N.S. Balaji V/S The Presiding Officer Debt Recovery Tribunal & Ors.
The Supreme court held that Karta of HUF can alienate HUF property even if a minor has undivided interest in it.
The division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice S.V.N. Bhatti said that the father of the petitioner herein, as the Karta of the HUF, was entitled to mortgage the HUF property. The son(s) or other member(s) of the HUF need not be consenting parties to the mortgage. Post alienation, a coparcener may challenge the act of a Karta, if the alienation is not for legal necessity or for betterment of the estate, which is not the assertion established in the present case.
The petitioner claims that the property in question was a joint family property/Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property, which was mortgaged by the petitioner’s father as one of the guarantors. The petitioner also states that his father was the Karta of the HUF.
The position on the rights of a Karta vis-à-vis an HUF property is well settled.
The Apex Court in the case of Narayan Bal v. Sridhar Sutar has held that the Karta has the right to sell/dispose of/alienate an HUF property, even if a minor of the family has undivided interest. The reason is that an HUF is capable of acting through its Karta or an adult member of the family in the management of the HUF property.