Child Born Out Of Invalid Marriage Do Not Hold A Right In Hindu Joint Family Property REVANASIDDAPPA V. MALLIKARJUN

Posted On - 7 March, 2024 • By - C.V. Charanya Charanya

The question of whether the child born of an annulled marriage is entitled to inherit the ancestral assets of the Hindu undivided family was dealt by the Supreme Court of India

According to the plaintiffs, who claimed that Defendant No. 1 had married the fourth defendant while the Defendant No.1 first marriage was still in effect.

The case detailed with regard to the ancestral property that had been granted to Defendant No. 1 by way of grant, The Defendants No. 1 first wife and her two children had sued the defendants for partition and separate possession of the property, claiming their 1/4th portion each. As a result, the children born from the second marriage would not be entitled to any share in the ancestral property of Defendant No.1,

The first wife of defendant no. 1 was the third plaintiff, while the second wife was the fourth defendant. The Defendant was married to two women: the first and second plaintiffs are his children from the first marriage, while the second and third defendants are his children from the second.

The Supreme Court emphasized that depriving children from the part of property would be harmful to their welfare and that a child should not suffer because of their parents’ invalid marriage. Children born out of marriages declared void are granted legitimacy by Section 16(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act “Notwithstanding that a marriage is null and void under section 11, any child of such marriage who would have been legitimate if the marriage had been valid, shall be legitimate, whether such child is born before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 (68 of 1976), and whether or not a decree of nullity is granted in respect of that marriage under this Act and whether or not the marriage is held to be void otherwise than on a petition under this Act

Additionally, Section 16(2) stipulates “Where a decree of nullity is granted in respect of a voidable marriage under section 12, any child begotten or conceived before the decree is made, who would have been the legitimate child of the parties to the marriage if at the date of the decree it had been dissolved instead of being annulled, shall be deemed to be their legitimate child notwithstanding the decree of nullity”.

The child’s rights are restricted to the property of their parents, and they are not eligible to claim any other coparcenary shares, as the Supreme Court clarified.

The Supreme Court gave a clarifying answer to this controversial question by stating that every child has the right to own his or her parent’s property under the Hindu law. This judgment has far-reaching implications by diverging from the traditional Hindu law. It shows the importance of safeguarding children’s rights by ensuring their right to own their parents’ property.[1]

[1] Online SC 1087