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RAMESH KUMAR VERMA (pursuing company secretary course)     02 April 2011

Illegitimate kids have a right to ancestrarl property too:-

Illegitimate kids have a right to ancestrarl property too:SC

New Delhi, Apr 1, 2011 



The Supreme Court today ruled that illegitimate children were not only entitled to a share in the self-acquired property of parents but also in ancestral property.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said in a judgement that such children cannot be deprived of their property rights as what was considered illegitimate in the past may not be so in the present changing society.

"The court has to remember that relationship between the parents may not be sanctioned by law but the birth of a child in such a relationship has to be viewed independently of the relationship of the parents.

"A child born in such a relationship is innocent and is entitled to all the rights which are given to other children born in valid marriage. Right to property is no longer fundamental but it is a Constitutional right and Article 300A contains a guarantee against deprivation of property right save by authority of law," the bench said.

The bench disagreed with a plethora of earlier decisions taken by the apex court in Jinia Keotin and several other cases that illegitimate children were entitled only to a share in the self-acquired property of the parents and nothing beyond that.

"In our view, in the case of joint family property, such children will be entitled only to a share in their parents´┐Ż property but they cannot claim it on their own right. The only limitation even after the amendment seems to be that during the life time of their parents, such children cannot ask for partition (of property) but they can exercise this right only after the death of their parents.

"Therefore, such children will have a right to whatever becomes the property of their parents whether self acquired or ancestral," the bench said.


 7 Replies

M.Sheik Mohammed Ali (advocate)     02 April 2011

very thanking you Mr.R.K.Varma, could you give which case has been order the above said.

Devakrishnan (Consultant)     03 April 2011

hi friends

The Bench goes on to say

"We are, therefore, of the opinion that the matter should be reconsidered by a larger Bench and for that purpose the records of the case be placed before the Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India for constitution of a larger Bench".

Adinath@Avinash Patil (advocate)     06 April 2011



Devakrishnan (Consultant)     06 April 2011


Revanasiddappa & another  - Versus -Mallikarjun & others

Raghav Sood (Lawyer)     30 July 2011

the matter has been reffered to full bench with regrd to the conflicting views in previous judgemnt of apex court 

but i think the view taken in the above said judgment is in consonance with intent of legislature as it has not priortized or dilisted any property by its genus

RAMESH KUMAR VERMA (pursuing company secretary course)     30 July 2011






           CIVIL APPEAL NO.           OF 2011

(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.12639/09)

Revanasiddappa & another                    ...Appellant(s)

                          - Versus -

Mallikarjun & others                       ...Respondent(s)

                        J U D G M E N T


1.    Leave granted.

2.    The   first   defendant   had   two   wives-   the   third

plaintiff (the first wife) and the fourth defendant

(the   second   wife).   The   first   defendant   had   two

children   from   the   first   wife,   the   third   plaintiff,

namely,   the   first   and   second   plaintiffs;   and


another   two   children   from   his   second   wife,   the

fourth   defendant   namely,   the   second   and   third


3.    The   plaintiffs   (first   wife   and   her   two

children)   had   filed   a   suit   for   partition   and

separate   possession   against   the   defendants   for

their   1/4th  share   each   with   respect   to   ancestral

property   which   had   been   given   to   the   first

defendant by way of grant. The plaintiffs contended

that   the   first   defendant   had   married   the   fourth

defendant   while   his   first   marriage   was   subsisting

and,   therefore,   the   children   born   in   the   said

second   marriage   would   not   be   entitled   to   any   share

in the ancestral property of the first defendant as

they were not coparceners.

4.    However,   the   defendants   contended   that   the

properties were not ancestral properties at all but

were   self-acquired   properties,   except   for   one

property   which   was   ancestral.   Further,   the   first


defendant   also   contended   that   it   was   the   fourth

defendant   who   was   his   legally   wedded   wife,   and   not

the   third   plaintiff   and   that   the   plaintiffs   had   no

right   to   claim   partition.   Further,   the   first

defendant   also   alleged   that   an   oral   partition   had

already taken place earlier.

5.    The   Trial   Court,   by   its   judgment   and   order

dated   28.7.2005,   held   that   the   first   defendant   had

not   been   able   to   prove   oral   partition   nor   that   he

had   divorced   the   third   plaintiff.   The   second

marriage   of   the   first   defendant   with   the   fourth

defendant   was   found   to   be   void,   as   it   had   been

conducted   while   his   first   marriage   was   still

legally subsisting. Thus, the Trial Court held that

the   third   plaintiff   was   the   legally   wedded   wife   of

the   first   defendant   and   thus   was   entitled   to   claim

partition.   Further,   the   properties   were   not   self-

acquired   but   ancestral   properties   and,   therefore,

the   plaintiffs   were   entitled   to   claim   partition   of

the   suit   properties.   The   plaintiffs   and   the   first


defendant   were   held   entitled   to   1/4th  share   each   in

all the suit properties.

6.    Aggrieved,   the   defendants   filed   an   appeal

against   the   judgment   of   the   Trial   Court.   The   First

Appellate   Court,   vide   order   dated   23.11.2005,   re-

appreciated   the   entire   evidence   on   record   and

affirmed   the   findings   of   the   Trial   Court   that   the

suit   properties   were   ancestral   properties   and   that

the   third   plaintiff   was   the   legally   wedded   wife   of

the first defendant, whose marriage with the fourth

defendant   was   void   and   thus   children   from   such

marriage   were   illegitimate.   However,   the   Appellate

Court reversed the findings of the Trial Court that

illegitimate   children   had   no   right   to   a   share   in

the   coparcenary   property   by   relying   on   a   judgment

of   the   Division   Bench   of   the   Karnataka   High   Court

in  Smt.   Sarojamma   &   Ors.  v.  Smt.   Neelamma   &   Ors.,

[ILR 2005 Kar 3293].


7.    The   Appellate   Court   held   that   children   born

from a void marriage were to be treated at par with

coparceners and they were also entitled to the joint

family         properties                   of         the         first         defendant.

Accordingly,   the   Appellate   Court   held   that   the

plaintiffs,   along   with   the   first,   second   and   third

defendants   were   entitled   to   equal   share   of   1/6th

each in the ancestral properties.

8.    The   plaintiffs,   being   aggrieved   by   the   said

judgment of the Appellate Court, preferred a second

appeal   before   the   High   Court   of   Karnataka.   The

substantial   questions   of   law   before   the   High   Court


      "a)  Whether   the   illegitimate   children   born   out

               of         void         marriage               are         regarded         as

               coparceners   by   virtue   of   the   amendment   to

               the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956?


       b)    At   a   partition   between   the   coparceners

             whether they are entitled to a share in the

             said properties?"

9.    The   High   Court   stated   that   the   said   questions

were no more  res integra  and had been considered in

the   judgment   of  Sri   Kenchegowda  v.  K.B.   Krishnappa 

&   Ors.,   [ILR   2008   Kar   3453].   It   observed   that   both

the   lower   courts   had   concurrently   concluded   that

the   fourth   defendant   was   the   second   wife   of   the

first   defendant.   Therefore,   the   second   and   third

defendants   were   illegitimate   children   from   a   void

marriage.   Section   16(3)   of   the   Hindu   Marriage   Act

makes   it   clear   that   illegitimate   children   only   had

the   right   to   the   property   of   their   parents   and   no

one   else.   As   the   first   and   second   plaintiffs   were

the legitimate children of the first defendant they

constituted   a   coparcenary   and   were   entitled   to   the

suit  properties,  which  were  coparcenary  properties.

They   also   had   a   right   to   claim   partition   against

the other     coparcener and thus     their     suit for


partition          against         the         first         defendant             was

maintainable.            However,         the         second      and         third

defendants   were   not   entitled   to   a   share   of   the

coparcenary   property   by   birth   but   were   only

entitled   to   the   separate   property   of   their   father,

the   first   defendant.   The   High   Court   observed   that

upon   partition,   when   the   first   defendant   got   his

share   on   partition,   then   the   second   and   third

defendants   would   be   entitled   to   such   share   on   his

dying intestate, but during his lifetime they would

have no right to the said property. Hence, the High

Court   allowed   the   appeal   and   held   that   the   first

plaintiff, second plaintiff and the first defendant

would   be   entitled   to   1/3rd  share   each   in   the   suit

properties.   The   claim   of   the   third   plaintiff   and

the second, third and fourth defendants in the suit

property was rejected.

10.    As   a   result,   the   second   and   third   defendants

(present appellants) filed the present appeal.


11.    The   question   which   crops   up   in   the   facts   of

this   case   is   whether   illegitimate   children   are

entitled   to   a   share   in   the   coparcenary   property   or

whether   their   share   is   limited   only   to   the   self-

acquired   property   of   their   parents   under   Section

16(3) of the Hindu Marriage Act?

12.    Section   16(3)   of   the   Hindu   Marriage   Act,   1955

reads as follows:

       "16.   Legitimacy   of   children   of   void   and

       voidable marriages-

       (1)    xxx

       (2)    xxx

       (3)   Nothing   contained   in   sub-section   (1)

       or   sub-section   (2)   shall   be   construed   as

       conferring   upon   any   child   of   a   marriage

       which   is   null   and   void   or   which   is

       annulled   by   a   decree   of   nullity   under

       section   12,   any   rights   in   or   to   the

       property   of   any   person,   other   than   the

       parents,   in   any   case   where,   but   for   the

       passing of this Act, such child would have

       been   incapable   of   possessing   or   acquiring

       any such rights by reason of his not being

       the legitimate child of his parents.

13.    Thus,   the   abovementioned   section   makes   it   very

clear   that   a   child   of   a   void   or   voidable   marriage


can   only   claim   rights   to   the   property   of   his

parents,   and   no   one   else.   However,   we   find   it

interesting   to   note   that   the   legislature   has

advisedly   used   the   word   "property"   and   has   not

qualified   it   with   either   self-acquired   property   or

ancestral   property.     It   has   been   kept   broad   and


14.    Prior to enactment of Section 16(3) of the Act,

the   question   whether   child   of   a   void   or   voidable

marriage   is   entitled   to   self-acquired   property   or

ancestral   property   of   his   parents   was   discussed   in

a   catena   of   cases.   The   property   rights   of

illegitimate   children   to   their   father's   property

were   recognized   in   the   cases   of   Sudras   to   some


15.    In  Kamulammal (deceased) represented by Kattari 

Nagaya   Kamarajendra   Ramasami   Pandiya   Naicker         v.

T.B.K.   Visvanathaswami   Naicker   (deceased)   &   Ors.,

[AIR 1923 PC 8], the Privy Council held when a Sudra


had   died   leaving   behind   an   illegitimate   son,   a

daughter,   his   wife   and   certain   collateral   agnates,

both   the   illegitimate   son   and   his   wife   would   be

entitled   to   an   equal   share   in   his   property.     The

illegitimate   son   would   be   entitled   to   one-half   of

what   he   would   be   entitled   had   he   been   a   legitimate

issue. An illegitimate child of a Sudra born from a

slave or a permanently kept concubine is entitled to

share   in   his   father's   property,   along   with   the

legitimate children.

16.    In     P.M.A.M.   Vellaiyappa   Chetty   &   Ors.         v.

Natarajan   &   Anr.,   [AIR   1931   PC   294],   it   was   held

that   the   illegitimate   son   of   a   Sudra   from   a

permanent   concubine   has   the   status   of   a   son   and   a

member of the family and share of inheritance given

to him is not merely in lieu of maintenance, but as

a   recognition   of   his   status   as   a   son;   that   where

the   father   had   left   no   separate   property   and   no

legitimate son, but was joint with his collaterals,

the   illegitimate   son   was   not   entitled   to   demand   a


partition   of   the   joint   family   property,   but   was

entitled   to   maintenance   out   of   that   property.   Sir

Dinshaw   Mulla,   speaking   for   the   Bench,   observed

that   though   such   illegitimate   son   was   a   member   of

the family, yet he had limited rights compared to a

son   born   in   a   wedlock,   and   he   had   no   right   by

birth.   During   the   lifetime   of   the   father,   he   could

take   only   such   share   as   his   father   may   give   him,

but   after   his   death   he   could   claim   his   father's

self-acquired   property   along   with   the   legitimate


17.    In     Raja         Jogendra          Bhupati         Hurri         Chundun 

Mahapatra  v.  Nityanund   Mansingh   &   Anr.,  [1889-90

Indian   Appeals   128],   the   facts   were   that   the   Raja

was   a   Sudra   and   died   leaving   behind   a   legitimate

son,   an   illegitimate   son   and   a   legitimate   daughter

and   three   widows.   The   legitimate   son   had   died   and

the   issue   was   whether   the   illegitimate   son   could

succeed   to   the   property   of   the   Raja.   The   Privy


Council held that the illegitimate son was entitled

to succeed to the Raja by virtue of survivorship.

18.    In  Gur   Narain   Das   &   Anr.  v.  Gur   Tahal   Das   & 

Ors.,  [AIR 1952 SC 225], a Bench comprising Justice

Fazl Ali and Justice Bose agreed with the principle

laid down in the case of Vellaiyappa Chetty (supra)

and   supplemented   the   same   by   stating   certain   well-

settled   principles   to   the   effect   that   "firstly,

that the illegitimate son does not acquire by birth

any   interest   in   his   father's   estate   and   he   cannot

therefore   demand   partition   against   his   father

during   the   latter's   lifetime.     But   on   his   father's

death,         the     illegitimate         son         succeeds         as         a

coparcener   to   the   separate   estate   of   the   father

along   with   the   legitimate   son(s)   with   a   right   of

survivorship   and   is   entitled   to   enforce   partition

against   the   legitimate   son(s)   and   that   on   a

partition   between   a   legitimate   and   an   illegitimate

son,   the   illegitimate   son   takes   only   one-half   of

what   he   would   have   taken   if   he   was   a   legitimate


son."   However,   the   Bench   was   referring   to   those

cases   where   the   illegitimate   son   was   of   a   Sudra

from a continuous concubine.


19.    In   the   case   of  Singhai   Ajit   Kumar   &   Anr.  v.

Ujayar   Singh   &   Ors.,  [AIR   1961   SC   1334],  the   main

question was whether an illegitimate son of a Sudra

vis-`-vis   his   self-acquired   property,   after   having

succeeded   to   half-share   of   his   putative   father's

estate,   would   be   entitled   to   succeed   to   the   other

half   share   got   by   the   widow.   The   Bench   referred   to

Chapter   1,   Section   12   of   the   Yajnavalkya   and   the

cases   of      Raja   Jogendra   Bhupati          (supra)   and

Vellaiyappa Chetty  (supra) and concluded that "once

it   is   established   that   for   the   purpose   of

succession   an   illegitimate   son   of   a   Sudra   has   the

status  of a  son and  that he  is entitled  to succeed

to   his   putative   father's   entire   self-acquired

property   in   the   absence   of   a   son,   widow,   daughter

or   daughter's   son   and   to   share   along   with   them,   we

cannot   see   any   escape   from   the   consequential   and


logical   position   that   he   shall   be   entitled   to

succeed   to   the   other   half   share   when   succession

opens after the widow's death."

20.    The amendment to Section 16 has been introduced

and   was   brought   about   with   the   obvious   purpose   of

removing the stigma of illegitimacy on children born

in   void   or   voidable   marriage   (hereinafter,   "such


21.    However,   the   issues   relating   to   the   extent   of

property   rights   conferred   on   such   children   under

Section   16(3)   of   the   amended   Act   were   discussed   in

detail   in  the   case  of  Jinia  Keotin   &  Ors.  v.  Kumar 

Sitaram   Manjhi   &   Ors.  [(2003)   1   SCC   730].  It   was

contended   that   by   virtue   of   Section   16(3)   of   the

Act,   which   entitled   such   children's   rights   to   the

property   of   their   parents,   such   property   rights

included   right   to   both   self-acquired   as   well   as

ancestral   property   of   the   parent.   This   Court,

repelling   such   contentions   held   that   "in   the   light


of   such   an   express   mandate   of   the   legislature

itself,   there   is   no   room   for   according   upon   such

children   who   but   for   Section   16   would   have   been

branded   as   illegitimate   any   further   rights   than

envisaged therein by resorting to any presumptive or

inferential process of reasoning, having recourse to

the mere object or purpose of enacting Section 16 of

the Act. Any attempt to do so would amount to doing

not   only   violence   to   the   provision   specifically

engrafted   in   sub-section   (3)   of   Section   16   of   the

Act but also would attempt to court relegislating on

the   subject   under   the   guise   of   interpretation,

against   even   the   will   expressed   in   the   enactment

itself."   Thus,   the   submissions   of   the   appellants

were rejected. 

22.    In   our   humble   opinion   this   Court   in          Jinia 

Keotin  (supra)   took   a   narrow   view   of   Section   16(3)

of   the   Act.     The   same   issue   was   again   raised   in

Neelamma   &   Ors.  v.  Sarojamma
                                        &   Ors.
                                                      [(2006)   9   SCC

612], wherein the court referred to the decision in


Jinia   Keotin  (supra)   and   held   that   illegitimate

children   would   only   be   entitled   to   a   share   of   the

self-acquired property of the parents and not to the

joint Hindu family property.

23.    Same   position   was   again   reiterated   in   a   recent

decision   of   this   court   in  Bharatha   Matha   &   Anr.  v.

R.   Vijaya   Renganathan   &   Ors.  [AIR   2010   SC   2685],

wherein this Court held that a child born in a void

or   voidable   marriage   was   not   entitled   to   claim

inheritance   in   ancestral   coparcenary   property   but

was   entitled   to   claim   only   share   in   self-acquired


24.    We   cannot   accept   the   aforesaid   interpretation

of   Section   16(3)   given   in  Jinia   Keotin  (supra),

Neelamma  (supra) and  Bharatha Matha  (supra) for the

reasons discussed hereunder:

25.    The legislature has used the word "property" in

Section 16(3) and is silent on whether such property


is   meant   to   be   ancestral   or   self-acquired.   Section

16   contains   an   express   mandate   that   such   children

are only entitled to the property of their parents,

and not of any other relation.

26.    On   a   careful   reading   of   Section   16   (3)   of   the

Act   we   are   of   the   view   that   the   amended   Section

postulates that such children would not be entitled

to   any   rights   in   the   property   of   any   person   who   is

not   his   parent   if   he   was   not   entitled   to   them,   by

virtue   of   his   illegitimacy,   before   the   passing   of

the   amendment.   However,   the   said   prohibition   does

not   apply   to   the   property   of   his   parents.   Clauses

(1)   and   (2)   of   Section   16   expressly   declare   that

such children shall be legitimate. If they have been

declared          legitimate,              then         they             cannot         be

discriminated   against   and   they   will   be   at   par   with

other   legitimate   children,   and   be   entitled   to   all

the   rights   in   the   property   of   their   parents,   both

self-acquired            and         ancestral.              The         prohibition

contained   in   Section   16(3)   will   apply   to   such


children   with   respect   to   property   of  any   person 

other than their parents.

27.    With   changing   social   norms   of   legitimacy   in

every society, including ours, what was illegitimate

in the past may be legitimate today. The concept of

legitimacy   stems   from   social   consensus,   in   the

shaping of which various social groups play a vital

role. Very often a dominant group loses its primacy

over   other   groups   in   view   of   ever   changing   socio-

economic scenario and the consequential vicissitudes

in   human   relationship.   Law   takes   its   own   time   to

articulate such social changes through a process of

amendment.   That   is   why   in   a   changing   society   law

cannot afford to remain static. If one looks at the

history of development of Hindu Law it will be clear

that   it   was   never   static   and   has   changed   from   time

to   time   to   meet   the   challenges   of   the   changing

social pattern in different time.


28.    The   amendment   to   Section   16   of   the   Hindu

Marriage   Act   was   introduced   by   Act   60   of   76.   This

amendment     virtually     substituted     the     previous

Section   16   of   the   Act   with   the   present   Section.

From   the   relevant   notes   appended   in   the   clause

relating to this amendment, it appears that the same

was         done         to         remove            difficulties              in         the

interpretation of Section 16.

29.    The constitutional validity of Section 16(3) of

Hindu Marriage Act was challenged before this Court

and         upholding               the         law,          this         Court           in

Parayankandiyal   Eravath   Kanapravan   Kalliani   Amma

(Smt.)   &   Ors.  v.  K.   Devi   and   Ors.,   [(1996)   4   SCC

76],   held   that   Hindu   Marriage   Act,   a   beneficial

legislation, has to be interpreted in a manner which

advances   the   object   of   the   legislation.   This   Court

also   recognized   that   the   said   Act   intends   to   bring

about   social   reforms   and   further   held   that

conferment   of   social   status   of   legitimacy   on


innocent children is the obvious purpose of Section

16 (See para 68).

30.    In   paragraph   75,   page   101   of   the   report,   the

learned   judges   held   that   Section   16   was   previously

linked   with   Sections   11   and   12   in   view   of   the

unamended   language   of   Section   16.   But   after

amendment,   Section   16(1)   stands   de-linked   from

Section   11   and   Section   16(1)   which   confers

legitimacy   on   children   born   from   void   marriages

operates with full vigour even though provisions of

Section 11 nullify those marriages. Such legitimacy

has   been   conferred   on   the   children   whether   they

were/are born in void or voidable marriage before or

after the date of amendment.

31.    In   paragraph   82   at   page   103   of   the   report,   the

learned Judges made the following observations:

       "In view of the legal fiction contained in

       Section  16,  the  illegitimate children,  for

       all         practical         purposes,         including

       succession   to   the   properties   of   their

       parents, have to be treated as legitimate.

       They   cannot,   however,   succeed   to   the


       properties   of   any   other   relation   on   the

       basis         of         this         rule,         which         in         its

       operation, is limited to the  properties of

       the parents."

32.    It   has   been   held   in  Parayankandiyal  (supra)

that Hindu Marriage Act is a beneficent legislation

and   intends   to   bring   about   social   reforms.

Therefore,   the   interpretation   given   to   Section

16(3)   by   this   Court   in                       Jinia   Keotin                 (supra),

Neelamma  (supra)   and  Bharatha   Matha  (supra)   needs

to be reconsidered.


33.    With the amendment of Section 16(3), the common

law   view   that   the   offsprings   of   marriage   which   is

void   and   voidable   are   illegitimate  `ipso-jure'  has

to   change   completely.   We   must   recognize   the   status

of   such   children   which   has   been   legislatively

declared             legitimate               and          simultaneously                   law

recognises   the   rights   of   such   children   in   the

property   of   their   parents.     This   is   a   law   to

advance the socially beneficial purpose of removing


the stigma of illegitimacy on such children who are

as innocent as any other children.

34.    However,   one   thing   must   be   made   clear   that

benefit   given   under   the   amended   Section   16   is

available   only   in   cases   where   there   is   a   marriage

but   such   marriage   is   void   or   voidable   in   view   of

the provisions of the Act.

35.    In   our   view,   in   the   case   of   joint   family

property   such   children   will   be   entitled   only   to   a

share   in   their   parents'   property   but   they   cannot

claim   it   on   their   own   right.   Logically,   on   the

partition   of   an   ancestral   property,   the   property

falling   in   the   share   of   the   parents   of   such

children   is   regarded   as   their   self   acquired   and

absolute property. In view of the amendment, we see

no   reason   why   such   children   will   have   no   share   in

such property since such children are equated under

the   amended   law   with   legitimate   offspring   of   valid

marriage.   The   only   limitation   even   after   the


amendment   seems   to   be   that   during   the   life   time   of

their   parents   such   children   cannot   ask   for

partition   but   they   can   exercise   this   right   only

after the death of their parents.

36.    We         are         constrained                to      differ         from      the

interpretation   of   Section   16(3)   rendered   by   this

Court   in  Jinia   Keotin  (supra)   and,   thereafter,   in

Neelamma  (supra) and  Bharatha Matha  (supra) in view

of   the   constitutional   values   enshrined   in   the

preamble   of   our   Constitution   which   focuses   on   the

concept   of   equality   of   status   and   opportunity   and

also   on   individual   dignity.   The   Court   has   to

remember   that   relationship   between   the   parents   may

not   be   sanctioned   by   law   but   the   birth   of   a   child

in such relationship has to be viewed independently

of the relationship of the parents. A child born in

such   relationship   is   innocent   and   is   entitled   to

all   the   rights   which   are   given   to   other   children

born   in   valid   marriage.   This   is   the   crux   of   the

amendment               in         Section          16(3).             However,         some


limitation   on   the   property   rights   of   such   children

is still there in the sense their right is confined

to   the   property   of   their   parents.   Such   rights

cannot   be   further   restricted   in   view   of   the   pe-

existing common law view discussed above.

It is well known that this Court cannot interpret a

socially   beneficial   legislation   on   the   basis   as   if

the   words   therein   are   cast   in   stone.                            Such

legislation          must         be          given         a          purposive

interpretation   to   further   and   not   to   frustrate   the

eminently   desirable   social   purpose   of   removing   the

stigma   on   such   children.   In   doing   so,   the   Court

must   have   regard   to   the   equity   of   the   Statute   and

the   principles   voiced   under   Part   IV   of   the

Constitution,   namely,   the   Directive   Principles   of

State   Policy.     In   our   view   this   flows   from   the

mandate of Article 37 which provides that it is the

duty of the State to apply the principles enshrined

in Chapter IV in making laws.     It is no longer in

dispute     that     today     State   would   include   the

higher   judiciary   in   this   country.                          Considering


Article 37 in the context of the duty of judiciary,

Justice              Mathew         in           Kesavananda         Bharati

Sripadagalvaru           v.     State   of   Kerala   and   another

[(1973) 4 SCC 225] held:

       "......I   can   see   no   incongruity   in   holding,

       when   Article   37   says   in   its   latter   part

       "it   shall   be   the   duty   of   the   State   to

       apply   these   principles   in   making   laws",

       that   judicial   process   is   `State   action'

       and that the judiciary is bound to apply

       the   Directive   Principles   in   making   its


38.    Going   by   this   principle,   we   are   of   the   opinion

that   Article   39   (f)   must   be   kept   in   mind   by   the

Court   while   interpreting   the   provision   of   Section

16(3)   of   Hindu   Marriage   Act.     Article   39(f)   of   the

Constitution runs as follows:

       "39. Certain   principles   of   policy   to   be

       followed by the State: The State shall, in

       particular,   direct   its   policy   towards


       (a)    xxx

       (b)    xxx

       (c)    xxx

       (d)    xxx

       (e)    xxx

       (f)    that   children   are   given   opportunities

              and facilities to develop in a healthy


            manner   and   in   conditions   of   freedom

            and   dignity   and         that   childhood   and

            youth         are          protected         against

            exploitation   and   against   moral   and

            material abandonment."

39.    Apart   from   Article   39(f),   Article   300A   also

comes   into   play   while   interpreting   the   concept   of

property rights. Article 300A is as follows:

            "300A.  Persons   not   to   be   deprived   of

            property   save   by   authority   of   law:  No

            person   shall   be   deprived   of   his

            property   save   by   authority   of   law."

40.    Right   to   property   is   no   longer   fundamental   but

it   is   a   Constitutional   right   and   Article   300A

contains a guarantee against deprivation of property

right save by authority of law.

41.    In   the   instant   case,   Section   16(3)   as   amended,

does   not   impose   any   restriction   on   the   property

right   of   such   children   except   limiting   it   to   the

property of their parents. Therefore, such children


will   have   a   right   to   whatever   becomes   the   property

of their parents whether self acquired or ancestral.

42.    For   the   reasons   discussed   above,   we   are

constrained   to   take   a   view   different   from   the   one

taken   by   this   Court   in         Jinia   Keotin     (supra),

Neelamma     (supra)   and     Bharatha   Matha      (supra)   on

Section 16(3) of the Act. 

43.    We   are,   therefore,   of   the   opinion   that   the

matter should be reconsidered by a larger Bench and

for   that   purpose   the   records   of   the   case   be   placed

before   the   Hon'ble   the   Chief   Justice   of   India   for

constitution of a larger Bench.


                                 (G.S. SINGHVI)


New Delhi                        (ASOK KUMAR GANGULY)

March 31, 2011



Devakrishnan (Consultant)     31 July 2011

hi friends

This Verdict by SCC clearly says that the property of ancestral kind becomes absolute property

after partition ,then the illegimate child may be give rights on that property ,if there is no partition then

the illegimate child has no right in that property  accourding this verdict "NOT FINAL YET".

The Article

"300A.  Persons   not   to   be   deprived   of

            property   save   by   authority   of   law:  No

            person   shall   be   deprived   of   his

            property   save   by   authority   of   law."

To my understanding " No person shall be deprived of his property" .

HIS -means the person property established under court of law.

If i am correct how can ARTICLE 300A can be cited in determining the rights of person property

under issue.

The person should first establish his right on the property.

Further more the authority does not cove the  judiciary.


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