Question: What do you mean by Karta of a joint Hindu family? What power can a Karta exercise in a Joint Hindu family? Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you mean by Karta of a joint Hindu family? What power can a Karta exercise in a Joint Hindu family?] Answer In the setting of a… Read More »

Question: What do you mean by Karta of a joint Hindu family? What power can a Karta exercise in a Joint Hindu family? Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you mean by Karta of a joint Hindu family? What power can a Karta exercise in a Joint Hindu family?] Answer In the setting of a Joint Hindu Family, the position of a Karta is occupied by the head of the family who occupies the most significant position in the family. The Karta manages all the affairs and property of the joint...

Question: What do you mean by Karta of a joint Hindu family? What power can a Karta exercise in a Joint Hindu family?

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you mean by Karta of a joint Hindu family? What power can a Karta exercise in a Joint Hindu family?]

Answer

In the setting of a Joint Hindu Family, the position of a Karta is occupied by the head of the family who occupies the most significant position in the family. The Karta manages all the affairs and property of the joint Hindu family. Usually, the father or the other senior male member of the family is presumed to be the Karta of the family.

The position of the Karta is such that the Karta acts as a head-on behalf of the family but not as a partner or agent as the powers of the Karta are very wide and unlimited. Even a woman can become a Karta of a joint Hindu family in the absence of a male member in the family.

In the case of Mrs. Sujata Sharma v. Shri Manu Gupta & Ors, Delhi High Court passed an effective reformative decision where it was held that the eldest female member of the family being the coparcener in a HUF, can also be a Karta of HUF.

There are certain characteristics of a Karta, which are as follows:

  • The position of a Karta is sui generis, which means that it is unique and independent.
  • The Karta is vested with unlimited power but he has the duty to act on behalf of the best interests of the family.
  • The Karta is not responsible to anyone for his actions.

Powers of Karta

  • Power Over Income and Expenditure

The Manager or Karta of a joint Hindu family has complete control over its income and expenditure. He is neither a trustee nor any agent of other members. So long as he spends the income of the family for the purposes of the family, he is not under any legal obligations to economize or to make savings. The family purposes for which he is authorized to spend the family income are the maintenance, residence, education, marriage, Sradha, and other religious ceremonies of the coparceners and their families.

If the manager spends more on such items than what the other coparceners approve, their only legal remedy would be to ask for a partition.

A Karta cannot, however, misappropriate family funds or misapply them to purposes other than those of the family. If he does so he is liable to make good all such sums to the other members of the family.

  • Power of Alienation

He can alienate for value, the family property so as to bind interests of the other coparceners adults or minors provided that the alienation is made for legal necessity, for the benefit of the estate, or for the legitimate and proper purposes of the family business.

  • Power to Contract Debts

The Manager of a joint Hindu family has an implied authority to contract debts and pledge the property of the family for this purpose. Such debts would be binding on the other members of the family to the extent of their interest in such property. However, the manager himself would be liable personally also and not to the extent of his interest in the property as he is the party to the contract.

  • Powers to Contract

He has the power of making contracts, giving receipts, and compromising or discharging claims ordinarily incidental to the business of the family.

  • Power to Acknowledge Debts

A manager of a joint family has the power to acknowledge debt but he has no power to relinquish a debt due to the family. Nor can be passed a promissory note to receive a debt that is already time-barred.

  • Power to Manage a Family Business or to start a New Business

The Karta has the power to manage the joint Hindu family business. His position is not akin to that of a trustee or of an agent though some of his duties and functions may appear to be similar in character to those of trustees strictly so-called. He has also the authority to start a new business for the family with the required consent of members.

  • Power to Give a Valid Discharge

He has the power to give a valid discharge for debt due to the joint family. Hence if one of the members is a minor, he cannot claim the benefit of Section 7 of the Limitation Act.

  • Power to Represent the Joint Family Property in Suits and Other Proceedings

He may sue or be sued as representing the family in respect of a transaction entered into by him as a manager of the family or in respect of the joint family property and the decree would bind other coparceners even if they are not parties to the suit.

  • Power to Refer Disputes to Arbitration

A Manager has also the power to refer disputes relating to the joint family property to arbitration provided that he does so bona fide i.e., without any fraud or collusion and for the benefit of the family.

  • Power of the Manager to Compromise

If a Karta of a joint Hindu family enters into a compromise bona fide for the benefit of the family such a compromise binds all the other members of the family.


Updated On 17 May 2022 6:22 AM GMT
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