Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, provides for conversion of life interest into absolute title on commencement of the Act. However, sub-section (2) carves out an exception to the same as it provides that such right would not be conferred where a property is acquired by a Hindu female by way of gift or under a Will or any other instrument prescribing a restricted estate in that property. Thus, if a Hindu female has been given only a ‘life interest’ through Will or gift or any other document referred to in Section 14 of the Act, 1956, the said right would not stand crystallized into the absolute ownership. Section 14(2) carves out an exception to rule provided in sub-section (1) thereof, which clearly provides that if a property has been acquired by a Hindu female by a Will or gift, giving her only a ‘life interest’, it would remain the same even after commencement of the Act, 1956, and such a Hindu female cannot acquire absolute title.
Shivdev Kaur (D) by LRs v. R.S. Grewal , C.A. Nos. 5063-5065 of 2005; Decided on 20-3-2013 (SC)