Andhra Pradesh High Court: Property of the family which committed mass suicide to go to the deities
In the event of a mass suicide in 1994 of a family, a trial court was hearing a claim of a man who declared himself the sole and closest legal heir of the property of the deceased. The trial court passed an order in favour of the plaintiff.
In 1994, DVS Tirupati Rao, his wife, and two daughters committed suicide, setting themselves on fire. Before committing suicide, the daughter wrote a letter clarifying no legal heir in the picture and dedicated their entire property to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, a temple in Delhi.
Hearing an appeal of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, the Andhra Pradesh High Court observed that, “The family was conscious of the fact that the death was imminent. Both the sisters clearly mentioned in their documents that they are self-immolating themselves and unifying themselves with Lord Venkateshwara Swamy. It is also mentioned that there are no legal heirs and the property should go to the deities mentioned therein.”
The high court set aside the trial court’s order and held that as mentioned in the letter, written by the daughters, the property shall be dedicated to the temple.
Bombay High Court: No more ‘tareek pe tareek’, HC imposes Rs. 4.5 lakhs cost for delaying court proceedings
The Bombay High Court passed a stringent order against a public charitable trust who had failed to file their list of witnesses for a year. The suit was about a land to be used for educational purposes filed in 2016. Having not filed an application for extension of time or condonation of delay, the high court imposed a heavy cost amounting to Rs. 4.5 lakhs for delay of 450 days and directed the trust to pay before March 7.
The court observed, “Let me put it plainly. No more adjournments. No more ‘tareek pe tareek’. Enough is enough. That a Court will endlessly grant adjournments is not something that parties or advocates can take for granted. Nor should they assume that there will be no consequences to continued defaults and unexplained delay.”
Kerala High Court: Daughters to receive equal proportion of property as sons in nuclear families
Three brothers of a family purchased a land in 1930 through a sale deed. After their death, their sons executed a separate sale deed and divided the said land amongst themselves, leaving out the daughters of the deceased from the sale deed. The trial court passed a favourable order for the sons and directed equal division of the land.
While hearing the appeal of the daughters, the Kerala High Court observed that there was no family business or property to indicate that it was a joint Hindu family. It further observed that the sons bought the land from their independent salaries and pooled in the money to purchase the land instead of buying three different properties. Therefore, all the three brothers functioned nuclear families.
The high court set aside the trial court’s direction and held that the property be divided equally amongst the sons and daughters of the three brothers. The court directed 1/3rd of the property to be divided amongst three separate household.
Delhi High Court: Baseless allegations of illicit relationship against spouse is cruelty
The Delhi High Court was hearing an appeal by a woman, whose husband had filed for divorce after his spouse alleged him having relations with his sister-in-law and constantly threatened him of committing suicide.
Picking up fights and using filthy language for his family, the family court considered such behaviour of the wife as mental cruelty and passed an order in favour of the husband. The high court further upheld the order of the family court and observed, “These unsubstantiated allegations are of the nature to cause mental suffering to a person against whom such allegations are levelled. Such allegations causes profound and lasting disruptions in the relationships and also causes deep hurt and reasonable apprehension that it would be dangerous to live with a wife, especially when she is also threatening to commit suicide.”
Karnataka High Court: Mere not sending wife to her parental home is not cruelty
A fast track court in Bangalore sentenced a man for 2 years and imposed a fine on account of harassing his wife physically and mentally and not permitting her to visit her parental home. Unable to bear the torture, 11 years to the marriage, the wife committed suicide consuming poison. Father of the deceased approached the trial court and filed a petition against the deceased’s husband. While hearing the appeal of the husband, the Karnataka High Court observed that apart from a single incident that allegedly took place on the day the deceased committed suicide, there was no sign of quarrel mentioned in the petition.
After examining the statements of the family members and offsprings of the deceased, the high court passed an order in favour of the husband. The court also observed that, “Mere non-sending of the deceased to her parental house, does not amount to cruelty,” and that the trial court had based the conviction solely on the ground that the husband did not allow the deceased to visit her parental home.