Property disputes among siblings have become increasingly prevalent, often resulting in significant discord within families. These disputes typically arise from each sibling’s desire to maximize their share of the property, often at the expense of the needs of others. Key contributing factors include greed, a lack of awareness, and confusion regarding property inheritance laws.

Joint Families and Property Disputes:

In India, the tradition of joint families, where multiple generations live together and hold property collectively, adds layers of complexity to property disputes. Issues typically emerge following the death of the eldest family member, triggering disputes over property distribution. These disputes revolve around the respective shares each sibling is entitled to receive during the partition of joint family property.

The Complexity of Joint Ownership:

Joint ownership of property can lead to significant legal and financial complications, particularly when co-owners decide to divide the property. It is challenging to partition built-up property in a manner that satisfies all parties involved, often leading to protracted legal battles.

Types of Property

Ancestral Property:

Ancestral property refers to joint family property acquired over generations and inherited by family members according to law. All members with legal rights in the inherited property share an interest in it.

Self-Acquired Property:

Self-acquired property is earned by an individual through their own efforts. Such property can only be inherited through a will, as determined by the property owner, specifying the intended beneficiaries.

Joint Family and Ancestral Property:

In a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), the eldest male member, known as the Karta, acts as the custodian and manager of the family’s income and assets. The Karta holds the property in his name, with his share equal to that of any other family member.

Joint family property involves collective interest and possession by all coparceners. Even if a joint family does not initially own property, proving an ancestral nucleus can lead to the presumption that subsequent acquisitions are joint family properties. This presumption can be challenged if the acquisitions can be demonstrated as self-acquired.

In the case of “Baikuntha Nath Paramanik v. Sashi Bhusan Paramanik & Others”, the Supreme Court held that if a joint family possesses a sufficient ancestral nucleus, acquisitions made in the names of family managers are presumed to be joint family properties unless proven otherwise.

Exclusion from Self-Acquired Property:

For self-acquired property, the owner can exclude offspring from inheritance by writing a will. The Delhi High Court ruled in 2016 that an adult son has no legal claim on his parents’ self-acquired property. The court stated that a son, married or unmarried, has no legal right to live in his parents’ house without their consent.

Eviction of Abusive Children:

The Delhi High Court further clarified that parents could evict children from any type of property if the children are abusive. Following an amendment to the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules in 2017, parents can seek eviction of children from all types of property, whether movable or immovable, ancestral or self-acquired.

In “Sachin and Another v. Jhabbu Lal and Another”, the Delhi High Court affirmed that a son has no legal right to reside in his parents’ house and can do so only at their discretion. The court emphasized that parents are not obligated to support their adult children indefinitely.

Eviction of Daughters-in-Law:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that a woman could be evicted from her in-laws’ house under the Senior Citizens Act, consistent with the Domestic Violence Act. The court emphasized that a daughter-in-law should not create an adverse situation for her in-laws and cannot claim immunity from eviction if she mistreats them.

The Delhi High Court also ruled that a daughter-in-law could be evicted from her in-laws’ home if she mistreats them, as elderly in-laws have the right to live peacefully. This decision supports the right of senior citizens to seek eviction of abusive family members.

Eviction from Ancestral Property:

A father can evict his son from ancestral property. The Delhi High Court in November 2018 ruled that harassed parents could evict their children from any property type. The amendment to the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules allows seniors to apply for eviction from any kind of property, not limited to self-acquired assets.

Disputes Arising from Wills:

Disputes over wills often arise among siblings dissatisfied with the terms. These disputes can involve claims of improper execution, forgery, or fraud, leading to legal challenges against the will’s validity.


Property disputes in India constitute a significant portion of the pending caseload in courts. Despite codified laws governing property distribution, disputes between parties can persist for years. For resolution, parties may seek mutual settlement with legal advice. If mutual resolution is not possible, a suit for partition of joint family property may be necessary. The legal framework aims to balance the interests of property owners and occupants, ensuring fair and just outcomes in property disputes. The ongoing evolution of eviction laws will be critical in safeguarding the rights and interests of all stakeholders, fostering a fair and just legal system.

~Arisha Qureshi (Legal Intern)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.