Do parents have a right in children’s property?
The doctrine of equal ownership of father and son in ancestral property based on the text of Yagnavalkya. Book 2. 129 and C. N. Arunachala Mudaliar v. C. A. Muruganatha Mudaliar And another.
The ownership of father and son is co-equal in the acquisitions of property by the grandfather.
In the ancestral or grandfather’s property in the hands of the father:
the son has equal rights with his father.
In the self-acquired property of the father:
His rights are unequal as the father has an independent power over interest in the same. He may gift or will the property to someone else.
- N. Arunachala Mudaliar vs C. A. Muruganatha Mudaliar And another, 1953 AIR 495, 1954 SCR 243
The apex court observed that the son can assert this equal right with the father. However, this is only when the grandfather’s property has devolved upon his father and has consequently become ancestral property in his hands.
After the amendment in 2005, every daughter (whether married or unmarried) is considered a member of her father’s HUF. She can even be appointed as ‘karta’ (who manages) of his HUF property.
Keeping in view all these it can be implied on the basis of where there is a right there is a duty.
Hence, as parents are bound to maintain their children so are children bound to maintain their parents. This is specifically mentioned in Hindu maintenance and adoption act, Criminal procedure code and Maintenance and Welfare of Senior citizens Act.
So is the case of property.
Parents do not have an absolute right over son’s property as during their lifetime they can gift the property to some one else or die testate, i.e. making a will.
But when the child dies intestate, the parents do have a right in child’s property.
Now, with the amendment of 2005 of Hindu Succession Act, females have a right in parent’s property, so parents also have a right in daughter’s property.
As per section 8 of Hindu succession act, parents do inherit child’s property. However, a mother is placed among 1st class heirs and the act being towards a little feminism placed father in 2nd class of heirs.
So, if no one in the first class of heirs inherits, father along with other class II heirs will inherit the property.
A point has to be noted that the co-heirs of a class inherit equal share of the deceased’s property.
There has always been a dispute with regard to rights and responsibilities of daughters as per the date of amendment which has been resolved finally.
A Bench comprising J. Anil R Dave and J. A.K. Goel interpreted the succession law and set aside the judgment of the Karnataka High Court in Prakash v. Phulavati. (2010)
The Court held that even if father had died before 9 September 2005, daughters are entitled to equal share and the same would apply in case of parent’s right over her property.
The apex court said that the text of the 2005 amendment itself explicitly provides that the right conferred on a daughter of a coparcener is on and from the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
So, if a child dies intestate, his or her parents can inherit the property, provided that a mother is a class I heir while father is class II.