The Bombay high court has held that a child given away in adoption cannot claim any right in the property of his biological father.
The ruling was delivered on November 30 by Justice Mridula Bhatkar who observed that once a child is given away in adoption, his rights to property of his biological father ceased to exist.
The case pertains to a joint Hindu family from Nashik, where family-head Ramachandra Mahale had given away his eldest son Radhakrishna to More family. Ramchandra has two more sons Trimbak and Digambar.
During the course of time, Digamber died and Trimbak too died later leaving behind his wife and daughter. Somnath, son of Radhakrishna, claimed a share in the property jointly owned by the Mahale family.
The high court, however, held that Radhakrishna and Somnath do not have right to claim share in the property belonging to their biological family since Radhakrishna was given away in adoption.
Justice Bhatkar said, "The family is not defined under Hindu Succession Act. Thus, who can be a member of the family is not described by the statute. Therefore, the court has to determine position of Ramachandra in view of his legal status only."
"His (Somnath's) status as a family member may be acknowledged by Trimbak and Digamber, however, Somnath is not a coparcener in law. He does not have any legal right in the property of his father's (Radhakrishna's) biological father", the judge said.
"Due to adoption, Radhakrishna's rights in the property of his natural father were ceased and so of Somnath. He continued to stay there and continued to look after the family of his brothers and other family members, yet his right cannot be rejuvenated", the judge said.