Sui Generis Position of Karta of Joint Family

List of Cases

Chandra Kishore v. Nanak Chand AIR 1975 Del 175

Ghuia Devi v. Shyamlal Mandal AIR 1974 Pat 68

Jugal Kishore Baldeo Sahai v. CIT (1967) 63 ITR 238

Dr. Gopal v. Trimbak AIR 1953 Bother 195

Dev Kishan v. Slam Kishan AIR 2002 Raj 370

CIT v Gangadhar Sikaria Family Trust (1983) 142 ITR 677

P.S. Sairam v. P.S. Ramarao Pisey AIR 2004 SC 1619


A Hindu joint family comprises of the common ancestor and all his lineal male descendants upto any generation along with the wife/ wives (or widows) and unmarried daughters of the common presursor or ancestor and of the lineal male descendants. Whatever the cynic may say about the eventual fate of the Hindu joint family, it has been and is as yet the essential part of the life of Hindus.

A co-parcenery is a restricted group of people within a joint family. It comprises of male members. A Hindu coparcenery is a corporate entity, however not joined. A coparcenery consists of four progressive generations including the last male holder of the property. The last male holder of the property is also the senior most individual of the family.

In the whole Hindu joint family, the karta or supervisor occupies a very important position. Karta is the oldest male individual of the family. He is the Hindu patriarch. Only a coparcener can become Karta. It is so unique that there is no office or any establishment or some other arrangement of the world, which can measure up to it. His position is sui generis that is of his own sort or particular to himself. Eccentricity lies in the way that as far as his offer/interest, 

the Karta isn’t prevalent and has no unrivaled interests in the coparcenery. In the event that parcel happens he is qualified for take his offer. He is an individual with restricted forces, be that as it may, inside the ambit of his circle, he has such huge powers as are moved by none else. His position is perceived/presented by law. No more peculiar can at any point be able to be a karta, yet a received child who is the oldest in the family can be qualified. 

Article 236 of the Mulla Hindu Law characterizes “Karta” as follows: 

Supervisor – Property having a place with a joint family is normally overseen by the dad or other senior part for the present of the family: The Administrator of a joint family is called Karta. 

In a HUF, the obligation of Karta is to deal with the HUF property. He is the caretaker of the pay and resources of the HUF. He is obligated to make great to other relatives with their portions of all entireties which he has misused or which he spent for purposes other than those wherein the joint family was intrigued. His job is essential. He is depended not just with the administration of land/resources of the family yet in addition is endowed to do the overall government assistance of the family. 

His position is not the same as the chief of an organization or an association. The explanation for it is that however the coparcenery manages lands, resources/property yet in a totally extraordinary style. At the point when a Karta is presented with such a position it is something, which happens under the activity of law. 

Position of Karta

The situation of karta is sui generis. The connection among him and different individuals are not that of head/specialist/accomplices. He isn’t care for a trough of a business firm. Obviously he is the top of the family and follows up in the interest of different individuals, yet he isn’t care for an accomplice, as his forces are practically limitless. Without a doubt, he is the expert of the fabulous demonstration of the joint family and deals with every one of its undertakings and its business. His force of the board is so wide and practically sovereign that any administrator of business firm pales into unimportance. The karta remains in a guardian relationship with different individuals however he isn’t a trustee. 

Commonly a Karta is responsible to none. Except if charges of extortion, deception or transformation are evened out against him. He is the dominate and none can address concerning what he got and what he spent. He isn’t headed for positive disappointments like inability to contribute, to get ready records, to set aside cash. 

Karta may segregate for example he will undoubtedly treat all individuals unbiasedly. He will undoubtedly pay in a fixed extent to different individuals. Regardless of whether he enters such an understanding/course of action, he can disavow something very similar without any potential repercussions. 

Anyway enormous forces a karta may have, he can’t be a dictator. He has direct relations with different individuals from the family. After all he is an individual of restricted forces. He has liabilities towards individuals. Any coparcener can whenever request segment. He gets no compensation for his administrations and he releases a large number obligations towards the family and its individuals. His actual legitimate position can be seen just when we know the ambit of his forces and liabilities. 

Karta’s Liabilities 

Karta’s liabilities are various and diverse. 


In a joint Hindu family, the privilege of upkeep of all the coparceners out of the joint family reserves is an inalienable right and a fundamental nature of the coparcenery. As Mayne puts it: The individuals who might be qualified for share the majority of property are qualified for have all their vital costs paid out of its pay. Each coparcener, from the top of the family to the lesser most individuals, is qualified for support. A Karta is mindful to keep up all individuals from the family, coparceners and others. In the event that he inappropriately bars any part from upkeep or doesn’t as expected look after them, he can be sued for support just as for back payments of support. 


He is likewise liable for the marriage of every single unmarried part. This duty is especially stressed in regard of girls. Marriage of a little girl is considered as a hallowed obligation under Hindu law. Marriage costs are settled out of joint family reserves. 

Chandra Kishore v. Nanak Chand AIR 1975 Del 175 – 
In this case it was considered that Karta is answerable for dealing with the costs of the marriage of the girl from the joint family domain. Also, in the event that marriage costs are met from outside they are to be repaid from the joint family reserves. 

Records at the hour of Parcel 

Segment implies finishing the joint status. On parcel, the family stops to be a joint family. Under the Mitakshara law, parcel implies two things: – 

(a) Severance of status/premium, and
(b) Real division of property as per the offers so determined, known as segment by distributes and bounds.
The previous involves singular choice, the craving to cut off himself and appreciate the vague and vague offer independently from others while the last is a resultant subsequent of his presentation of expectation to cut off however which is basically a two-sided action.
Taking of records implies an enquiry into the joint family resources. It implies setting up a stock of the multitude of things of the joint family property.
The Mitakshara Karta isn’t at risk to accounts and no coparcener can even at the hour of parcel, censure upon the karta his previous dealings with the joint family property except if charges of extortion, misappropriation/change are made against him. 

Ghuia Devi v. Shyamlal Mandal AIR 1974 Pat 68 

Facts: – Gokul Mandal was the regular progenitor of the family, he had 2 children: – Gobardhan and Ghoghan. After Gokul’s passing Gobardhan was the karta of the family. Shyamlal and Kisan are the children of Gobardhan. Shyamlal, litigant no.1 is the spouse of the offended party. In 1951, segment occurred between two branches: Shyamlal and Ghoghan. After parcel, Shyamlal started to go about as karta of the family comprising of the individuals from Gobardhan’s branch. Litigant is a pardanashin woman. Shyamlal exploited her position and misappropriation of property and its pay and because of it a suit was recorded. Request of appealing party was that their customer was qualified for an announcement for accounts. Their request was dismissed in light of the fact that they could cite no proof. 

Judgment: – In the suits for segment of a Joint Hindu Family property the administrator/karta must be made obligated for revaluation of record if there is a proof of misappropriation/extortion and inappropriate transformation of joint family resources and property. It was said that without a particularly evidence a coparcener looking for segment isn’t qualified for require the director to represent his previous dealings with the joint family property. 

Nonetheless, when a coparcener suing for parcel is completely rejected from the pleasure in property he can request accounts. 

After the severance of status has occurred, the karta will undoubtedly deliver records of all use and pay in a similar way as a trustee or specialist will undoubtedly deliver accounts. This implies that from the date of severance of status, the karta will undoubtedly represent all mesne benefits. 

Portrayal: – 

The karta addresses the family. He is its sole delegate opposite the public authority and all pariahs and in that limit he needs to release numerous obligations and liabilities in the interest of the family. He needs to satisfy charges and different obligations for the benefit of the family and he can be sued for every one of his dealings in the interest of the family with the outsiders.

Powers of Karta

At the point when we specify the forces of karta, the genuine significance of his lawful position comes into clear alleviation. His forces are immense and limits are not many. The ambit of his forces can be considered under two heads: – (a) force of estrangement of joint family property, (b) different forces. In the previous case, his forces are restricted since a karta can distance in uncommon cases. In the last case his forces are huge, practically outright. 

First we will talk about different forces. 

Different forces 

Forces of the executives 

As the top of the family, karta’s forces of the executives are practically supreme. He may mange the property of the family, the family issues, the business the manner in which he enjoys, he may blunder likewise, it’s not possible for anyone to scrutinize his fumble. He isn’t at risk for positive disappointments. He may separate between the individuals from the family. However, he can’t deny support/use/control of property to any coparcener. The steadily draping sword of segment is an incredible beware of his outright powers. Most likely, the more powerful check is the love and the normal worry that he has for the individuals from the family and the total confidence and certainty that individuals rest in him. 

Right to pay 

It is the common result of the joint family framework that the entire of the pay of the joint family property, whosoever may gather them, a coparcener, specialist or a worker, should be dealt with over to the karta .It is for the karta to assign assets to the individuals and take care of their necessities and prerequisites. 

The pay given to the karta is a use brought about in light of a legitimate concern for the family. 

Jugal Kishore Baldeo Sahai v. CIT (1967) 63 ITR 238 

In the current case, both the individuals from the Hindu unified family, who were the solitary people skilled to go into a concession to its benefit, considered it proper that the karta ought to be paid compensation at the pace of Rs. 500/ – each month for taking care of its advantage in the association where it had a considerable interest since its karta was an accomplice in that as its delegate, and went into a consent to pay to him for the administrations delivered to the family. The proportion of the above choice is, thusly, pertinent to the current case. Likewise, the compensation paid to him must be held to be a consumption caused in light of a legitimate concern for the family .The use having been brought about under a substantial arrangement, bonafide, and in light of a legitimate concern for and completely and solely with the end goal of the matter of the Hindu unified family, is passable as a deductible use under area 37(1) of the Indian Annual Duty Act, 1922 in figuring the pay of the Hindu unified family. 

Right to portrayal 

The karta of a joint family addresses the family in all issue legitimate, social, strict. He follows up in the interest of the family and such demonstrations are restricting on the family. The joint family has no corporate presence; it acts in all issue through its karta. The karta can go into any exchange for the family and that would be restricting on the joint family. 

Dr. Gopal v. Trimbak AIR 1953 Bother 195 

For this situation, it was held that a chief/karta can contract obligations for carrying on a privately-run company/consequently render the entire family property including the portions of the other relatives at risk for the obligation. Only in light of the fact that one of the individuals from the joint family likewise goes along with him, it doesn’t modify his situation as a karta. 

Force of Give and take 

The karta has ability to bargain all questions identifying with family property or their administration. He can likewise bargain family obligations and different exchanges. Notwithstanding, if his demonstration of give and take isn’t bonafide, it very well may be tested in a parcel. He can likewise bargain a suit forthcoming in the court and will be restricting on every one of the individuals, however a minor coparcener may exploit O.32, Rule 7 C.P.C., which sets out that in the event that one of the gatherings to the suit is a minor the trade off should be supported by the court. 

Ability to allude a debate to mediation 

The karta has ability to allude any debate to discretion and the honor of the judges will be restricting on the joint family if substantial in different regards. 

Karta’s ability to contract obligations 

The karta has an inferred position to contract obligations and vow the credit of the family for normal motivation behind privately-owned company. Such obligations caused in the standard course of business are restricting on the whole family. The karta of a non-business joint family additionally has the ability to contract obligations for family purposes. At the point when a bank looks to make the whole joint family responsible for such obligations, it is important for him to demonstrate that the advance was taken for family purposes, or in the customary course of business or that he made legitimate and true blue enquiries with respect to the presence of need. The articulation family reason has practically a similar significance as legitimate need, advantage of domain, or execution of crucial and devout obligations. 

Advance on Promissory note: – 

When the karta of a joint family takes a credit or executes a promissory note for family purposes or for privately-run company, different individuals from the family might be sued on the actual note regardless of whether they are not gatherings to the note. Their risk is restricted to the offer in the joint family property, however the karta is by and by responsible on the note. 

Ability to go into contracts: – 

The karta has the ability to go into contracts and such agreements are restricting on the family. It is additionally now settled that an agreement, in any case explicitly enforceable, is likewise explicitly enforceable against the family.

Power of alienation 

Albeit no individual coparcener, including the karta has any ability to discard the joint family property without the assent of all others, the Dharma Shastra remembers it. That in specific conditions any part has the ability to estrange the joint family property. The Mitakshara is express on the matter. As indicated by Vijnaneshwara: 

….even one individual who is skilled may close a blessing, hypothecation or offer of undaunted property, if a disaster (apatkale) influencing the entire family requires it, or the help of the family (kutumbarthe) render it important, or basic obligations (dharmamarthe, for example, obsequies of the dad or something like that, made it unavoidable. 

The plan of Vijnaneshwara has gone through alteration in two regards: – 
# The force can’t be practiced by any part aside from the karta. 

The joint family property must be distanced for three purposes: – 

(a) Apatkale (Lawful Necessity)

(b) Kutumbarthe (Advantage of Estate)

(c) Dharmamarthe (Strict commitments) 

(a) Lawful Need 

It can’t be characterized accurately. The instances of legitimate need can be so various and differed that it is difficult to decrease them into water – tight compartments. Freely talking it incorporates every one of those things, which are considered significant for the individuals from the family. What should be shown is that the property was estranged for the fulfillment of a need. The term is to be deciphered with due respect to the cutting edge life. Where the need is halfway, for example where the cash needed to meet the need is not exactly the sum raised by the estrangement, at that point additionally it is supported for legitimate need. 

Dev Kishan v. Slam Kishan AIR 2002 Raj 370 

Realities:- Smash Kishan , the offended party documented a suit against appellants, respondents. Offended parties and respondents are individuals from a Joint Hindu Family. Respondent no.2 is the karta, who is affected by litigant no.1 has sold and sold the property for illicit and unethical purposes as it was for the marriage of minor little girls Vimla and Pushpa. The respondents dispute was that he took the advance for lawful need. 

Judgment: – The obligation was utilized for an unlawful reason. Since it was in contradiction of Kid Marriage Restriction Act, 1929, thusly it can’t be called as legitimate distance. 

(b) Advantage of Domain 

Extensively talking, advantage of home methods anything, which is accomplished to help the joint family property. There are two perspectives as to it. One view is that solitary development, which is of cautious character, can be an advantage of bequest. This view is by all accounts not, at this point legitimate. The other view is that anything done which is of positive advantage, will add up to profit of home. The test is that anything which a judicious individual can do in regard of his own property. 

(c) Imperative Obligations 

This term suggests execution of those demonstrations, which are strict, devout, or beneficent. 

Vijnaneshwara gave one occurrence of Dharmamarthe, viz., obsequies of the dad and added “or something like that”. Unmistakably this articulation incorporates any remaining fundamental obligations, for example, sradha, upananyana, and execution of other essential sanskars. For the release of key obligations the karta may even distance the whole property. 

A karta can even distance a bit of the family property for altruistic/devout purposes. Notwithstanding, for this situation, the forces of the karta are restricted for example he can distance a little part of the joint family property, regardless of whether portable/undaunted. 

Estrangement Is Voidable 

It very well might be taken as an all around settled law, that estrangement made by karta without legitimate need/advantage of domain/release of imperative obligations isn’t void yet only voidable at the case of any coparcener. 

In CIT v Gangadhar Sikaria Family Trust (1983) 142 ITR 677, the Gauhati High Court was called upon to choose whether the Annual duty Official can challenge the legitimacy of a distance by the karta of a Hindu unified family. The High Court held that under the Hindu Law, the karta of a Hindu unified family has a liberated option to distance the joint family property for legitimate need and to assist the home or the family. It was additionally held that regardless of whether an exchange by the karta were not for lawful need or to serve the home, yet in the event that it is finished with the assent of the coparceners, it would be just voidable and not void abdominal muscle initio. Plainly estrangement by the karta or chief of a joint family is voidable, yet not void. Henceforth, an outsider can’t renounce it, besides in situations where there is an idea that it was in extortion on loan bosses.

Separate Property

It is presently settled that the karta can estrange the joint family property with the assent of the coparceners regardless of whether nothing unless there are other options extraordinary cases exist. Distance without the assent of the coparcener, which isn’t for legitimate need, is void. 

It is grounded that there is no assumption under Hindu Law that a business remaining for the sake of any individual from the joint family is a joint privately-run company regardless of whether that part is the director of the joint family. Except if it very well may be shown that the business in the possession of the coparcener grew up with the help of the joint family property or joint family reserves or that the income of the business were blender with the joint family domain, the business stays free and discrete. 

Law as identified under Article 222 of Mulla Hindu Law is very much settled that a Hindu, regardless of whether be joint, may have separate property. Such property has a place only with him. No other individual from the coparcenary, not even his male issue, procures any interest in it by birth, and on his demise intestate, it passes by progression to his beneficiaries, and not by survivorship to the enduring coparceners. 

P.S. Sairam v. P.S. Ramarao Pisey AIR 2004 SC 1619 

Realities: – P. Eswar Rao had 3 relationships. From his second marriage he had 2 children: – P. Sadashiv Rao (litigant no.1 he is the karta of the family) and P.E. Panduranga Rao. Sadashiv Rao had 2 spouses. Godavari Bai was his first spouse. She had 2 children one of them is the offended party, P.S. Ramarao Pissey. Offended parties case is that litigant no.1 began a business from the pay and property of joint family for the sake of M/s Pissey and children. The conflict of the respondents is that the property was his self-procurement, which he gained by raising advances from the market. 

Judgment: – It was held that it was litigant no.1’s different property. 

The karta’s forces and liabilities and the karta’s force of distance of property under the Dayabhaga school are same as that of the Mitakshara karta. The principle distinction between the two schools is that in the event of Dayabhaga the karta should deliver full records consistently, at whatever point needed to do as such by the coparcener, while if there should arise an occurrence of Mitakshara the karta is needed to deliver accounts just at the hour of segment or except if there are charges against him for extortion/misappropriation. 


The thinking, which was prior given by the courts including the pinnacle court of the country that lady, can’t turn into a karta in light of the fact that a karta needs to fundamentally be a coparcener. In any case, presently, with the change of 2005, Area 6 of the Hindu Progression Act, 1956 gives equivalent rights to girls in the Hindu Mitakshara coparcenary property as the children have. Indeed, even now the Hindu Progression Act, 1956 doesn’t acknowledge a lady as karta in typical conditions. She can be a karta just in 2 certain unique conditions: – without male individuals, and in the event that there are minor male individuals in the family, which is endorsed by the old Hindu law, the dharmashatras. 

It ought to be perceived that changes are just the initial step. The law must be a way breaker; it can’t guarantee that equity is finished. For that there should be a positive change in friendly mores. The law would consistently be a stage behind. Ladies need to become mindful that the law doesn’t victimize them in property matters and that they can’t be scammed any more. Much of the time, equity is denied just as a result of absence of mindfulness. Here, ideally, the privilege to Data Act would kick in and work with more prominent access for ladies to think about their privileges. Indeed, they ought to be engaged and empowered to request their privileges, any place they are tried to be denied. 

The public authority should find ways to inspire the situation of lady in other individual laws moreover. It should be perceived that correspondence for ladies isn’t simply a question of value for the purported more fragile sex, yet a proportion of the advancement of Indian culture and the commonsense idea of our development. 

Further breaking down the situation of karta, it tends to be said that he has not so much liabilities but rather more powers. In spite of the fact that simultaneously it can’t be said that he stands firm on the footing of a dictator. With regards to assurance of the situation of karta it very well may be said that he stands firm on an exceptional situation. In entirety it very well may be said that all relatives are compelled by a solemn obligation to acknowledge what karta says until/except if it is hindering to them.


Darret J., Duncan M. “Essays in Classical and Modern Hindu Law” Vol.2, Universal Book Traders Page no. 114.

Dr. Diwan Paras Modern Hindu Law 16th Edition, Allahabad Law Agency, Page no. 290-294.

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