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WHETHER ORAL PARTITION IS PERMISSIBLE UNDER LAW ?

It is well settled that oral partition of property is a permissible mode of partition which can be adopted by any undivided Hindu family as has been held in Karpagathachi's case (supra) and S. Sai Reddy v. S. Narayana Reddy, (1991)13 S.C.C. .647. Similar view has been expressed by the Supreme Court in Bakhtawar Singh v. Gurdev Singh, (1996)9 S.C.C. 370 and Hans Raj Agarwal v. CIT, (2003)2 S.C.C. 295=A.I.R. 2003 S.C. 2112. In Hans Raj Agarwal's case (supra). The Supreme Court has placed reliance on the view taken by it in the case of Nani Bai v. Gita Bai, A.I.R. 1958 S.C. 706 and also in the case of Roshan Singh v. Zile Singh, A.I.R. 1988 S.C. 881. As far back as in 1958 in Nani Bai v. Gita Bai, (1959 S.C.R. 479) it was held: (A.I.R. 1958 S.C. 706 para 11) "Partition in the Mitakshara sense may be only a severance of the joint status of the members of the coparcenary, that is to say, what was once a joint title has become a divided title though there has been no division of any properties by metes and bounds. Partition may also mean what ordinarily is understood by partition amongst co-sharers who may not be members of a Hindu coparcenary... For partition in the latter sence of allotting specific properties or parcels to individual coparceners, agreement amongst all the coparceners is absolutely necessary. Such a partition may be effected orally, but if the parties reduce the transaction to a formal document which is intended to be the evidence of the partition, it has the effect of declaring the exclusive title of the coparcener to whom a particular property is allotted by partition and is, thus, within the mischief of Section 17(1)(b)." This view has been affirmed in Roshan Singh v. Zile Singh, A.I.R 1988 S.C. 881 at P.885, para 9: "A partition may be effected orally; but if it is subsequently reduced into a form of a document and that document purports by itself to effect a division and embodies all the terms of bargain, it will be necessary to register it."

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