The Supreme Court has held that all assets in a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) would be presumed to be joint property belonging to all its members and a family member has to produce evidence to stake claim over any part even if it is ‘self-acquired’.
A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre said the burden is always on a family member, claiming ownership over a part of property of joint family, to prove before a court that it is his self-acquired property and not joint property of the family by placing oral or documentary evidence.
“It is a settled principle of Hindu law that there lies a legal presumption that every Hindu family is joint in food, worship and estate and in the absence of any proof of division, such legal presumption continues to operate in the family. The burden lies upon the member who, after admitting the existence of jointness in the family properties, asserts his claim that some properties out of the entire lot of ancestral properties are self-acquired,” the bench said.
The court passed the order while rejecting a plea of members of a joint family claiming ownership over agricultural land of the family on the ground that they had acquired the property and other members of their family had no right over it. The bench upheld the Karnataka high court order which had declared the property as joint property of the family.
As carried in TOI on 15/9/2017