• Can we opt for out-of-court settlement

My Grandmother received the ancestral house as gift from my grand father. She in turn gifted it to my father in 1978. My father has 3 brothers. Everyone was given equal share of property but the ancestral house was gifted to my father. My uncles filed a suit against my father in 1999. The suit is still dragging on. My first question is, was the case rightly entertained by the court(keeping in mind the limitation period)? My dad is getting old now and he is tired of this mess, is there any kind of out of court settlement that we can do? or that would go against us if the plaintiff(s) refuse the proposal to do the same?
Asked in Civil Law from Mangaldoi, Assam
was it self acquired property of your grand father ? was gift deed executed by your grand father? how id your grand mother gift house to your grand father ? was it by gift deed duly stamped and registered? 

if suit had been filed in 1999 it must be ripe for hearing since 15 years have already passed . what is pendency of cases in your city?when did your uncles come to know about execution of gift deed? 

without going through the plaint filed by your uncles we cannot say that suit would be barred by limitation . having said that it is always better to arrive at an out of court settlement particularly so when dispute is between family members
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
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If the property was ancestral then how could your grand father have made a gift thereof to your grand mother? Was a deed of settlement made and signed, prior to the gift made by your grand father, by the brothers of your father whereby and whereunder they relinquished their rights in the property? If yes, then was such a deed registered? If no deed was made then your father's brothers are entitled to claim a share in this property. 

Unless and until we peruse the case and all the related documents we cannot tell as to whether the case has rightly been entertained by the court. Your lawyer must be in a better position to answer this question as he has had the privilege of looking at all the documents. 

You can always opt for an out of court settlement by following the policy of give and take.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
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