Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Raja Gounder & Others v. M. Sengodan & Others

Date of Order / Judgment: 19th January, 2024

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice M.M Sundresh and Justice S.V.N Bhatti


Muthusamy Gounder (dead) who was a common predecessor in interest. He had three marriages out of which two marriages were declared void. Out of these three marriages, Gounder had five children i.e., four sons and one daughter. The legitimate son i.e. Respondent no. 3 born out of a valid marriage filed the suit for partition before the Trial Court. The trial court decreed the suit for partition in favour of the legitimate child. Aggrieved by the decision of the Trial Court the children from void marriage filed an appeal before the High Court. However, the appeal was dismissed by the High Court. The children from void marriage then approached the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court.


Whether children born out of void marriages would be entitled to share in the property of a common ancestors as his successors?


The Court observed that “Once the status of the parties, other than Respondent No. 3, is established as the extended family of the propositus, irrespective of whether the marriages of Appellant No. 2 and Respondent No. 2 with Muthusamy Gounder are void or voidable, denying the children of Muthusamy Gounder a share in the property of notional partitioned in favour of Muthusamy Gounder, is unsustainable in law and fact.”


The Supreme Court held that the children born out of a void and voidable marriage shall be considered as legitimate children and be treated as an extended family of the common ancestor for the purpose of deciding a valid share in the property of the common ancestor.