The Kerala Joint Hindu Family System (Abolition) Act, 1975

The Kerala Joint Hindu Family System (Abolition) Act, 1975*

(Act 30 of 1976 amended by Act 15 of 1978)

An Act to abolish the joint family  system  among   Hindus in the state of Kerala.

Preamble:- Whereas it is expedient to abolish the joint  family system among Hindus in the state of Kerala

Be it enacted in the  Twenty-Sixth  Year  of  the Republic of India as follows:-

1. Short title, extent and commencement –
(1)  The  Act  may  be  called the Kerala Joint  Hindu  Family  System  (Abolition)  Act, 1975.
(2)  It  extends  to  the  whole State of  Kerala.
**(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Government  may,  by  notification the Gazette, appoint.

2.     Definition  –  In  this Act, “joint Hindu family” means any Hindu family with  community  of  property  and includes-

*The   above  Act  received  the  assent  of  the President on the 10th  day  of  August,  Kerala  Gazette,Extraordinary No.484, dated 17.8.1976.

**The  Act  came  into  force on 1-12-1976 as per notification No.  17469/Leg (A)2/69 Law,  dated  18.11.76 S.R.O.  1185/76.  K.G.No.  46, dated 23.11.1976.

(1)    a  tarward or tavazhi governed by
the Madras Marumakkattayam Act, 1932, the
Travancore Nayar Act,  II  of  1100,  the
Travancore  Ezhava  Act  III of 1100, the
Nanjinad  Vellala  Act   of   1101,   the
Travancore  kshatriya  Act  of  1108, the
Travancore  krishnavaka   Marumakkattayam
Act,  VII  of  1115, the Cochin Nayar Act
XXXIX   of   1113,    or    the    Cochin
Marumakkattayam Act, XXXIII of 1113;

(2)    a  kutumba  or kavaru governed by Madras Aliyasantana Act, 1949;

(3)    an illom governed by  the  Kerala Nambudiri Act, 1958; and

(4)    an    undivided    Hindu   family governed by the Mitakshara law.

3. Birth in family not to give rise to right in property –

On and after the commencement  of this  Act  no right to claim any interest in any property of an ancestor during his or her lifetime which is founded  on  the mere  fact  that the claimant was born in the  family  of  the  ancestor  shall  be recognized in any court.

(4) Joint  tenancy  to be replaced by tenancy in common —

(1) All members  of  an  undivided  Hindu family  governed  by  the  Mitakshara law holding any coparcenary property  on  the day  this Act comes into force shall with effect from that day, be deemed  to  hold it as tenants-in-common as if a partition had  taken place among all the members of that undivided Hindu family  as  respects such  property and as if each one of them is holding his or her share separately as full owner thereof;

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall affect the right to maintenance  or the right to marriage or funeral expenses out  of  the  coparcenary property or the right  to  residence,  if  any,  if   the members  of  an  undivided  Hindu family, other  than  persons  who   have   become entitled to hold their shares separately, &  any such right can be enforced if this Act had not been passed.

(2)    All  members  of  a  joint  Hindu family,  other  than  an  undivided Hindu family referred to  in  sub-section  (1), holding  any joint family property on the day of this Act comes into force,  shall, with  effect  from  that day be deemed to hold it as  tenants-in-common,  as  if  a partition of such property per capita had taken  place among all the members of the family  living  on  the  day   aforesaid, whether  such  members  were  entitled to claim such partition or not under the law applicable to them, and as i.e.  each one of the members  is  holding  his  or  her share separately as full owner thereof.

READ  Coparcener and Hindu Succession Act

NOTES

By  virtue  of  this Act the joint family system  of  the  Marumakkattayam   Tarwad   stood abolished   by  the  operation  of  law  and  the properties  of  the   joint   family   are   held thereafter by the members of the joiint family as tenants-in-common as if there was a partition.

If under the custom, a female is entitled to ask for partition or is granted a share in the property  in lieu of her right to maintenance, or marriage expenses, then only she is entitled to a share  in  the  property.2  Where  there  was   a partition  in  a  joint  family consisting of the asessee, his wife and son  prior  to  the  coming into  force  of  this  Act,  it was held that the property held by the assessee was his  individual property  and  the  wife  is  not entitled to any share in it.  Therefore, the entire  income  from the  property  in the hands of the assessee is to be assessed in his hand as an individual.

After passing of Joint  Family  Abolition Act, 1975, section 17 of the Hindu Succession Act does not become inoperative in respect of persons living on 18.6.1956 (Date of coming into force of Hindu  Succession  Act)  and  who  died after the passing  of  Joint  Family   Abolition   Act   on 1.12.1976.   It  also does not become inoperative in respect of persons who were born on  or  after 18.6.1956 but before 1.12.1976 and who died on or after that date.

5. Rule  of  pious  obligations of Hindu son abrogated.-

(1)    After the  commencement  of  this Act,  no court shall, save as provided in sub-sections (2) recognize any  right  to proceed   against   a  son,  grandson  or great-grandson for the  recovery  of  any debt  due from his father, grandfather or great grandfather or  any  alienation  of property in respect of or in satisfaction of  any  such  debt  on the ground of the pious obligation under the Hindu law, the son,  grandson  or  great   grandson   to discharge any such debt.

(2)    In   the   case   of   any   debt contracted  before  the  commencement  of this    Act,    nothing    contained   in sub-section(1) shall affect-

(a) the  right  of  any  creditor  to proceed against the son, grandson or  great  grandson,  as the case may be; or

(b) any alienation made in respect of or in satisfaction of,  any  such debt,   and  any  such  right  or alienation shall  be  enforceable under    the    rule   of   pious obligation in the same manner and to the same extent  as  it  would have been enforceable if this Act had not been passed.

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Explanation- For  the  purposes of sub-section (2),   the   expression    “son”, “grandson”  or  “great  grandson” shall be deemed to refer  to  the son,  grandson or great grandson, as the case may be, who was  born or    adopted    prior   to   the commencement of this Act.

The expression “Hindu Law” in this section has to be understood  in  a  broad  sense  as  including Marumakkattayam  Law  which is also part of Hindu Law.

6. Liability  of  members  of  joint   Hindu family  for  debts  contracted before Act not affected –

Where a debt binding on  a  joint Hindu  family  has been contracted before the commencement of this Act by Karnavan, Yejman, Manager or Karta, as the case may be,  of  the   family,   nothing   herein contained  shall  affect the liability of any member of the family to discharge any such debt and any such liability  may  be enforced   against  all  or  any  of  the members liable, therefore,  in  the  same manner and to the same extent as it would have been enforceable if this Act had not been passed.

7. Repeal.-

(1)  Save as otherwise expressly provided in  this   Act,   any   text,   rule   or interpretation of Hindu law or any custom or  usage  part  of  that  law  in  force immediately before  the  commencement  of this  Act shall cease to have effect with respect to any matter for which provision is made in this Act.

(2) The Acts mentioned in  the  schedule, in  so  far as they apply to the whole or any part of  the  State  of  Kerala,  are hereby repealed.

8. Proclamation  IX of 1124 and Act XVI 1961 to continue in force

Notwithstanding any  thing  contained  in this  Act  or in any other law for the time being in force, Proclamation (IX of  1124)  dated  29th June,   1949,  promulgated  by  the  Maharaja  of Cochin, as  amended  by  the  Valiamma  Thampuran Kovilakam  Estate and the Palace Fund (Partition) and Act, the Kerala  Joint  Hindu  Family  system (Abolition)Amendment  Act  1978  and the valiamma Thampuron    Kovilakam    Estate    and    Palace Fund(Partition)5 1961 (16 of 1961), as amended by the  said  Act, shall continue to be in force and shall apply to the Valiamma  Thampuran  Kovilakam Estate  &  the  Palace  Fund  administered by the Board of Trustees appointed under  section  3  of the said proclamation.

The Schedule
[See section 7(2)
Acts repealed

(1) The   Madras  Marumakkathayam  Act,  1932 (XXII of 1933);
(2) The Madras Aliyasantana Act,  1949(IX  of 1949);
(3) The Travancore Nayar Act, II of 1100;
(4) The Travancore Ezhava Act, III of 1100;
(5) The  Nanjinad  Vallala Act of 1101 (VI of 1101);
(6) The Travancore  Kshatriya  Act  of  1108, (VII of 1108);
(7) The    Travancore   Krishnavaka Marumakkathayee Act, (VII of 1115);
(8) The Cochin Thiyya Act, VII of 1107;
(9) The Cochin Makkathayam Thiyya  Act,  XVII of 1115;
(10) The Cochin Nayar Act, XXIX of 1113;
(11) The Cochin Marumakkathayam Act, XXXIII of 1113;
(12) The Kerala Nambudiri  Act,  1958  (27  of 1958)

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FOOT NOTES

1. WTO  v Madhavan Nambiar(K)(1988) 169 ITR 810; CWT   v Padmanabhan (PM) (1989) 179 ITR 243.

2. CWT v Padmanabhan (PM)(1989)179 ITR 243;

3. Deputy CAgIT v  Chidambaram  (RS)(1994)  209  ITR  531(Ker)  distinguishing Surjit Lal Chhabda v CIT  (1975) 101 ITR 776 (SC): 1976(2) SCR 164; Krishna  Prasad  (C)  v  CIT   (1974)   97   ITR   493(C);  Narendranath  (NV)  v CWT (1969) 74 ITR 190 (SC):  1970 SC 14: Gowli Bhddanna v CIT  (1966)  60  ITR  293 (SC).

4. Chellamma v Narayana 1993 Ker 146 (FB).

5. By  section  8  of  Valiamma  Thampuram Kovilakam  Estate and the Palace Fund  (Partition)  and  the  Kerala  Joint  Hindu  Family  System  (Abolition)  Amendment  Act,  1978  (Act  15  of  1978)  after  section 7 of the Kerala Joint Hindu Family System  (Abolition)  Act, 1975 (Act 30 of 1976) section 8  was inserted and shall be deemed always  to  have  been inserted.
However in the case of any debt contracted before the commencement of this Act, nothing stated above will affect:-

The right of any creditor to proceed against the son, grandson or great grandson, as the case may be; or
Any alienation made in respect of, or in satisfaction of, any such debt, and any such right or alienation shall be enforceable under the rule of pious obligation in the same manner and to the same extent as it would have been enforceable if this Act had not been passed
Explanation: The expression “Son”, “grandson” or “great grandson” shall be deemed to refer to the son, grandson, or great grandson, as the case may be, who was born or adopted prior to the commencement of this Act.

Liability of members of joint Hindu family for debts contracted before Act not affected:

Where a debt binding on a joint Hindu Family has been contracted before the commencement of this act by the Karanavan, Yejman, Manager or Kartha, as the case may be, of the family, nothing herein contained shall affect the liability of any member of the family to discharge any such debt and any such liability may be enforced against all or any of the members liable therefore in the same manner and to the same extent as it would have been enforceable if this Act had not been passed.

The following Acts were repealed :

The Madras Marumakkathayam act, 1932 (XXII of 1933]
The Madras Aliyasanthana Act, (IX of 1949)
The Travancore Nayar Act, II of 1100
The Travancore Ezhava Act, III of 1100
The Nanjinad Vellala Act of 1101 [VI of 1101]
The Travancore Kshatriya Act of 1108 (VII of 1108)
The Travancore Krishnavaka Marumakkathayee Act, (VII of 1115)
The Cochin Thiyya Act, (VII of 1107)
The Cochin Makkathayam Thiyya Act, (XVII of 1115)
The Cochin Nayar Act, (XXIX of 1113)
The Cochin Marumakkathayam Act, (XXXIII of 1113)
The Kerala Nambudiri Act, 1958 (27 of 1958)

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