SC rejects claims of man over sister's property

SC rejects claims of man over sister's property

 The Supreme Court has directed a man to hand over property, taken by his sister’s father-in-law on tenancy, to the landlord, saying the law does not permit a brother to be a woman’s legal heir and lay claim over her assets.

“Language used in Section (15(2)(b) of the Hindu Succession Act clearly specifies that the property inherited from the husband and father-in-law would devolve upon the heirs of husband/father-in-law from whom she inherited the property,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi said. The court rejected the claim of Durga Prasad, a resident of Dehradun, over a property after the death of his sister Lalita Devi in 2013.

The woman had inherited the property from her father-in-law, who had entered into it as a tenant in 1940.

“Upon the death of Lalita, in terms of Section 15(2)(b) of the Hindu Succession Act, in the absence of any son or daughter, the tenancy would devolve upon the heirs of her husband. Since the appellant does not fall under the category of ‘heir’ of Lalita’s husband, the tenancy of the suit property will not devolve on him nor can he be called an ‘heir’,” the bench said.

Citing provisions of the UP Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, the court said sisters and brothers of the tenant or landlord were excluded from the list of family given therein.

The court noted during the pendency of the suit, Lalita never declared that she was taken care of by her brother.

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