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Business News/ Money / Q&a/  How can a coparcener of HUF claim rightful share in income?

What would be the best recourse or remedy for a coparcener of a Hindu undivided family (HUF) who is not being given his rightful share of income by the Karta in connivance with other coparceners?

—Name withheld on request

In a Hindu family, the Karta or manager occupies a unique position. He has greater rights and duties as opposed to coparceners and members of the joint family.

Karta must look after the family interests. He is entitled to possession of the entire joint estate. He is also entitled to manage the family properties. The managing member or Karta has not only the power to manage but also to alienate joint family property. The alienation may be either for family necessity or for the benefit of the estate. Such alienation would bind the interests of all the undivided members of the family, adults or minors.

Remedies against alienations: Although the power of disposition of joint family property has been conceded to the manager/Karta of joint Hindu family, the law raises no presumptions as to the validity of his transactions.

His acts could be questioned in the court of law. The other members of the family i.e., a coparcener has a right to have the transaction declared void, if not justified. When an alienation is challenged as unjustified or illegal, it would be for the Karta as an alienee to prove that there was legal necessity in fact or that he made proper and bona fide inquiry as to the existence of such necessity and satisfied himself/herself as to the existence of such necessity. If the alienation is found to be unjustified, it would be declared void.

It is pertinent to note, that any coparcener can demand partition of the coparcenary property generally and in particular reference to the circumstances as informed to us by you, when you are being deprived of your rightful share in the HUF properties. A partition suit may be filed by you in the court having the competent jurisdiction of the HUF property and the ultimate result would be distribution of the coparcenary property among the coparceners.

Upon such partition, each coparcener is entitled to a share of the property. Furthermore, only coparcenary property can be subject matter of partition and therefore separate property or property which by custom descends to one member of the family cannot be the subject of partition.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner at Rajani Associates.

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Updated: 20 Dec 2022, 10:50 PM IST
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