Supreme Court docket Explores Property Rights of Illegitimate Kids

The Supreme Court docket of India lately delved right into a compelling authorized query that issues the property rights of illegitimate kids born out of void or voidable marriages in Hindu Undivided Households (HUFs). The crux of the matter revolves round whether or not such kids are entitled to inherit their mother and father’ property and maintain coparcenary rights inside the HUF.

Supreme Court Explores Property Rights of Illegitimate Children - Asiana Times

Part 16(3) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956:

In the course of the hearings, varied authorized consultants supplied differing viewpoints on the interpretation of Part 16(3) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956. Some contended that kids born from void or voidable marriages ought to have an equal share of their dad or mum’s property, much like kids born from legitimate marriages. Nonetheless, uncertainty remained concerning whether or not this entitlement prolonged to self-acquired property or ancestral property inherited by the mother and father.

The Nuances of Current Jurisprudence:

The court docket hearings plumbed the depths of present jurisprudence, unearthing a number of beforehand unattended nuances associated to Part 16. It turned evident that the availability clarifies the property rights of an illegitimate little one, proscribing it solely to parental property. It explicitly stipulates that such a toddler wouldn’t have any rights over the properties owned by different members of the HUF.

Limitations on Illegitimate Youngster’s Rights over HUF Property:

Authorized consultants defined this restriction as a bar on the rights of illegitimate kids over the properties held beneath the HUF. Conversely, kids born from legitimate marriages inside the undivided household robotically purchase a share of the jointly-owned property in the mean time of their beginning.

The Genesis of the Problem:

The genesis of this complicated concern traces again to a trial court docket ruling in Karnataka in 2005, which declared that kids born out of illegitimate marriages lacked coparcenary rights over the ancestral properties of their mother and father. Nonetheless, this view was subsequently reversed by a district decide.

The Karnataka Excessive Court docket’s Interpretation:

The Karnataka Excessive Court docket, in its ruling, clarified that Part 16(3) of the Hindu Marriage Act solely granted illegitimate kids the fitting to inherit their mother and father’ property and nothing extra. Within the occasion of the dad or mum’s loss of life, the illegitimate little one may declare a share within the portion of the property that belonged to their dad or mum, however with a big caveat – this proper would solely come up if the dad or mum died intestate, i.e., with out leaving a will.

The Supreme Court docket’s Involvement:

When the Karnataka Excessive Court docket’s ruling was challenged earlier than the Supreme Court docket, a two-judge bench, on March 31, 2011, referred the case to a three-judge bench to handle the pivotal query: Are illegitimate kids entitled to a share within the coparcenary property, or is their entitlement restricted solely to their mother and father’ self-acquired property beneath Part 16(3) of the Hindu Marriage Act?

Recognition of Illegitimate Kids’s Rights:

In its earlier ruling, the Supreme Court docket highlighted the significance of recognizing the rights of kids born out of illegitimate relationships. The court docket emphasised that the kid’s beginning ought to be seen independently of the connection of the mother and father. Consequently, a toddler born from such a union ought to take pleasure in all of the rights and entitlements granted to kids born from legitimate marriages. The modification in Part 16(3) seeks to make sure this equitable therapy.


As a result of complexity and far-reaching implications of this authorized query, the Supreme Court docket determined to order its verdict. The additional hearings scheduled on Thursday will present counsel with the chance to current extra submissions and arguments. Finally, the court docket’s resolution will carry important weight in shaping the property rights of illegitimate kids inside Hindu Undivided Households in India.


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