Short Essay on the Joint Family Property under Hindu Law

In turn, joint family property can be divided, according to the source from which it comes, into two classes, namely,-

(i) Ancestral property, and

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(ii) Separate property of coparceners thrown into the common coparcenary stock.

It may be noted that the terms “joint family property” and “coparcenary property” mean the same thing. Further, property which is jointly acquired by the members of the joint family with the aid of ancestral property is also joint family property. However, property acquired without the aid of ancestral property may or may not be joint family property, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. (This topic is discussed at greater length later in this Chapter.)

Joint family or coparcenary property is that property in which every coparcener has a joint interest and over which he has joint possession. The incidents of a coparcenary have been well- summarised by the Supreme Court in State Bank of India v. Ghamandi Ram, discussed earlier.

Joint family property is to be distinguished from separate or self­-acquired property. Even if a Hindu is a member of a joint family, he may possess separate property. Such property belongs exclusively to him, and no other member of the coparcenary, not even his son, acquires any interest in such property by birth. The owner of such property may sell it, or gift it, or bequeath it to anyone he likes. If he dies intestate, such property will pass by succession to his heirs and not by survivorship to the surviving coparceners. Broadly speaking, therefore, all property other than joint family or coparcenary property is separate property.

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