Person A, wife of B, gave an irrevocable general power of attorney to C on 30 April 1982. C sold the property to D on 6 October 2001 through a valid sale deed. D, in turn, sold the property to X on 7 May 2007 through a valid sale deed. I am planning to purchase this property from X. My lawyer has asked me to execute the release deed confirming the sale deed executed by C in favour of D in 2001 because all the legal heirs of B (the original owner) have a right in the property (A and B had seven children who didn’t sign the sale deed in 2001). Is it necessary to execute the release deed? Can the legal heirs of B file objection?
We assume that there is no fraud involved in any of the previous transactions between the parties in respect of the transfer of the property. If a transaction is originally founded on fraud, then not only the person who has committed the fraud but even an innocent person cannot claim or derive any benefit under it except for monetary claims, if he is a bonafide purchaser for valuable consideration.
We have also assumed that the husband (B) was a Hindu and died intestate. So, Hindu Succession Act will apply, where the wife (A) along with the seven children will have equal undivided share in the property of the deceased.
Further, the lawyer has asked the querist for ratification. In order to be effective, ratification will have to fulfil certain conditions which includes that the person ratifying should have the absolute knowledge of the facts and the ratification must take place at a time, when and under the circumstances where the ratifying party might himself have lawfully done the act which he ratifies.In the present case, in view of the mentioned conditions, you cannot ratify or confirm the sale deed executed by C in 2001.
Note that the legal heirs have every right to object to the transfer and make the sale invalid, provided the same is filed under the limitation period, i.e. within three years from the date the legal heirs of B becoming aware of the same. In the event that they (or any one of them) were minors at the time of execution of the sale deed, the limitation period will be calculated from the day they attain the age of majority or 18 years. Those children who had attained majority will be deemed to have waived their right to object.
Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries at email@example.com