Whether a son can claim ownership to a self-acquired property of his parents?

Sachin & Anr v. Jhabbu Lal & Anr

RSA 136/2016 & CM No. 19123/2016

High Court of Delhi

Date of decision: 24th November 2016


Jhabbhu Lal and his wife (respondents) owned a house, which they sold to purchase a new house in the same locality. In the new house, he allowed his elder son and his wife to live on the second floor, and the younger son and his wife (appellants) to live on the first floor. He had allowed the same out of natural love and affection, since the property was self-acquired. The sons and their wives created nuisance for the respondents, and they did not pay their electricity bills either. The respondents, therefore, made complaints to the police, and issued public notice, disowning their sons and barring them from entering the house. Thereafter, they filed a suit for a decree of mandatory injunction to vacate the floors in their possession and preventing them from creating any third party interest in the property. The Court granted a decree dispossessing the appellants from the property, after which the appellants approached the High Court.


Whether a son can claim ownership to a self-acquired property of his parents?


A son has no legal right in the self-acquired property of his parents, unless he has proof of contribution towards the acquisition of the property. He may be allowed to use the property on permission from his parents, but they are not obligated to allow him to live there.

Analysis & Conclusion:

The appellants claimed that they had contributed towards the purchase and cost of construction of the property, and therefore they were entitled to live in the property. The Court decided that since the appellant had not produced any evidence that proved that the respondents were not the sole owners of the property, they could not prevent dispossession from the property. According to the Court, the respondents had a better title to the property, and the appellants could not claim legal rights over the property. The appellants were mere licensees, and were dependent on the parents’ permission in order to possess any part of the property.

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