• Unequal sharing of ancestral property

Hello Sir/Madame,

Bit of background. My wife and myself along with our daughter are based abroad. My wife is the youngest of 4 children (2 elder brothers and 1 elder sister). My in-laws own Agricultural land and other property in their native village in TamilNadu. As both are getting old, they have started to settle the property to their Children. The issue here is the following:

1. All the property related details and transactions were managed by my Father-in-laws brother (my wife’s uncle) as my Father-In-Law suffered stroke when he was in his mid-50s(he’s 78 now). 
2. The uncle has a daughter. Married and settled abroad(Dubai). Uncle’s wife passed away some 30 years ago. They are also legal heirs to these property as these are inherited property.
3. Altogether 8 of them are the interested parties.

The problem: The 3 elders. My in-laws and wife’s uncle are now settling the property as stated earlier. They are arbitrarily settling the property in different names. Despite my wife asking repeatedly for complete details of the overall property as well as the sharing formula being worked on, no clarity is being provided. The 2 elder brothers and 1 elder sister live in the same village and same house and have full information of the properties owned. The Uncle’s daughter who is in Dubai is kept informed by her dad. 

My wife, being the last child in the family, as well as being away from the proceedings is at a disadvantage. Disadvantage in terms of knowing what is the overall assets and what is the share each of them is getting. 

September of this year, when my wife went for holidays to her place, the uncle showed a few property documents settled to her name. He is still holding on to the original document. He stated that the property is worth 2 crores. However, no valuation whatsoever was provided. I told my wife to NOT to sign any release documents. she has not.

Questions:
1.	How can we find out what is the overall property the joint family owns given the secrecy being maintained?
2.	How can we know what is being shared and given to each of the legal heirs?
3.	What sort of legal recourse we have, considering that repeated requests from my wife over the past year, have met with no responses on details. 

kindly advise on priority as this is disturbing my wife's peace of mind. We also think lot of properties are being sold and converted to cash and given to other siblings.

Best regards,
Chandrasekaran.
Asked 7 months ago in Property Law from Singapore
Religion: Hindu
1) take search of land records to find details of property owned by family 

2) it would also reveal the transfers of property made in favour of family members 

3) contact a local lawyer and on basis of search report decide your course of action 

4) if it is ancestral property your wife can file suit for partition to claim her share in property and seek injunction restraining sale of property 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
31142 Answers
1707 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. It's really difficult to get all information regarding the property left by her predecessor in interest. It's tedious and time taking.
2. Insist on settlement deed whereby all the property is being divided among all legal owners. This alone will ensure transparency.
3. From your post it is apparent property is not getting divided fairly among all stakeholders. Hence you have rightly advised your wife not to sign any documents.
4. In this situation I may advice would be to file suit for partition to claim due share of your wife.
This alone will ensure justice for your wife.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
8176 Answers
98 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Dear Chandrasekaran
My opinion on your queries are as under:

1.	How can we find out what is the overall property the joint family owns given the secrecy being maintained?
Opinion: File an application for inspection before the revenue department/Tehsildar and get the details of the properties, you may take help of any lawyer who work in this field in Tehsil of area where the properties are situated.


2.	How can we know what is being shared and given to each of the legal heirs?
Opinion: Sharing the property either by way of sale deed or gift deed or by way of family settlement deed, so revenue department/Tehsildar will have maintain all the records in their office, you may contact personally or through your lawyer.

3.	What sort of legal recourse we have, considering that repeated requests from my wife over the past year, have met with no responses on details. 
Opinion: Your wife may file a civil suit for partition before the civil court and claim her share if the property is ancestral.
Opposite parties will have to give detail of the properties before the court.

Feel Free to Call
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
4184 Answers
169 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1. In whose names the properties stand now?

2. Since your in laws are planning to settle the properties, it appears that the properties are standing in the individual or joint names of your father in law and his brother.

3. The basic principle of law in this regard is that during the lifetime of father, their children are not entitled to any share of their properties.

4. Your father in law is within his right to settle/gift the entire properties or any share thereof to anybody or bodies he feels like without taking your wife's consent or informing your wife.

5. It will be prudent on your wife to negotiate with her father and manage to get as much share she can get from her father's share of the properties or father's properties.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
14451 Answers
328 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Questions:
1.	How can we find out what is the overall property the joint family owns given the secrecy being maintained?

Your wife has to personally gather the information about all the properties that are lying in her father's name and her uncle's name separately and jointly. 
If the property fell into your father and his brother's hands by way of partition or proper inheritance then the character of ancestral property shall stand diminished or extinguished. 
She has to gather the information of the property documents of the various properties that are yet to be partitioned, after obtaining the particulars of the document number she may obtain certified copy of the registered document, get EC of them and ascertain what is her entitlement out of them. 
The problem that how she can obtain the documents is to be manged by her through her own sources. 





2.	How can we know what is being shared and given to each of the legal heirs?

This is an internal family affair which can be obtained through some reliable sources only and legally you cannot obtain the details if you dont have any details about them. 




3.	What sort of legal recourse we have, considering that repeated requests from my wife over the past year, have met with no responses on details. 

If she is having the details of the property she should consult a local advocate, get the details of her entitlement in the said properties and then plan to issue a legal notice to all of them seeking her share by partition and separate possession subsequent to which she can file a partition suit seeking the said relief. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
21296 Answers
208 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) never give POA to lawyer 

2) you can execute POA in favour of family member 

3) it is better you come down to India for filing of partition suit 

4)it appears family members of your wife are planning to sell all property hence not giving the information sought by your wife 

5) file suit for partition at the earliest 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
31142 Answers
1707 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

If you plan to file a partition sit from abroad, you may give a special power of attorney to any one of your close relatives back in India who will engage an advocate to fight your case and he/she will represent your case on your behalf.



There is no legal format for obtaining the information about all assets and liabilities from the concerned people.

Moreover if she is interested to know about the entire properties and the liabilities then she may have to obtain from her reliable  sources only, she canot rely upon the information furnished by them because there may nor may not be truth in it
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
21296 Answers
208 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. On what basis do you call the properties inherited? If they are inherited then they are separate properties of the inheritor. A property that one gets through inheritance becomes his separate property, which is at par with his self acquired property. The title deeds of the property and the instrument of inheritance will throw light on the nature of the property. 

2. If the property is the self acquired or separate property of your wife's father then he is at liberty to alienate it during his lifetime, but the alienation has to be with his free consent. 

3. Your wife may file a suit for permanent injunction to restrain her father and uncle from creating third party rights on the property if your wife's uncle is using undue influence to make his brother alienate the property.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
20371 Answers
537 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

A suit for permanent injunction and not partition is required to be filed if your wife apprehends that third party rights may be created on the property. Your wife has to simply sign the vakalatnama in her lawyer's favour, she is not required to appear personally in the court except on her evidence.

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
20371 Answers
537 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. You can engage a lawyer and get the plaint of the partition suit at your place.Then you shall have to sign the plaint and the affidavit and get your signature notarised by the local Indian consulate. and then send the said plaint back to India for its filing.Alternatively, you can come to India to file the said partition suit and simultaneously register a POA infavour of anybody you feel like who will attend the hearings and act for and on your behalf.

2. It appears that they are avoiding to provide the information sought by your wife in this regard.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
14451 Answers
328 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Ask a Lawyer

Get legal answers from top-rated lawyers in 1 hour. It's quick, easy, and anonymous!
  Ask a Lawyer