(1) Religious or charitable purposes.
(2) Legal necessity.
Religious or charitable purposes may be sub-divided in two classes, namely:
(a) Performance of the obsequial ceremonies of the deceased owner,
(b) Performance of the religious ceremonies of persons other than the deceased owner.
The purposes which are for the deceased owner’s spiritual benefit are essential and obligatory.
The religious ceremonies which relate to others are not essential yet they are pious purposes.
An alienation of the estate for the religious or charitable purposes is justifiable without showing any benefit to the estate or to prove any “pressure on the estate”. The alienation made on this ground is unquestionable.
The religious or charitable acts for which alienation may be made are as follows:
(i) Performance of the funeral and Sradha ceremony of the deceased owner,
(ii) Performance of the Sradha ceremony of the husband’s mother;
(iii) Other religious acts which arc conducive to the spiritual welfare of her husband;
(iv) Payments of debts of the deceased owner even though barred by limitation.
The power of a widow to alienate the estate for legal necessity is just like that of a manager of an infant’s estate as defined by the Privy Council in Hanuman Prasad v. Mst. Babooe, (1856) 6 M. l. A. 393.
The power is a limited one. It can only be exercised rightly “in a case of need or the benefit of the estate.”
The actual pressure on the estate, a danger to the averted or the benefit to be conferred on it, arc some instances of legal necessity. The real question is that of necessity. The word ‘necessity’ means some kind of pressure which the law recognises as serious and sufficient.
For the following purposes which have been held to be legal necessity the alienation can be made:
(i) Cost of taking probate or letters of administration, or succession certificate in respect of the estate of the deceased owner.
(ii) Payments of arrears of Government revenue and the decrees for rent accrued due after the death of the deceased owner provided she had no funds to pay them.
(iii) Maintenance of herself and the other persons like deceased’s mother, grandmother and unmarried daughters.
(iv) Marriages of the relations of the deceased owners, such as his daughter, son’s daughter, etc.
(v) Gift by a widow to her daughter and son-in-law on the occasion of their marriage and gauna.
(vi) Benefit of the estate. An alienation of property to meet the costs of litigation necessary for preserving the estate is alienation “for the benefit of the estate”.
To uphold an alienation by a widow or other limited heir of the corpus of immovable property inherited by her it should be shown:
(1) That there was legal necessity; or
(2) That the alienee, after reasonable inquiry as to the necessity acted honestly in the belief that the necessity existed; or
(3) That there was such consent of the next reversioners to the alienation as would raise a presumption that the transaction was a proper one; or
(4) That it was surrender by her of her whole interest in the whole estate in favour of the nearest reversioner at the time of alienation.