Wife can manage late husband’s HUF if all coparceners are minors
Photo: istock

The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions shared in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 22nd July, 2020 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My late husband had mutual fund investments under Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). I have a son and daughter, who are minors. While some mutual funds have agreed that I can be the karta and are willing to let me liquidate investments, but two are saying I can’t be a karta. Can you explain?

—Swati Kesarkar


Continue Reading Wife can manage late husband’s HUF if all coparceners are minors

Women and Maintenance

Maintenance, as a concept, has its roots in the social justice system of a civilised society. The Supreme Court, explaining the rationale behind providing maintenance in the case of Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse and Anr[1], has held that the “provision of maintenance…aims at empowering the destitute and achieving social justice or equality and dignity of the individual. …The law regulates relationships between people. It reflects the values of society.” In India, the right to claim maintenance is statutorily available under both personal and general laws, and such a right cannot be taken away by way of an agreement to the contrary[2]. Maintenance can be awarded during the course of the proceedings (i.e. maintenance pendente lite) or at the conclusion thereof (i.e. permanent maintenance). The right to claim maintenance is available to wives, children and parents. Under certain personal laws, even husbands (who are unable to maintain themselves) are entitled to claim maintenance.  This article discusses the provisions under various personal and general laws that entitle a wife to claim maintenance.
Continue Reading Women and Maintenance

In India, the law and practice in relation to property and inheritance have traditionally been more patriarchal. Unfortunately, married daughters were quite often not regarded as the heir apparent to a family’s estate and business; and sons continue to be the ‘chosen ones’. Many business families remain reluctant to pass their business wealth and assets onto their married daughters due to the perceived risk that the property ends up being controlled by the in-laws of the daughters. This becomes even more pronounced for ‘promoter’ families with significant holdings in public listed companies. How can such Promoters pass on their business wealth to their daughters, and can they do so without losing control over the company?


Continue Reading SEBI clarifies status of married daughters becoming promoters in listed companies

 Legal Heirs Preferred Over Nominees - Court Decision

The issue of legatees vs. nominees still seems to be causing confusion in the minds of the public. Even after a number of clear judicial decisions on this topic, confirming that legal heirs are the correct persons to inherit assets (over that of a nominee), a new decision re-confirms this issue.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi (“NCLAT”), on November 14th, 2019 had held that nomination does not amount to beneficial ownership to an asset and the nominee holds the asset for and on behalf of the legal heirs of the deceased. The Bench of Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya and Justice A.I.S. Cheema, in the case of Oswal Greentech v Mr Pankaj Oswal and Ors[1] (“Oswal”) whilst listening to the question of maintainability of the petition under Section 241-242 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), decided on the said matter.
Continue Reading Court Re-Confirms That Legal Heirs Are Preferred Over Nominees

Wedding Succession Planning - Inheritance rights of Hindus

When one is about to get married, there are myriad thoughts crossing one’s mind all at once – from meticulous planning of the upcoming nuptials, to mundane but practical matters such as updating official documents, to creating social media hashtags. A wedding is after all a momentous occasion in a person’s life, and planning is key. It might be safe to say, however, that the thought of how marriage will impact one’s inheritance rights and succession planning in anticipation are usually not top of the list.

In this blog, we discuss this important but rarely discussed topic – the effect of marriage on inheritance rights and planning in anticipation of marriage. As this is a vast topic and issues vary depending on the facts of each case, we have discussed some of the key issues and limited the discussion in this post to Hindus.
Continue Reading Wedding (Succession) Planning: Analysing Impact of Marriage on Inheritance Rights of Hindus

Supreme Court on rights of Hindu Muslim Interfaith Children

The Supreme Court of India, in the case of Mohammed Salim vs Shamsudeen[1], has finalised the views of a number of High Courts by ruling that a child born out of the marriage of a Muslim man and Hindu woman is legitimate and the child is entitled to inherit the property of the father.

This is a very significant judgment in the current socio-cultural milieu, even though inter-faith marriages are still deeply frowned upon.

Inheritance Rights of a Child Born Out of an Irregular Marriage under Muslim Personal Laws

All matters (except those relating to agricultural land) with respect to intestate succession, special property of females, including personal property inherited or obtained under contract or gift or any other provision of personal law, marriage, dissolution of marriage, maintenance, dower, gifts etc., of Muslim followers are governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 (Shariat).  Shariat extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir. 
Continue Reading Supreme Court on the Rights of Inter-faith (Hindu-Muslim) Children

 A Will differs from contracts and other executed documents in one important aspect. Unlike other documents, a Will only takes effect from the death of the person who has made it (called the testator). The testator’s testimony is not available to determine whether the Will is valid and whether it constitutes the testator’s true intentions. Thus, the validation and interpretation of a Will is rather unique for the significance of surrounding circumstances, and the identity and status of parties.

This being the case, it becomes advisable not only to prepare a Will that is clear and legally valid, but also to ensure that if a challenge to the Will is anticipated, suitable safeguards to fortify it have been put in place. In this post, we discuss the legal grounds on which a Will may be challenged, and some of the commonly adopted precautions that testators may put in place to help validate their Wills and to assist in giving effect to their desired intentions.

Grounds for Challenge

After the testator passes away, the Will may be challenged before a Court by any person who claims to have an interest in the testator’s estate. If the Court finds, based on the evidence placed before it, that the challenge is sustainable, it will declare the Will void and set it aside.


Continue Reading Fortify Your Will: Safeguards to Ensure that Your Will is Validated

Photo credit: Indian Express, August 23, 2017

Through its historic ruling delivered by a five-judge bench in the case of Shayara Bano and Ors v. Union of India on August 22nd 2017, the Supreme Court of India (SC) liberated Muslim women from the perpetual fear of arbitrary and whimsical divorce. The SC banned the regressive practice of instant ‘triple talaq’, which allowed Muslim men to unilaterally end their marriages simply by uttering the word “talaq” thrice without making any provision for maintenance or alimony. These often happened on the flimsiest of grounds, if any, which left the women at a serious and grave disadvantage.

The long-standing battle to get triple talaq abolished gained renewed momentum in October 2015, when the SC decided to look into the matter of Muslim women facing gender-based discrimination within the community. A Constitutional Bench of the SC was set up to examine if Muslim women face gender discrimination in divorce cases.


Continue Reading Sin! Sin! Sin! : Supreme Court Declares Triple Talaq Unconstitutional!