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Indian Law/What is the time limit to make claims by legal heirs?

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QUESTION: Sir,
My father and uncle(Hindu) were the only two partners of a firm started by them in 1967. My father died in 1983 without a Will. Afterwards my uncle and my mother continued as partners for one more year. Afterwards I (Son) was also included as a partner. I have two sisters, one elder than me and one younger than me. Elder sister is married and younger sister is not married. When myself, my uncle and my mother were the partners of the firm, we purchased a land for our business during 1992 in the name of the firm. My uncle also died in the year 1993. Myself and my mother continued the business as partners till 2008 but the partnership was not dissolved. Now we have stopped doing the business and land/building is vacant. My uncle, before his death left an unregistered will in my name. Accordingly his personal assets were transferred into my name. Now, during 2009 i.e. after 26 years of my father's death) my sisters and mother have gone to the court  claiming their shares in the land which is in the name of the partnership firm.
My question is "Is their a time limitation to make claims on properties on the basis of legal heirship?" If "Yes" "How many years?".
Kindly answer my question with Act, Sections and Subsection.
Thanks

ANSWER: If a male Hindu dies without making a WILL,then the wealth left by him are distributed amongst his legal heirs equally to his class-I heirs comprising son,daughter,widow,son/daughter of a predeceased son/daughter etc. and otherwise to class-II heirs comprising father,brothers/sisters etc.as per the order prescribed in the Act.However,prior to amendment of the Hindu Succession Ac,1956 the daughters were excluded from participating in the coparcenaries ownership and thus discriminated  on the ground of  gender. It also led to oppression and negation of her fundamental right of equality guaranteed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Parliament felt the same and accordingly decided to make in necessary changes in the law.  Accordingly, Section-6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 was substituted by a new provision vide the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 under which  daughters who were born and married before 1956 are also entitled to get a share in the property left by a deceased person.
   No transfer of immovable property can be made without executing and registering a Conveyance Deed.
  In the instant case, through the law of inheritance, after the death of your fathe,his properties will be distributed to his legal heirs as per the Succession Certificate to be issued by the court. Since your uncle died after making a WILL, his properties  will be distributed as per his WILL.However, a person can transfer only those properties to others of which he is the true owner.

Alternatively to maintain peace and cordial relation within the family ,you can enter into a ''Family Settlement Deed''.It will facilitate equitable distribution of the wealth instead of concentration of the same in the hands of a few.Further,it would avoid litigation and will help to maintain reputation of the family. Even Courts have recognised such mode of settlement.However,it will also require registration of the property.

After dissolution of a Partnership Firm,its assets are distributed as per the provisions of the OPartnership Act,1932.As per the said provisions, amount realised through sale of assets will be utilised to repay secure/unsecured loan and then surplus if any will be shared by the partners in their capital sharing ratio.
  In view of the above, please take appropriate decision in the matter in consultation with a    suitable lawyer.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sir,
Thanks for your reply. With all due respects I would like to know "Is their a time limitation to make claims on properties on the basis of legal heirship?" If "Yes" "How many years?".

Sir, I am repeating this because my mother and sisters have already gone to the court in 2009 i.e. after 26 years of my father's death. I didn't want to break up the family but even though they have taken a harsh step. Your advices would be kept in mind before I do anything in this regard.
Thanks and regards.

Answer
There is no time limit to apply for a probate.Since your uncle has transferred his personal properties in your favour as per his WILL,you are certainly entitled to claim it.However, landif belonged to the Firm,after disolution of the Firm,its sale proceeds will be distributed as per the procedure laid down in the Act.Merely by approaching the court,nobody could get ownership of the property.It will be decided by the court as per the procedure stated above.However,being members of the same family,please try to make equitable distribution of the property through a Family Settlement Deed.

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Arun Kumar Maitra

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Contract Law,Companies Act,Sale of Goods Act,Partnership Act,Negotiable Instument Acts,Constitution of India,Arbitration Act,Consumer Protection Act,Maternity Act,Payment of Gratuity Act,Payment of Bonus Act,Shops & Establishment Act etc.The answer to the grievance of the particular online query depends on the facts of the particular case and law applicable to it.However,my comments relating to the various queries raised through the "All Experts" should not be treated as legal advices and should not at all be relied upon.I do not accept any responsibility for them.They will only give you some ideas about the probable merits of your cases.Ultimate actions/decisions in the matter may please be taken in consultation with the Legal Experts in the relevant fields.My purpose of giving the comments is to increase my own knowledge on the subjects and share it with others.It is purely of academic interest to me. I strongly feel the more knowledge we share,the more we shall be able to learn because there is neither any age nor any end to learning.

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I have experience of dealing with matters relating to holdings of board/general meetings,maintenance of statutory registers,filing of necessary returns with the RoC,obtaining licenses for import,replies to Parliament Questions,dealing with the Parliamentary Committees,appearing before various courts to defend my employers,filing affidavits/counter -affidavits,preparing written statements/re-joinder,giving advice to management on complicated legal issues,preparation,drafting and vetting of contracts etc. I have more than 35 years of experiences to deal with the Company Law and Other Commercial Laws of leading Organisations in the country both in Public as well as Private Sectors.

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Member,Inst. of Chartered Accountants of India Member,Inst. of Company Secretaries of India; Member,Bar Council of India Member,All India Management Association Member,Delhi Management Association Ex. Vice-Chairman,Durgapore Chapter of the I.C.A.I. Expert ,CA Club India Expert ,Lawyers Club India Expert,AllExperts Ex. Faculty ,I.C.S.I as well as I.C.W.A of India Retd. Co. Secy. & G.M.(Law)/NFL(A Mini-Ratna A Schedule Central P.S.U.),New Delhi Ex.V.P.(Secretarial Dept.),Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. Ex. Co. Secy.,MAMC(A Govt. of India Enterprise),Durgapore

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M.Com;LL.B;A.C.A;A.C.S.

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Obtained ''A'' Grade Certificate in the Parliamentary Procedure from the Secy. General of Parliament in 1994-95.It was in connection with a training course conducted by the BPE for PSU Executives.

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I am presently working as a Company Secretary in Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.located in Delhi.It is engaged in Hospitality Industry.It has Units in India and abroad.It has been given the responsibility to look after operation & Management of ''India Habetat Centre'' located at Lodhi Road,New Delhi.

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