supreme court: Illegitimate child of cohabiting couple to get assets share: Supreme Court | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: In an important judgment relating to partition of property among Hindus, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that an illegitimate child of a couple cohabiting for long without marriage would be entitled to a share in the family property.
Reversing a Kerala high court judgment that disallowed property share claim of an alleged illegitimate son of a couple who did not marry, a bench of Justices S ABdul Nazeer and Vikram Nath said the couple in question had cohabited for a very long time to make their relationship as good as a married couple and hence, their son would be entitled to appropriate share in the ancestral property.
Settling a 40-year-old dispute that oscillated between the trial court, high court and the SC, the bench said, “We have also perused the evidence of the defendants. We are of the view that the defendants have failed to rebut the presumption in favour of a marriage between Damodaran and Chiruthakutty on account of their long cohabitation.” The SC restored to the trial court judgment which had decreed the suit in favour of partitioning the ancestral property with appropriate share to the son of the couple.
The SC said the documents produced by the so-called illegitimate son were much prior to the controversy arising between parties. The other side comprises children of the brother of the so-called illegitimate son’s father.
The bench said, “These documents, coupled with the evidence of a witness, would show the long duration of cohabitation between Damodaran and Chiruthakutty as husband and wife. The first plaintiff joined military service in 1963 and retired in 1979. Thereafter he has taken the steps to file a suit for partition of the suit schedule property.”

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