Gifts under Hindu Law
Gift is a relinquishment without consideration of oneís own right in property and the creation of the right of another. A gift is completed only on the otherís acceptance of the gift.
What property may be gifted
- A Hindu may dispose of by gift his separate or self acquired property, subject in certain cases to the claims for maintenance of those he is legally bound to maintain.
- A coparcerner , may dispose of his coparcernary interest by gift subject to the claims of those who are entitled to be maintained by him.
- A father may by gift dispose of the whole of his property, whether ancestral or self acquired, subject the claims of those he is entitled to be maintained by him.
- A female may dispose of her stridhana by gift or will, subject in certain cases to the consent of her husband.
- A widow may in certain cases by gift dispose of a small portion of the property inherited by her from her husband, but she cannot do so by will.
- The owner of an impartible estate may dispose of the estate by gift or will, unless there is a special custom prohibiting alienation or the tenure is of such a nature that it cannot be alienated.
A gift under Hindu law need not be in writing. However, a gift under the law is not valid unless it is accompanied by delivery of possession of the subject of the gift from the donor to the donee. However where physical possession cannot be delivered, it is enough to validate a gift, if the donor has done all that he could do to complete the gift, so as to entitle the donee to obtain possession.
Gifts by Hindus where transfer of property act applies.
A gift under the above act can only be effected in the following manner.
- For the purpose of making a gift of immovable property, the transfer must be effected by a registered instrument signed by or on behalf of the donor, and attested by at least two witnesses.
- For the purpose of making a gift of a movable property, the transfer may be effected by a registered document signed by the donor or by delivery.
Gifts to unborn persons
Under pure Hindu law, a gift cannot be made in favor of a person who was not in existence at the date of the gift. This rule has been altered by 3 acts namely The Hindu Transfers and Bequests Act 1914, Hindu Disposition of Property act 1916, and the Hindu Transfers and Bequests (City of Madras ) Act 1921
Reservation of life interest.
A gift of property is not invalid because the donor reserves the usufruct of the property to himself for life.
Conditions restraining alienation or partition
Where property is given subject to a condition absolutely restraining the donee from alienating it, or it is given to two or more persons subject to a condition restraining them from restraining it, the condition is void, but the gift itself remains good.
Revocation of gift
A gift once completed is binding on the donor, and it cannot be revoked by him unless it is obtained by fraud or undue influence.
Gift in fraud of creditors
A gift made with the intent to defeat or defraud creditors is voidable at the option of the creditors.