Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us at
Justice K Chandru
Justice K Chandru

CHENNAI: Religion is a matter of faith, not inheritance

Ours is an inter-religious marriage and we have been writing ‘no religion’, or ‘secular’ in the religion column of our children’s school certificates. My question is do the children of inter-religious couples enjoy any benefits/concessions? Or since they were groomed as ‘secular’, with no religion mentioned in any of their certificates, will they face any hurdles later? Once they marry what will be the status of their children? Does our government have any programmes or schemes to promote such a secular society?

— Kuthubudeen, Alwarpet

There is absolutely no loss if someone proclaims he has no religion. However, if one has to join some educational institution run by the minorities, where they give preference in admission to their religious followers, then you may not be able to avail it. Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees the right to profess, practise or propagate any religion of one’s choice. Religion is a matter of faith and not inheritance. Your children after they grow up can have their own choice of faith in any religion or remain secular.

Trust property cannot be sold by third parties

By a registered will duly probated in the High Court of Madras in 1938, my ancestor has earmarked one of the properties to be treated as private trust property after his lifetime and to be managed by his wife as the executrix together with each of his two uncle’s grandsons as executors. This property was sold illegally by the testator’s brother-in-law’s wife and her only daughter. My mother is the only child of my grandfather – being one of the original trustees, moved the court seeking restoration of trusteeship. Unfortunately, nothing is known to me on the outcome of the case nor have I any details to check. Can I now move the court seeking its help since the property is in a prime locality with close to 3,000 sq.ft? My appeal to CCB – Land Grabbing Cell has not yielded any positive results.

— RS Murali

You will have to find out the date of the earlier case filed in the court. Even otherwise, a trust property cannot be sold by third parties.

If there are no trustees then you can move the court to frame a scheme for the Trust and run it as per the wishes of the testator. You can recover the property. But no one can claim to be the owner of that property.

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