Write a short note on spes successionis?
As per section 6(a) of the Transfer of Property Act, spes successionis includes
(i) A chance of an heir apparent succeeding to an estate
The chance of an heir apparent to succeed to the property of an intestate therefore cannot be transferred. The word ‘apparent’ indicates a probability or possibility and transfers that are based on bare possibilities are not permissible. Such prohibition is based on public policy. If a person transfers this chance, the status of this transfer in law is void ab initio. It does not convey any right in favour of the transferee, even if the transferor who transfers a chance may become the owner of the same property in future.
(ii) The chance of a relation obtaining a legacy on the death of a kinsman
The chance of a relation obtaining a legacy on the death of a kinsman cannot be transferred. If a in relation expects to receive property under a legacy, the same cannot be transferred by him before the death of the testator. The reversioner is a person who hopes to get property on the death of another relation. He does not have vested interest in the property but has only a contingent interest in it.
In the case of Ananda Mohan Roy v. Gaur Mohun Mullick, the issue was whether the contract by the reversioner to sell the property which was in the possession of a widow as an heir was valid and enforceable. The Privy Council held that the if agreement to transfer property where acquisition of title were based on possibilities, could be enforced then prohibition under section 6(a) would become futile. Hence, the Privy Council held that such a contract was void and unenforceable in a court of law.
(iii) Any other mere possibility of a like nature
Any other possibility of a like nature cannot be transferred. The term ‘like nature’ indicates those possibilities that are based on chance or expectancy. For instance, a person cannot transfer the prize money that he may win in a lottery as there is possibility that he never wins a lottery.