• Settlement deed cancellation

My father owns a property on his name. It is a self-acquired property and we reside in the same. He has a mistress [second wife]. I’m his legitimate son and I have a blood sister who is married off. My mom is alive and not divorced. My father has agreed to do a ‘settlement with life interest’ of the above said property on name if we walk out of the house as a family. I would like to make sure if there aren’t any loop holes. Please note that my mother and father are senior citizens. I was told that my father could anytime revoke the settlement by seeking the court for the following reasons. 
a.	He could claim that the settlement was done under coercion and duress. 
b.	He could claim that I didn’t take care of him. [Maintenance of senior citizens and welfare  Act 2007]

1.	Is there a way to safe guard the settlement once it is done on my name? I am worried that after we walk out of the house he would cancel the settlement. If I need to take some precautions at the time of executing the settlement or before the settlement is done please let me know. [Anything that will prevent the settlement being revoked] 
2.	He also threatens that he will sell the property and desert us. Is there a way to prevent him from selling the house in case he revokes the settlement successfully? 
My mom is willing to get a divorce if it will do some good in safe-guarding the property. FYI, my mother is a doctor and she is earning more than my father does. Please help.
Asked 11 months ago in Property Law from Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Religion: Hindu
You said that your father can revoke the settlement deed any time is the following conditions are not fulfilled:
a.	He could claim that the settlement was done under coercion and duress. 
b.	He could claim that I didn’t take care of him. [Maintenance of senior citizens and welfare  Act 2007]
My question is whether these conditions were incorporated as conditions in the settlement deed?, if so a settlement deed with any condition this way shall stand infructuous. 



1.	Is there a way to safe guard the settlement once it is done on my name? I am worried that after we walk out of the house he would cancel the settlement. If I need to take some precautions at the time of executing the settlement or before the settlement is done please let me know. [Anything that will prevent the settlement being revoked] 
A settlement deed once executed and registered cannot be revoked or cancelled unilaterally at the fancies and whims of the donor.  In your case even though your father is having a life time interest, he cannot cancel the deed  and moreover since he has made life time interest on his name, the above conditions shall not have any effect, if he is doing so, you may file a suit to declare the cancellation as null and void and also can seek permanent injunction against him from indulging into any such action in the future. 




2.	He also threatens that he will sell the property and desert us. Is there a way to prevent him from selling the house in case he revokes the settlement successfully? 
Do not worry about his threats, let him say anything, you may file a suit for permanent injunction against him as suggested above. 



My mom is willing to get a divorce if it will do some good in safe-guarding the property. FYI, my mother is a doctor and she is earning more than my father does
Your mother's divorce case is no where related to this issue. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13910 Answers
127 Consultations
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As per your Question No.1 in this settlement deed is there any clause mention that irrevocable then no one can cancelled the settlement deed, if that clause not mention in settlement deed then it can be canceled at any stage.
As per your question No.2  you can file civil suit in civil court for abstaining the father from selling the property , if you get order from the court your father cannot sell the property mean while your mother can file divorce petition and can claim permanent alimony and maintenance from your father    
Mir Mansoor Ali
Advocate, Hyderabad
57 Answers
4 Consultations
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1. If he makes a will conferring life interest on your name he can subsequently revoke it at the stroke of a pen as will comes into operation after the lifetime of the testator. If, however, he makes a family settlement or any other instrument of transfer of property he shall have no right to unilaterally cancel it. The only remedy to him will be to file a lawsuit for cancellation of the instrument in the court on the ground that it is vitiated by coercion or fraud.

2. Your mother can file a case under domestic violence act to seek a restraint order against the sale of property by him if she can prove that it is her matrimonial home.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18055 Answers
445 Consultations
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1) your father cannot unilaterally cancel the settlement deed 

2) once gift deed is executed , duly stamped and regd you would be absolute owner of the said property . possession has to be delivered to you 

3) your father will have to move court to set aside settlement deed on account of coercion . he has to prove settlement deed was executed under coercion 

4) if condition is imposed that in the vent you fail to maintain your father he can revoke the settlement deed such a clause would be valid if you fail to maintain your father 

5) your father cannot sell the property once settlement deed is executed 

6) best option is your mother agrees for MCD in consent terms it is mentioned that your father shall execute gift deed in respect of the said property in your mother name in full and  final settlement 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23090 Answers
1212 Consultations
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As per the Transfer of property act and Indian registration act with out reasonable ground no one can unilaterally cancelled registered deed with out a court order.So your father cannot unilaterally cancel the settlement deed which is executed in favour of you. But if there is any condition imposed in settlement deed your father can approach the court for cancel the same. It is your duty to maintain your old aged father as per Maintenance of senior citizens and welfare  Act 2007.Once a deed is executed then the right over the property is transferred to transferee .So your father cannot sell the property to others.
Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
1905 Answers
19 Consultations
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1. It is difficult to revoke registered settlement deed for which Court order is required,

2. However, even if he goes to court with a complaint stating that you have coerced him in to registering the settlement deed, he has to prove about such coercion,

3. Ensure that there are two nos. reliable witnesses when he will execute and register the settlement deed and one such witness should be a doctor who can give witness later on about his perfect mental state at the time of registering the settlement deed.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12027 Answers
227 Consultations
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There is no compulsion n you to take care of him after the settlement deed has been executed, there cannot be any clause to restrict you from leaving the house after the settlement. Rather you gather evidence for he driving you out, this may help you to defend in future litigation.
If he is having sufficient income to sustain, he may not be eligible to seek maintenance from you under any ground or reason. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13910 Answers
127 Consultations
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1) it appears your father is able to maintain himself as he is  having monthly income of Rs 50,000 per month 

2)under maintenance of senior citizen act your father can claim maintenance from you  only  if he is unable to maintain himself 

3) you need not worry and can go ahead with the settlement deed 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23090 Answers
1212 Consultations
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A. Once the Settlement Deed executed by way registration that it cannot be cancelled by unilaterally. However, if your father would like to cancel under the grounds of Coercion that it must be proved by him before the court of law and it is not easy to establish before the Court.

B. You can approach the Court by seeking permanent injuction against him if he would try to sell to any third party. And may obtaine set aside order for his any further cancellation activities. And your mother divorce subject is totally immaterial thing with respect to this issue.
B.T. Ravi
Advocate, Bangalore
733 Answers
29 Consultations
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A. As I clinched in earlier reply that Your father cannot cancell the Settlement Deed unilaterally and also no right to claim the maitenance because of he is having morethan basic income sources as you mentioned in your query.

B. As per the law, the court will award maintenance one who cannot maintain himself due to specified grounds in the law. 
B.T. Ravi
Advocate, Bangalore
733 Answers
29 Consultations
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Never move out from house,if he rented out the house to another person you may approach the law to enforce an eviction of tenant . If your father having sufficient income to sustain, then he is not be eligible to seek maintenance from you under maintenance of senior citizen act
Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
1905 Answers
19 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
If he executes an instrument which transfers the property to you on the condition that you take care of him then you have to comply with the conditions precedent to the transfer of property, failing which the instrument can be cancelled. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18055 Answers
445 Consultations
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1. No. You are supposed to take care of your parents including father otherwise he can file a suit against you,

2. Make sure that the property is still in his name and has not been mortgaged with any Bank while taking loan and in that case the settlement deed will be invalid legally,

3. Conduct a thorough property search with the Registrar's office,

4. I will suggest you not to move out and leave your physical possession of the said property to ensure that he will fail to play any trick on you,

5. It will be difficult for him to dispossess you from the said property with due process of law.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12027 Answers
227 Consultations
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1) it is better your father executes gift deed in favour of your mother 

2) in your settlement deed your father has reserved life interest in property 

3) he has reserved right to give said premises on rent 

4) dont make the mistake of vacating the house
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23090 Answers
1212 Consultations
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The retention of life time interest for settler is the only point which needs to be reviewed.
You may clarify on this point with the lawyer who drafted the settlement deed.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13910 Answers
127 Consultations
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This is the bare minimum which can be incorporated in the draft. Get the deed drafted by your lawyer to be safe.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18055 Answers
445 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) settlement deed is not In interest of your mother as father retains life interest in property during his lifetime 

2) your father may give premises on rent and if tenant refuses to vacate legal heirs would have long legal battle ahead 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23090 Answers
1212 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
That in pursuance of the aforesaid recitals, the SETTLOR doth hereby SETTLE the schedule mentioned property in favor of the SETTLEES retaining life interest for the SETTLOR and the first SETTLEE being his with after the life time of the SETTLOR and the first settle,
This is the area where your concern is noted on it.
Actually, general rule is that once the settlement is made it cannot be cancelled. But on closer scrutiny of terms of the deed, exceptions can be carved out. Say if the condition laid down is precedent, then the stand that the property has not yet been vested with the beneficiary will be appreciated by the court. Settlement is not revocable and after the proper execution of a settlement deed, the Settler relinquishes all his rights, title and interest over the said property, subject to the terms conditions contained in the settlement deed.  
The area of concern is the the conditions imposed in this deed.  There are chances that the settler can revoke stating the  beneficiary is acting against the interest of the life time beneficiaries including himself though he is a settler.
You may reconsider the inclusion of the said clause. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13910 Answers
127 Consultations
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The particular clause, which you have extracted, restrains you from transferring the revenue records in your favour except after neither the settlor nor the first settlee. To put it plainly, the title will transfer to you only after the demise of the settlor and the first settlee. This settlement deed can be revoked by the settlor during his lifetime with the stroke of a pen.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18055 Answers
445 Consultations
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1. There is no problem if your father stays there for his entire life,

2. It is not necessary for him to hold all the papers since he has not mentioned anywhere that he will not convey the title to anybody else and also that he will not deposit his original title deed for mortgaging his property to take loan. In fact he should not have any problem id he transfers the revenue records in your name.

the FYI, this settlement deed was drafted by my father’s lawyer and we don’t have much say on settlement deal. My father is not willing to make the settlement in the name of my mother. Also he is very particular that he will hold life interest on the property. His such act is arising suspicion on his future plan.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12027 Answers
227 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The condition "The SETTLOR reserves the right to use, exploit, enjoy, live, let out and collect all rental income, profits and proceeds from the schedule property till his life time" is required to looked into,

2. Once the property is settled in your favour and he becomes the life time interest holder, he should not be able to .deal with the property any further. . 
 
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12027 Answers
227 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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