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Madras High Court: Biological Relatives Cannot Claim Inherited Property of Adopted Child

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by News Desk

The recent ruling by the Madras High Court clarifies the legal stance regarding property inheritance for adopted individuals under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956. Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan’s decision on June 5 asserts that once a person is adopted, their legal ties with their biological family are severed, per Section 12 of the Act. Consequently, biological relatives cannot claim inheritance from the adoptive family.

The case involved V Sakthivel, who filed a writ petition seeking a relationship and legal heirship certificate to claim his adopted cousin Kottravel’s property. Kottravel, adopted by Sakthivel’s uncle Ramasamy and his wife, died in 2020 without leaving any Class I legal heirs. Sakthivel’s claim was contested by Kottravel’s biological siblings.

Justice Ilanthiraiyan upheld that the adopted child’s ties to the biological family are completely replaced by those with the adoptive family. Thus, the Court allowed Sakthivel’s petition and annulled the Revenue Divisional Officer’s previous order denying him the legal heirship certificate.

Written by Athi Venkatesh

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