Do Daughter’s have a Right to Property ?

Basic idea about the Hindu Succession Act:-

The Hindu Succession act deals with two things i.e. Succession and Inheritance. This act is applicable on Hindus, Buddhist, Jain and Sikhs.

According to this act there are two types of properties

  • Ancestral
  • Self Acquired

Co-Parcener has a right over the ancestral property, and can claim their rights over the property. So The Hindu Succession Act before its amendment used to only recognize co-Parcener who was only the linear descendants of the family i.e. the people of the same bloodline and not the extended family members. Daughter, wife and widow as not considered as co-personals of the property which was a major loophole of the act. The ancestral property would be inherited first by the son, his grandson, and then his great grandson, then his great great grandson, and it will continue in the same process. This was known as the Survivorship Rule provided in Section 6 of The Hindu Succession Act. A person can only make a will for his self acquired property there can be no will for ancestral property, for ancestral property the division can only be made by law of succession.

In the 2005 Amendment the Survivorship rule was abrogated and brought the Testamentary Succession and Interstate Succession.

In Testamentary Succession a will was to be made and according to the will the property could be divided, property could also be divided to the daughter, widow, or any random person if mentioned in the will.

The Interstate Succession rules comes into function when a person has died without making any will, then his ancestral property could be divided according to this rule. This rule had introduced four classes, for example the First Class in which there was Widow, Son, Daughter and the property will get divided equally among these three categories.

So the changes that the amendment bought were:-

  • Daughters were also made the Co-parceners since their birth.
  • Daughters and sons will have equal liability

Problems faced in the 2005 Amendment:

The enactment date of the amendment was on 9th September 2005, so the major confusion regarding this amendment was that if the father dies before the above mentioned date then will the law still be applicable in that property?

Case Laws:

Prakash  v. Phulwati(2016)

In this case the Supreme Court said that the living of the father on that date was essential and living co-parcener’s right will go to the living daughter.

Danamma v. Amar (2018)

In this case the father was dead before the above mentioned date but still the daughter would get the right of the property, so we see here that this case of 2018 is totally opposite to the case of 2016.

Vineeta Shahrma v. Rakesh Sharma(2020)

In this case all the confusions were made clear wher it was clearly said that Daughters have their right to property since birth and it doesn’t depend whether or not the father was alive on or before 9th September 2005.

A quick review of the acts and amendments:

Before 1956 Act

  • The Shastric and customary laws varied from region to region; sometimes it also varied in the same religion on a caste basis.

After 1956 Act

  • Ancestral property was to be devolved by survivorship rule only.
  • Only males were coparceners of a property.
  • Women were not recognized as coparceners.

After 2005 Amendment Act

  • Amendment of Section 6.
  • The survivorship rule was abrogated.
  • Daughters were recognized as coparceners.
  • Succession was allowed through testamentary or intestate succession.

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