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Joint Family

Cases Munnilal Mehta & Others Vs. Chandeswar Mehta & Others, AIR 2007, Pat.67

Bhagawant P. Sulekha Vs. Digmbar Gopal SulEkha, AIR 1986. S C .79

Rose Marie Vs. W. T. Commissioner AIR 1970 Mad.249

Hardeo Rao Vs. Shakuntala Devi AIR 2008 SC 2489

Bengal Insurance Co. Vs. Vellayamma I L R. 1937 Mad.990

Katama Nacoias Vs. Raja of Siva Ganga, 9. MIA.539

Ramadevi Vs. Gyrasi. 1949 All. 160, F.B

Venkayama Vs. Venkataramanayamma 25, Mad.678 (P C)

Aruna chala Mudaliar Vs. Muruganadha Mudaliar, 1953 SC . 495

Madan Lal Phool Chand Jain Vs. State of Maharastra, AIR 1992 S C 1254

Jt. Family MANAGER




Senior most male.He represents the entire family acts on it’s behalf.

It is open to giveup.

Who can be a Karta

Only Senior most male. Woman cannot be a coparcener and cannot be the Manager of the Family

Case RadheAmmal Vs Income Tax Commisssioner(150) Mad 538

Dif Between Jt. Family Manager and Trustee

He is not a legal owner


Case: Perrazu Vs. Subbarayudu, 44. Mad.656 (P.C)


Ca n woman be a Karta

Case : Ram Avadh Vs. Kedar Nath AIR 1976 All. 283

Whether a Junior Member of coparcenary can act as Karta

Case: Nopany Investments ( Pvt) . Lt Vs. Santokh Singh AIR 2008 SC 673

Settled principle of old Hindu Law that Karta would be the senior most male, But in certain cases
a younger brother of the Joint Hindu family can deal with the family property

Remuneration for Services

Case : Jugal Kishore Vs. Commissioner of I. T. 1967, 63 IT R, 238. 242


1) Right to manage family affairs

Case: Ashok Kumar Vs. Commissioner of I. T. , Amritsar, I .T. Reference 17/82, decided on
19 july 2000 ( J & K)

2) Power to represent in suits

Karta may represent the joint family in suits. He may be sued and he can sue. Whenever a
decree is passed against him, that would bind all other members of the joint family members, if
he acted in the litigation in the interest of minor and in the case of major members, he acted with
their consent

In Fathiunnisa Begum Vs. Tamirasa Raja Gopala Charyulu AIR 1977 A P 24

Court observed “ A Hindu Widow inheriting her husband’s share Under Hindu Women’s Right
to Property Act, 1937, does not by itself disrupt the joint family status. After such inheritance she
continues to be a member of the joint family and the karta of joint family can represent her in all
suits. The enlargement of her limited estate into full estate by virtue of sec. 14 of H.S Act 1956
does not bring a change in the karta’s power to represent joint family including her ”

3) Right to receive and spend the family income

4) ) Right of alienation

i) Legal necessity : Rule in Hanuman Persaud’ Case

Ex: Marriage Expenses of daughter’s daughter not a legal necessity


Case: P. Mudaliar Vs. Nataraja 1956, Mad.788

Performance of marriage of a member of the Jt. Family is an act of legal
But If the act is prohibited
Case: Narasimham Vs Narasimham 1973, AP. 162

Instances of legal necessity

i) For food clothing and shelter

ii) Education of family members
iii) For general maintenance
iv) for marriage expenses
v) Medical treatment to family members
vi) For adoption of a son
vii) For defending against criminal charges
viii) For migrating to a nerw place for better living
ix) Performance of family ceremonies, annual shradha
x) Payment of debts antecedent debts
xi) Payment of rent or arrears of rent to the landlord
xii) Payment of government taxes or debts
xiii) For providing litigation expeeses
xiv) To discharge a mortgage of the family property
xv) Maintaining a family estate or garden that is the source of income

For an alienation to be valid under legal necessity

Four things are necessary:

In case of need or purpose
For lawful purpose
The family does not possesess alternative resources
The course of action taken by karta like an ordinary prudent man

Case: Dev Kishan Vs. Ram Kishan. AIR 2002 Raj. 370
Mortgage of jt. Family property for marriage of minor children
Case : Aravind Vs. Amma, AIR, 1980 SC 645

ii) Benefit to the estate:

Case: Palaniappa Vs. Daivassikamony, 40, Mad. 709 P C.

Benefit should necessarily be of a defensive character


However it was not accepted in Jagat Narain Vs. Mathura Das. , 50. All. 969

This was accepted by S C in Bala Mukand Vs Kamala wati, 1965, 1 S C J.212

iii) Gifts: with in reasonable limits

Case: Ramalinga Vs. Siva Chidambara, 42 Mad.. 440
Reasonable extent of family property to a daughter
Case:: Gurramma Vs. Mallappa 1964 Sc.10
Sundar Yadav Vs. Asha Kumari, AIR 2009Pat.131
Jinnappa Mahadevappa Vs. Chimavva, 1935, I L R. 59

iii) Right to incur debts

iv Father’s debts and pious obligation:

v) Ancient doctrine and modern doctrine contrast

This was expressed by Mukherjea.,J in Pannalal Vs Narain 1952 S C R 544.

a) When this doctrine is applicable

b) Who are the persons bound
c) What property is bound
d) For what debts this doctrine can be invoked

The difference between the father –Manager and any other manager was explained by the S C

in Faquir Chand Vs. Harnam Kaur, 1967, S C 727

Case Sidhehwar Mukherjee Vs. BhubaneshwarPrasad Narain Singh, AIR 1963 SC


Debts outside the scope of Pious Obligation

a) Commercial debts
b) Suretyship debts:
Cases: In Lakshminarayana Vs. Hanumantha Rao, 58. Mad. 375.
Thangathammal Vs. Arunachela Chettiar, 41. Mad.. 1071
c) Gaming debts
d) Avyavaharika Debts
Case: Toshan Pal. Vs . Dist. Judge of Agra, 56, All.548

Father’s liability in TORTS

Cases : Darbar Vs. Kachar , 32, Bom. 348
Jakati Vs. Borkar, 1959, S C . 282
Hemraj Vs. Khem Chand 1943 PC. 142

Scope of the doctrine was explained by the S C in Amritlal Vs Jayantilal, 1960 SC. 964

e) Is time-barred debt Avyavaharika debt

5 Power to execute promissory notes : Acknowledging debts

Case: Thadi Murali Mohan Reddi, Vs. Ganga Raju, AIR, 111964, Mad. 779

6. Power to commence business

Case: Banaras Bank Bs. Atari Narqin, 54, All.564. P.C

Father’s power of alienation for discharging his antecedent debts

Cases: Sahu Ram Vs. Bhup Singh, 39, All.437 P.C

Brij Narain Vs. Mangal Prasad, 46, AIR 1924, P C.50

In this PC propounded five propositions :

Cases: Agney Lal Narain Vs, Agney Lal Munii Lal, AIR 1951 All.400

Kulilalia Bank Ltd., Vs. S V Nagamanickam, 1956, I L R Mad.307

7). Power to compromise

8) power to refer for arbitration

Setting aide invalid alienation

A) Who can set aside

Limitations for setting aside invalid alienation:

a) Movable of immovable ( 12 years from the date of alienation

b) Immovable properties alienated and the purchaser has taken the possession with in 12

c) Declaration that the sale is void and not binding, the limitation is 6 years

d) If the next male is minor at the time of sale, minor can file a suit for setting aside the
sale within three ears of his attaining majority.

B) Defences to suit for setting aside alienations:

The purchaser can resist the suit by showing that there was legal necessity, benefit or
antecedent debt for alienation
If the purchase made, after due enquiry and satisfied bonafide, he can succeed though
the alienor did not actually apply the proceeds for meeting the necessity

Case Krishna Das Vs. Nathu Ram. 1927 PC .37

C) Equities on setting aside alienation:

a) Partial necessity
Case : Srinath Vs. Jagannath 52 All, 391
DurgaPrasad, Vs, Jewdhari, 1936 , Cal. 116

b) Alinor’s share atleast may pass to alienee in some states

Case: Perumanayakam Pillai Vs. Sivaraman AIR 1952, Mad. 419

c) Father benefitting to the extent of consideration for alienation

Case: Koer Hasmat Vs. SundarDas, 11. Cal. 396.