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Supreme Court: Voluntariness and Animus necessary for Execution of valid Gift Deed

2 min read

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: January 25, 2022 at 17:26 IST

The Supreme Court of India on January 24, 2022 stated that in order to execute a valid Gift Deed, there has to be a presence of voluntariness and Animus by the person who has made the gift deed.

The Supreme Court Bench of Justices M R Shah and Sanjiv Khanna, was hearing a Petition filed by Gian Chand and Dhanbir regarding declaration of a Gift Deed in the form of land by deceased Hardei during her lifetime.

The Civil Suit by the aforementioned two Petitioners was first dismissed by a Trial Court on the basis of the document of the Gift Deed being of decrepit origin. Later on, the First Appellate Court agreed upon the ruling of the Trial Court and Dismissed the Suit.

In this regard the Supreme Court stated that “The concurrent findings of the lower Courts delve into the context and factual aspects surrounding the primary Evidence viz., Gift Deed, to conclude that the Plaintiffs Case lacks base for a bona fide claim for decree of declaration.”

The Plaintiffs had even approached the High Court of Himachal Pradesh which set aside the findings of the Trial Court and the Appellate Court and Ruled that the Gift Deed is valid in accordance with the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

The Bench stated that in regards with the currently Impugned Order, the High Court “unfortunately, chose to ignore and not deal with the fact in issue in the background of the Case, but was completely influenced by the Evidence led to support execution and registration of the document, and not whether execution was voluntary and in exercise of unfettered will to effect gratuitous transfer of land in favor of the Plaintiffs.”

The Bench stated that “The fact in issue in the present Case is the voluntariness and animus necessary for the execution of a valid Gift Deed, which is to be examined on the basis of Evidence led by the parties who could depose for the truth of this fact in issue.”

The Supreme Court after considering all the facts allowed the Petition in the Case of Keshav v. Gian Chand, and set aside the Impugned Judgment of the High Court while upholding the decision of the Trial Court and Appellate Court.