Is there any change in right of minors in a release deed?


Is there any change in the right of minors in a release deed? I heard that it is three years after attaining majority. But when I consulted a lawyer, he said there is a recent Supreme Court order, which states that the date of knowledge will apply and they can claim their right any time and not three years after attaining majority. So, could you please clarify; is there any recent Supreme Court order on this?

—Name withheld on request


The applicable law i.e. The Limitation Act, 1963, provides for provisions in relation to the setting aside a transfer of property made by a guardian of a ward, when the ward has attained majority within three years from the date of attaining majority.

There is a separate provision under the Act which is applicable to cases where the ward has passed away before attaining majority or within three years from the date attaining majority, when his legal representative can file appropriate proceedings for setting aside such a transfer.

One needs to also consider if the transfer made was in respect of a property which was an ancestral property, for which case, Section 109 of the Act would be applicable.

A Hindu governed by the Mitakshara law can set aside his father’s alienation of ancestral property within a period of 12 years from the date of the alienee takes the possession of such ancestral property.

About the reference of a recent judgment on the subject matter, from our reading of the same, Section 60 of the Act would still hold the field unless the alienation is done fraudulently, in which instance Section 17 of the Limitation Act would become applicable.

You may also note in the event of fraud or concealment it would be three years from the date of such knowledge and the onus to show knowledge at such later date would lie on the person challenging the alienation/release.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates.

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