HYDERABAD: According to law, once a donor divests his right in a scheduled property by executing a gift settlement deed in favour of his family members or others, he cannot unilaterally execute a deed revoking the gift settlement deed. Consequently, when he has no right to revoke the gift settlement deed validly executed by him in favour of others, he cannot alienate the scheduled property to others by executing a sale deed.
The High Court dismissed an appeal which challenged the judgment and decree passed by a lower court in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh on the sale of the property gifted by the donor to his daughters earlier.
While granting the relief sought by the plaintiffs (daughters) who challenged the execution of sale deed in respect of the property, the lower court had held that once a valid gift was given by the donor and was accepted by donees, the same cannot be revoked for any reason. As per provisions of Section 126 of the Transfer of Property Act, if the gift is conditional and donee has not fulfilled the condition, then donor may get some right to revoke the gift.
THE CASE: As for the case, the donor executed the gift settlement deed out of love and affection in favour of his daughters (who are plaintiffs before the lower court) and his wife. Under the said document, life interest right was retained by the donor. As mentioned in the document that after the death of donor, his wife shall enjoy the property without any right of alienation till her death and, thereafter, the donees (plaintiffs) can enjoy the property with absolute rights. No conditions were imposed by donor for gifting the subject property in favour of his daughters.
Further, the said document makes it clear that it is not at all a will and it is only a gift deed. After his wife predeceased him, the donor executed a revocation deed where he admitted that he had executed a gift settlement deed in favour of the plaintiffs. But the reasons mentioned by him for revoking the gift deed are that the plaintiffs had not taken care of him and his wife, and that they were not visiting his house. Thus, they lost his confidence and so he revoked the gift settlement deed executed earlier.
After a few years, the donor executed another revocation deed wherein he mentioned that the plaintiffs obtained the gift settlement deed by misrepresenting him and by inducing him. Thereafter, the donor executed a sale deed in favour of a third person (defendant before the lower court) in respect of schedule property.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait found that in the sale deed the donor did not mention that the plaintiffs (his daughters) obtained the gift settlement deed by misrepresenting and inducing him. However, it was mentioned that as he was in need of money for his maintenance, medical expenses and for discharging debts, he cancelled the gift settlement deed by executing a revocation deed.
In present case, donor gifted the property to plaintiffs with absolute rights but he retained his right to enjoy the property till his death. The judge held that the revocation deeds executed by donor were not binding on plaintiffs as said deeds were not valid. As donor had divested his right in the schedule property, he cannot unilaterally execute any revocation deed for revoking the gift settlement deed executed by him in favour of the plaintiffs. Once donor had no right to revoke gift settlement deed validly executed by him, he cannot alienate scheduled property in favour of a third person by executing a sale deed, the judge ruled.
The judge dismissed the appeal, saying there were no grounds to interfere with decisions taken by lower court.
A man in Guntur district of AP had gifted a property to his daughters and executed a gift settled deed. But, later, suffering ‘neglect’ by his daughters, he changed his mind, decided to sell the property to a third person and executed a sale deed. This was contested by the donees (daughters).