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Report No. 86

II. Meaning of Various Expressions

7.6. Section 4-Interpretation of "dwelling house".-

Various expressions used in section 4, such as "dwelling house", "undivided family" and "member of such family", have come up for interpretation in several decisions of the various High Courts, and Courts have, in general, placed a wide and liberal construction on these expressions, keeping in view the object underlying section 4, namely, to provide for peaceable enjoyment of the property and to secure privacy.1 For example, it has been held that a "dwelling house" does not cease to be so merely because of a temporary suspension of occupation or absence of the co-sharers, provided the members are likely to return to its occupation.2 Continuous residence of the member is not necessary.3

Then, the term "house" has also been liberally interpreted, so as to include the appurtenant lands or premises which are necessary for its proper occupation or enjoyment.4-5

1. Dulal Chandra v. Costhabehari, AIR 1953 Cal 259 (Chakravarti, C.J. and G.N. Das, J.).

2. Kalipada v. Tulsidas, AIR 1960 Cal 467.

3. Sushila v. J.B. Baral, AIR 1956 Ori 56 (case of Christians) (reviews case law).

4. Nilkamal v. Makakshy Charan, AIR 1928 Cal 539 (542).

5. Khirode Chandra v. Saroda Prasad, (1910) 12 Cal LJ 525: 7 IC 436 (Mukherji, J.).

The Partition Act, 1893 Back

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