Babu Ram v. Santokh Singh - Important Supreme Court Judgment 2019

Babu Ram v. Santokh Singh - Important Supreme Court Judgment 2019


On 7th March, 2019, in the case of Babu Ram v. Santokh Singh (deceased) through his LRs and others [Civil Appeal No.2553 of 2019], the Supreme Court examined questions regarding “scope and applicability of Section 22 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956”, “and particularly, whether preferential right given to an heir of a Hindu under said Section 22 will be inapplicable if the property in question is an agricultural land.” It was held that “the preferential right given to an heir of a Hindu under Section 22 of the Act is applicable even if the property in question is an agricultural land.”


The Supreme Court observed that “when the Parliament thought of conferring the rights of succession in respect of various properties including agricultural holdings, it put a qualification on the right to transfer to an outsider and gave preferential rights to the other heirs with a designed object. Under the Shastrik Law, the interest of a coparcener would devolve by principles of survivorship to which an exception was made by virtue of Section 6 of the Act. 


If the conditions stipulated in Section 6 were satisfied, the devolution of such interest of the deceased would not go by survivorship but in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Since the right itself in certain cases was created for the first time by the provisions of the Act, it was thought fit to put a qualification so that the properties belonging to the family would be held within the family, to the extent possible and no outsider would easily be planted in the family properties.” In the considered view of the Court, “it is with this objective that a preferential right was conferred upon the remaining heirs, in case any of the heirs was desirous of transferring his interest in the property that he received by way of succession under the Act.” 

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