Thus, the general rule is that a partition once made cannot be re-opened. However, there are nine exceptions to the rule, as under:
1. A son begotten, though not born before partition, can re-open it, if a share has not been reserved for him.
2. A son begotten as well as born after partition can demand a re-opening of partition, if his father, though entitled to take a share, has not reserved a share for himself.
3. A disqualified coparcener can, on removal of the disqualification, re-open the partition.
4. A partition can be re-opened by a minor on attaining majority, if the partition made during his minority was unfair or prejudicial to his interest. (This rule does not apply to partition by decree of a Court, if the minor was properly represented before the Court.)
In Ratnam Chettiar v. Kuppuswami Chettiar (A.I.R. 1976 S.C.I.), the Supreme Court held that if a partition was unfair or prejudicial to the interests of the minor coparcener, such a partition could be re-opened at his instance, even though there was no fraud or misrepresentation or undue influence.
The Court also held that the entire partition need not be re-opened if it was unfair or prejudicial in regard to a distinct and separable part of the scheme of partition. These principles were approved and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in a later case, Sukhrani v. Hari Shanker, (1979) 2. S.C.C. 463.
5. If a coparcener has fraudulently obtained an unfair advantage in the division, or if the property allotted to a coparcener was a stranger’s property, or was subject to a change and such a coparcener cannot be compensated otherwise, the partition may be re-opened for re-adjustment of the shares.
6. A son adopted by a widow of a deceased coparcener is entitled to re-open a partition effected by the surviving coparceners after his adoptive father’s death and before his own adoption.
7. Property of which an unequal distribution has been made contrary to law must be redistributed, and for this purpose, a partition may be re-opened.
8. If, through mistake, some property is wrongly allotted to a coparcener, which did not actually belong to the family, the partition can be re-opened.
9. An absent or missing coparcener can, on his return, re-open the partition, if his share was not reserved for him or made over to his wife or issue.
It may be noted that mere re-adjustment of property does not amount to re-opening of a partition.