The fundamental issue in Gurupad Khandappa Magdum vs Hirabai Khandappa Magdum and Ors was the portion that a Hindu widow would get under Sections 6 and 8 of the Succession Act.
FACTS OF GURUPAD CASE:
- On June 27, 1960, Khandappa Sangappa Magdum died, leaving behind his spouse Hirabai, two sons Gurupad and Shivapad, and three daughters.
- Hirabai filed a special civil complaint in November 1952 for the division and separate ownership of a 7/24 share in two residences, a land, two stores, and movables, claiming that these things belonged to her husband and their two kids.
- The plaintiff’s contention was that if a partition had occurred during Khandappa’s lifetime between himself and his two sons, the plaintiff would have received a 1/4th share on Khandappa’s death and that Khandappa’s 1/4th share may fall on six sharers at his death, entitling her to 1/24th share.
- The trial court determined that the suit properties were owned by the joint family and that no earlier partition had occurred.
In terms of Sections 6 and 8 of the Succession Act, what portion would a Hindu widow receive?
The plaintiff’s contention was that if a partition had taken place between Khandappa and his two sons during Khandappa’s lifetime, the plaintiff would have received a 1/4th share each upon Khandappa’s death. She also claimed that Khandappa’s 1/4th share could devolve upon his death to six sharers, entitling her to a 1/24th share.
Bench: Chandrachud, Y.V. ((CJ)
- There is no reason for restricting the plaintiff’s share to 1/24th by ignoring the 1/4th share she would have received if her husband and his two sons had divided the estate during his lifetime. There would be four sharers in the coparcenary property in a split between Khandappa and his two sons, the fourth being Khandappa’s wife, the plaintiff. On the assumption of a division between himself and his sons, Khandappa would have received a 1/4th stake in the coparcenary property.
- Khandappa’s stake in the coparcenary property would devolve by survivorship to the remaining members of the coparcenary under the regular rule stipulated by Section 6 of the Hindu Succession: Act, 1956, rather than in conformity with the Act’s provisions.
- However, because the widow and daughter are among the female relatives listed in class I of the Act’s Schedule, and Khandappa died leaving a widow and daughters, the proviso to section 6 kicks in, and the normal rule is overturned.
- According to the proviso, Khandappa’s stake in the coparcenary property would pass through intestate succession rather than survivorship under the Act.
- This Court held that the deemed partition could not be limited to the period immediately preceding the death of the deceased coparcenary, but that “all the consequences that flow from a real partition must be logically worked out,” so the heirs’ share must be determined because they had separated from one another and received a share in the partition that occurred during the deceased’s lifetime.
- The court said that the divide had to be recognized and acknowledged as a solid fact that could not be reversed afterward.
- The legal heirs inherit the father’s/share husband’s from the portion that the dead would have received in such a division.
- The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 does not change the share of the dead father/husband upon his death; rather, it grants a legal right to the deceased’s part to his wife, son, and daughter, all of whom have equal rights in determining the deceased’s portion in the joint family.
Found Gurupad Khandappa Magdum vs. Hirabai Khandappa Magdum Case summary useful? We have a bunch of useful topics from family law that will help you in your preparation here >>> FAMILY LAW
Check out our YouTube Channel for free legal videos >>> LAW PLANET YT