of it being self-acquired. This classification discrepancy is crucial because it impacts the appellant’s entitlement to a share in the ancestral property under Hindu Succession laws. Additionally, the appellant disputes the lower court’s calculation of shares in both properties, asserting that their entitlement has been incorrectly determined. The appeal further challenges the application of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, concerning the appellant’s deceased ancestor, Indira, and the effect on her inheritance rights vis-à-vis the ancestral Padali property. Therefore, the appellant seeks a reversal of the lower court’s decisions regarding property classification and shares, based on a correct interpretation of the law and evidence presented.


Contentions of the Respondent –

The respondent in this case maintains that the lower court’s classification of the properties, Kashidwadi and Padali, as self-acquired and ancestral respectively, was correct based on the evidence presented during trial. They argue that the lower court properly applied the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, in determining the nature of these properties and the entitlements of the parties involved. The respondent contends that the appellant’s challenge to this classification lacks merit and is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence and legal principles. Furthermore, they assert that the calculation of shares by the lower court was accurate and in accordance with the applicable laws, particularly with regard to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. The respondent emphasizes that the rights of the parties, including those of the deceased ancestor Indira, were correctly adjudicated by the lower court, ensuring equitable distribution as per the legal framework governing succession. Therefore, the respondent opposes the appeal and seeks to uphold the lower court’s decisions regarding property classification, shares, and the application of relevant laws.


Court Analysis and Judgement –

The court analyzed the appeal in light of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, particularly focusing on the amendments introduced in 2005. It deliberated on the nature of the properties in question—Kashidwadi and Padali—deciding Kashidwadi was self-acquired by Purushotam and Padali was ancestral. The court scrutinized the evidence to ascertain whether the properties were correctly classified. It upheld the lower court’s determination that Kashidwadi was self-acquired and Padali was ancestral, dismissing the appellant’s challenge.

Regarding shares, the court affirmed the lower court’s distribution under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. It concluded that Plaintiffs and Defendant No.1 each were entitled to 7/36th share in Padali, with Defendant Nos.4 to 6 collectively entitled to 7/36th share, and Defendant Nos.7 and 8 collectively to 1/36th share. The court maintained the calculation and distribution of shares were legally sound.


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Judgement Reviewed By- Anurag Das

Click here to read the Judgement.

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