An individual has several rights as a coparcener in an ancestral property. He is the joint owner of the property and if he wants his share, he can file a suit for partition.
A coparcener can also acquire a separate property and at the same time has the right to give away or sell to any stranger his share in the ancestral property and the self-acquired property.
On the other hand, a self-acquired property which is gifted by a father to his son is not treated as an ancestral property.
The individual is within his right to dispose of the property the way he/she wants.
Can your father gift you property?
In the case of CN Arunachala Mudaliar vs CA Muruganatha Mudaliar, the Supreme Court had held that property gifted by a father to his son was not ancestral property.
The top court observed that the property of the grandfather could normally vest in the father as ancestral property.
It has to be noted that a man gets the ancestral property under two conditions – he either inherits such property on the death of his father or receives it by a partition made by his father during his lifetime. But, if the man obtains his property as a gift, it does not come under the purview of ancestral property.
Going by that reasoning, you stand no claim on property gifted to your father by grandfather.
If a father gifts a property to his son or daughter, it is a self-acquired property.
The grandson, in such cases, has no legal right in the property because his grandfather chose to gift the property to his son or daughter, which he could have given to any other person, too.
In a nutshell, if an individual has got property from his father as a gift, tomorrow his children can’t claim their share calling it ancestral property. Such a property is treated as self-acquired property, provided there is no expressed intention in the deed of the gift by the grandfather while gifting the property to his son.
Sons and daughters have property rights only on the properties that have devolved upon their father, from up to four generations and has remained undivided.
To ascertain whether a property is ancestral in the hands of the individual or not, there are two things which have to be kept in mind:
The relationship between the original and the present owner.
The mode of transmission.
Property can only be termed as ancestral if the current holder has got it by the virtue of his being the descendant of the original owner.
SHAVETA DUA, proptiger