Only blood relations can claim property: Bombay High Court. Step-sons not eligible for inheritance
Oct 3, 2010
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has ruled that only blood relations can claim to be heirs and demand a share of family property. In a ruling on a property dispute, Justice Roshan Dalvi denied a claim by Albert D'Souza saying he did not have the rights of a biological son. His petition was dismissed.
The verdict, delivered last week but made public this week, dealt with the rights of the heirs of one late Mary Powell. Albert was the stepson of Mary's late brother Dennis. The court said he had no claim to Mary's property because he was related to Dennis's second wife by blood and not to his stepfather or Mary. It referred to SC judgments, which say that stepsons don't have a son's rights under the Hindu Succession Act.
"He is not related to his stepfather, by blood. He is, therefore, not related to the deceased (Mary) by blood," held the judge.
"If the child has no relationship with the deceased by blood, full or half, he would not be entitled to be called an heir and consequently, to succeed to his estate," said the judge.
Under the Indian Succession Act, a person claiming to be an heir must have a blood relationship with the deceased. For the purpose of succession, a person must be shown to be related to the deceased by full blood or half blood.
Indian law says that two persons are said to be related to each other by full blood when they are descended from a common ancestor by the same wife. They are related to each other by half blood when they descend from a common ancestor but by different wives.
The court referred to Supreme Court judgments, which had said that even under the Hindu Succession Act, stepsons can't get rights of a son.