Legal Provisions Regarding Property Received by Gift from Paternal Ancestors in Hindu Law

The view propounded by the Supreme Court is as follows: It is open to the father to indicate whether the property should be held by the son as coparcenary property or as self-acquired property. There is no presumption one way or the other. The language of the document read in the light of surrounding circumstances is the guide to the intention of the donor.

In this case, it was held that the intention of the father was that his son should hold the property absolutely and not as coparcenary property. So the property was not coparcenary property in the hands of the legatee.

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In Ratanlal v. Ramesh Chandra, AIR 1979 All. 296, A died and his self acquired property devolves upon his sister (Janaki) for a limited estate. She made a gift of it to A’s brother’s son’s son (Arku Ram). The alienation was not challenged by the reversioner (father of the donee).

The question whether the property in the hands of Arku Ram was ancestral or not had to be considered in the suit for partition brought by Arku Ram’s son (Ratanlal). It was held that the property was ancestral as it was received as a “gift by Arku Ram from a paternal ancestor viz., Janaki and was of grand paternal property”.

The Allahabad High Court relied upon the principle of the Supreme Court’s decision in Arunachala Mudaliar’s case. It is respectfully submitted that the Supreme Court’s ruling has no application to this case. The gift is by Janaki, a female ancestress, who cannot be described as Pitamaha (paternal ancestor). This case requires reconsideration.