The Karnataka High Court has observed that a father can gift the ancestors' property within reasonable limits in favour of his daughter.

In that context, the Bench of Justice HP Sandesh observed that, "the father can made gift of ancestor immovable property within reasonable limits in favour of his daughter at the time of her marriage or even long thereafter. Reasonable limits would depend upon factors such as status of the family, extent and value of the property gifted, where respondent father himself takes the stand that the property gift made by him in favour of his daughters was not valid, he must plead and prove that the gift was excessive and unreasonable."

Senior Counsel SP Shankar appeared for the appellant, while Counsel RB Sadashivappa, along with others, appeared for the respondents.

The plaintiff filed a suit seeking a declaration and permanent injunction, claiming that the property originally belonged to Nanjappa D/o Devappagowda and was a part of the undivided Hindu Joint Family property.

Nanjappa gifted the property to his daughter B N Chandralekha through a registered gift deed in 1976. Subsequently, Dr. S Surendra Shetty purchased the property from B N Chandralekha in 1980, and then sold it to the plaintiff (Smt. Shakheela Shetty) in 1985.

The plaintiff acquired both the title and possession of the property from her brother, Dr. Surendra Shetty. However, on 01.12.1991, defendant No.1, the appellant, along with his followers, attempted to trespass onto the property and damaged the fence. The plaintiff's father, acting as her GPA holder, lodged a complaint with the police, following which the plaintiff filed the present suit seeking a declaration of title and permanent injunction.

The issues were as follows:

1. Whether the father of the vendor of the plaintiff, as the karta of the family, could made a gift of the undivided extent of the property in respect of his daughter?

2. Whether the father, as karta could, within a reasonable limit, gift a property in favour of his daughter to secure her maintenance or for such other pious purposes, notwithstanding that it is the undivided interest of the family?

The Court observed that, "considering the material available on record and also taken note of the scope of gifting of the property by the kartha of the family for reasonable extent and also he was having a share in the coparcenary property and for the pious purposes that too performing the marriage of his daughter who is also a daughter of joint family made such gift."

Accordingly, the appeals were dismissed.


Appellant: Senior Counsel SP Shankar, Counsel Jayakumar

Respondent: Counsel RB Sadashivappa, Counsel Prakyath Shetty K, Counsel Kavya Anilkumar

Cause Title: BN Devaraju vs Shakeela S Shetty

Click here to read/download the Judgment