Saturday, 13 February 2016


When a property is a self acquired one, the doctrine of family settlement stricto sensu may not be applicable but in a case where two individuals declare each other to be owners of the property having equal share therein, an arrangement between them by way of a family settlement is permissible in law. Such a family settlement is not only in relation to the title of the property but also in relation to the use and possession thereof.
Disputes among members of business families have been the stuff of numerous novels and films, except for providing headlines in daily newspapers. Various families have ruined themselves fighting until the closing stages, the last scene of which is usually performed in the court. The judiciary is generally averse to enter into the paddle because the law should come after everything else in family relations. The same view has been reiterated in the present state of affairs when compared to the days of Privy Council. The concept of family arrangement is applicable to all the communities in which there is a common unit, common mass and the practice of joint living. Consequently, so long as the arrangements are made for settling the disputes with or without litigation, the validity cannot be questioned. Only when the dispute cannot be settled by way of family settlement, is adjudication by the way of arbitration possible.
It may be understood in proper sagacity in the case of a family settlement, as constituting a group of persons who are recognised in law as having a right of succession or having a claim to a share in the property in dispute. But every party taking benefit under a family settlement need not necessarily be shown to have under the law, a claim to share in the property. All that is necessary is that the parties should be related to one another in some way and have a possible claim or a semblance of a claim on some ground, as, say, affection.
The consideration for a family settlement is the expectation that such a settlement will result in establishing or ensuring amity and goodwill amongst the relations and after that consideration has been passed by each of the disputants, the settlement consisting of recognition of the right asserted by each other cannot be impeached. The court held that the consideration for the family settlement being compromise between parties even to a previous suit would be a family settlement.


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