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Supreme Court : All Women are Equally Entitled to Share in Ancestral Property

Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan while interpreting the amended section of the Hindu Succession Act said that the section uses the word in the same manner as son thus it is apparent that both son and daughter have coparcenary right by birth in the ancestral property.
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The 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 provided that the daughters by birth will have equal right in the property of their ancestors in the same way as of son. Thus, the amendment provision in the act statutorily recognises coparcenary right of daughter by birth in the ancestral property.

Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan while interpreting the amended section of the act said that the section uses the word in the same manner as son thus it is apparent that both son and daughter have coparcenary right by birth in the ancestral property. It has been stated by the court that there have been unprecedented changes in the Mitakshara law which governs the joint hindu family and these changes are focussing to address the issue of need to merit equal treatment to nearest female relatives - coparceners daughter.

The court added that this amendment was made to remove the disability and prejudice towards the daughters and to govern equality. It has been further added by the court that with this amendment daughters not only have the right to get the share in the ancestral property but will they also become entitled to dispose off the property either by will or any other method. The section was once again interpreted by the apex court in a civil appeal filed against the decision of Karnataka High Court by the daughters of  Gurulingappa Savadi. The claim of the daughters in the property was opposed by the Savadi’s son. 

It was contended by the son that the daughters were born before the enactment of Hindu Succession Act, 1956. It was also claimed by them that the daughters on receiving the gold and money at the time of their marriage have relinquished their right to the property.

The court while rejecting the son’s contention and claim held that coparcenary in the hindu law is created by virtue of birth and therefore both son and daughter becomes coparcener and are entitled to equal share in property by birth.

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Reviewed by:
Mehak Sharma
Published on 5th Feb, 2018
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