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The Supreme Court in the case of Annapurna B. Uppin & Ors. v. Malsiddappa & Anr. clarified that the legal heirs of a deceased partner are not liable for the debts of the partnership firm. The appeal challenged a consumer dispute redressal commission’s order directing the deceased partner’s legal heirs to pay a debt owed by the firm. The Court emphasized that unless there’s evidence of the legal heirs explicitly assuming liability by joining the partnership, they cannot be held responsible for the firm’s debts after the partner’s demise. The ruling affirmed that the liabilities of a partnership firm do not automatically transfer to the legal heirs of a deceased partner.


Annapurna B. Uppin & Ors. Versus Malsiddappa & Anr.

2024 LiveLaw (SC) 284

Supreme Court

Coram: Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma


  • This appeal challenges the correctness of the order issued by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on April 1, 2022, in Revision Petition No. 161 of 2022 titled Annapurna B. Uppin & ors v. Sh. Malsiddappa & anr.
  • The revision was dismissed affirming the order passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
  • The order directed the Opposite Parties No. 1 to 5 to jointly and severally pay Rs. 5 lakhs along with simple interest at 18% per annum from May 21, 2002, to May 20, 2012, and further interest at 6% per annum from May 21, 2012, onwards until realization.
  • Additionally, an amount of Rs. 5,000 was awarded towards compensation for mental agony and Rs. 2,000 towards costs to the respondent.


The case pertains to the retrieval of the investment made by the complainant in the partnership firm from the legal heirs of the deceased partner of the firm under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. The complainant sought to recover the investment from the appellants/legal heirs of the deceased partner contending that the legal heirs had inherited the estate of the deceased partner and therefore could not evade the liability of making the payment due to the complainant/respondent no.1.

However, setting aside such a complaint, the Bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma stated that the liability of the deceased partner does not transfer to its legal heirs. Hence, the complaint seeking recovery of the investment from the deceased partner’s legal heirs would not be maintainable.

The judgment observed: “There was no evidence on record to show that a fresh partnership deed was executed reconstituting the firm in which the present appellants had become partners so as to take upon themselves the assets and liabilities of the firm. The law is well settled that legal heirs of a deceased partner do not become liable for any liability of the firm upon the death of the partner.”


The Supreme Court ruled that upon the death of a partner, the legal heirs do not inherit the liabilities of the partnership firm.

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