Friday, October 14, 2011

Hindu women get equal property rights


By on 9:04 PM

A Hindu woman or girl will have equal property rights along with other male relatives for any partition made in intestate succession after September 2005, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of justices R M Lodha and Jagdish Singh Khehar in a judgement said that under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the daughters are entitled to equal inheritance rights along with other male siblings, which was not available to them prior to the amendment.

The apex court said the female inheritors would not only have the succession rights but also the same liabilities fastened on the property along with the male members.

"The new Section 6 provides for parity of rights in the coparcenary property among male and female members of a joint Hindu family on and from September 9, 2005. The legislature has now conferred substantive right in favour of the daughters.

"According to the new Section 6, the daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener by birth in her own rights and liabilities in the same manner as the son. The declaration in Section 6 that the daughter of the coparcener shall have same rights and liabilities in the coparcenary property as she would have been a son is unambiguous and unequivocal,"Justice Lodha, writing the judgement, said.

The term coparcener refers to the equal inheritance right of a person in a property.

The apex court passed the ruling while upholding the appeal filed by Ganduri Koteshwaramma, daughter of late Chakiri Venkata Swamy, challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court's decision not to recognise equal property rights of women along with their male siblings.

According to the apex court, the right that accrued to a daughter in the property of a joint Hindu family governed by the Mitakshara Law, by virtue of the 2005 Amendment Act, is absolute, except under certain circumstances.

The exceptions are (i) where the disposition or alienation including any partition has taken place before December 20, 2004; and (ii) where testamentary disposition of property has been made before December 20, 2004.

"In light of a clear provision contained in the explanation appended to sub-section (5) of Section 6, for determining the non-applicability of the Section, what is relevant is to find out whether the partition has been effected before December 20, 2004 by deed of partition duly registered under the Registration Act, 1908 or by a decree of a court," the bench said.

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