According to Mithila and Mayukha Schools of Hindu Law, the words “father”, “brother” and “paternal uncle” are used in an illustrative sense and a reunion can be effected between others provided they were parties to the original partition. The Supreme Court in Bhagwan Dayal v. Reoti Devi held that if a joint Hindu family separates, the family or any member of it may agree to reunite as a joint Hindu family, but such a reuniting is for obvious reasons, which would apply in many cases under the Law of the Mitakshara, of very rare occurrence, and when it happens it must be strictly proved.
To constitute a reunion there must be an intention of the parties to reunite in estate and interest. It is implicit concept of a reunion that there shall be an agreement between the parties to reunite in estate with an intention to revert to their formal status of members of a joint Hindu family. Such an agreement need not be express, but may be implied from the conduct of the parties alleged to have re-united. But the conduct must be of such an incontrovertible character that an agreement of reunion must be necessarily implied there from”.
The Madras High Court in a case held that where reunion is between two parties of a joint family, one of whom was a party to preliminary partition and the other was the son of the second party to partition who had separated, the reunion between them was held to be valid.
The incident of reunion must be proved like any other event. Just as in absence of a clear proof of partition, having been effected it is presumed that the family is joint, so also, on a partition there is a presumption that the family is disjointed unless there is reunion among the members. The burden of proof of reunion is on the member who asserts it.
Reunion is possible between the parties to the preliminary partition. Therefore a reunion cannot be effected by an adopted grandson of a coparcener living with his father and holding the shares of his branch jointly.
Effect of Reunion:
The effect of reunion is to revert the united members to their status as members of joint Hindu family. But the separate property of a reunited coparcener does not pass by survivorship to the other reunited coparceners but passes by succession to his heirs according to special rules.