What is “onerous gift”? Section 127 of Transfer of Property Act, 1882

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What is “onerous gift”? Section 127 of Transfer of Property Act, 1882

June 26, 2018 GIFTS onerous gift section 127 of transfer of property 2
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Onerous Gift

Section 127 of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 states: Onerous gifts.—Where a gift is in the form of a single transfer to the same person of several things of which one is, and the others are not burdened by an obligation, the donee can take nothing by the gift unless he accepts it fully. Where a gift is in the form of two or more separate and independent transfers to the same person of several things, the doneee is at liberty to accept one of them and refuse the others, although the former may be beneficial and the latter onerous. Onerous gift to disqualified person.—A donee not competent to contract and accepting property burdened by any obligation is not bound by his acceptance. But if, after becoming competent to contract and being aware of the obligation, he retains the property given, he becomes so bound.


Onerous Gift is given under section 127 of Transfer of Property Act. Onerous Gift is based on the maxim “quis ensit commodum debet et sintiue onus.” It literally means that he who enjoys the benefit ought also to bear the burden, he who enjoys the advantage of a right should also take the accompanying disadvantage.


Now let us understand the meaning of the Onerous Gift.

Onerous means “burdened with obligation“. Obligation here means debt, interest etc on the property. Gift is defined under section 122 which means transfer of existing immovable or movable property without consideration.

So, Onerous gift is when one person transfer several gifts, i.e., more than one gifts to another in a
single transfer, out of these gifts one is not burdened by obligation but other is burdened with obligation, so here donee has to accept in full, he cannot accept one which is beneficial and reject burdened with obligation.

But where gift is in the form of two or more separate and independent gifts to same person off several things, then donee can accept one and reject other because the gift is not in single transfer but independent transfer.

Example: “A” transfer two gift shares X and Y to “B” in a single transfer. X is the share of prosperous company and Y is share of sinking company. B refuses to accept gift Y. So B cannot take X gift also.


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