Gift means to transfer certain existing movable or immovable property voluntarily and without consideration by one person called the donor to another called the donee and accepted by or on behalf of the donee as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Naramadaben Maganlal Thakker v. Pranjivandas Maganlal Thakker, (1997) 2 SCC 255. As further held by the Hon’ble Court in Naramadaben Maganlal Thakker, (1997) 2 SCC 255:
“It would thus be clear that the execution of a registered gift deed, acceptance of the gift and delivery of the property together make the gift complete. Thereafter, the donor is divested of his title and the donee becomes absolute owner of the property.”
A conditional gift with no recital of acceptance and no evidence in proof of acceptance, where possession remains with the donor as long as he is alive, does not become complete during lifetime of the donor. When a gift is incomplete and title remains with the donor, the deed of gift might be cancelled.
In Renikuntla Rajamma v. K. Sarwanamma, (2014) 9 SCC 445, a Hindu woman executed a registered gift deed of immovable property reserving to herself the right to retain possession and to receive rent of the property during her lifetime. The gift was accepted by the donee but later revoked.
In Renikuntla Rajamma v. K. Sarwanamma, (2014) 9 SCC 445, it was held that the fact that the donor had reserved the right to enjoy the property during her lifetime did not affect the validity of the deed. The Court held that a gift made by registered instrument duly executed by or on behalf of the donor and attested by at least two witnesses is valid, if the same is accepted by or on behalf of the donee. Such acceptance must, however, be made during the lifetime of the donor and while he is still capable of making an acceptance. S. Sarojini Amma v. Velayudhan Pillai Sreekumar, (2019) 11 SCC 391.
While considering the aspect of plea of undue
influence and onus probandi, in Subhas
Chandr Das Mushib v. Ganga Prasad Das
Mushib, AIR 1967 SC 878, it was held as under:
Section 16(1) of the Contract Act a contract is said to be induced by undue
influence where the relations subsisting between the parties are such that none
of the parties is in a position to dominate the will of the other and uses that
position to obtain an unfair advantage over the other. This shows that the
court trying a case of undue influence must consider two things to start with,
namely, (1) are the relations between the donor and the donee such that the donee
is in a position to dominate the will of the donor, and (2) has the donee used
that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the donor?
three stages for consideration of a case of undue influence were expounded in Raghunath Prasad Sahu v. Sarju Prasad Sahu, AIR 1924 PC 60, in
the following words:
“In the first
place the relations between the parties to each other must be such that one is
in a position to dominate the will of the other. Once that position is
substantiated, the second stage has been reached, viz., the issue whether the contract
has been induced by undue influence. Upon the determination of this issue a
third point emerges, which is that of onus probandi. If the transaction appears
to be unconscionable, then the burden of proving that the contract was not
induced by undue influence is to lie upon the person who was in a position to
dominate the will of the other.
almost sure to arise if the order of these propositions be changed. The
unconscionableness of the bargain is not the first thing to be considered. The
first thing to be considered is the relations of these parties. Were they such
as to put one in a position to dominate the will of the other? Jamila Beguma v. Shami Mohd., (2019) 2 SCC 727.