Children born out of void marriages to get parents' property: Supreme Court
Children of void/voidable marriages are entitled to inherit a share in the property of their deceased parents, the Supreme Court said.
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that children born out of void or voidable marriages are entitled to get a share in the property of their parents. The ruling is applicable only to Hindu joint family properties governed by Hindu Mitakshara Law, the top court clarified, as reported by LiveLaw. The verdict was given by a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud in reference to a two-judge bench judgment in Revanasiddappa vs. Mallikarjun (2011), which had held that children born out of void/voidable marriages are entitled to inherit their parents' property -- whether self-acquired or ancestral.
According to the interpretation of Section 16(3) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 children born out of invalid marriages are conferred with legitimacy. But Section 16(3) says such children are only to inherit their parents' property and will have no right over other coparcenary shares.
The bench explained that as per Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, the interest of coparceners in a Hindu Mitakshara property is defined to be the share of the property that would have been allotted to them if the partition of the property had taken place immediately before their death.
A voidable marriage is not enforceable in law or is unlawful and has to be annulled through a decree.
What did the 2011 judgment say?
"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 rights which are given to other children born in valid marriage. This is the crux of the amendment in Section 16(3)," the division bench of Justice (retired) GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly wrote in their 2011 verdict.
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