A 50-year-old man from Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara district has bequeathed half his property to his dog in his will.
Om Narayan Verma, the resident of Badibaba village in Chand tehsil, has four daughters and a son. But he has no wish to leave behind anything for his children. As per his will, which he notarised two days ago, Verma owns 18 acres of land which has now been decided, will be divided equally into two halves between his wife and his dog. After the dog’s death, the one who looked after the dog will get to take ownership of the property.
“I have no faith in my children, so I have made my wife and my pet dog owners of the property after my death,” Verman, who is a former sarpanch of his village, made this announcement to the reporters on Thursday.
Disputes over ownership of family property is a centuries-long debate, dating back to ancient India up until today, where it is very prevalent in not just rural areas, but among well educated urban families. These conflicts give rise to breaking up of joint families, petty crimes and sometimes even murder.
According to the Hindu law, when a member of the family is given possession of a property, such property belongs exclusively to him, and no other member of the coparcenary, not even his son, acquires any interest in such property by birth. The owner of such property may sell it, or gift it, or bequeath it to anyone he likes. If he dies intestate, such property will pass by succession to his heirs and not by survivorship to the surviving coparceners. Broadly speaking, therefore, all property other than joint family or coparcenary property is separate property.