The Karnataka High Court has ruled that ‘Partition suit’ to include property given as dowry and marriage Gifts.
The suit has been filed by the petitioner, Hemalatha seeking for partition of the various joint family properties described in the schedule thereto claiming that as a female member of the joint family, she had an interest in the said properties by virtue of the amendment to Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act.
While the suit was pending application had been filed by the brother of the plaintiff before the trial Court seeking for addition of two properties. The brother asserted that the said property was also amenable for partition since the property has been given as dowry at the time of the marriage of the petitioner.
The issue raised was whether in a suit for partition, the properties which had been given as dowry or otherwise at the time of marriage of the daughter plaintiff, who is claiming a right of partition under Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, would be amenable for partition and the same would be included in a suit for partition.
It was contended by the defendant that certain joint family properties had been given to the 1st plaintiff and her family members as dowry during her marriage. That is to say that a portion of the joint family property was made available for plaintiff as either dowry/gift or share in the property at the time of marriage. This court at present is not concerned with the offences of Dowry if any, there being no complaint in regard thereto.
The single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj has opined that a beneficiary of 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. 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 observed that 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.
Case title: Smt. Hemalatha v/s Sri.Venkatesh and Ors.
Citation: WRIT PETITION NO.39982 OF 2018 (GM-CPC)