It was before 1956 that the concept of woman’s estate was established. The property of a woman was divided into two categories that are the Stridhan and the woman’s estate. After 1956 the concept of a woman’s estate was abolished. The right of a woman on Stridhan is absolute. she can alienate, sell the property, and if she dies intestate her Stridhan will be inherited by her heirs. There was no consensus on what comprises Stridhan. Different views were there earlier it was the immovable property which was received by a woman on marriage by relatives, by strangers, etc. Yajnavalkya’s text expanded the meaning of stridhan to include properties inherited on the partition, succession purchase, etc. This was not accepted by the privy council hence they introduced a new concept of woman’s estate.
The categories of property included in a woman’s estate were the property which was obtained in inheritance and the property obtained on the partition. Earlier there was limited ownership of a woman on this property. She had normal rights as that of an owner but ordinally she could not alienate the property and after her death, her heirs did not inherit the property but the property was devolved upon the next heir of the last owner.
Females had the power of managing the woman’s estate. Unlike Karta who is just a co-owner with other coparceners. The female is the sole owner. There were limited rights of alienation conferred on her. She could only alienate the property if a legal necessity arises either for her own need or for that of the last owner of the property, the benefit of the estate, religious duties such as the marriage of daughters, funeral rites of her husband. But the property cannot be alienated by her for her own spiritual benefits. The female can surrender the property by renunciation. When the woman dies it is the last owner heirs who inherit the property as the woman had the right over a property in a limited sense. These heirs are known as reversioners.
Subsection 1 of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act 1956 abolished the concept of woman’s estate. According to this section, any property possessed by the Hindu female whether acquired by her before the commencement of this act or after the act. She will become the full owner of the same. Subsection 2 also retained the power of any person or the court to give a woman property with limited ownership, the same way it would be given to any other person. The conditions which were necessary were the female should be in possession of the property that is the female should have some title over the property.
If she does not have possession of the property she won’t be considered an absolute owner. It was held in the case of Mannalal v. Raj Kumar AIR1962 SC1493, that in the absence of a restrictive definition, it is not proper to restrict the scope and comprehensiveness. The word possession of property includes both actual and constructive possession. Constructive possession that the person can have real control over the property without having physical control of the same.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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