Power and Liabilities of the Karta

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Contents Introduction…………………………………………………………….……………………3 People eligible to be Karta……………………………………………………………………3 Minor as Karta..…………………….………………………………….…………………3 Father as Karta…………………….………………………………….………………….4 Female as Karta before and post 2005……………………………………………………….4 Responsibilities of the Karta…………………….…………………………..……………….4 Powers and Liabilities of the Karta…………………….………………………………….…5 Power to manage family affairs ..…………………….…………………………..….……5 Powers to receive and use family income…………………….……………………….……5 Power to manage joint family business……………………………….…………….……..6 Power to Alienate…………………….………………………………….………….……..6 Liabilities of account…………………….………………………………….……….…….7 Power and liability to represent in suits …………………….……………………….……7 Power and liability to acknowledge debts…………………….……………….…….…….8 Powers to contract debts for family purpose…………………….…………………….……8 Power of Arbitration…………………….………………………………….………………8 Power and liability to settle family disputes…………………….…………………….……8 Conclusion …………………….………………………………….……………………….…9 Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………10

An analysis of Responsibilities, Power and Liabilities of the Karta .

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  1. Introduction

A joint family is a unique institution under Hindu Law[1]. It is an institute whose members own property by its name, which has many persons as its members, having different rights over the property and also rights and duties towards one another. The Karta is the head and the manager of the joint family and acts on behalf of the family, he holds an important position in the joint family. He has innumerable rights and powers but these powers are not available to the any other coparceners .The paper attempts to discuss about the people who can become a Karta, the change in law post 2005 which included females as Karta and mainly focuses on the responsibilities, power and liabilities of the Karta.

  1. People eligible to be Karta

The senior most male member is generally assumed to be the Karta of a Hindu joint family[2]. He should be fit to act as the Karta and not suffering from any mental or physical disorder[3]. He is the head of the family and has the custodian of the joint family property. The Karta is the manager of the joint family property but he has certain exclusive powers. The position of the Karta is decided by birth and regulated with seniority[4].

  1. Minor as Karta

A minor can act as the Karta and represent the family through guardian[5]. A minor cannot manage the joint family property as long as the Karta is accessible except when the Karta gives up his right explicitly or by vital ramifications or in his absence in extraordinary and unusual circumstances, for example, trouble or disaster influencing the entire family and for supporting the family or where his whereabouts are not known or he is away in a remote place because of unavoidable circumstances and his return inside within a reasonable time could not be expected. In Nopany Investors (Pvt) Ltd v. Santokh Singh[6], the court laid down these guidelines as to when a minor could be a Karta.

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