The fact of the Case
In the Matter of Kannaian Naidu v Kamsala Ammal, The wife bought the immovable property from the stridhan given to her by her father at the time of her marriage, making her the only full owner of the property and not just a limited owner, according to a second appeal filed against the judgement and decree passed by the Additional District and Sessions Court, which the court modified. Simply though the spouse assisted her in exchanging the diamonds would not grant him a claim to the property. The woman, who resided in India with their children, left the husband, who worked in Saudi Arabia, a sizable sum of money. As the husband’s fiduciary agent, the wife carefully managed his business affairs and made real estate purchases on his behalf. The Trial Court decided the case in favour of the husband and declared that he was the rightful owner of all the properties. The lower appellate court, however, only partially upheld the appeal and overturned the trial court’s rulings for the remaining properties. The appeal was made by the spouse to regain the properties.
Observation of the Court
Justice Krishnan Ramasamy of the Madras High Court’s single-judge bench has ruled that because the wife bought the immovable property from the stridhan her father had given her at the time of their marriage, she alone is the property’s complete owner and not only a limited owner. The fact that the husband just assisted her in recovering the diamonds would in no way give him a claim to the property.
The Court determined that a wife’s position as a homemaker, although not directly providing financial support, was crucial in managing domestic duties, child care, cooking, cleaning, and day-to-day activities without interfering with her husband’s ability to work remotely. She gave up her goals and devoted her whole life to the family and the kids. The court also observed that a homemaker handles several duties, creating a cosy environment and making a substantial contribution to the family. This employment, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, cannot be compared to an earning husband’s 8-hour workday. The court also determined that the spouse who has been raising the family and taking care of the house for many years is entitled to a part of the property.
The Court admitted that there is no law recognising the wife’s direct or indirect involvement in her husband’s home acquisition. It did, however, recognise the wife’s contribution to the husband’s property acquisition, including both monetary and domestic costs. The Court decided that both spouses are entitled to equal portions of assets gained via joint contribution for the welfare of the family. The wife indirectly helped by taking care of domestic duties for more than ten years, freeing up the husband to work, cutting costs, and setting aside money for the future. The wife cannot claim sole ownership of the properties bought in her name just because the title deed is in her name, the court ruled, because the documentary evidence would show that the wife also received a direct financial contribution from the husband when she made the purchase. The woman is just holding the property in trust as the apparent title over the assets in her fiduciary position, and the husband cannot claim absolute rights simply because he sent the money to buy the properties.
CASE NAME – Kannaian Naidu v Kamsala Ammal, S.A.No.59 of 2016