In a significant judgement, the Bombay high court has held that a child given away in adoption cannot claim any right in the property of his biological father.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar recently delivered this ruling in an appeal filed by Somanath Radhakrishna More in a case pertaining to a joint Hindu family from Nashik, where the family head Ramchandra Mahale had given away his eldest son Radhakrishna to the Mores. Ramchandra had two more sons Trimbak and Digambar.
In the course of time, both Digambar and Trimbak died. Thereafter, Somnath, the son of Radhakrishna, claimed a share in the property jointly owned by the Mahale family.
The court opined that the issue of Radhakrishna’s adoption was vital and went to the root of the matter.
The appellant, too, vehemently challenged the fact of adoption of Radhakrishna by the More family.
It was argued that Ramchandra’s daughter could not bring any documentary evidence in support of her contention of Radhakrishna’s adoption.
The high court, however, held that Radhakrishna and Somnath do not have the right to claim a share in the property belonging to their biological family as Radhakrishna was given away in adoption.
Justice Bhatkar said “family is not defined under the Hindu Succession Act. Thus, who can be a member of the family is not described by the statute. Therefore, the court has to determine Ramchandra’s position in view of his legal status only”. It was further observed that Somnath’s status as a family member may be acknowledged by Trimbak and Digambar, but he does not have any legal right in the property of his father’s (Radhakrishna’s) biological father.