Jaswant Singh Chahal v. Sarbjit Kaur Chahal aka Sarbjit Chahal

(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)


Property - Trusts - Property — Trusts — Gifts — Presumption of resulting trust — Business assets — Beneficial ownership — Lower courts finding shares of business transferred to daughter in law were gifts — When there is gratuitous transfer and that transfer is being challenged, must trial judge apply presumption of resulting trust before embarking on weighing of evidence and does the onus matter — Whether Court of Appeal erred in finding resulting trust analysis was not warranted — What test is to be applied to make finding of gift — Whether finding of gift needs to be inconsistent with any other intention or purpose — Whether evidence of corroboration is required at common law.


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The applicant claims that the respondent is holding business shares in trust for him, on the basis that he transferred them to her pursuant to a void agreement. The applicant sought an order that the shares and the dividends be returned to him. The respondent’s position is that the shares were a gift and that she is entitled to retain the dividends. The trial judge held that the respondent is entitled to a declaration that she is the beneficial owner of these shares. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.