Question: A property is given to Amit for life and after his death to Vikram. Vikram transfer this interest to Chanda. Vikram dies during the life time of Amit. Chanda claims the property. Solve the problem with the help of relevant legal provisions.


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Suggestive Answer

In the given problem, the following issues arise:

A. Whether Amit has acquired a vested interest under this transaction or it is a case of mere expectancy?

B. Whether the death of Vikram during the lifetime of Amit has any consequences on the transaction with Chanda?

To begin with the first issue, Section 19 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1872, contains the concept of vested interest. It states that whenever an interest is created while transferring the property, and such transfer takes place only after an unspecified time or terms, but forthwith and happening on a certain event, such interest shall be considered as vested, unless it appears otherwise with the language of the document. Put simply, the ownership right is immediately vested, only the right of enjoyment is postponed.

While applying the aforementioned principle to the given scenario, it can be safely concluded that the transfer of property to Vikram is not a mere expectancy but a case of vested transfer. Here, although the actual transfer of the property shall take place only after the death of Amit, Vikram has acquired a vested interest in the property.

Now, since the position on the first issue is clear, it also removes the doubt from the second issue. Since Vikram has acquired the vested interest in the property, he is legally authorized to further transfer the property to Chanda or anyone else, provided that such transfer shall not take effect until after Amit's death because the condition for enjoyment is tied to Amit's lifetime.

Therefore, Chanda, though acquiring the vested interest in the property, cannot claim the property before the death of Amit.

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