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Hindu Law–Mitakshara School of Hindu Law-Gift by a Coparcener of his undivided coparcenary interest to another coparcener without consent of other coparceners–Whether valid or void–Held-Valid. Hindu Succession Act 1956–Section 30—Interpretation of.

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PETITIONER:
THAMMA VENKATA SUBBAMMA (DEAD) BY L.R.

 Vs.

RESPONDENT:
THAMMA RATTAMMA & ORS.

DATE OF JUDGMENT06/05/1987

BENCH:
DUTT, M.M. (J)
BENCH:
DUTT, M.M. (J)
NATRAJAN, S. (J)

CITATION:
 1987 AIR 1775 1987 SCR (3) 236
 1987 SCC (3) 294 JT 1987 (2) 440
 1987 SCALE (1)1000

ACT:
 Hindu Law--Mitakshara School of Hindu Law-Gift by a
Coparcener of his undivided coparcenary interest to another
coparcener without consent of other coparceners--Whether
valid or void--Held-Valid.
Hindu Succession Act 1956--Section 30---Interpretation of.

HEADNOTE:
 A coparcener in a Joint Hindu Family governed by the
Mitakshara school in Hindu Law executed a deed of settlement
(which indisputably was really a deed of gift) in favour of
another coparcener (his brother) conveying his entire undi-
vided interest in the coparcenary but reserving a life
interest to himself and also providing that after his death
the other coparcener should maintain his wife. In a suit for
partition and recovery of the property filed by the widow of
the coparcener who executed a deed of settlement on the
ground that the gift deed was a void document under the
Hindu Law, the Trial Court held that the deed of settlement
was void and inoperative under the Hindu Law in the absence
of consent of the other coparcener. On appeal the High Court
held that the deed of settlement was valid. In this appeal
by special leave the question for consideration was whether
a gift by a coparcener of his undivided coparcenary interest
to another coparcener is void or not. The argument of the
respondent was that it was a case of renunciation or relin-
quishment of a coparcener's interest in favour of his broth-
er and his sons.
Dismissing the appeal, this Court.
 HELD: 1. A gift made by the coparcener to his brother
should he construed as renunciation of his undivided inter-
est in the coparcenary in favour of his brother and his
sons, who were the remaining coparceners. A gift was, there-
fore, valid and consent of other coparceners was immaterial.
[246A-B]
 Mulla's Hindu Law, Fifteenth Edition, Article 264 at
page 357, referred to.
237
 2. It is, however, settled law that a coparcener may
alienate his undivided interest in the coparcenary property
for a valuable consideration even without the consent of
other coparceners. Such recognition of alienations of copar-
cenary property for valuable considerations has been one of
gradual growth rounded upon the equity which the purchaser
for value has to be allowed to stand in his vendor's shoes
and to work out his rights by means of a partition. [244B-C]
 Suraj Bunsi Koer v. Sheo Proshad Singh and Ors., ILR 6
IA 88, referred to.
 3. The personal Law of the Hindus governed by Mitakshara
school of Hindu Law is that a coparcener can dispose of his
undivided interest in the coparcenary property by a will but
he cannot make a girt of such interest. [243D]
 Ponnusami v. Thatha and Ors., ILR 9 Madras, 273; Ramanna
v. Venkata, ILR 11 Madras 246; Rottala Rungunatham Chetty v.
Pulicat Ramasami Chetti, ILR 27 Madras, 162; Mayne's Hindu
Law, Eleventh Edition, Article 382 and Mulla's Hindu Law,
Fiteenth Edition, Article 258, referred to.
 4. It is a settled law that a coparcener can make a gift
of his undivided interest in the coparcenary property to
another coparcener or to a stranger with the prior consent
of other coparceners. Such a gift will be quite legal and
valid. [243G]
 5. When a particular state of law has been prevailing
for decades in a particular area and the people of that are
having adjusted themselves with that law in their daily
life. it is not desirable that the court should upset such
law except under compelling circumstances. It is for the
Legislature to consider whether it should change such law or
not. It may be legitimately presumed that before the passing
of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the Legislature must have
taken into consideration the prohibition against making of
gifts by a coparcener of his undivided interest in the
coparcenary property, but the Legislature has not, except
permitting the coparcener to make a will in respect of his
undivided interest by section 30 of the Hindu Succession
Act, altered the law against making of gift by a coparcener
of his undivided interest. While considering whether the
strict rule against alienation by girt should he interfered
with or not, the court should also take into consideration
the legislative inaction in not interfering with the rule
against alienation by gift, while enacting the Hindu Succes-
sion Act. [244D-G]
238
 G. Suryakantam v.G. Suryanarayanamurthy and Ors., AIR
1957 Andhra Pradesh 1012, differed.
 A. Perumalakkal v. Kumaresan Balakrishnan and Ors.,
[1967] SC 560, referred to.
 6. That an individual member of the joint Hindu family
has no definite share in the coparcenary property. By an
alienation of his undivided interest in the coparcenary
property, a coparcener cannot deprive the other coparceners
of their right to the property. The object of this strict
rule against alienation by way of gift is to maintain the
jointness of ownership and possession of the coparcenary
property. It is true that there is no specific textual
authority prohibiting an alienation by gift and the law in
this regard has developed gradually, but that is lot the
purpose of preventing a joint Hindu family from being disin-
tegrated. [242G-H; 243A-B]

JUDGMENT:
 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 258 of
1974
 From the Judgment and Order dated 22.9.1972 of the
Andhra Pradesh High Court in Appeal No. 549 of 1969.
 T.S. Krishnamurthy. G. Prabhakar and G. Narsimhulu for
the Appellant.
P.P. Rao, T.C. Gupta and G.N. Rao for the Respondents.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
 DUTT, J. The only point that is involved in this appeal
by special leave is whether a gift by a coparcener of his
undivided coparcenary interest to another coparcener is void
or not.
 In order to consider the point it is necessary to state
a few relevant facts. Two brothers, Rami Reddy and Veera
Reddy and the sons and daughters of the latter being re-
spondents Nos. 2 to 7 herein, constituted a joint Hindu
family governed by the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law. On
May 4, 1959, Rami Reddy executed a deed of settlement (Ex.
A-1) in favour of his brother, Veera Reddy, conveying his
entire undivided interest in the coparcenary reserving a
fife interest to himself and also providing that after his
death, his brother should maintain his wife. Rami Reddy died
in January, 1965 and shortly
239
thereafter his brother Veera Reddy also died in March, 1965.
It appears that after the death of Rami Reddy, differences
arose between his widow and the respondent No. 1, as a
result of which the widow of Rami Reddy (since deceased)
demanded a partition of her husband's share which was gifted
by her husband to his brother Veera Reddy. Thereafter, she
file.1 a suit out of which this appeal arises for partition
and recovery of her husband's share after cancelling the
deed of settlement (Ex. A-1), inter alia on the ground that
it was a void document under the Hindu Law. The suit was
contested by the respondents Nos. 1 to 7. The respondent No.
3 filed a written statement denying the plaint allegations.
The other respondents adopted the written statement of the
Respondent No. 3.
 The Trial Court, on a consideration of the evidence
adduced on behalf of the parties held, inter alia, that the
deed of settlement was void and inoperative under the Hindu
Law in the absence of consent of the other coparceners.
Further, it was held by the Trial Court that even assuming
that the deed of settlement was valid and binding on the
plaintiff, the plaintiff was entitled to the alternative
relief of maintenance and separate residence under section
39 of the Transfer of Property Act, as the plaintiff's
husband was legally bound to maintain his wife and the
plaintiff was entitled to enforce her maintenance claim with
a charge on the properties in suit. In that view of the
matter, the Trial Court held that the plaintiff was entitled
to a sum of Rs. 1,200 per annum towards her maintenance and
separate residence with a charge on the A and B Schedule
properties of the plaint. The suit was, accordingly, decreed
by the Trial Court.
 The defendant-respondents filed an appeal before the
Andhra Pradesh High Court. The High Court, however, did not
agree with the finding of the Trial Court that the deed of
settlement was void. It was held by the High Court that the
deed of settlement was valid. The judgment and decree of the
Trial Court was set aside and the suit was dismissed in so
far as it related to the cancellation of the deed of settle-
ment and recovery of possession of the suit properties by
way of partition. But the decree passed by the Trial Court
awarding maintenance to the plaintiff at the rate of Rs.
1,200 per annum, that is to say, at the rate of Rs. 100 p.m.
from the date of filing of the suit and creating a charge
for the amount of maintenance on the suit properties was
upheld by the High Court. The appeal was allowed in part.
Hence this appeal by special leave.
During the pendency of this appeal in this Court the plain-
tiff, the
240
widow of Rami Reddy, died and the present appellant, who is
her heir and legal representative, has been substituted in
her place.
 It is not disputed that the deed of settlement (Ex. A-1)
is really a deed of gift. It has been strenuously urged by
Mr. Krishnamurthy Iyer, learned Counsel appearing on behalf
of the appellant, that in holding that the gift in question
was legal and valid, the High Court committed an error of
law in the face of the legal position particularly prevail-
ing in the erstwhile State of Madras of which the present
State of Andhra Pradesh was a part, as recognised in several
judicial decisions that a gift of coparcenary property by a
coparcener without the consent of the other coparceners is
void.
 The parties are admittedly governed by the Mitakshara
School of Hindu Law. The essence of a coparcenary under the
Mitakshara School of Hindu Law is community of interest and
unity of possession. A member of joint Hindu family has no
definite share in the coparcenary property, but he has an
undivided interest in the property which is liable to be
enlarged by deaths and diminished by births in the family.
An interest in the coparcenary property accrues to a son
from the date of his birth. His interest will be equal to
that of his father.
 So far as alienations of coparcenary property are con-
cerned, it appears that such alienations were permissible in
eighteenth century. Indeed, in Suraj Bunsi Koer v. Sheo
Proshad Singh and Ors., ILR 6 IA 88 the Privy Council ob-
served as follows:-
 " ......... it has been settled law in the
 presidency of Madras that one coparcener may
 dispose of ancestral undivided estate, even by
 contract and conveyance, to the extent of his
 own share; and a fortiori that such share may
 be seized and sold in execution for his sepa-
 rate debt.
 ................. But it
 appears .............
 that, in order to support the alienation by
 one coparcener of his share in undivided
 property, the alienation must be for value.
 The Madras Courts, on the other hand, seem to
 have gone so far as to recognise an alienation
 by gift. There can be little doubt that all
 such alienations, whether voluntary or compul-
 sory, are inconsistent with the strict theory
 of a joint and undivided Hindu family; and the
 law as established in Madras and Bombay has
 been one of gradual growth, rounded upon the
 equity which a purchaser for
 241
 value has to be allowed to stand in his ven-
 dor's shoes, and to work out his rights by
 means of a partition."
 Thus, the Privy Council also noticed that in Madras
alienations by gift were recognised. Such alienations were
held by their Lordships to be inconsistent with the strict
theory of joint and undivided Hindu family. It is, however,
a settled law that a coparcener may alienate his undivided
interest in the coparcenary property for a valuable consid-
eration even without the consent of other coparceners. As
has been observed by the Privy Council in Suraj Bunsi Koer's
case (supra), such recognition of alienations of coparcenary
property for valuable considerations has been one of gradual
growth rounded upon the equity which the purchaser for value
has to be allowed to stand in his vendor's shoes and to work
out his rights by means of a partition.
 After the above Privy Council decision, there has been a
gradual growth in Madras of a particular legal position in
regard to alienations by way of gift. Although at the time
of the judgment of the Privy Council in Suraj Bunsi Koer's
case, the Madras Courts recognised alienations by gift, as
time passed the courts of law declared alienations by gift
of undivided interest in coparcenary properties as void. The
leading decision on the point is the case of Baba v. Timma
and Ors., ILR 7 Mad. 357 FB, where it has been held that a
Hindu father, if unseparated, has no power, except for
purposes warranted by special text, to make a gift to a
stranger of ancestral estate, movable or immovable. In that
case, the gift was made by the father to a stranger to the
detriment of the sons' right in the property gifted. In
Ponnusami v. Thatha and Ors., ILR 9 Mad. 273, the gift was
made by a brother to the children of his daughter. It was
held that under the Hindu Law a voluntary alienation by gift
of joint family property could not be made by an undivided
coparcener, unless permitted by an express text. Thus, the
cumulative effect ,of Ponnusami's case and Baba's case
(supra) is that a coparcener cannot make a gift of his
undivided interest in the coparcenary property either in
favour of a stranger or in favour of his relations.
 In Ramanna v. Venkata, ILR 11 Mad. 246 a Hindu made a
gift of certain land which he had purchased with the income
of ancestral property, and a suit was brought to recover the
land on behalf of his minor son, who was born even seven
months after the date of the gift. It was held that the gift
was invalid as against the plaintiff, and that he was enti-
tled to recover the land from the donee. Thus, a son, who
was born to the family after the gift was made, was held
entitled to recover
242
the property from the donee. In other words, he would not be
bound by such an alienation. Again, in Rottala Runganathan
Cheuy v Pulicat Ramasami Chetti, ILR 27 Mad. 162 it has been
held that it is not competent to an individual-member of a
Hindu family to alienate by way of gift his undivided share
or any portion thereof;' and such ,an alienation, if made,
is void in toto.
 There is a long catena of decisions holding that a gift
by a coparcener of his undivided interest in the coparcenary
property is void. It is not necessary to refer to all these
decisions. Instead, we may refer to the following statement
of law in Mayne's Hindu Law, Eleventh Edition, Article 382:-
 "It is now equally well settled in all the
 Provinces that a gift or devise by a coparcen-
 er in a Mitakshara family of his undivided
 interest is wholly invalid ..................
 .............................................
 A coparcener cannot make a gift of his undi-
 vided interest in the family property, movable
 or immovable, either to a stranger or to a
 relative except for purposes warranted by
 special texts."
 We may also refer to a passage from Mulla's Hindu Law,
Fifteenth Edition, Article 258, which is as follows:--
 "Gift of undivided interest.-- (1) According
 to the Mitakshara law as applied in all the
 States, no coparcerer can dispose of his
 undivided interest in coparcenary pro perty by
 gift. Such transaction being void altogether
 there is no estoppel or other kind of personal
 bar which preclude the donor from asserting
 his right to recover the transferred property.
 He may, however, make a gift of his interest
 with the consent of the other coparceners."
 It is submitted by Mr. P.P. Rao, learned Counsel appear-
ing on behalf of the respondents, that no reason has been
given in any of the above decisions why a coparcener is not
entitled to alienate his undivided interest in the coparce-
nary property by way of gift. The reason is, however, obvi-
ous. It has been already stated that an individual member of
the joint Hindu family has no definite share in the coparce-
nary property. By an alienation of his undivided interest 19
the coparcenary property, a coparcener cannot deprive the
other coparceners of their right to the property. The object
of this strict rule against
243
alienation by way of gift is to maintain the jointness of
ownership and possession of the coparcenary property. It is
true that there is no specific textual authority prohibiting
an alienation by gift and the law in this regard has de-
veloped gradually, but that is for the purpose of preventing
a joint Hindu family from being disintegrated.
 The rigor of this rule against alienation by gift has
been to some extent relaxed by the Hindu Succession Act,
1956. Section 30 of the Act permits the disposition by way
of will of a male Hindu in a Mitakshara coparcenary proper-
ty. The most significant fact which may be noticed in this
connection is that while the Legislature was aware of the
strict rule against alienation by way of gift, it only
relaxed the rule in favour of disposition by a will the
interest of a mate Hindu in a Mitakshara coparcenary proper-
ty. The Legislature did not, therefore, deliberately provide
for any gift by a coparcenary of his undivided interest in
the coparcenary property either to a stranger or to another
coparcener. Therefore, the personal law of the Hindus,
governed by Mitakshara School 0f Hindu Law, is that a copar-
cener can dispose of his undivided interest in the coparce-
nary property by a will, but he cannot make a gift of such
interest.
 Again, it may be noticed in this connection that under
the proviso to section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, if the
deceased had left him surviving a female relative specified
in class I of the Schedule or a male relative specified in
that class who claims through such female relative, the
interest of the deceased in the Mitakshara coparcenary
property shall devolve by testamentary or intestate succes-
sion, as the case may be, under the Act and not by survivor-
ship. The devolution of interest in coparcenary property by
survivorship has been altered to testamentary or intestate
succession, as enjoined by the proviso to section 6 relating
to a female relative or a male relative claiming through
such female relative. The substantive provision of section
6, however, enjoins that the interest of a male Hindu in a
coparcenary property will devolve by survivorship upon the
surviving members of the coparcenary and in accordance with
the provisions of the Act.
 It is, however, a settled law that a coparcener can make
a gift of his undivided interest in the coparcenary property
to another coparcener or to a stranger with the prior con-
sent of all other coparceners. Such a gift would be quite
legal and valid.
 The High Court has noticed most of the above decisions
and also legal position that a gift by a coparcener of his
undivided interest in
244
the coparcenary property without the consent of the other
coparceners is void. The High Court has also noticed the
provisions of sections 6 and 30 of the Hindu Succession Act.
The learned Judges of the High Court have, however, placed
much reliance upon its previous Bench decision in G. Suryak-
antara v. G. Suryanarayanamurthy and Ors., AIR 1957 Andhra
Pradesh 1012. In that case, it has been held that the law is
not that a gift of an undivided share is void in the sense
that it is a nullity, but only in the sense that it is not
binding on the other coparceners. No authority has, however,
been cited in support of that proposition of law. On the
contrary, there is a long series of decisions since the
decision in Baba v. Thimma and Ors., ILR 7 Mad. 357 some of
which have been referred to above, laying down uniformly
that a gift by a coparcener of his undivided interest in the
coparcenary property either to a stranger or to his relation
without the consent of the other coparceners is void. In the
circumstances, it is very difficult to accept the proposi-
tion of law laid down in G. Suryakantara v. G. Suryanara-
yanamurthy (supra) that a gift by a coparcener of his undi-
vided interest in the joint family property is not void, but
is only not binding on the other coparceners. When a partic-
ular state of law has been prevailing for decades in a
particular area and the people of that area having adjusted
themselves with that law in their daily life, it is not
desirable that the court should upset such law except under
compelling circumstances. It is for the Legislature to
consider whether it should change such law or not. It may be
legitimately presumed that before the passing of the Hindu
succession Act, 1956, the Legislature must have taken into
consideration the prohibition against making of gifts by a
coparcener of his undivided interest in the coparcenary
property, but the Legislature has not, except permitting the
coparcener to make a will in respect of his undivided inter-
est by section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act, altered the
law against making of gift by a coparcener of his undivided
interest. While considering whether the strict rule against
alienation by gift should be interfered with or not, the
court should also take into consideration the legislative
inaction in not interfering with the rule against alienation
by gift, while enacting the Hindu Succession Act. In the
circumstances, we are unable to accept the proposition of
law that has been laid down in G. Suryakantarn's case
(supra).
 In the instant case, the High Court has also noticed a
decision of this court in A. Berumalakkal v. Kumaresan
Balakrishnan and Ors., AIR 1957 SCR 569, that a gift of a
coparcenary property is not valid under the Hindu Law except
for specified purposes. That case has been distinguished by
the High Court on the ground that the question
245
of validity of such a gift on the ground of consent of other
coparceners did not arise for consideration. We do not think
that it was a reasonable distinction that could be made of
the law laid down by this Court merely because the question
of consent of other coparceners did not arise. This Court,
therefore, also has laid down against the validity of a gift
of an undivided share in the coparcenary property.
 Coming back to the facts of the case, we find that Rami
Reddy made the gift for the common benefit of the donee as
well as his sons as held by the High Court. It is submitted
on behalf of the respondents that really it is a ,case of
renunciation or relinquishment by Rami Reddy of his interest
in favour of his brother and his sons. It was the intention
of the donor that the property might be enjoyed by his
brother and his sons and, excepting that the donor had
reserved to himself a life interest, presumably for his
maintenance, he gifted his entire interest in the coparce-
nary property to his brother. There is some force in the
contention of the learned Counsel for the respondents that
the gift should be construed as relinquishment or renuncia-
tion of his undivided interest by the donor in favour of the
other coparceners. Although the gift is ostensibly in favour
of Veera Reddy, but really the donor meant to relinquish his
interest in the coparcenany in favour of Veera Reddy and his
sons. In this connection, we may refer to the following
passage from Mulla's Hindu Law, Fifteenth Edition, Article
264 at page 357:-
 "Art. 264. (1)Renunciation ,or relinquishment
 of his share.---A coparcener may renounce his
 interest in the coparcenary property in favour
 of the other coparceners as a body but not in
 favour of one or more of them. If he renounces
 in favour of one or more of them the renuncia-
 tion enures for the benefit of all other
 coparceners and not for the sole benefit of
 the coparcener or coparceners in whose favour
 the renunciation is made. Such renunciation is
 not invalid even if the renouncing coparcener
 makes it a condition that he would be paid
 something towards maintenance. The renuncia-
 tion or relinquishment must, of course, be
 genuine. If fictitious and not acted upon it
 would not be operative as between the parties
 and partition can be claimed."
 Assuming that it is a renunciation in favour of one of
the coparceners, namely, Veera Reddy, such renunciation
enures for the benefit of all other coparceners and. not for
the sole benefit of the
246
coparcener in whose favour the renunciation was made. In our
view, the gift made by Rami Reddy to Veera Reddy should be
construed as renunciation of his undivided interest in the
coparcenary in favour of Veera Reddy and his sons who were
the remaining coparceners. The gift was, therefore, valid
construing the same as renunciation or relinquishment by
Rani Reddy of his interest in the coparcenary and, accord-
ingly, the consent of other coparceners was immaterial.
 In the result, the conclusion arrived at by the High
Court is affirmed though on a different ground. The appeal
is dismissed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.
H.S.K. Appeal dis-
missed.
247

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