Prarthana
“ONCE A DAUGHTER, ALWAYS A DAUGHTER”: SC Verdict on Daughter’s Right To Ancestral Property
Prarthana Kumari 24 Aug 2020

“ONCE A DAUGHTER, ALWAYS A DAUGHTER”: SC Verdict on Daughter’s Right To Ancestral Property

Recently, in a landmark judgement, Supreme Court of India ruled that daughters have an equal coparcenary rights to ancestral property like sons, by birth, regardless of whether the father was alive or not on September 9, 2005, when Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act came into force. 

The court concluded that, Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, which gives daughters equivalent rights to inherit Joint Hindu Family Property, will have a Retrospective Effect.

Declaring the judgement, Justice Arun Mishra, heading a 3-Judge Bench Says, “A daughter always remains a loving daughter. A son is a son until he gets a wife. A daughter is a daughter throughout her life”.

Despite the fact that, the judgment imagines to redress one of the discriminatory social practices, it would require no less than a change in the attitude of the Indian Society to satisfy the objective of Gender Equality.

Coparcener And Coparcenary Property

According to law, a Hindu Family is a group of individuals, who are the lineal descendants of a common ancestor. This group would incorporate the Eldest member and 3-generations of a family, & every one of these individuals are perceived as Coparceners.

The property which is acquired by a Hindu by a Hindu from his/her Father, Grandfather or Great-Grandfather is known as Coparcenary Property.

Only a Coparcener has right over the Coparcenary Property by birth, while the SHARES in the property varies by Birth and Death in a family.

Before, Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, women were not considered as Coparceners and thus, they could not inherit father’s property.

Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005

Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 was enacted to evacuate Gender Discriminatory Provisions in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. Under the amendment, Section 6 of the Act was amended. After this, the daughter of a coparcener will become a coparcener by birth, in her own right like Son. The daughter will now have the similar rights in the ancestral property of the Hindu undivided family (Coparcenary Property) as a son.

It was a progressive step in the field of Indian legislation with respect to the privileges of women in India.

Previous Conflicting Judgements

The requirement for a 3-Judge Bench- Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S.Abdul Nazeer and Justice M.R. Shah to hear this issue emerged as a result of prior conflicting decisions passed by 2-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court.

In the Case of Prakash V. Phulavati (2015), a 2- Judge Bench of SC including Justices Anil R Dave and AK Goel, had held that if the father (coparcener) had died before the date on which the amendment became effective i.e. 9 September 2005, the daughter would reserve no right to the Coparcenary Property.

Although, in the Case of Danamma V. Amar (2018), another 2-Judge Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri held that, the two daughters in this case would get a share in the father’s property regardless of whether their father had died in 2001.

Highlights of the Present Judgement

On 11 August 2020, the 3- Judge Bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S.Abdul Nazeer and Justice M.R. Shah of the Supreme Court of India held the following-

That Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act grants an “Unobstructed Heritage” i.e. a right by birth, to the daughter, considering that a coparcener's father need not be alive on 9 September 2005 when the law enacted.

The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 granted the right to Hindu women to be coparceners or joint legal inheritor in the similar way a male inheritor does. Since the coparcenary is by birth, it isn't important that the father coparcener ought to be living as on 09-09-2005.

On the date of implementation of the amendment act, if a daughter is alive, she turns into a coparcener with impact from the date of the Amendment Act, regardless of the date of birth prior in point of time.

Daughters can't be denied of their RIGHT of EQUALITY gave upon them by Section 6 of The Hindu Succession Act.

The SC additionally noticed that some cases & appeals all over the India were pending in front of high courts and subordinate courts, since it was looking at the issue. It likewise requested these courts to decide all pending issues, quite far, within 6 months.

Reference:

[1] theprint.in

[2] www.drishtiias.com 

[3] evawglobaldatabase.unwomen.org


Did you find this write up useful? YES 4 NO 2
zorawar singh   17 Oct 2020 12:46pm
once a daughter always a loving daughter ...amazing judgement
Reply
Hrithik Pandey   24 Aug 2020 7:57pm
Article is really very good..
Reply
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