Supreme Court, in Pawan Kumar Pathak vs. Mohan Prasad has reiterated that an adopted son is no less than a natural son, when it comes to claiming the right to inherit the properties of his father.
Division Bench comprising of Justices A.K. Sikri and R.K. Agrawal made this observation in an appeal arising out of a suit filed by an adopted son claiming his right to inherit properties which belonged to his father, who died intestate. Another relative contested the suit claiming that the appellant is not the son and hence the latter filed an application to bring on record adoption deed registered around forty years ago. The Trial court dismissed the application holding it as an inadmissible evidence and the High Court also refused to interfere with that order. Thereafter the adopted son approached the Apex Court.
The Court referred to Section 3(57) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 which says that “'son' in the case of any one whose personal law permits adoption, shall include an adopted son”.The Bench added “Once the law recognizes adopted son to be known as son, we fail to understand why it was necessary for the appellant to plead that he was the adopted son. His averment to the effect that he was the only son, according to us, would be sufficient to lay the claim of inheritance on that basis.”
The court also said that the High Court was not entirely justified in rejecting the application on the ground that his plea that he was the adopted son was inconsistent with the earlier plea claiming he is the only son of his father.“We do not see any such inconsistency. Be that as it may, we are of the view that it was not even necessary to seek an amendment of the plaint”, the Bench added allowing the appellant to summon the adoption deed as evidence.
Read the Judgment here.