Karta: Head of The Joint Hindu Family

In Joint Family Senior Most Male ascendant is the Head of the family is considered as Karta. He is a one who possesses a pivotal possession or supreme position in family.

His Position is so unique that there is no office or institution in any other system of the world which can be compared with it. He is the representative of the Family and acts on behalf of the family.  As being the manager of the family property with immense power which an ordinary manager does not possess so he cannot be equated with the manager of the property.

With an ordinary Presumption, we can say that the senior-most male member of a family is considered as a Karta. Generally, father, if living is Karta otherwise on death, pass on senior-most member. Karta doesn’t owe his position to agreement or consent of the other coparcener. If he is alive, aged, infirm or ailing, he will continue to be Karta. If insane is Senior Most member then the next Senior Most Member will take over the Karta-ship.

When we talk about Junior Male Member then in the presence of senior male member, a junior member cannot be Karta only if coparcener agrees, a junior can be Karta. Junior owes his appointment to the agreement or consent of the coparcener.  The important note about Karta is that the number of Karta in the Joint Hindu Family doesn’t exceed than one.

Under the heading of Judgment Namely Commissioner of Income Tax vs. Seth Govind Ram Supreme Court that mother or any other female could not be Karta of the Joint Family and therefore alienate Joint Hindu Family Property.

When we talk about the position of Karta then in a Joint Hindu Family the position of Karta cannot be compared with the trustee or an agent or a partner in a firm. Karta renders his Services for Joint Family without any remuneration as well as he is not accountable to none. Karta is not bound to treat all members impartially he may discriminate

He is not liable to all those failures in which he acts with good conscience such positive failures are as follows:

  1. Fail to invest
  2. Fail to prepare account
  3. Fail to save money

Along with the Position, Karta have some powers too under whose head he can possess the Extensive control over Income and Expenditure of family business and he not bound to save money through income Because he has right spend income for the benefit of the family, those benefits are maintenance, education and any other essential work. To generate income from the Family business he can take just and necessary steps for the promotion of business due to which the business will expand which directly causes the Revenue generation in business.

Karta have a power under which he can enter into contract incurring debt for family purpose which will bind other coparcener to the extent only of their interest to Joint Hindu Family Property. There are some more powers that he possesses such as he can refer all the matters related to the Joint Hindu Family into arbitration, He can enter into Compromise, he has the power to give valid discharge of the debt due to the Joint Family. He can acknowledge a debt or make part payment of it. He has the power to represent his family in all those suits which are by r against the family, so other members are not necessary parties to the some whenever decree is passed against him that would bind all the members of the family.

Now let’s talk about the Duties of Karta which run along with the Powers, those Duties are duty to Render Account, Duty to Realise Debt due to the Family, Duty not to start new business, Duty to Spend Reasonably, Duty not to Alienate Coparcenery Property.

This article is authored by Krishna Vyas, student of B.B.A. LL.B at Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur

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